Dave Molter

Dribbling with the stars

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A short time from now in a place not so far away …


“Hello sports fans, and welcome to the 2,520th Heavenly All-Star Sports Awards Banquet! This is Vin Scully, along with my co-host, Wilt Chamberlain.”


“Thanks, Vin.”


“It’s a real pleasure to be sitting with you tonight at this popular banquet, where every year, we honor the best deceased members of the athletic community. Most of our viewers know the awards have been presented here behind the Pearly Gates annually since 490 B.C., shortly after the very first honoree, Pheidippides, collapsed and died after running more than 26 miles to bring news of the great Greek victory over Persia in the Battle of Marathon.”


“That’s right, Vin! But what newcomers might not know is that this year’s awards are being held in conjunction with what should be a great basketball game: Donald Sterling’s Damnation Dunksters versus God’s Holy Hoopsters.”


“And what a matchup it is, Wilt! In case viewers have forgotten, most basketball games in Heaven end in a tie because all the players are just too darn good! And all basketball games in Hell end with the nets – and most of the players – on fire. It was – and correct me if I’m wrong, Wilt – Pete Rose who suggested that pitting Heaven against Hell on the court might be interesting. Pete, of course, runs the sports book here in Paradise.”


“Yes, it was ‘Charlie Hustle’ who brought the idea to God, Vin, shortly after he arrived in Heaven in 2020. But I believe it was Gandhi who sold Pete on the idea over drinks.”


“Holy cow!”


“A bit of history, Vin: Donald Sterling bought the Dunksters shortly after going straight to Hell after he died in 2018. But 3,615,000 cherubim protested that allowing Sterling to continue to do something he loved was hardly punishment. So God specified that although the ex-Clippers boss could remain the Dunksters owner, he could recruit only players shorter than 5 feet, 7 inches tall.”


“Another creative move by the Creator, Wilt! But that doesn’t explain why I see Donald Trump as the Dunksters’ waterboy.


“Apparently ‘The Donald’ annoyed so many people in Heaven that he was sent down, Vin.”


“Well, we have an exciting night to look forward to, Wilt!”


“And don’t forget our halftime show – the Hell’s Belles cheering squad, featuring Britney Spears, Stevie Nicks, Olivia Newton-John, Madonna and Taylor Swift!”


“You know, Wilt, I can’t help but notice that the Dunksters bench looks a bit – no pun intended – short tonight.”


“Well, Vin, that’s because Sterling had a tough time finding players – both Stalin and Hitler refused to play for him, you know.”


“Yes, Wilt, how could I forget ‘The Furor over the Fuhrer?’ And is that Napoleon I see suited up in Dunksters red?”


“Yes, that’s ‘Boney,’ as the fans like to call him. He’s deadly from the three-point line. But with Bird, Jordan, Abdul-Jabbar, O’Neal and Maravich as the Hoopsters starting five, I’m predicting a blowout.”


“Agreed, Wilt! But now, folks, it’s time to get things under way with the national anthem of Hell being performed by Duran Duran, followed by the national anthem of Heaven, yodeled by Slim Whitman.”


“Amen to that, Vin!”


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