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Devin Booker and the Island of Misfit Suns

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NCAA Basketball: Pacific at Arizona State Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Greetings one and all, Bright Siders! It’s Christmas, and that can mean only one thing — a customary shirking of journalistic duties by the staff.

You see, each Christmas the Bright Side staff, in an honest effort to get out of working, corrupts a timeless Christmas classic by shamelessly shoehorning the Phoenix Suns into it. This season, yours truly has, umm, “found” a long-lost script that melds the Suns and the Rankin/Bass stop-motion classic Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. How long ago could the script have possibly been lost, you ask? Well, I’m not really sure. A couple weeks ago? Look, just stop asking questions and read the thing. It took freakin’ forever.

As usual, previous years’ “masterpieces” can be found at the following links: 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 & two from 2016 here and here.

And for those of you who want to point out that this isn’t formatted exactly like a script, I mean, are you trying to get coal in your stocking?


EXT. PHOENIX — DAY (PRESENT)

Al: If I live to be a hundred, I’ll never be able to forget that big rebuild a couple of years ago. The losses piled up, and, well, you might not believe it, but the NBA almost lost the Phoenix Suns. Oh, excuse me. Call me Al. What’s the matter? Haven’t you ever seen a play-by-play snowman before? Nice around here, isn’t it? I call it the Valley of the Sun, better known as Phoenix. Saguaros. Yep, here’s where we grow them. Nice place to live, you know. Ahh, I love this Christmas-y time of year, especially when everything is running happy and smooth like it is this season. Nothing like that year of the big rebuild. I don’t know what we would have done without Devin to pull us through. Anyway...hmm, Devin? Could it be that some of you are not acquainted with the story of Devin Booker? Well, pull up a chaise lounge and lend an ear. Now, you know how head coaches use these basketball players to win their games. [Al begins to sing.] You know Connie and Alvan and Walter and Charles. Dan and Steve and Shawn and Amar’e. But do you recall the most famous player of all?

[Snowman Al McCoy restrains himself from further singing.]

Al (Cont’d): Well, now, let me tell you about Devin. It all started almost two years before the big rebuild. Coaches John Calipari and John Robic had just recruited a new player to the University of Kentucky….

INT. RUPP ARENA — DAY

Coach Cal: Nah, we’ll…we’ll make him a Sixth Man.

John Robic: Sixth Man is a lovely role. Sixth Man.

[Devin looks up.]

Coach Cal: Hey, hey! He knows his role already!

Devin: Coach. Coach.

John Robic: He…he’s unusually handsome for a basketball player!

Coach Cal: H…h...handsome? I’d even say he glows!

John Robic: Well, we’ll simply have to overlook it.

Coach Cal: Now how can you overlook that? College girls are going to be licking his car door handle!

EXT. PHOENIX — DAY (PRESENT)

Al: Well, for the first year, Coach Cal did a pretty fair job of hiding Devin’s, uh, nonconformity. Coach Cal taught Devin all the ins and outs of being a basketball player: how to shoot, how to run the three-man weave, things like that. But most important, most important of all, he taught his son to beware of the Abominable Tank Monster of the NBA. He’s mean, he’s nasty, and he hates everything to do with winning. Now, aside from the Abominable, business goes on as usual. And soon it is right before Christmas, and everybody is getting ready for those big, big games on the day of the 25th — Christmas Day! See, all the players Coach uses are approved by the analytics department. Seems those in analytics have that certain knack for team-building. And they all had a problem with this one misfit, T.J. Warren.

INT. TALKING STICK RESORT ARENA PRACTICE COURT — DAY

Jake Loos — director of basketball analytics: T.J.! Aren’t you finished shooting that rack of balls yet? There’s a pileup a mile wide behind you. What’s eating ya, boy?

T.J.: Not happy in my work, I guess.

Jake Loos: What?!

T.J.: I just don’t like to shoot threes.

Jake Loos: Noh, well, if that’s all. What?! You don’t like to shoot threes?

T.J.: No.

Jake Loos: T.J. doesn’t like to shoot threes.

Analytics department (amongst themselves): T.J. doesn’t like to shoot threes. T.J. doesn’t like to shoot threes. T.J. doesn’t like to shoot threes. Oh, shame on you!

Jake Loos: Do you mind telling me what you do want to do?

T.J.: Well, sir, someday I’d like to shoot from…the midrange.

Jake Loos: The midrange?!

T.J.: Well, we could use that here. I’ve been studying. It’s fascinating. You’ve no idea. Floaters and elbow jumpers and fadeaways.

Jake Loos: Now, listen, you. You’re a small forward, and small forwards shoot threes. Now get to work! [The buzzer sounds and practice ends.] Not for you! Finish the rack, or you’re benched!

T.J. (singing sadly): Why am I such a misfit? I am not just a nitwit. You can’t bench me, I’ll sit. Seems I don’t fit in.

EXT. SOMEWHERE IN LEXINGTON — DAY

Al (V.O.): Ah, well. Such is the life of a basketball player. Meanwhile, Devin is having his growing pains, too. Old Coach Cal is determined to keep Devin’s good looks a secret.

Coach Cal: All right, son. Try it on.

Devin: What is it?

Coach Cal: A mask of Joe Kleine.

Devin: Who’s Joe Kleine?

Coach Cal: It doesn’t matter. Just try it on.

Devin: I don’t wanna. Coach Cal, I don’t like it.

Coach Cal: You’ll like it and wear it.

Devin: Oh, but, Coach Cal! It’s not very comfortable!

Coach Cal: There are more important things than comfort: getting drafted. No coach can object to you now.

Devin (singing sadly): Why am I such a misfit? I am just not a nitwit. Just because I look good. Why don’t I fit in?

INT. DRAFT WORKOUT — DAY

Al (V.O.): And so time passes. Christmas comes and goes on schedule, and soon it is spring. That’s when all the young players come out with their parents and agents to meet the other young players and to be inspected by Coach.

Coach Cal: Now, don’t worry about your looks, son. Just get out there and do your stuff. Remember, you’re my little Wildcat.

[Devin, still wearing the Joe Kleine mask, joins the other players. D’ANGELO RUSSELL approaches him.]

D’Angelo: Hi. My name’s D’Angelo. What’s yours?

Devin: Devin.

D’Angelo: Come on. You can be my buddy.

Devin: Where are we going?

D’Angelo: To the Combine. Makes draft stock grow. Besides, it’s a great way to show off in front of the scouts. Come on.

INT. TALKING STICK RESORT ARENA — DAY

Al (V.O.): Ah, youth. Meanwhile, the analytics department is bustling with activity. The season is over, but they still keep busy with lessons in analytics improvement.

Jake Loos: All out for analytics practice!

Coach: Well, let’s get this over with. I have to go down and look over the new players.

Jake Loos: Okay, Coach. [Jake turns to his department staff.] Now, let’s try out the new analytics song I wrote. And remember, it’s for Coach. And a one-ah and a two-ah and a three-ah….

Analytics department (singing):

Ho ho ho, ho ho ho. We break down the stats.

We break down the stats. On all the Coach’s brats.

With our eyes on each of our guys.

Oh, we break down the stats.

We work hard all day. But for us it’s play.

Coach can create a, play from our data.

We break down the stats.

We’ve a special job each year. We don’t like to brag. Every season our logic is such a drag.

Coach knows who’s good. Plays the way he should. And we bet you, he won’t forget you cuz we break down the stats.

We’ve a special job each year. We don’t like to brag. Every season our logic is such a drag.

Coach knows who’s good. Plays the way he should. And we bet you, he won’t forget you cuz we break down the stats.

Ho ho ho, ho ho ho. We break down the stats, ho ho.

Coach: Hmm. Well, it needs work. I have to go.

Jake Loos: That sounded terrible! The tenor section was weak.

Analytics department: Wasn’t our fault, boss. It’s a song about analytics. Plus, we saw T.J. shooting in the midrange again.

Jake Loos: What?

INT. TALKING STICK RESORT ARENA PRACTICE COURT — DAY

T.J.: [T.J. hits a shot from the elbow extended.] Smooth like Sweet D.

Jake Loos: Why aren’t you shooting threes?

T.J.: Just shooting these pull-up 15-footers.

Jake Loos: Pull-up — Now, listen! We have players that run, dunk, drive, defend, and complain about fouls. We don’t need any 15-footers.

T.J.: I just thought I’d found a way to fit in.

Jake Loos: You’ll never fit in! You come to practice and learn how to shoot threes and drive and kick and go “both teams competed” and “it is what it is” and important stuff like that. The midrange! Good grief!

[Jake Loos leaves in a huff.]

T.J.: No. I just can’t. It’s like he said: I’ll never fit in. I guess I’m on my own now. [T.J. leaves the arena.]

INT. DRAFT WORKOUT — DAY

D’Angelo: Hey, look! Twitter! [Twitter watches Devin, likes start piling up.] What do you know? It likes you.

Devin: Yeah, D’Angelo? You really think so?

D’Angelo: Here comes the coach.

Earl Watson: All right. All right, now! That’s better. My name is Earl Watson, and even though I’m in charge, I want to be your pal. Right? Right. My job is to love and embrace you, so let’s go. Now then, our first game is called Around the World. We all want to lead Coach’s team someday, don’t we? So we must learn to shoot. Now, who’s first to try?

Players: Me! Me!

Earl Watson: One at a time. One at a time! You. You’re Larry Nance’s little boy, aren’t you? You go first. All right, now. The whole trick is getting up enough shots while believing in yourself. You got it? Go ahead. [Larry Jr. takes a shot and shoots an airball, laughter ensues.] Very good...for a first try. Next!

D’Angelo: He won’t get to us for a while yet. Now’s your chance to get acquainted with Twitter.

[Devin logs on.]

Twitter: Nice day.

Devin: Yup.

Twitter: For shooting practice, I mean.

Devin: Yup.

Twitter: I bet you’ll be the best.

Devin: Well, I don’t know.

Twitter: Something wrong with your face? I mean, you look kind of funny.

Devin: What’s so funny about the way I look?

Twitter: Don’t get angry. I don’t mind.

Devin: You don’t?

Twitter: My name’s Twitter. Hi.

Devin: My name’s Devin. Hi.

Twitter: Hi.

Devin: Hey, Twitter, after practice, would you…would you—

Earl Watson (O.S.): Devin, you get back here! It’s your turn.

Devin: Gee, I got to go back. Would you follow me, @DevinBook?

Twitter: Uh-huh...Devin. I think you’re cute. [Inserts heart-eyes emoji.]

Devin: I’m cute! I’m cute! [He sinks several shots in a row.]

Earl Watson: Magnificent!

Devin: I’m cute! I’m cute! It said I’m cute! [He puts on a ridiculous shooting display.]

Coach: Not bad. Not bad at all.

D’Angelo: Hey, you’re okay.

Devin: It said I’m cute! Haha!

[Devin and D’Angelo start to horse around, the Joe Kleine mask falls off.]

D’Angelo: For crying out loud!

Devin: D’Angelo, what’s the matter?

D’Angelo: Get away. Get away from me!

Earl Watson: Now, now, now. What’s this nonsense here, and who needs a hug? After all — Aah!

Other players: Hey, look at the face.

Other players: Hey, Fabio!

Other players: Chippendale!

Other players: Magic Mike!

Devin: Stop calling me names!

Other players: Devin the handsome ball player.

Coach: Coach Cal, you should be ashamed of yourself. What a pity. He had a nice stroke, too.

Earl Watson: All right. All right now. Back to practice. [The other players return to the court. Devin goes to join them but is stopped.] Oh, no. Not you. You better go home with Coach Cal. From now on, gang, we won’t let Devin join in any basketball games. Right?

Other players: Right!

Earl Watson: (But I still love and embrace you.)

[Devin turns to leave.]

Twitter: Devin. Devin. Devin.

Devin: Well, what do you want?

Twitter: You…you promised to slide into my DMs.

Devin: Aren’t you going to laugh at my good looks?

Twitter: I think it’s a handsome face, much better than that silly false one you were wearing.

Devin: It’s terrible. It’s different from everybody else’s.

Twitter: But that’s what makes it so grand. Why any of your Stans would consider herself lucky to be with you.

Devin: Yeah? But I wasn’t very lucky today, was I? I wish...I…I wish….

Twitter (singing):

There’s always tomorrow for dreams to come true. Believe in your dreams, come what may.

There’s always tomorrow with so much to do. And so little time in a day.

We all pretend the rainbow has an end.

And you’ll be there, my friend, someday.

There’s always tomorrow for dreams to come true. Tomorrow is not far away.

We all pretend the rainbow has an end.

And you’ll be there, my friend, someday.

There’s always tomorrow for dreams to come true. Tomorrow is not far away.

Twitter father: Twitter!

Twitter: Papa!

Twitter father: Stop following him!

Twitter: But I—

Twitter father: This instant, young lady!

Twitter: Yes, sir.

Twitter father: Now there’s one thing I want to make very plain: no daughter of mine is going to be seen following a good-looking basketball player!

EXT. PHOENIX — DAY

[Devin wanders by, forlorn. He bumps into T.J.]

T.J.: Oh, is this your shade?

Devin: No. Who are you?

T.J.: Well, actually, I am a midrange shooter.

Devin: A midrange shooter?

T.J.: Well, I want to be, someday. Right now, I’m just a small forward. But I don’t need anybody. I’m...I’m independent.

Devin: Yeah? Me too. I’m...whatever you said. Independent.

T.J.: Hey, what do you say we both be independent together, huh?

Devin: You wouldn’t mind my handsome face?

T.J.: Not if you don’t mind me shooting from the midrange.

Devin: It’s a deal.

Devin and T.J. (singing):

We’re a couple of misfits. We’re a couple of misfits. What’s the matter with misfits? That’s where we fit in.

We’re not daffy and dilly. Don’t go ‘round willy-nilly. Seems to us kind of silly that we don’t fit in.

We may be different from the rest. Who decides the test of what is really best?

We’re a couple of misfits. We’re a couple of misfits. What’s the matter with misfits? That’s where we fit in.

[Devin]: Why am I such a misfit? I am not just a nitwit. I’m a handsome ball player. Why don’t I fit in? [End Devin]

[T.J.]: Why am I such a misfit? I am not just a nitwit They can’t bench me, I’ll sit. Seems I don’t fit in. [End T.J.]

We may be different from the rest. Who decides the test of what is really best?

We’re a couple of misfits. We’re a couple of misfits. What’s the matter with misfits? That’s where we fit in.

EXT. PHOENIX — NIGHT

Al (V.O.): Now these two didn’t have any idea about what they were letting themselves in for. The NBA looked a lot more complicated and business-like than it seemed when they were snug and warm on the court.

[The Abominable Tank Monster appears and spots the pair.]

T.J.: The Abominable! He must see that you’re both a skilled and good-looking basketball player. Quick, shoot an airball. [Devin and T.J. narrowly evade the Tank Monster.]

Al (V.O.): Like I said, the outside world is up to its ears in danger. [Shudders.] Well, somehow Devin and T.J. managed to get through the first night.

EXT. PHOENIX — DAY

[RYAN MCDONOUGH walks by and sees Devin and T.J. asleep at a bus stop.]

McDonough: What’s this? Hey, you get sunburned that-a way.

[Devin and T.J. wake up.]

Devin: Who are you?

McDonough: Who am I? The name’s Ryan McDonough, the greatest prospector in the NBA! This is my land, and you know, it’s rich with draft picks. Draft picks! Draft picks and youth. Youth and draft picks. Wahoo! [He makes a quick trade call.] Nothing.

EXT. PHOENIX — DAY (PRESENT)

Al: Draft picks and youth. Well, what do you think of our friend McDonough? Seems all he thinks about is draft picks and youth.

Al (singing):

Draft picks and youth. Draft picks and youth.

Everyone wishes for draft picks and youth.

How do you measure its worth? Just by the number of wins here on earth.

Draft picks and youth. Draft picks and youth. Means so much more when I see,

Draft picks and youth attached to every trade hee hee.

[Speaking]: What’s a trade without young players and draft considerations? Can’t really call it a trade, now can you? And think of all the fun and joy that would be lost after a deal if all the fans didn’t get to see that heavily protected first rounder. [End speaking]

Draft picks and youth. Draft picks and youth. Means so much more when I see,

Draft picks and youth attached to every trade hee hee.

EXT. PHOENIX — DAY

McDonough: Noh well, I’m off to get my life-sustainin’ supplies: cheap coaches and Suns polos and pointy shoes and tiny bottles of water. You can come along. [The Tank Monster appears and spots Devin.] Gadzooks! The Bumble Tank Monster of the NBA strikes again.

Devin: It’s my looks! They keep giving us away.

McDonough: If there’s anything I hate, it’s a noisy bumble tank monster. We’ll have to outwit the fiend with our superior intelligence.

Devin: How?

McDonough: Cover your face and run like crazy! Come on! Wahoo!

[The three run but find themselves unable to cross the street against the light.]

Devin: We’re trapped. There’s no way out! It’s my looks again. They’ve ruined us.

McDonough: The bumble has one weakness, and I know it. [A car pulls up beside them.] My Uber’s here! [The three hop inside, and the car begins to drive off. Meanwhile, a crowd begins to form around the Tank Monster.] Observe: a bumble’s one weakness. [The crowd begins to shout angrily at the monster.] Fan outrage! Ryan McDonough scores again! Whoopee! [Ryan takes another trade call.] Nothing.

Devin: Uh, mister, where are we going?

McDonough: You’re going to come with me, and we’ll all be rich with the biggest youth movement this side of Philadelphia. Youth!

T.J.: I thought you wanted draft picks.

McDonough: I changed my mind.

Al (V.O.): Yes sir, our friends were really on their way, but not one of them knew where they were going.

INT. TALKING STICK RESORT ARENA — DAY

Al (V.O.) (Cont’d): Now, you can bet old Coach Cal felt pretty bad about the way he had treated Devin, and he knew that the only thing to do was to go out and look for his little Wildcat. John Robic wanted to go along, naturally, but Coach Cal said, “No, this is head coach’s work.” And no sooner did he leave when John Robic joined up with Twitter and decided to search on their own.

EXT. UNKNOWN LOCATION — DAY

Al (V.O.) (Cont’d): Now, they were really taking their chances because, you see, that Uber car had run into a pack of mighty wicked traffic.

McDonough: Hello! The traffic is thick as peanut butter.

T.J.: You mean pea soup.

McDonough: You eat what you like, and I’ll eat what I like. [Uber car rear ends the car in front of them.] Land ho!

T.J.: No kidding.

[The three get out of the wrecked Uber.]

Devin: Where are we?

McDonough: Hey! Looky up there! [He points to a Western Alliance Bank while a SENTRY pops up behind them.]

Sentry: Halt! Who goes there?

McDonough: Us, of course. Who’d you think?

Sentry: Oh, well, then that’s okay. Okay? Who, may I ask, are you?

Devin: We’re Devin, T.J., and Ryan McDonough, sir. Who are you?

Sentry: I’m the official sentry of the Island of Misfit Suns.

T.J.: A veteran center for a sentry?

Sentry: Yes. My name is—

Devin: Don’t tell me. Jack.

Sentry: No. Tyson. That’s why I’m a misfit player. My fit is all wrong. No one wants to rebuild with a 35-year-old center, so I had to come here.

T.J.: Where’s here?

Various misfits (singing):

We’re on the Island of Misfit Suns. Here we don’t want to stay.

We want to play for a winning team every single day.

A pack full of picks guarantees no quick fix.

We’re in the abyss leaving the fans to miss.

When Christmas Day is here. The most wonderful day of the year.

A veteran center waits for coaches to scream:

“Wake up! Don’t you know you’re on a championship team?”

When Christmas Day is here. The most wonderful day of the year.

Wins galore. The fans all adore. There’s still room for more. And it’s all a cause for raucous applause.

A good role for Greggy and for Dragan too.

The kind that will make fans say, “I like what you do!”

When Christmas day is here. The most wonderful day of the year.

[Misfits speak]: How would you like to be a 5’10 point guard? Or a guy whose most athletic feature is his hands? Or a 14-million-dollar player who’s always hurt? We’re all misfits! How would you like to be an athletic power forward who can’t finish dunks? Or a small forward who shoots free throws like a center? Or a center who finishes at the basket like a point guard? We’re all misfits! [End misfits speak]

If we’re on the Island of Unwanted Suns, then no one will see us they’ll watch Archer reruns.

When Christmas day is here. The most wonderful, wonderful, wonderful, wonderful, wonderful day of the year.

Devin: Hey, we’re all misfits, too. Maybe we could stay here for a while.

Sentry: Well, you’d have to get permission from Robert Sarver.

Devin: Who’s he?

Sentry: He rules here. Every night, he searches the entire earth. When he finds a misfit player, one that no general manager loves, he brings it here to play on his team ‘til someone wants it. He’s holding court in his office right now.

INT. WESTERN ALLIANCE BANCORPORATION HEADQUARTERS — DAY

[Robert Sarver is sitting at his desk as the three enter.]

Sarver: Come closer. What do you desire?

Devin: Well, we’re a couple of misfits, and now we’d like to play here.

Sarver: No. That would not be possible.

McDonough: How do you like that? Even among misfits, you’re misfits.

Sarver: Unlike others, a talented player cannot hide himself. But, perhaps, being misfits yourselves, you might help the players here.

Devin: Help them?

Sarver: Yes. Would you tell Coach about our misfit players? I’m sure he could find roles they would be happy with. A player is never truly happy until it is given consistent minutes on a winning team.

Devin: We’ll tell Coach, sir.

Sarver: Good. You are free to spend the night. Security! Show our friends to their chambers.

INT. BANK LOBBY — NIGHT

T.J.: No. It’s all settled. We leave tomorrow together.

Devin: But the Abominable will see my handsome face and get us all. I’ve got to go alone.

McDonough: Nonsense. It’s all for all and…I mean, one…ah, let’s get some shuteye.

Devin: But—

T.J.: It’s all settled.

Al (V.O.): Well, poor Devin realizes that he can’t endanger his friends’ lives anymore. And so, that night, he decides to strike out on his own.

EXT. UNKNOWN LOCATION — NIGHT

[Devin leaves via Uber, looks back at the bank where his friends are sleeping.]

Devin: Good-bye, McDonough. I hope you find lots of assets. Good-bye, T.J. Whatever a midrange shooter is, I hope, someday, that you’re the greatest.

EXT. PHOENIX — DAY (TIME SKIP)

Al: Well, time passed slowly. Devin existed as best he could. The Tank Monster kept him on the run, but once in a while, he would stop and make a friend or two. But it wouldn’t last long, and Devin would be on his own. But during all that time, a strange and wonderful thing was happening. Devin was growing up, and growing up made Devin realize you can’t run away from your troubles. Pretty soon he knew where he had to go: home.

EXT. OUTSIDE TALKING STICK RESORT ARENA — DAY

[Devin returns to Phoenix and sees some of the other players he’d worked out with.]

Other player: You? I thought you were gone for good. Hey, look who’s back: old Sexiest Man Alive!

[Devin ignores them and enters the arena.]

INT. TALKING STICK RESORT ARENA — DAY

Devin: Coach? Coach Cal? I’m home!

Coach: They’re gone, Devin. They’ve been gone for months, out looking for you.

Devin: Twitter?

Coach: It’s gone, too, and I’m very worried. Everyone’s losing interest.

Devin: Gone? I’ll find them, sir. I’ll find them all.

Al: Well, he was just about to leave when suddenly…it hit! The rebuild of rebuilds. Now Devin knew that he had to find the others right away, and he knew where he had to look: the office of the Abominable Tank Monster.

INT. TALKING STICK RESORT ARENA FRONT OFFICE — DAY

[Devin arrives to see the Tank Monster menacing the others, holding a cell phone with a terrible trade proposal.]

Devin: [Enters Tank Monster’s office.] Put it down!

[The Tank Monster demoralizes Devin by making no meaningful moves in free agency.]

Al (V.O.): Tell me when it’s over. Oh, where was I? Their last chance. Not quite. You see, ever since Devin left them, T.J. and Ryan McDonough had been trying to find their friend. Well, they arrived in Phoenix just as the rebuild hit. And it was a good thing that I sent them right out after Devin.

T.J.: Hey, look! [T.J. points out office of the Tank Monster.]

McDonough: Whoa!

[McDonough and T.J. see Devin and the others trapped by the monster.]

T.J.: What do we do? We can’t let that monster get ahold of them.

McDonough: I got an idea. Listen. [Whispers to T.J.]

T.J.: Yes…and then...yeah…. Not bad. It might work.

INT. TANK MONSTER’S OFFICE — DAY

[The Tank Monster stares at its helpless captives deliciously.]

Twitter: Why doesn’t he get it over with?

[Devin begins to regain consciousness.]

Devin: Coach Cal? Coach Robic? Twitter!

INT. TALKING STICK RESORT ARENA FRONT OFFICE — DAY

T.J.: Are you sure we can get him to come out here?

McDonough: Never knew the bumble tank monster yet who’d turn down a losing streak for a handful of losses. Do your stuff!

T.J.: Strategic resting.

McDonough: Put some heart in it! That bumble’s hungry…for losses!

T.J.: Strategic resting! Strategic resting!!!

[Tank Monster hears the call and follows it like a siren song all the way outside.]

EXT. TALKING STICK RESORT ARENA — DAY

[The Tank Monster is drawn beneath a billboard that McDonough is busily deconstructing.]

McDonough: Wahoo! [A #SarverOut billboard falls on the Tank Monster’s head.] Terrible infrastructure we’ve been having. Billboards falling. [Another billboard falls and knocks the monster out.] All right, midrange shooter, you take it from here.

INT. TANK MONSTER’S OFFICE — DAY

[McDonough enters the office, triumphant.]

Devin: It’s Ryan McDonough!

McDonough: Ta-da! In person.

Twitter: We’re saved!

Coach Cal: Let’s get outta here.

Devin: I don’t like the way.

[Tank Monster returns to the office and blocks the doorway.]

McDonough: Why, blast your tanking bumble hide.

[T.J. walks in, right past the monster.]

T.J.: Don’t let this big blowhard scare you anymore. Just walk right past him.

[Tank Monster realizes it no longer has the support of ownership, begin to panic.]

McDonough: I tell you, you’re looking at a mighty humble bumble. [He charges at it.] He’s nothing without his ownership support. Let me at him. Wahoo!

[Tank Monster and McDonough battle.]

EXT. TALKING STICK RESORT ARENA — DAY

[The battle continues between the Tank Monster and McDonough, with both grappling until they are struck by a light rail train.]

Devin: Ryan! He’s gone! Oh, he’s gone!

T.J.: Umm…was he trying to fight the monster or hug it?

Devin: I guess now we’ll never know.

INT. TALKING STICK RESORT ARENA — NIGHT

Al (V.O.): Well, they are all very sad at the loss of their friend, but they realize that the best thing to do is to get back to work. So they do, and when everybody hears their story, they start to realize maybe they were a little hard on the misfits. Maybe misfits have a place, too. Even Coach realizes that maybe he was wrong.

Coach (addressing Devin): Devin, I promise, as soon as this rebuild lets up, I’ll find roles for all those misfit players.

Jake Loos (addressing T.J.): All right. You can shoot from the midrange. Next week, after Christmas.

T.J.: Come here. Shoot it like this.

Jake Loos: [unhappy grumbling]

T.J.: Oh, dear. I better set up a shootaround for you, week from Tuesday. 4:30 sharp.

Coach Cal (addressing Devin): I’m sorry, too, Devin, for the way I acted.

[There is a knock at the door.]

McDonough: Open up! Isn’t a fit night out for man nor beast! [Door opens.] Here’s the man, and here’s the beast! [McDonough walks in with the Tank Monster. Audible gasps of terror can be heard.] Now, calm down. Calm down. I reformed this bumble. He wants to win. Looky what he can do. [It makes a trade for a competent veteran.] And he doesn’t even need an assistant GM.

Devin: But...but...you were run over by the light rail.

McDonough: Didn’t I ever tell you about bumbles? It’s the dead tank bounce!

INT. TALKING STICK RESORT ARENA COACHES OFFICE — NIGHT

Al (V.O.): Well, as good as everyone feels, this is no time for celebrating because the next day is Christmas Day.

Assistant coach: Latest standings, sir. [He hands Coach the report.]

Coach: Well, this is it. The rebuild won’t subside by tonight. We…we’ll have to cancel our Christmas game. Oh, the poor kids. They’ve been so good this year, too. But I couldn’t chance it. I’ll have to tell everybody that it’s all off this year.

INT. TALKING STICK RESORT ARENA — NIGHT

Coach: Quiet! Quiet! Please, everybody quiet! Quiet! I’ve got some bad news, folks. Our Christmas game is going to be canceled. [Everyone is disappointed.] There’s nothing I can do. This rebuild — [Devin continues to shoot around.] Devin, Devin, please! Could you stop shooting for a bit? And those looks of yours…those looks! Those beautiful, wonderful looks!

Devin: Huh?

Coach: Devin, the Christmas game is not off, and you’re going to lead my team.

Devin: I am?

Coach: Yes, sir. You and that handsome face of yours.

Devin: My face, sir?

Coach: From what I see now, your combination of looks and skill will draw ratings the NBA has never seen before. What I’m trying to say is...Devin, with your face so bright, won’t you guide my team tonight?

Devin: It will be an honor, sir.

Coach Cal: I knew those looks would be useful someday. I knew it all along.

Al (V.O.) (singing while others prepare for the game):

Have a holly, jolly Christmas. It’s the best time of the year.

I don’t know if there’ll be snow, but have a cup of cheer.

Have a holly, jolly Christmas, and when you walk down the street,

say hello to friends you know and everyone you meet.

Ho, ho, the mistletoe, hung where you can see.

Somebody waits for you. Kiss her once for me.

Have a holly, jolly Christmas, and in case you didn’t hear.

Oh, by golly have a holly, jolly Christmas this year.

Holly, jolly, holly, jolly, aaaahhhhhh.

Have a holly, jolly Christmas, and in case you didn’t hear.

Oh, by golly, have a holly, jolly Christmas this year.

[Coach gets on the team bus with Devin.]

Coach: Ready, Devin?

Devin: Ready, Coach!

Coach: Well, let’s be on our way. Okay, Devin. Give it one hundred percent! First stop, the Island of Misfit Suns. Up, up, up, and away…figuratively speaking!

Twitter: He’ll be a hero after this. [Inserts raising hands emoji.]

John Robic: Yes, a hero.

Coach Cal: That’s my Wildcat!

EXT. UNKNOWN LOCATION — NIGHT

[Several misfits are waiting around, hoping to see Coach arrive to find them good roles.]

Sentry: Well, it’s Christmas Day, but….

5’10 point guard: Looks like we’re forgotten again.

Puzzling unicorn: But Devin promised we’d play this time.

Sentry: Guess the rebuild was too much for them. Might just as well go to bed and start dreaming about next year.

Puzzling unicorn: I haven’t any dreams left to dream. We’ll never get off this island. Never.

[They hear something in the distance.]

5’10 point guard: Wait a minute. What’s that? Is it…is it….

Sentry: It sure is! It’s Coach! And look! Devin is leading the way!

Puzzling unicorn: You can see the line of women following him from here.

[Coach and Devin arrive in the team bus.]

Coach: Well, let’s be on our way. [All the misfits hop on the bus.] Ready, Devin?

Devin: Ready, Coach!

Coach: Okay, Devin. Give it one hundred percent! Up, up, up, and away…figuratively speaking again!

Al (V.O.): Well, folks, as for the rest of the story….

Al (V.O.) (singing):

He went down in history...

Devin the handsome ball player, had a very pretty face.

And if you ever saw him, you’d know why the girls all chase.

All of the other players, used to laugh and call him names.

They never let poor Devin, join in any basketball games.

Then one tank-y Christmas Day,

His coach came to say:

“Devin with your face so bright,

Won’t you guide my team tonight?”

Then how the players loved him, as they shouted out with glee.

Devin the handsome ball player, you’ll go down in history.

Devin the handsome ball player, you’ll go down in history.

Coach: Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas!