Trenton, NEW JERSEY- San Antonio Spurs power forward Tim Duncan found himself in unfamiliar territory Tuesday evening, coming off the bench in the New Jersey Institute of Technology's Celebrity Spell-a-Thon Benefit for Japan. Duncan, 35 this summer, took it upon himself and shouldered the load down the stretch, spelling out a hard fought win for his team.
"You know," Duncan informed between sips of Gatorade. "The cliche thing to do here would be to talk about a 'hard fought win', or how we 'really grinded it out', but to be honest this is probably the easiest money I've made all year since selling my Elf Mage in World of Warcraft on EBay." Duncan, an admitted nerd, was placed on on a team with screen veteran Mark Wahlberg and Television Personality, Michael "The Situation" Sorrentino, most famous for his role on MTV's "The Jersey Shore".
Despite Duncan's assurances, things did indeed look rather bleak for his team. Nicknamed "The Dungeon Master Ab Blasters", audience members reported to have seen them struggling at the ouset, as both Wahlberg and Sorrentino dropped consecutive easy words. "When Marky got 'Sombrero' wrong, I remember thinking to myself that I might have to give one of the judges an 'Italian Job' if we were gonna have any hope of winning." Sorrentino laughed. "Then when I misspelled 'Situation', I kinda had to check myself a little bit. Alls I can say is that I'm glad we had Timmy around."
Witnesses report that Duncan began his string of 47 correctly spelled words just after Sorrentino's bumble, with the words getting increasingly difficult with each passing round. Summarily dismissing actress Hayden Pannetierre and rock icon Tommy Lee with the words "amphibious" and "rhinoceros", respectively. Despite weeding through most of the competition with relative ease, Duncan had a fairly drawn out back and forth with writers Stephen King and J.K. Rowling, who helmed the team nicknamed "The Needful Things"
Though some cried foul at the outset at the two literary behemoths being paired on the same team, contest organizers insisted that members of each team were randomly assigned. Duncan seemed to have little qualms with the issue. "I love Stephen and J.K.'s works." The all-star forward exclaimed. "During the season, road trips can get a little draining, so it's nice to be able to retreat into the amazing worlds these two create." Insiders were quick to inform us that Duncan was alluding to the often difficult company kept by teammates Dejuan Blair and Tiago Splitter, who often whiled away time by eating Handi-Snaks and making Wookiee noises.
During the heated volleys between Duncan and the writing tandem, teammates report that Duncan never lost his calm demeanor, effortlessly spelling difficult head-scratchers like "Triskaidekaphobia" with aplomb. King surprisingly the first of the opposing duo to fall, bowing out when he stumbled on the admittedly difficult "Yarmulke". Though he was visibly upset with himself, King humbly shook Duncan's hand before leaving only Rowling standing between Duncan's team and victory.
Though the exchange between the two reached record lengths, neither one seemed prepared to give the other an inch. Duncan though, seemed the more collected of the two, with no greater example than what came after his impressive handling of the word "Pneumonoultramicroscopicvolcanoconiosis", to which he returned to his chair accompanied by heavy applause, muttering "freaking turkey shoot..." to himself.
Despite Rowling's valiant efforts to hang with the future Hall of Famer, she too fell victim to his determined advance, though, oddly enough, she met her defeat at a word she herself had invented. The author strode confidently to the stage, itself an attempt to match the increasingly confident Duncan's own body language, but hit a snag when the Moderator issued "Mobiliarbus". A look of familiar intrigue gave way to utter confusion as Rowling offered "Mobilarius", and took herself out of the running. When an answer of "Incorrect" was issued, Rowling threw her hat to the ground in a fit of rage, wildly screaming that she "wasn't even given a real word", though her own statements were masked by a respectable dose of profanity.
In the face of Rowling's temper tantrum, Duncan strode to the stage and clinched his team's victory with a correct spelling of the word, before looking to Rowling and informing "EVERYONE knows that Mobiliarbus was the spell that Harry and Ron used in 'The Prisoner of Azkaban' to extricate themselves from a particularly embarrassing situation!" before rolling his eyes and returning to his waiting teammates.
Although Duncan never looked uncomfortable on his way to his record setting victory, the basketball star was mum as to whether or not he would return to the benefit, which promoters hoped would become an annual event. "I really couldn't say at the moment." Duncan informed the waiting throng of reporters. "It was kinda hard to make it out during the middle of the postseason, but it was for a good cause. Maybe if the timing is a little better next year, although I really couldn't say. The new Elder Scrolls game is coming out next year, and I'll have a lot of thinking to do on that. You can be ANYTHING in that game!" Duncan said with a smile. "ANYTHING!"
Normal people involved in this writing were, as of press time, unable to decipher what an "Elder Scrolls" actually is, but offered that if Tim Duncan was into it, it's probably the nerdiest thing of all time.