On Monday the Spurs held their annual Media Day to kick off training camp, or as they prefer to call it, "A chance for anybody that can afford to buy a recorder to ask us how we feel about Game 6."
There wasn't a ton of news to come out of the event. Kawhi Leonard didn't do anything fun over the summer. Marco Belinelli wants Manu to be his dad, and Tony Parker said he has a lot of adrenaline and champagne in his blood. I'm not a scientist but I don't think that's healthy.
However, the biggest story from Monday came from Tiago Splitter, and it has garnered surprisingly little attention. Splitter's infamous hops are legendary around town and gained world-wide attention when LeBron James viciously blocked what looked to be a routine dunk by the 7 footer during the NBA Finals. So Splitter decided in the off-season he was going to do something about it.
Here's how he relayed the story, quietly and without fanfare to a few of the reporters that stayed around on Monday to listen:
One steamy night in July, I was at my favorite restaurant, Tiago's, flipping through self help books and jump shoe magazines. I guess my waiter Carlos noticed the worried look on my face and asked if he could help.
"I need to jump better," I grumbled as I continued thumbing the pages. "You should go see my Tia," said Carlos. "She can help you."
I waived him off and asked for the bill. I paid for my tacos, grabbed my receipt and left. Before I shoved the receipt in my pocket I noticed that Carlos had written an address on the back. It was to Tia's house.
"It's worth a shot, I guess," I thought as I stepped out of my truck. I knocked on the door and a lady answered but before I could introduce myself Tia cut me off.
"I've been expecting you," she said, ominously.
I reluctantly stepped inside and she instructed me to sit at a small card table set up in the hallway leading out of the living room. She sat across from me and began. "I see you need to jump better," she said as she grabbed a cigarette and a stick of gum. She got up from her seat and walked behind me as she stuck the gum in her mouth and lit the cigarette. She quickly grabbed a glass, lifted my shirt, stuck the gum to my back and placed the still burning match inside the gum. Then she covered the match and gum with the glass and the flame extinguished, filling the glass with smoke. She removed the glass, peeled the gum off my back and wrapped all of the contents in cheese cloth. She then threw the packaged bundle in the fireplace and burned it.
"That's crazy," I said. "You didn't pull anything outta me."
"Be quiet," she yelled as she rubbed an egg on my forehead and then cracked it in a bowl.
Not satisfied with the color of yolk, she summoned her husband and kids and instructed me to lie flat on my back in the hallway. The family surrounded me and each placed their hands underneath my body. They began to quietly chant, "light as a feather, stiff as a board," as they slowly started to try to lift me off the ground. This continued for a couple of hours with no movement. Everyone was visibly frustrated, especially Tia.
As the session approached hour three Tia changed course. "We will now summon winds and a band of chupacabres to destroy the neighborhood. It. Will. Be. Awesome."
"Wait, what?" I asked. "Even if that were possible, why would you want to do that?" I yelled.
"It's awesome!" shouted the family in unison as I struggled to my feet and scrambled out the door. As I sped home I pounded the dashboard with my hands several times. I was upset for wasting an evening at Tia's but also because I hadn't fixed my hops. When I got home I turned on the TV and happened across an infomercial starring Criss Angel. Criss was selling Affliction T-shirts for $5 a piece, but he was also intermittently doing magic tricks. Towards the end of the show Criss did his most famous stunt and my jaw hit the floor.
The next morning I was on a flight to Vegas to track down Criss Angel. I'd pay any amount necessary if Criss would teach me one simple trick.
Criss Angel is going to teach me how to levitate.
I found out that Criss was at the MGM Grand and scheduled a meeting. I prepared my sales pitch till the wee hours. The next morning, as the meeting began, I could feel the butterflies. I really needed this. I calmed myself, stood and began. But before I even got to slide three of my powerpoint, Criss Angel interrupted and said, "I'll teach you to levitate for twenty bucks and give you a sweet tattoo." Dumfounded, I quickly agreed.
The training took several weeks, but I can now levitate. I will levitate above you, LeBron James. I will float over your head Dwight Howard. I will appear from the rafters in LA and haunt you Kobe Bryant.
I have a new weapon and it will be unleashed soon.
I also have a kick ass new Affliction tattoo on my ankle.