GENRE: Epic Fantasy
As a result of an injury, Jim was cut from his NBA team midseason. He wants to position himself to get picked up by another organization and thinks his brother can help him.
"I just wanted to talk to you for a sec," Jim said.
"Talk away." His brother picked up another plate, piled it with a variety of stuffed pastries, a handful of baby carrots, and a couple cauliflower clumps, then spooned dip into the center.
"Maybe someplace a little more private." Jim edged toward the patio.
"If this is about the golf tournament, my hands are tied."
As his brother added more food to his plate, Jim turned his back on the crowd and lowered his voice another notch. "Somebody in your office must have made a mistake. I confirmed with the steering committee months ago."
"Months ago you were the perfect fit for a celebrity golf tournament." His brother popped a stuffed mushroom into his mouth.
"I'll find another team."
"How many players get picked up mid-season?"
"Iverson did, and Terry."
"Ancient history." Eddie bit into a cracker slathered with cheese.
Jim set his plate of uneaten hors d'oeuvres on the table. "If I'm scheduled to play in your tournament, people will know my knee is okay and—"
"But it's not."
"It will be." It had to be. Jim needed basketball. Whatever it took to get back in the game, he’d do it—hire a personal trainer, work out twenty-four/seven, anything.
Eddie swiped a napkin over his mouth. "I hope your knee will heal, little brother, I really do. But the committee can't wait. They want a star they can promote now. You know, somebody who's actually playing."
Jim took a strangle-hold on his paper cup. How could Eddie of all people talk about him not playing? This was the guy who had failed every attempt to make it to the pros, and now he wanted to pass judgment on Jim? If he didn't need his help . . .
But the truth was, Eddie was his only ticket into the tournament. "You could use your influence to convince them—"
His brother held up a hand. "Only high-profile celebs bring in the kind of donations we need."
"All I'm looking for is some positive publicity." Jim crumpled his empty cup.
"Have you thought about doing something else? Maybe coaching?"
"I'm a player, Eddie, a basketball player." Jim slammed his wadded cup into the trash. Maybe event managers could switch jobs to advertising or PR, but basketball players—the gym-rat kind like he was—stuck with the game they lived for.
"Lighten up, little brother, I'm just trying to help."
"Great, then you can get me into the tournament."
"Yeah, okay. Thanks for all that help." Jim headed for the door before his sarcasm turned to something uglier.