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Lob's Labour's Almost Lost: The DeAndre Jordan Free Agency

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A Short Screenplay Based on a True Story.

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

INT. RIVERS' HOUSEHOLD. LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA. EVENING.

DOC RIVERS is in his kitchen, his son, AUSTIN, is upset, storming out.

AUSTIN

Whatever, Dad! I can sign with whoever I want!

DOC (seemingly breathing in and out simultaneously)

You stirred the pot, and we lost 3 -1! You'll never be nothing!

(beat) You shoulda stayed at Duke!

A door slams upstairs. Doc leans both his elbows over the counter. All is not well in Clipperland. A heartbreaking playoff exit, a son testing his worth in free agency, and an F-minus free agency grade are weighing heavily on the Los Angeles Clippers coach and GM, Doc Rivers.

Doc begins to pour himself a drink. Suddenly, the phone reads. It's a blocked number.

DOC

What now... (answers) Hello?

CALLER (nervously)

Co... Coach?

DOC

Who is this?

CALLER

It's... It's DEANDRE

Doc is taken aback. He can almost hear the nervous sobbing on the other end of the phone. He knows if this really is DeAndre, then he remains a free agent, and the hope of a successful Clippers offseason is still alive.

DOC

No really. Don't mess with me here. Who is this?

DEANDRE

I'm not lying to you, Coach. It's really me.

DOC

DeAndre, wh—why—why are you calling?

Why did you leave?

DEANDRE (interrupting)

I made a mistake, coach! (beat) I... I made a mistake...

The line goes dead.

DOC

DeAndre? Wait, DeAndre??

(long beat) DEANDREEEEEEEEEEE!

Zoom out to hear Doc's scream echo across his house, Los Angeles.

INT. MARK CUBAN'S MANSION. DALLAS, TEXAS. AFTER MIDNIGHT.

The television is on. CHANDLER PARSONS is in the background, drinking and dancing with 4 women. The only lighting on Mark as he sits on the couch is the television. A vine of Deandre dunking over Brandon Knight is playing on repeat. Cuban is smiling. Suddenly, his smile goes away.

CUBAN

I sense a disturbance...

Something's wrong... Something's very wrong...

EXT. DOC RIVER'S HOME. THE NEXT DAY. SUNRISE.

Doc Rivers steps outside his home, a conch shell in his hands. We zoom in on his face. The sun can be seen rising behind him.

DOC

CLIPPERS... ASSEMBLE!

Doc breathes in with all the force he can possibly muster, and blows into the conch shell, belting out a wailing note heard across the nation. The horn plays through the...

SMASH CUT TO

INT. BLAKE GRIFFIN'S HOME

Zoom in on Blake looking up from his cereal. He knows.

BLAKE

It's time...

We see him getting on a helicopter. He tweets an emoji.

SMASH CUT TO

INT. JJ REDICK'S HOME

JJ turns from his mirror where he is styling his hair. He grabs his keys and heads out the door. We see him driving down 290. He tweets an emoji.

SMASH CUT TO

EXT. BAHAMAS, A BANANA BOAT

CHRIS PAUL is riding a banana boat, having the time of his life. He abruptly turns when he hears Doc's conch. Immediately, he jumps off the banana boat and begins to swim. He tweets an emoji.

SMASH CUT TO

INT. PAUL PIERCE'S HOME

PIERCE is twirling his NBA Championship ring around his finger. Upon hearing the conch, he looks up. He smiles. He attempts to tweet an emoji.

PIERCE (chuckles)

Oh, one last ride? (beat) Dallas can't handle the truth.

INT. MARK CUBAN'S PLANE, AFTERNOON

Cuban is looking out the window, biting his fingernails. With him on the plane is Chandler Parsons, who is frantically calling people.

CUBAN

Who are you even talking to?

CHANDLER

I'm rounding up the crew.

CUBAN

What crew? We are the crew! What're you talking ab-

CHANDLER

No, no... It's strippers I'm gathering the strippers...

CUBAN (fed up)

Sonofabitch...

Meanwhile...

INT. DEANDRE JORDAN'S HOME. HOUSTON, TX. LATE AFTERNOON.

A doorbell is being rung repeatedly. Finally, the door opens to reveal DOC, BLAKE, CHRIS, JJ, and PIERCE ready, with a contract in hand.

CUT TO DeAndre crying while watching a Clippers tribute video. It ends, and the only sound left is DeAndre, weeping.

DEANDRE (crying, sniffling through his words)

I. Am. So. Sorry. Guys.

Everyone, with the exception of Chris Paul comes to his side to console him. From outside, they all hear yelling, horns honking. It's CUBAN and CHANDLER

DOC

Get the doors!

Each of them sprint out of the room to the corners of the house, barring the doors with chairs. The doors are locked, the chairs are set, there is still some panic left in the room.

Outside, both Cuban and Chandler are holding boomboxes over their heads, blaring BABY COME BACK, each of them have tears welling in their eyes.

Inside, the Clippers almost feel safe.

DEANDRE (wiping tears from his eyes)

So... what do we do now? I can't sign anything yet...

They all look around. After a pause,

CHRIS PAUL

We play cards.

INT. MARK CUBAN'S CAR, EVENING

While the Clippers are playing cards, Cuban is driving around Houston, swerving from lane to lane as if he was a Houston rapper. He's yelling into the abyss.

CUBAN

DEANDREEEEEEE!!!!!!!!

Chandler Parsons changes the radio to Coldplay. "Fix You" comes on the radio.

CHANDLER

This city... is so dirty...

INT. DEANDRE JORDAN'S KITCHEN. MIDNIGHT.

Back at the house, it is finally Midnight. DeAndre signs the contract with a huge smile on his face. He stands up for handshakes and high fives.

CHRIS (holding his hand up high)

Hey, congratulations DJ.

DeAndre is unsure. He's scared.

CHRIS

Well, what're you waiting for?

(beat) HIGH FIVE ME!

DeAndre smiles, he's so flattered. This is all he's ever wanted.

He goes in for the high five, when at the last second, Chris takes his and away and runs it through his hair.

CHRIS

Welcome back.

THE END?