Jeanie, queen of the Laker Nation, favored daughter of the late king
LaVar, an outspoken shoe merchant
Lonzo, a young soldier and LaVar’s first-born son
Luke, the new captain of the army
Pelinka, the general of the army
Magic, adviser and ambassador to the queen
Kuz, a young soldier from a humble background
Ingram, an extremely thin but vastly improved soldier
Randle, a young soldier who was once fat
Clarkson, trade bait
KCP, a mercenary, consigned to the brig
Gelo and Melo, LaVar’s younger sons, currently exiled to Lithuania
LeBron, the most powerful soldier in the land
Fizdale, a respected general-for-hire
Jordan, a legendary figure
Lakers Twitter, various Lakers fan Twitter accounts
Royal purple and precious gold
Are the banners of Lakers Nation
Under whose battered, dented dignity hides
Defeat and scenes of mutiny
For the kingdom ruled by Queen Jeanie Buss
Lays again near the bottom of the division
To test the patience of fair Los Angeles
Where the titles once seemed god-given
Enter thus, from the hills of Chino
LaVar, a verbose shoemaker.
And from his loins, his son Lonzo,
Whose loyalty, betwixt word and blood,
And obedience to good captainhood,
Will sorely now be tested.
Act I, Scene I
Online, Lakers Twitter, Fifth of January
Logs on to Twitter
Fall and fall and again and fall! Nine straight defeats!
Twenty-seven losses in all! Trash,
Trash, toil and trouble, cut KCP
Before his garbageness doubles.
Count all your fingers, then add one!
These are all the victories of our favorite sons!
A meagre tally of the fifth of Janus,
Woe, woe, woe, Los Angeles!
Act I, Scene II
Lithuania. A snow-covered street at dawn.
Enter LAVAR, followed by GELO, MELO, who, wearing shorts and Big Baller Brand T-shirts, shiver against the winter cold. They are pursued by various members of the press.
LaVar! LaVar! The Lakers lose yet again!
What of Captain Luke?
They shall not fight for Luke, I say and say again.
No. These Lakers are disgusted with him.
Luke is too young; indeed, freshly begat.
Afterbirth behind his ears; he is a babe.
A child born at night who knows not of yesterday.
Lonzo, my first big baller born, looked good!
But by his gait, his scowl, his stoop
I see reflected the feelings of the troops for Captain Luke.
They won’t follow him, I say.
Do you hear?
They will not!
We hear, we hear! How could we not? In truth
Thou doth spake so thunderously that stray dogs flee
The noise. Mark them!
Jeanie, Rob, and Magic could learn much from dogs!
Though base and simple, they choose their leaders naturally.
Such wisdom god hath given his beasts!
Would a pack of dogs follow a pup?
Speak true, ink-stained wretches. Lonzo is a boy,
But should he take orders from a babe?
You there! Speak for your failing profession.
Good sir, I seek not to besmirch your content,
For it draws clicks as honey draws flies,
But Luke, dear sir, is one score and seventeen
While all Lonzo’s coin surely cannot yet
Gelo, Melo, see now the ease with which
Such Small Ballers are misled.
Derp derp derp derp derp.
It’s true—Lonzo is but twenty.
But would thoust compare a dog’s years to a
Tortoise? Dawn and dusk are just the same
To a man facing the wrong direction!
A captain must have experience lest no man trust
Him. Neither battle nor age has scarred his face
Which is as smooth as the words of Rob Thomas.
Show me your heart! Make it real! And just forget about Captain Luke.
Soldiers would sooner follow yon fleeing dog!
The cur at least has hair on its chin!
LaVar! LaVar! What of LeBron? Will he
Come? Will he come?
LeBron is no fool; he’ll come. ’Tis the
Only way he can beat Jordan. He can’t
Win more battles. But if he brings victory
To the Lakers and thus to every nation that he served? Ho, ho!
But, and speak true, who amongst you thinks LeBron
Will play for the beardless boy Luke? Speak, speak.
BIG BALLER BRAND OUT!
Exit LaVar, Gelo, Melo, and the press.
Act II, Scene I
Los Angeles, Lakers practice facility
Enter Captain Luke followed by members of The Press.
Luke! Luke! What say you to LaVar? He says
You’re too young!
Luke! Luke! He compared you to a frightened dog!
Luke, will LeBron play for you?
Luke! Luke! Are you worried about LaVar’s
Comments saying the team is disgusted by you?
Worried? Bothered? Nay and nay.
I say truly as the skin between my brows,
Truly like a sunbeam, pure and gold,
Impossible to soil at any outward touch,
I say truly as to my closest friends, that you art,
I’m fine with it. I’m fine with it. Totally fine.
It bothers me not save for my concern
For Lonzo, who as the man’s eldest son may feel
Naturally divided between blood and oath.
But, no, it doesn’t bother me, in truth.
Luke! Luke! You sat Lonzo early in the battle.
LaVar was talking shit so I took his
A joke, a joke, dear friends. Can we not jest
Together of trivial things? A joke. If LaVar
Lights a candle in Birstonas why should
It matter in Los Angeles? A joke, my friends.
Enough. Away! Matters of importance
Must I turn my hand to at this hour.
We march soon against the Kings of Sacramento.
Away! Away! Away!
Exit The Press.
Fuck LaVar. From this moment to
The last syllable of recorded time—Fuck him.
Too young, he says. It’s been two years since I
Led the Warriors to thirty-nine victories with defeats
Numbering a petty four. Like a
Comet’s fiery tail etched across the sky,
’Twas the longest winning streak to start
A campaign in the history of histories.
But I am now too young though two years older.
Draymond took his lead from me, as did Curry
And Iggy and Klay. LaVar’s words are as
Cheap as the leather from which he makes his vile shoes.
Act II, Scene II
Los Angeles, Lakers locker room, Thirteenth of January
Enter Kuz, Ingram, Randle, and Clarkson.
A win! Four in a row since the cobbler
Broke wind in Lithuania! A win!
What say you, Ingram?
Twenty-two and fourteen, the tally
Of my points and caroms which speaks
Loud enough for me that I need not say a word.
Four points for you, dear Kuz?
You wound me. Is not a win a win,
No matter what the numbers say?
Indeed. Clarkson, we’ve won. Why the
I will be traded soon.
Part now clouds. Look—here comes the favored son.
Enter Lonzo followed by The Press.
I didn’t hear my sire’s words, I say truly.
Say he something of our fine captain, our trusted
Captain Luke? Tell me, for I have not heard, my
Heart and head and ears are here, friends, in Laker Land
And my father is far, far away with
My brothers, what’s-his-name and the other-one.
What did he say?
That Luke has lost the army!
For he, though captain, in title and name
Is too young to command the men!
Lost? The army? Are the Lakers a set
Of keys so easily mislaid? Come now
We’re here! How lost? And who should I
Think young when I am but twenty?
Will the army march to follow him? Will you?
I will march for any captain be he Luke
Or otherwise or even you.
Now I must be off.
Exit Lonzo. Exit The Press.
This is fucking insane.
I agree. How could they trade me?
Do I not score?
And what else?
I don’t understand.
Enough. Let’s be off before we’re asked
About the cobbler and his son.
Exit Kuz, Clarkson, Randle, and Ingram.
Act III, Scene I
Online, Lakers Twitter
Logs on to Twitter
An NBA exec heard players say they
had no interest in playing for the L.A.
And “having some old shoemaker criticize” the way they play
And the things they say.
Players get criticized every single day.
That shit’s weak. We don’t want those players, then.
They can go away.
LaVar needs to shut up and step back.
Let Jean, Rob, and Magic, run this team.
He’s being disrespectful and embarrassing his son!
And where is the queen and Bible Rob?
Magic has never once held his tongue but
Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow comes
And only silence from above. Luke, dear friends, is done.
Logs off Twitter.
Act III, Scene II
Los Angeles, an office
Enter Jeanie, Pelinka, and Magic.
Have we not tarried long enough? Silence
Is a lack of wind and we a boat adrift
Carried by the waves of narrative which we
Are powerless to resist. Man the
Rudder, fair generals, and raise the sail anew.
Now comes word we seek Fizdale’s sword,
Should we not offer Luke our full support?
Deuteronomy 15:12 says that …
Oh, shut up, Rob. Magic?
A candle, once lit, does not burn forever.
Speak plain, good sir.
Wise queen, we did not hire Captain Luke.
Indeed. ’Twas Kupchak who did the deed.
Say what you mean, both of you.
Lest confusion drive our listless ship
Into the rocky shore.
Doth have experience.
Enough! Since donning this fair crown,
Which my father unfairly passed down to his
Eldest son (which is neither here nor there),
I have maintained a distance from the territory
Where my sage generals doth rule. But enough.
We must support Luke. To Twitter, Magic, anon!
General Pelinka, summon Captain Luke, who
Has been victimized by whispers of questionable repute,
And we will dine together for a unifying photo opp.
Let Ramona Shelburne know.
Yes, my queen.
Exit Jeanie, Pelinka, and Magic.