Late on New Years Eve, Olivia sneaked into the den of her aunts house, where a fully decorated tree was still standing and the mantel was overflowing of stockings. The rest of the family that was still awake was enthralled in a very heated game of Monopoly. She was still not used to doing Christmas Eve on New Years Eve, but it was worth it to have Iman there. Christmas just would not be the same without him. She placed some presents in stockings and around the tree, and was about to leave when she saw the towel in the bottom of the bag. Olivia had forgotten all about that thing. A green and red gym towel she found at some store downtown that had a really cool Christmas tree team logo on it. She thought now it was silly to think he would want it, but at the time... she just felt like it made sense. She grabbed an extra bag that was laying around, wrote:
and put it under the tree. She went back upstairs to see if her cousins had moved on from Monopoly to wrestling yet.
Iman Shumpert settles into his bed. It was always good to be back in his old room (well, it wasnt this exact room, but all the old stuff was there). It had been a really tough year for him, and he was glad to be back with his family celebrating Christmas after that cold hell better known as Toronto. Something needed to change, he thought as he went to sleep. Something...
Whoa!!!! Iman all of a sudden realizes he is in a sleigh! Flying out of Chicago... Holy crap! He is in the fucking clouds! He grabs on to his seat and gathers himself. "This is Santa's Sleigh, and I am having a dream", he says. All of a sudden he notices the driver in front of him. Is that fucking Santa? He doesnt look fat...
The driver turns around and looks at him. Micheal Jordan. Wearing a Santa Hat he says "Don't you worry about what this is. All you have to know is it is special." He turns around and they fly off into the night, settling down on the roof of a what looks like an apartment building in the middle of nowhere. They go down the stairs and walk onto a basketball court. Already in shorts, he sees a pair of new Jordans and his old MJ jersey on the bleachers. They walk over to it and sit down.
"What is wrong" MJ asks...
"Its my team," responds Iman, "this whole thing is just a big mess and I cant figure it out. I never know what I am supposed to do... and when I think I do, I always do something wrong."
"You don't have to worry about any of that, just go on and play the game. Being great is not just about basketball. Its about knowing who you are and what you can do, and you have a special talent. Just remember what it is about the game that you love, and when you have the chance to do that... dont settle for anything less then what you know you can do."
They finished lacing up their shoes and took to the court.
Just then the doors swing open. In walks Santa and a teammate. They have on green uniforms with red trim and a badass Christmass tree logo on it. MJ and Iman played 2 on 2 against Santa and his elf. MJ and Iman played great together. The competition was fierce (Santa has the quickest friggin hands you have ever seen and can seriously move for a big man). But it was heaven for Iman. This was the dream he has had since he was just a kid. Playing with Jordan! This was what he loved. This was what he did better then anyone else, and he had a feeling in him that had been missing for a long time.
Going up for a rebound, Iman got hit with an elbow and was immediately back in his bed. What just happened... he thought to himself. What a crazy dream... it felt so real! He shook the cobwebs out, got up, threw on some Christmas Jammies and ran downstairs to join the few others that were up. He was so looking forward to today.
After presents had been opened and things were winding down, someone hands Iman a small bag that was hidden under the tree. Smiling, he sees that it is from his little cousin Olivia. He pulls out a gym towel that has the same logo that was on Santa's Jersey! Stunned, he looks over at Olivia. She smiles back and says:
"I dont know what made me by that, but I felt like it had your name all over it. Maybe it will bring you some good luck!"