DAY ONE: I awoke this morning to scratching at the front entrance of my tent, a rather large shadow fluttering in the diluted sunlight. My muscles still stiff from the night's sleep, I unfurled only my right arm, groping for the slingshot and mess of pebbles wedged under my pillow. I loaded the slingshot, stretched it taut, and toed the flap open, instantly realizing that my armaments were unneeded. Toney Douglas coughed and ducked under the flap with a grimace.
"Yo, do you have a neck pillow or something? Can Toney get a massage?"
They required pretty much constant attention from that point forward. Toney, abandoned by Knicks medical personnel, needed treatment on his surgically repaired shoulder. Carmelo Anthony was nowhere to be found, but I hoped he'd found a kindly soul in the forest to tend to his inflamed elbow. Derrick Brown, lurking sheepishly in the woods, admitted only after considerable prying on my part that he was hungry and needed a ride to Subway. Shelden Williams insisted he was fine on his own, but after a while, I wasn't so sure. Roger Mason, who'd once bravely championed the players' cause, seemed resigned to what lay before him, though I'm not sure how he'd found an internet connection here in the woods. (To his credit, Roger's always been the inventive one). I urged him not to bother surveying the wreckage any further, though after taking a look myself, I couldn't fault him for his despair. Renaldo Balkman, soldier that he is, appeared upbeat and nonchalant as ever.
I don't doubt their resolve, nor their ability to occupy themselves. I worry only for their sanity, and to some extent, my own.