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An imagined conversation between Cole Aldrich and Jose Calderon about ham

It's August.

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sport

Interior, Knicks locker room, the near future. Cole Aldrich is chatting with a team equipment manager who has long since lost interest in the conversation.

Cole: But yeah, I'm done using glue to stick tires to my wall. The oatmeal just dries so much faster and it's del--

Jose Calderon enters and makes his signature "hang loose" gesture, the crowd applauds.

Cole: Oh, Jose! Hey Jose! [to equipment manager, who isn't even facing Cole anymore] Sorry, one second. I need to talk to Jose.

Jose: Hola, Cole.

The crowd laughs and applauds.

Cole: So, I was looking online and I saw that you have a ham farm.

Jose: Yeah, I'm a part owner.

Cole: That's very interesting.

Cole begins to sweat.

Jose: Why, do you want some of our product?

Cole: Well...

Jose: Because I'm not sure you could HAM-dle it!

Jose does his signature "hang loose" gesture. The crowd shrieks with laughter and applauds.

Cole: Well, I read that it's special ham.

Jose: Yes, it is very special.

Cole: You only feed the pigs walnuts?

Jose: Well, there is a whole process. The pigs are raised in a very special way. They are from a special forested region of Spain near the Portuguese border, and they live their whole lives roaming that area. When it gets near time to slaughter them, we feed them only special food like acorns or walnuts. After they are slaughtered, the ham is treated in a very a special way. At the end, it is the best, most delicious ham in the world. It is very precious.

Cole is literally drenched with sweat at this point.

Cole: Wow. Oh man.

Jose: You hangin' loose there, buddy?

Jose does his signature "hang loose" gesture. The crowd screams bloodcurdling screams of laughter. Something in the crowd is on fire.

Cole: Yeah,

Jose: I can get you some ham if you want some, Cole. It used to be banned in the United States, but it's pretty easy to find now, just expensive. And I bet I could grab you a package from my own farm if you'd like it. Free of charge!

Cole: Well, that's nice, but it's not that.

Jose: Then what is it? Why are you going HAM about my ham!?

The crowd is at this point just a smoldering pile of ashes.

Cole: Well, what I'm wondering is...

Jose: Spit it out!

Cole spits out a G.I. Joe figurine. The sprout of a tree can be seen emerging from the ashes of the crowd.

Jose: Finish what you're saying!

Cole: Well, if, say, a 7-foot-tall NBA player were to live in the woods in Portugal.

Jose: Spain, but near Portugal.

Cole: Right, Spain. If I-- I mean if that NBA player were to live in those woods and eat acorns all the time, could he be made into special ham?

Jose: You mean ham made from human meat?

The equipment manager is now arranging buckets around Cole's feet to catch all the sweat.

Cole: Right, yeah.

Jose: I mean, I can't say for sure. The amount of feed would surely vary, and the curing process would have to be altered because of the size of a person and the different texture of the flesh.

Cole: Hmm. Okay.

Jose: Wait, Cole, are you asking me to turn you into a ham?

The tree in the crowd is now fully-grown. A fish climbs it to eat its leaves.

Cole: Well...

Jose: Because that would involve you dying. You know that, right?

Cole: I hadn't really...I don't know.

Jose: At the very least, you wouldn't be able to honor your new contract with the Knicks. But also your family would miss you. So would all of us here.

The equipment manager mutters something unintelligible.

Cole: I don't know, it's just always been a dream of mine.

Jose: But you don't want to die, right?

Cole: No, of course not.

Jose: I have an idea. What if we have you spend September hanging out in the forest with the pigs and eating walnuts, and then we just slice off a nice hunk of your thigh and make that into ham?

Cole: Whoa! Would you really let me do that?

Jose: I mean, if you want. If it goes well, we could do the other thigh later.

Cole: Do you think Coach Fish or Phil would mind?

Jose: Probably not. It's team bonding!

Cole: Wow, thanks Jose! You're the best.

Jose: #KnicksTape!

The crowd, having reevolved human form from the ashes of the previous crowd, says "awwww" in unison, then applauds.