55 All Star Weekend: Rookie Challenge II

*Sound Effects*

**Language**

'Thoughts'

"Dialogue"

(Point of View)

| Setting |

[System]

| Date: Friday February 17, 2006 8:10 pm |

(3rd Person)

"Javier with another 3-pointer! He hasn't missed a shot yet!" exclaimed the announcer.

"See, I told you!" Miggy exclaimed with excitement.

The father laughed seeing the antics of his son.

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"Taylor! Hurry, the game is about to start," called out a girl with warm olive skin and brown hair.

"I'm on my way, Savannah," Taylor replied as she made her way over.

They settled onto a couch near each other, anticipation building as they waited for the All-Star game to begin.

Both Taylor and Savannah were disappointed to learn that Javi wasn't starting, but Savannah, in particular, expressed her frustration with a colorful comment directed at the screen, feeling it was unjust.

However, their disappointment soon turned to excitement when, after a few minutes, Javi took the court, substituting for Nate Robinson.

They watched intently, Savannah anxious, hoping for a stellar performance from Javi, while Taylor was eager to see how the game would unfold.

Savannah's anxiety soon dissipated as Javi's first play of the game resulted in an alley-oop windmill dunk off a lob from Chris Paul.

"OH MY GOD!" Savannah screamed in exhilaration after the dunk.

Taylor joined in with equal enthusiasm before remarking, "I have a feeling this is gonna be a good game," to which Savannah nodded in agreement.

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Somewhere in Washington, a young boy with a dark complexion sat alone in front of the TV in a partially furnished apartment littered with trash. The boy appeared to be around 14 years old.

He had recently discovered his favorite player, Speedy Morales, whom he deeply related to. Both had similar upbringings, as he gleaned from interviews - neither had their fathers present, and both were of smaller stature.

Seeing someone like him succeed gave him hope.

"If Speedy can do this, then I can too!" the young boy said with determination.

"Mom! I'm gonna go to the NBA!" he exclaimed with excitement.

However, there was no response from his mother. Worried, he ran to her room, carefully navigating around the litter strewn across the floor.

He found his mother passed out, a bottle of alcohol nearby.

"Mom!" he called out, shaking her gently.

Eventually, she stirred and groaned, reassuring him that she was okay.

This scene had become all too familiar for him - a routine interaction with his mother. As he turned back to the TV to watch the game, he made a silent promise to himself: he would become a basketball player and lift his siblings and his mother out of their current situation.

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| Location: Toyota Center, Houston, Texas|

| Date: Friday February 17, 2006 8:10 pm |

(3rd Person)

"With 12 minutes left in the 1st quarter, the score sits at 21-9 in favor of the Rookies. Let's see how the Sophomores respond after the timeout," announced the seasoned voice of Marv Albert.

"Javier leads the Rookies with 8 points and 1 assist in just about 3 minutes of playing time," Albert continued.

"What's your take on Javier's performance so far, Reggie?" Albert turned to Reggie Miller for analysis.

"I must say, I'm very impressed. Any doubts I had initially have been completely dispelled by Javier's initial performance. However, let's see if he can maintain this level of play," Reggie responded confidently.

The game resumed with the Sophomores inbounding the ball to Andre Iguodala. The only change in their lineup was Devin Harris making way for T.J Ford, who took over as the point guard for the Milwaukee Bucks.

"Iguodala brings the ball up the court and quickly rises for a mid-range shot, creating separation and knocking it down," described Albert.

"It appears the Sophomores are looking to make a strong start," Reggie remarked.

The demeanor of the Sophomore players seemed to shift drastically. Gone was the carefree attitude of merely enjoying the game; they now appeared determined and focused, unwilling to lose to the 'Rookies'.

However, Javi had other plans. Chris brought the ball up and passed it to Javi, who was just beyond the arc after coming off a screen set by Bogut.

Seeing T.J Ford playing up in order to defend against an open shot, Javi faked, causing T.J to momentarily lose his defensive stance. Seizing the opportunity, Javi swiftly drove past him towards the paint.

Ben Gordon stepped up to contest the lane, leaving Charlie Villanueva open.

With a quick, no-look pass, Javi found Villanueva, drawing cheers from the crowd as Villanueva's shot found nothing but net.

"Villanueva drains the 3 off a no-look pass from Javier," Albert exclaimed.

"The Sophomores have to respect Javier's ability to score from beyond the arc, opening up opportunities for his teammates," Reggie analyzed.

The game progressed with the Sophomores attempting to close the gap, but the Rookies maintained their lead, with Chris Paul and Javi displaying exceptional synergy.

Javi utilized his speed to dismantle the defense, providing easy scoring opportunities for his teammates. Whether it was lobbing to Bogut for a thunderous slam or finding Chris Paul for an open jumper near the wing, Javi's presence was felt on both ends of the court.

With 11 minutes remaining in the quarter, the score stood at 28-18.

Anticipating his passing game, the Sophomores tightened their interior defense. Sensing this, Javi shifted his focus to offense, driving to the basket. With a crafty fake pass to Bogut, he executed a graceful floater that found its mark, extending the lead to 30-18

The Sophomores quickly regrouped after some roster changes, relying heavily on Andre Iguodala, who boasted 10 points, and Ben Gordon, who contributed 8.

Devin Harris, back in the game, brought the ball up, swiftly passing it to Iguodala.

Andre wasted no time, aggressively attacking the basket. With a deft spin move that left Villanueva trailing, he soared towards the hoop. Bogut attempted to contest, but Andre rose above him, slamming the ball down with authority.

The arena erupted at the breathtaking display of athleticism, prompting Javi to call for the ball from Bogut, determined to answer back.

"I got you," he assured Bogut as he received the pass and sprinted down the court.

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"Iguodala with a monstrous slam over Bogut! Extending the lead to 10!" exclaimed Albert.

"I'm surprised the Rookie team hasn't called a timeout after the momentum from that dunk," commented Reggie.

However, the ensuing play more than compensated for the lack of timeout.

"Javier quickly sprints up the court along the right side as the Sophomore team scrambles to get back," Albert narrated.

Harris attempted to halt Javi's advance but was left grasping at air after a devastating behind-the-back crossover.

Javi watched as the paint was open with only Dwight Howard just barely getting back.

"Javier crosses over leaving Harris reaching for air." stated Albert.

"Dwight Howard is the last line of defense," Albert noted.

With the paint wide open and only Howard back, Javi saw his opportunity. With a quick crossover that left Howard off-balance, he soared past him, extending his arm and throwing down a thunderous dunk over the towering defender.

(Image)

The crowd erupted even louder than before, prompting the Sophomores to call a timeout.

"OH MY GOODNESS!" exclaimed Albert.

"Javier puts Howard on a poster!" he continued.

"I'm speechless," added Reggie.

"With the score at 32-20, Sophomores call for a timeout as the Rookies lead by 12 points," Albert announced.

//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

(3rd Person)

The game continued after the timeout, but Javi found himself on the bench, albeit against his will. However, he understood the need for rotation and reluctantly accepted his seat, though he hated to see his team struggle.

"Without Javier, the Rookies are struggling to stop the Sophomores' run," noted Albert.

The lead, once comfortable, quickly dwindled from 32-20 to 36-30 within a few minutes of Javi being off the court.

"The Rookies are finding it tough to score with the increased defensive pressure from the Sophomores," Reggie observed.

"The Sophomores are on a 10-4 run since the timeout," Albert added.

"Inexperience may be a factor, but both teams lack cohesion. However, Sophomore players have the advantage of having played together in their Rookie game last year," Reggie explained.

As the Rookies continued to struggle, Javi grew increasingly frustrated, watching some of his teammates joke around on the bench.

With another basket from Andre Iguodala, who had found his rhythm and racked up 18 points, the Rookies' lead evaporated.

"Iguodala ties the game for the first time!" exclaimed Albert.

Javi grew increasingly upset as their team struggled to score while some players on the bench seemed indifferent to the situation. Only hoping to have a good time.

Finally, with only 5 minutes left in the 1st quarter, Javi was called back onto the court.

However, the lead they once enjoyed had vanished, and the Sophomores now led 44-40.

"Javier steps back onto the court, but when he last played, their team was up by 12 points. Now they're down by 4. Let's see if this 'underdog' can turn the game around," stated Albert.

"Javier currently sits at 12 points, 4 assists, and 1 rebound in just 6 minutes of play," Reggie added.

"Do you think he can beat the record for most points scored in the All-Star rookie game as a rookie?" asked Albert.

"I doubt it. The format of the rookie games has changed over the years. Previously, it mirrored regulation play, totaling 48 minutes. Now, it's condensed to just 40 minutes in total. Moreover, the substitution patterns differ significantly from the past. Nowadays, there's an emphasis on equal playing time for the all star games. So, Javier won't have the same extended playing time as Wilt did back then. Beating Wilt's record of 42 points seems unlikely. However, he does have a chance at surpassing Jordan's 29-point game," explained Reggie.

"Javier receives the ball off an inbound pass from Sarunas Jasikevicius," Albert described.

"Javier makes his way up the court, met by Andres Nocioni," continued Albert.

"Javier uses a screen set by Jasikevicius to get an open look beyond the arc, however he's met by David West who steps up in place of Nocioni."

"Using the mismatch, Javier fakes a drive before stepping back from beyond the arc!" exclaimed Albert.

"Nothing but the bottom for Javier!" exclaimed Albert.

"He's been fantastic, both efficient in shooting and selfless in passing. Meanwhile, Andre Iguodala leads the Sophomore team with 22 points," Reggie noted.

"The Rookies are down by just 1 point, with the score at 44-43. Sitting at 15 points, 4 assists, and 1 rebound, let's see if Javier can help them reclaim the lead," Albert concluded.

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A/N: Hope you enjoyed the chapter! Hope you're enjoying the story so far. Next chapter will be the All star game finale which will be a longer chapter. Let me know if feel like this all star game is dragging on or if you enjoy it!

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