Among Giants: Starting with Mamba Mentality (NBA Pack System)

Javier Morales has harbored an unwavering passion for basketball since his childhood. Even as a young boy, he devoted his time to watching NBA games after school, fostering a deep love for the sport and nurturing dreams of making it to the big leagues. However, destiny had a different plan, and Javier's height plateaued at a modest 5'9". In the towering world of NBA prospects, where most players stood nearly a foot taller, Javier faced the unfortunate consequence of being overlooked by many teams, leading to his undrafted status in 2005. Undeterred by the setbacks, Javi refused to relinquish his love for basketball. His tenacity paid off when the San Antonio Spurs offered him a chance to prove himself through a 10-day contract. Little did he know that accepting this opportunity would mark a turning point in his basketball journey. [Would you like to open the Starter Pack?]

Cujo · Action
Not enough ratings
67 Chs

Playoff Preparations

*Sound Effects*




(Point of View)

| Setting |


| Location: Practice Facility, San Antonio, Texas|

| Date: Friday March 25, 2006 7:40 am |

(1st Person - Javi)

I took a deep breathe as I prepared myself to enter a simulation game.

[1995 Eastern Conference Semifinals Game 1: Indiana Pacers vs. New York Knicks - A legendary game best known for Reggie Miller's incredible 8 points in 9 seconds]

[Challenge: Make 8 points in 9 seconds in Reggie's place]

[Difficult S+]

[Rewards: Reggie Miller pack (Legendary), 1.3M Gold]

Though this seemed difficult as so many things had to line up for this to be possible. However, I had one things to my advantage...I knew the future. I took out my phone to watch the game as I memorized Reggie's movements, as long as I replicated where Reggie was at each moment, then I'd be able to get the same shot opportunities. If I didn't, then I'd most likely disrupt the game flow and alter how the game turns out. 

I had a looming feeling with the playoffs just on the horizon,. Being the youngest player, I knew that despite playing so well during the regular season; The team didn't expect the same level of performance during the playoffs.

In a series where each point carried immense weight and every misstep was twice as punishing, I understood the importance of being fully prepared. Despite possessing the 'Mamba Mentality,' which fortified my mental resilience, my lack of playoff experience was a glaring issue.


Fortunately, I had my system...

Staring at the screen intently, I resolved, 'From now on, I will only simulate playoff missions to gain experience in the environment.'

Since I had gone to the all star game, I put the 'Magic's Eyes' on the backburner as I needed skills now that would help and I would focus on unlocking the features next season.

However, instead, I finished integrating 'Mamba's Footwork' along with 'Defensive Anchor III'.

[Legendary - Mamba's Footwork (Passive) - Channels the unparalleled footwork of Kobe Bryant, elevating the user's agility and precision on the court to unmatched levels]

[Epic - Defensive Anchor III (Active) - Increases the user's defensive capabilities to heightened levels for a limited duration]

Since then, I dedicated the majority of my time to completing missions and honing my skills. Following my last pack opening, I resolved to concentrate solely on acquiring Epic and higher-tier packs.

I also attempted to replicate Kobe's moves by using his footwork, which came naturally, as soon as I thought about completing a move, my lower body knew what to do. The only thing I needed to worry about was the upper body which wasn't that difficult since I already had the base.

I hadn't been able to use Kobe's post moves during games since our playbook didn't offer many opportunities for me to post up. Nonetheless, I planned to use more post ups as I knew that it would be deadly move to have for the playoffs where defensive efforts are at an all time high.

The only thing dilemma was that I was sitting on a ton of gold, sitting at 10.4M Gold after all the missions I had done. I just kept saving up as I didn't want to waste it and honestly the packs that came from the shop didn't have any guarantee for rarity as well as higher rarity cards being extremely difficult with the chances for just a legendary at 1 in 1000 chance.

I looked at the few packs I had saved up since the all star game.

[1x Hakeem Olajuwon Pack(Epic+)]

[1x Kevin Garnett Pack(Epic+)]

[1x Steve Nash Pack(Epic+)]

I had focused on the epic and above packs as I knew that the ones below were wasted time. I had already opened the rare packs I got for beating a team for the first time, however nothing crazy came from it.

Similarly, the normal team packs I received helped emphasize just how abysmal the chances were to get a higher rarity card from them which further made me hesitate using my gold unless a deal popped up that intrigued me.

I took a look at my stats before putting on my new shoes.


[Finishing: 86 -> 88]

[Shooting: 85 -> 87]

[Playmaking: 85 -> 89]

[Defense: 80 -> 85]

[Physical: 91]

[Overall: 84 -> 88]

I put on my shoes and checked my new stats as I needed as much help in order to hit these tough 3 point shots in the simulation game.

[Finishing: 86 -> 93(+5)]

[Shooting: 85 -> 92(+5)]

[Playmaking: 85 -> 94(+5)]

[Defense: 80 -> 90(+5)]

[Physical: 96(+5)]

[Overall: 84 -> 93(+5)]

After committing Reggie's moves to memory as thoroughly as possible, I clicked on the game and initiated the simulation.

In an instant, I found myself immersed in an electrifying atmosphere reminiscent of the intense finale of the All-Star Rookie Game. Glancing at the clock, I noted 18.7 seconds remaining in the game, with the Knicks holding a 105-99 lead. With our possession at halfcourt following a timeout to advance the ball, I couldn't help but marvel at the stakes of Game 1 of the semifinals, I could only imagine how much more intense a Finals Game 7 could be.

Mentally preparing myself, I recalled Reggie's positioning and the path he took. As the whistle sounded, I mimicked Reggie's movements to the best of my ability, striving not to disrupt the rhythm of the game.

'1...2,' I counted, maneuvering through contact, creating space, and catching the ball mid-jump, contorting my body to face the basket upon landing.

Landing just beyond the 3-point line, I swiftly rose up, a contest looming from my right side. Releasing the ball, I watched with anticipation, silently urging it to find its mark.

"Go in..." I muttered. If I missed this crucial shot, all my efforts would be in vain, resulting in a restart the following week.

The ball sailed through the air, unhindered, before gracefully dropping through the net. 'Yes!' I exulted internally, swiftly regaining position for the ensuing inbounds pass.

'Not over yet' I thought as I got ready for the next possession.

Carefully shadowing my defender, I deftly maneuvered past him, causing him to trip and fall. Quickly raising my arms to signal innocence, I breathed a sigh of relief as no foul was called, mirroring the events of the original game. Glancing up, I saw the inbound pass being sent, leaping to intercept it before retreating to the 3-point line.

Using my momentum, I executed a turnaround fadeaway jumper, watching anxiously as the ball approached the net. With my heart pounding, I knew this shot was the toughest yet with how quick the release and the increased turning angle, but success would bring me closer to victory.

The ball spun through the air almost in slow motion, finding nothing but net. The crowd erupted in excitement as an unfamiliar surge of emotion washed over me.

As the Knicks attempted to inbound the ball again, a Pacer fouled John Starks. 'He didn't make it in the game, so he shouldn't make it here either, right?' I mused.

Thankfully, reality held true as Starks missed the first free throw. Anticipating the crucial rebound, I positioned myself carefully. I watched as Starks released the second shot, which bounced off the front iron. Reacting swiftly, I leaped among the sea of outstretched arms, snatching the rebound amidst the chaos.

I pulled the ball down as I felt contact and heard a whistle. 


| Location: Practice Facility, San Antonio, Texas|

| Date: Friday March 25, 2006 8:57 am |

(3rd Person)

A knock broke Pop's concentration on the paper, prompting him to call out, "Come in."

Tony entered, closing the door behind him, his demeanor serious.

"What's on your mind, Tony?" Pop's inquired, his tone neutral.

"We need to talk about Javi," Tony asserted.

"If this is about the playoffs, it's not an issue—" Pop's began, but Tony cut him off.

"I want him out," Tony declared firmly.

Pop's was startled, momentarily setting his paper down as he looked at Tony. "What's the problem? Javi hasn't caused any trouble for you," Pop's countered.

"I know, but... I can't go to the bench," Tony explained, his expression reflecting a mix of emotions as he recalled his time on the bench during the all-star game. While it was a valuable experience, it left a lingering discomfort.

"So this is about your ego!? After the opportunity I gave you?" Pop's retorted, his frustration evident.

"I believe Javi's contract ends after the playoffs. He could bring good value and join a competitive team," Tony suggested, attempting to persuade Pop's decision.

"I won't sacrifice a hardworking player just to appease your ego!" Pop's exclaimed firmly, his voice raised in emphasis.

"It's either him or me," Tony declared, his stance unwavering, before exiting the room.

Pop's set aside his paper with a frown, sighing as he reached for the nearby phone, preparing to make a call.




(1st Person - Javi)

Taking a deep breath, I approached the free-throw line.

'This is it,' I thought, realizing I was in the final stretch. All I needed to do was sink these two free throws to complete the mission.

However, upon settling at the free throw line, as I received the ball, I immediately felt a pressure that I had never felt before. Surprised, I took a moment to embrace 'Mamba Mentality' as I felt the scene calm as I was enveloped in a calming darkness. I went through my first free throw attempt as it hit nothing but net.

The game resumed as I once again felt the pressure from the crowd, however, once I got the ball from the ref the familiar darkness greeted me as the pressure quietened. 

I took a breathe while thinking 'this is it' as I shot the ball. I watched the ball spin towards the basket. It slowly approached before falling inside the hoop. The game quickly resumed but froze a moment later as the simulation ended and I was once again greeted by the familiar practice facility.

I looked at the screen as it popped up.

[Claim Rewards: Reggie Miller pack (Legendary), 1.3M Gold]


I pressed the yes button as I saw the back in my inventory as well as the gold hitting my account bringing my balance to 11.7M Gold. 

'Fuck it' I thought as I grabbed the pack, I knew how legendary Reggie Miller was, one of the greatest shooters to pick up a ball. I also knew that with the coming playoffs that I'd need all the cards I could get my hands on.

I ripped the pack and immediately grabbed the final card. I made a silent prayer as I pulled the card and saw the image of Reggie Miller looking up at the ball that had already been shot towards the basket. Confused, I turned around to look at the back of the description.

[Legendary - Oracle's Gaze(Passive)

[Effect: Enables the user to predict the trajectory and final destination of any ball they shoot, as long as they maintain visual contact with the ball for at least 3 seconds as it arcs through the air]

Background: Inspired by the unparalleled precision of legendary shooters like Reggie Miller, Oracle's Gaze is rooted in the belief that a profound connection between player and ball can lead to near-mystical levels of accuracy. This skill embodies the culmination of countless hours spent on the court, where each shot strengthens the bond between the player and the basketball]

[Integration Requirement: 14 consecutive days of executing 100 3-point shots off the dribble, catch and shoot, and off-screen daily while following the entire trajectory of the ball as it goes in the hoop]

"Lessss Go!" I said excitedly as this was an amazing skill. Not only could I tell if I was going to make a shot but I could also use it to see where the ball would hit the glass to predict where it might land on the court.

'Uhhh' I couldn't help but groan however as I looked at the integration requirements. 

However, I knew that this was honestly much less work compared to how long it would take normally so I quickly got over it.

'Grind don't stop' I thought.


A/N: Hope you enjoyed the chapter! Will Javi be traded? Will the Spurs win the championship? Keep reading to find out!

Side Note: The playoffs are just around the corner, let me know how you'd like to see the pacing such as skipping preliminary matches, or only showing glimpses of every game until semi-finals.