by Jake Appleman

Episode 1 here, Episode 2 here.

INT—Bedroom—Afternoon

Candace Parker and Lisa Leslie sit on Lisa’s bed, gossiping.

CANDACE
You need to call him.

LISA
You think he likes me?

CANDACE
I know he likes you. Plus, he needs to settle down
after that whole stalker thing.

LISA
Imagine, me: Mrs. Lisa Walton.

They shriek excitedly.

LISA (CONT’D)
Oh my gosh, you know what the best thing would
be about me dating Luke and you dating Sheldon?

CANDACE
What’s that?

LISA
We’d never have to be scared of anything.

CANDACE
Why’s that?

LISA
Because we’d both have backups!

Candace starts staring into space. She’s thinking about him.

LISA
What’s wrong?

Cut to:

INT — Food Court at a Mall — Later

Kobe and Vanessa Bryant eat quietly. Kobe is obviously distracted, but decides to try and make conversation anyway.

KOBE
How’s that fruitista freeze?

VANESSA BRYANT
Well, there ain’t much fruit, and there ain’t much
freeze. Maybe there’s a lot of “ista”, but I can’t tell.

KOBE
That sucks.

A young acne-ridden teenager walks up to the table nervously.

KID
K-k-o-k-k-k-o-b-b

KOBE
It’s okay, don’t stutter. Take your time.

KID
Kobe.

KOBE
Yes?

KID
Nevermind, it’s not important.

KOBE
It’s okay, don’t be afraid. You can say it.
Come on, go ahead.

KID
Ok.

KOBE
That’s more like it.

KID
Kobe…

KOBE
Yeah?

Kobe begins to mouth the words, “You’re my favorite player. Can I have your autograph?”

KID
How does my ass taste?

Kobe stands up, hovering over the pimple-popper.

KOBE
I’ll give you ten seconds
to get out of my sight.
Ten, Nine, Eight…

The kid, looking like he’s about to crap his pants, runs away, disappearing into a pack of young teens his own age. They greet him warmly, like a hero.

KOBE
If I had a nickel for every time that–

VANESSA
We’re already rich.

KOBE
Oh yeah. But I’d almost prefer someone to walk
up to me and tell me to “eat shit”. At least that
would be original. What do I have to do get some
respect around here, jump over a mini van?

VANESSA
Anyway, I was thinking….We should go
on a double date with one of your teammates.

KOBE
Yeah, that would be a good
team-building exercise.

VANESSA
Not everything is team building,
and not everything is exercise.

KOBE
Everything is exercise. Anyway, anyone
in particular you had in mind?

VANESSA
Is Sasha dating anybody?

KOBE
You wanna spend time with Sasha? Machine?

VANESSA
He’s funny and stylish. What’s wrong with that?

KOBE
Are you hiding something from me?

VANESSA
No. What are you talking about?

KOBE
It’s just that…Nevermind.
I need to make a call.

VANESSA
Again with that? I don’t get it. Why?

Cut to:

INT – Staples Center – Later

Sasha “Machine” Vujacic is flirting with Lakers Girls Jeri-Faye and Richelle.

SASHA
Ladies, would you like to join me
for some machinations?

JERI-FAYE
What do you mean?

SASHA
Machine make machinations. You know…
Maybe machinate madly with maximum
matching machetes?

RICHELLE
You’re funny, and maybe
an idiot savant! I’m hungry.

SASHA
Machine buy you some synonym buns.

JERI-FAYE
That will go straight to my thighs!

RICHELLE
Your thighs are already busted.

JERI-FAYE
What!?!

SASHA
Ladies, ladies, for three pointer to swish,
we need to love each other. Or perhaps
we make four point play like good
olive oil; you know, with extra virgin?

Jeri-Faye
I don’t know about that.

Sasha
Okay, I teach you game. Machine in the middle.

Richelle
Sounds euro-tastic!

Jeri-Faye
I’m down.

They walk off, arm in arm in arm.

INT – House – Later

Phil Jackson rummages through his freezer. His wife, Jeannie, is in the other room, analyzing game film.

PHIL
Honey, where’s the hibiscus sorbet?

JEANNIE (O.S)
I threw it at Lamar Odom. He came over earlier and
started bugging me about how he needed to start.

PHIL
Where was I?

JEANNIE (O.S)
You were prank calling Jerry Sloan.

PHIL
Thanks for not bothering me. But really,
you had to throw the hibiscus sorbet? There
wasn’t a stray Klondike bar lying around?

JEANNIE (O.S)
I threw the first thing I grabbed.
I’ll be more considerate next time.

INT — Therapist’s Office — Later

Mitch Kupcheck sits across from older man with white hair and gigantic eyebrows. He looks up to the ceiling, trying to process what he’s just heard.

MITCH KUPCHECK
You’re not going to tell me that I traded Caron Butler
for Kwame Brown because I hate my mother.

THERAPIST
Unless you give me a better reason.

KUPCHECK
You want the truth.

THERAPIST
Of course.

KUPCHECK
Caron was too gully for Kobe.

THERAPIST
I don’t follow.

KUPCHECK
One of the biggest criticisms about Kobe is that
he manufactures his street-cred due to his upper-class
upbringing in Italy and suburban Philly. Well, Caron has
overcome a rough upbringing, to the point that he even
denounces certain things–gullyness that most teenagers
would aspire to mock–all while maintaining his hood appeal.
Kobe couldn’t take it. He has a gullyness quotient. If a
certain player exceeds it, he’s gone.

THERAPIST
That’s the biggest crock of–

KUPCHECK
Look at our roster!

THERAPIST
But you’re doing such a good job.

KUPCHECK
I stumbled into Pau Gasol because I
had to get rid of Javaris Crittendon.

THERAPIST
Really, Crittendon was a trouble maker?

KUPCHECK
I’m not sure. I couldn’t take the chance.

THERAPIST
Well that hardly seems fair to him. Still, you’ve
gotta focus on the good you’ve done.

KUPCHECK
I can’t. Kobe always gets in my way.

THERAPIST
How so?

KUPCHECK
Every day at two o’clock I have what I call my
“Kupcheck cupcake”. It’s my designated dessert
of the day. Kobe doesn’t want me eating unhealthy foods,
so he calls me everyday at two to talk about potential ways
to improve the team. Yesterday, I hadn’t even taken the saran
wrap off of my key lime pie when my pocket started vibrating.

THERAPIST
Why does he care about what you eat?

KUPCHECK
He thinks if I eat too much junk food, it will alter
my decision making. He’s a real health nut.

THERAPIST
Didn’t he just call you from Taco Bell?
Anyway…I think I was right.

KUPCHECK
What do you mean?

THERAPIST
I think your problems are rooted in your
mom. It’s just that Kobe is your mother.

KUPCHECK
Jesus…It makes so much sense.

THERAPIST
I’m going to introduce a new exercise for you.
Since you’re a fan of pun’ing off of your name
—”Kupcheck cupcake” and all—I think we should
introduce a short daily exercise during which you
stare in a mirror and tell yourself that you’re doing
well in your life.

KUPCHECK
Okay. What should we call it?

THERAPIST
Kupcheck gut-check.

KUPCHECK
My lyrical side loves it!

THERAPIST
Keep your head up, Mitch. This town
appreciates what you’re doing.

KUPCHECK
Thanks, Doc.

THERAPIST
Oh, and Mitch.

KUPCHECK
Yeah?

THERAPIST
I think you have Kobe wrong.

KUPCHECK
How so?

THERAPIST
Regardless of what you’ve heard, true inner
gullyness doesn’t always come from where
you’re from; it’s a state of mind. The truth is that
Kobe is the most cold-blooded assassin you know.
He’s probably just playing you.

Kupcheck is at the door when he hears this. He freezes. He starts to sweat a little bit.

THERAPIST (CONT’D)
Same time next week…right, champ?

KUPCHECK
(swallows hard)
Yeah.