Originally published in SLAM 32

In the end, we just couldn’t do it. We had plenty of photos of everyone’s favorite Maverick soaking up rays on some tropical beach. They were—how shall we say this?—interesting. Different. OK, they were hideous. We were unsure of what kind of effects they would have on our readers, however, so we decided to test them out. We had the best photo (a nearly unmentionable action shot involving suntan oil) blown up to this size, then showed it to 10 needy NBA journeymen.

The results were alarming to say the least. Four expired instantly. Three started twitching and haven’t stopped since. One broke his restraints and ran for the safety of David Falk’s palace. And the remaining two, unaffected, kept talking on their cellys, inquiring about the whereabouts of their recently repossessed Lexus LX four-and-a-halfs.

After those results, we realized we could not risk the lives of our many innocent readers. We did what we had to do—we burned all remaining copies of the photo, except for five, which we Fedexed to Alonzo Mourning, Patrick Ewing, Russ Granik, David Falk, and Arn Tellem.

So, instead, we bring you a shot of celebration, a portrait of victory. Here, Shawn Bradley has just seven-putted to win “The Swede Halbrook Memorial 7-3 & Over Open” after a hotly-contested four-hole playoff with former Jazz center Mark Eaton. Manute Bol, the nearest competitor, finished 17 strokes back. And former Piston benchwarmer Chuck Nevitt is, last we checked, still playing. Go, Chuck!

“I…I…I just can’t believe how great this is,” a tear-choked Bradley stammered afterwards. “I didn’t know winning could be so…so…” Bradley then launched into a rambling, 10-minute-long thank-you speech which, for the sake of all the kiddies out there, will not be printed here.

When he finally wrapped his oration up, Bradley made an inspiring announcement. He said this his entire $327.50 prize check would go to the “I Make Millions Playing a Kid’s Game But I Can’t Stop Buying Shit So I’m Broke” players fund. Can’t you just feel the love?

Russ Bengston