Saturday, October 25, 2014



(LIGHTS UP on a Restaurant in LOS ANGELES. MITCH KUPCHAK, the General Manager of the Los Angeles Lakers, is ordering from a WAITER.)

KUPCHAK: This soup, this lima bean soup? Is it good?

WAITER: Oh, absolutely. It’s a normal lima bean soup in a lot of ways, but the chef uses rendered animal fat and chives to give it a fuller body.

KUPCHAK: (Adjusts his glasses.) Oh, good. Sounds great. I’ll have that, then.

WAITER: Is it just you, or....

KUPCHAK: No, no, someone will be joining me, but I just figured, uhh, why waste time. I think he already had lunch or something.

WAITER: Terrific.


(BYRON SCOTT, a coaching candidate for the Lakers, enters. He shakes Kupchak’s hand very assuredly, making perfect eye contact. KUPCHAK doesn’t stand up, and is more passive in receiving the handshake.)

KUPCHAK: Thanks for meeting with me today, Byron…

BYRON: No, thank YOU, Mitch. I think you’ll be interested to hear my idea about what I could do with this roster….

KUPCHAK: Byron, I don’t need to hear it. We’re interested, we’re engaged, we think you’re the man for the job.

BYRON: Oh, wow, uh, thank you! I did have these notes I wanted to….

KUPCHAK: We think, this year, that you and the Los Angeles Lakers are going to surprise a lot of people with some of your ideas and strategies, and our players, who are all tremendous, winning athletes. We think you’re an old-school guy, and even if you rattle cages amongst (He performs finger quotes.) “The Basketball Intelegencaratti,” you are still the right man for the job and we’re happy to have you. You know, when you sat down with me today, and you said, “Mitch, I think this league is shooting too many three pointers - that is not a winning shot, the three pointer, you need to do something else if you’re going to win a championship; we’re going to drastically reduce the number of three pointers we shoot,” I thought you sounded a little crazy and anti-modern. But you really sold me on it. I am sold. You’re hired, Byron. You got the job.

BYRON: You know, Mitch, I, uh, don’t think that DRASTICALLY reducing the number of threes we take is SUCH a good id-

KUPCHAK: It’s about defense, right, Byron? This is a defensive squad. We’re going to spend all of our time on defense, because that’s our personnel. Our identity. The thing we hang our hat on.

BYRON: What? No, Carlos Booz…

KUPCHAK: BYRON, MY MAN. Our guy. I love your vision for this team, the one with the defense and the not taking threes. You were a Lakers legend once before, and you’ll be one twice again. How about we get a bottle of champagne to celebrate, WAITER-

BYRON: MITCH, hey, slow down, man…

KUPCHAK: Oh, you’re not a, uh, drinking man? We can get sparkling cider, I love that stuff, WAITER, A BOTTLE OF MARTINELLI’S OVER-

BYRON: No, Mitch, I just, I don’t think ANY of those things about the roster, and I don’t plan on doing ANY of these things if I work for the Lakers!

KUPCHAK: (Sighs.) This could have been easy Bryon. One sec, lemme… (He reaches under the table, pushes a button.) ...turn this tape recorder off.

BYRON: You were recording this conversation?

KUPCHAK: Byron, do you mind if I curse?

BYRON: I guess n-

KUPCHAK: Byron, a lot of people have fucked up lately. Made mistakes. Let the dog shit in the yard one too many times. It’s not good. It’s bad. We have a giant pile of dog shit in our yard, and it’s going to win 25 games, and someone has to take the blame for that big pile of dog shit.

BYRON: What are you suggesting, Mitch. That I’m your fall guy, or something?

KUPCHAK: BYRON, my man. I hate words like “fall guy” and “someone to take all the blame when the inevitable happens.” I would never say anything like that. BUT, we can’t go out and hire someone we really, really want to run the team right now, because everyone in and around the team will (He mimes a flamethrower.) brprrrrrrrr, just torch this guy with a flamethrower.

BYRON: This is ridiculous, Mitch. I am a SERIOUS NBA COACH.

KUPCHAK: Absolutely! And we will pay you six million dollars to be a serious NBA coach, just as long as you, you know, make yourself…

BYRON: A martyr?

KUPCHAK: That’s a little more honorable than I might frame it, but whatever makes you feel best about it. Look. Someone has to take the blame for the next two seasons of Lakers basketball. Everyone will be crying out for the blood…

(WAITER ENTERS with SOUP. He sets it down on the table.)

KUPCHAK: Thank you, this smells delicious.

WAITER: Pepper?

KUPCHACK: You know, just a little. I think over seasoning insults the chef.

(WAITER turns the pepper grinder twice.)

KUPCHAK: PERFECT! Not a granule more! Thank you. (Sips the soup with a spoon.) Delicious. Absolutely delicious.

WAITER: (To BYRON.) Is there something you would…

BYRON: (Staring at KUPCHAK, deadpans.) I haven’t had the chance to look to the menu.

WAITER: I’ll give you a minute to look.


KUPCHAK: This really is very good. If you like soup, you should try it. Now, as I was saying, everyone will be crying out for SOMEONE’S blood, and nobody wants it to be MY blood, or the Buss family’s blood, or, God forbid, Kobe Bryant’s blood! He is a franchise icon, you know. We need a new Magic Johnson, our old one has gone a little rogue lately and some people in the organization are (Mimics a crying baby.) wahh, upset about it. I mean you think we can blame this all on Jeremy Lin? You know how famous that guy is?

BYRON: You know, Mitch, I’ve never been more insulted in my entire life? (Gets up.) I’m leaving, and I’m CERTAINLY not going to be taking this job.


KUPCHAK: Well, offer’s still on the table! Anytime! 17 million dollars for two years of work, at most! Hell, we can make it one and a half if you’re feeling restless! Alright! See you later, Byron!

(Caitlin Obom edited this piece. She is is the sketch comedy group Drop the Root Beer and Run. They are performing at The Pocket Theater in Seattle, WA on Halloween.)

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