FanPost

Captain America

'Any resemblance to persons living or dead should be plainly apparent to them and those who know them, especially because I have provided their real names and, in some cases, real thoughts. All events described herein actually happened, though on occasion the author has taken certain, very small, liberties with facts(A), because that is my right as an American' (1).

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It was 5:35pm on a Monday afternoon.

Lillard at peace

Lillard sat reflectively staring out his master bedroom suite window, protected from the 83 degree muggy weather.

His AC stood fast, protecting him from the elements.

*=*=*=*

Practice had been followed by a quick trip to the trainer... Relaxing, prepping, and staging for tomorrow was all that needed to be done for the day. The end was in sight.

Even superheroes need down time... he had been born of the might of the earth, having been conceived at October 17 (5:04 p.m) on the night of the massive Oakland(Loma Prieta) earthquake in 1989; his 3-pt explosions containing an elastic resonance with the universe that none can match.

But one... the one currently taking up residence in his old digs...

steph_mural.0.jpg steph_mural.0.jpg

Nine months later, he had been born July 15th.

From the start, he'd known the score.

He could do things most humans only dream of doing.

However, he knew the deal.

The Prestige.

*-*

Work.

Work... That was all that stopped him from matching, and then replacing Steph Curry as the NBA' most lethal assassin.

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We all remember what happens when you forget to work...

*-*

At times Lillard could feel himself becoming Captain America.

The universe erupting in that 1989 earthquake had been his experimental serum.

He was a superhero.

*-*

While fully human, he was also something much greater.

He'd know this from the start. He had powers that most mortals dream about... he just needed to work.

To create energy on the basketball court.

His creation on the court echoing throughout the eternal universe.

*-*

While he applied it to the basketball court, he knew he was about to expand it to an off the court issue.

*-*

He could see the trees swaying ever so slightly, his body ever so gently start to sway; his muscles awakening and beginning to ache.

The streets were beginning to fill with dead leaves from the previous lush forest, his aching left bicep soon to doing a similar evolution.

The seasons were quickly changing, and soon his demigod body would be back into fighting basketball shape.

*=*=*=*

The team was set.

Soon, he would know the final member of his crew.

The roster would soon be lowered from 18 to 15.

His eye already fashioned on several talents on the potential waiver wire after roster cuts.

*-*

He closed his eyes. Relaxing.

He wondered who would getting that final roster spot...

He knew his crew... the Blazing Avengers.

All but one.

*-*

The men wearing his stripes were going to be Al_Farouq Aminu, Pat Connaughton, Allen Crabbe, Ed Davis, Festus Ezeli, Maurice Harkless, Jake Layman, Meyers Leonard, CJ McCollum, Shabazz Napier, Mason Plumlee, Evan Turner, and Noah Vonleh.

*-*

Coaching management was looking to fill our the 15th uniform... potentially.

Could they get a player to fit under the $932k limit imposed by the luxury tax and their current financial situation? The only minimum salaries that would be viable for management would be for a player that qualifies as a rookie($544k) or a first year player($875k). With any more experience, the current CBA would force the Blazers to jump into luxury tax to satisfy their minimum wage. No sense spoiling the pot.

Current roster players were Grant Jerrett, Luis Montero, and Greg Stiemsma. However management had been brutally honest, and explained that he shouldn't get too attached to any of them.

Roster cuts would occur around the league(18 players to 15) and management would scour the waiver wire to grab a potential budding talent to fill out his 15th uniform.

The last member was ultimately decided by Neil Olshey, but that never stopped him from pretending he was the GM.

*=*=*=*

He looked at his neighbor' yards.

Each and every one looked good.

So manicured. So perfect.

*-*

His current neighborhood reminded him little of the hood he formally ruled, which he had since ceded to Steph Curry.

He looked around his neighborhood, spotting two workers fighting through the heat, struggling to ensure that perfection was matched on each and every lot. His mind brought crashing back to the moment.

He remembered his struggles, back in Oakland, where he'd fought through the heat, fought through the adversity, fought through anyone and anything that got in his path.

*-*

He knew that tonight was an inflection point. He could feel it.

His body was one with the universe, at least the local universe, attuned to the potential seismic shift occurring...

With athletes from all sports executing a silent protest, making a declaration to have that national discussion on racial inequalities.

*-*

While nothing was confirmed, he knew the other basketball demigod, his basketball nemesis, Steph Curry, would be standing side by side with him.

Curry' home of Charlotte currently in riots..

*-*

While basketball was their form of combat, their competition of supremacy, the love of their country and fellow human beings was stronger.

These two demigods were about to become captains of America.

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With McCollum, writer on NBA.com, Lillard had been discussing a united Blazers protest, in a vein similiar to Paul Allen' other northwest franchise, the Seattle Seahawks.

*-*

Glancing at the wall, Lillard slowly started to fade... his mind starting to relax.

The body and mind slowly rejoining as one.

One self.

One universe.

*=*=*=*

The universe beginning to remove it' costume...

His mind slowly melding with his body.

Quiet surrounded him.

And from out of the abyss he obtained his personal pensieve, along with a memory from a month ago as clear as day:

*-*

With McCollum, he stood in Paul Allen' office.

Olshey was discussing future financials, a meeting everyone had already done.

He had already given this same presentation to both Mr. Allen, along with the players executive committee.

Everyone knew the score.

The plan was the plan.

*-*

Everyone was just hoping Olshey would just finish up.

No one really cared about what the other thought about the future financials.

Like it or not, the image remained: Paul Allen, a rich white guy, owning the contracts on 15 skilled predominately lower class minorities. There was a conversation that needed to be had, but it most assuredly have to wait another day.

Mr. Allen suddenly stood up suddenly, loudly asking: "Do we need to continue? Dame, CJ, we've played it by the plan; the plan is still set. Do your thing. Lets bring a championship to Portland. Any questions."

Paul Allen had always had an eye for world class talent. He wasn't personable, but he could sense the talent oozing from these two individuals.

When he had hired Mr. Olshey, Paul had recognized himself in Olshey, knowing his specialty was basketball talent.

Besides keen talent recognition, Olshey had shown a rash stubbornness, which had peeked it's way out in various ways, including his continual love of Al-Farouq Aminu, his first draft pick.

The memory started to fade, changing scenes once again...

An image of the professor: Gregg Popovich.

*-*

Popovich had earlier tonight been discussing the importance of silent protests:

"I absolutely understand why they’re doing what they’re doing, and I respect their courage for what they’ve done. The question is whether it will do any good or not because it seems that change really seems to happen through political pressure, no matter how you look at it. Whether it’s Dr. [Martin Luther] King getting large groups together and boycotting buses, or what’s happened in Carolina with the NBA and other organizations pulling events to make it known what’s going on. But I think the important thing that Kaepernick and others have done is to keep it in the conversation. When’s the last time you heard the name Michael Brown? With our 24/7 news, things seem to drift. We’re all trying to just exist and survive."

Lillard stared at the wall, wondering of the importance of that memory...

*=*=*=*

He was to become Captain America; the building blocks were all there, all that was required was work.

Energy; and naturally he would transition into Captain America.

Work.

He could already forsee the January Championship stumble: playing @GS, LAL, DET, @LAL, CLEV, ORL, @WASH, @CHAR, @PHI, @BOS, etc... He knew a new group of doubters would be created this Jan...

As his mind slowly transitioned through time, he smiled, remembering that the stumbles are what make the journey worth it...

A full palette of emotions are required to make the evolution from demigod to hero.

A Champion.

*=*=*=*

Tonight, potentially, America could experience a rebirth, a decade removed from New Orleans' own rebirth.

*-*

Would Lillard have a rebirth into Captain America tonight?

*-*

On the court it was easy.

The talent was there. Thirteen stars in the making stood at his disposal.

He could take them into the second round of the playoffs again. He had no doubt in that fact.

Off the court was not going to be easy.

Would he become the NBA leader in silent protests?

*-*

New Orleans.

A decade ago.

The noise.

The energy.

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Lillard knew he would be sharing an experience with 80 million other Americans tonight; with additional millions from around the world knowing the importance of this event... the presidential debate between the two potential future Presidents of the United States.

United States.

United.

United behind a Captain.

*-*

Tonight, Captain America would know where he stood.

A conversation needed to be had.

*-*

Captain America was sure of that.

*=*=*=*

His mind snapping back to reality. He walked slowly to the bathroom and began running an ice bath.

Even heroes need downtime.

*-*

He turned the television on... a political commercial playing.

He couldn't help remember Winston Churchill' wise words "He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire."

A small grin crossed his face.

Why was he so much more clever when no one else was around.

And with that, he turned his focus on the most important event in current history...

*-*

Lillard knew that the challenges ahead were going to be hard, but through work he would become the best 3pt shooter in the league, surpassing Curry as the best player in the NBA.

He also knew that to become the NBA' Captain America, he would have to work and generate the energy required to begin that national discussion. Standing friction is always the hardest. Once it starts, it becomes easier.

*-*

The work was going to be hard, but he had been training for it his whole life.

With athletes from all sports coming together in a silent protest, he knew the world stood at an inflection point...

An important decision about the direction of our country, a choice of defining the American mentality.

Who are we?

*=*=*=*

"He is a self-made man and worships his creator." – John Bright

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(A) Straight fiction, read as Borowitz Report

(1) loosely quoted from Dave Eggers' memoir, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius