Local (National) Basketball Report: The Shot Heard 'round the Tri-State
by Smith Holbrook

(((Sound Effects: Deep, fuzzy bass notes/high pipe organ stuff/sporadic multiple drum beats...)))

Smith Holbrook (Me): "HE SHOOTS, HE SCOOOOORES!!!!!!" (Crowd erupts in roaring jubilation.)

Smith Hooooolbrook back with you here for another unfiltered edition of basketball purity and validation, friends. Or is that vindication? Who cares? I skipped grammar school, spellcheck is for the weak, and I just got off a red-eye flight and desparately need to phone my wife back home in Raceland, Kentucky. Just 2 minutes ago, I burst through my hotel door and leaped onto the bed. I bring you this installment from a small, plain, and cheap bedroom here in Salt Lake City, Utah. I think that's where I am...I'm wherever WSAZ and KYZTV has just sent me to report on our former Kentucky Church Leaguers. Anyway, I'm a little ranty tonight. My rants, I find, build up on airplanes. Been like that all month; a traveling carnival circuit, I tell you. I don't know if I was built for this kind of speed. I miss Raceland; I miss pot roast Wednesday nights, I miss attending my own church. But we all have to make sacrifices. Our Lord did, our Northeastern Kentucky Church Leagues did, our Commisioner and Commander did, and so will I. Welcome to my first PODCAST. Send me e-mails as to what I should call this thing -- I'm lost in this digital world. I'm 53 years old and spent most my life in the backwoods; haven't had a computer my entire life until 3 weeks ago. Anyway...let's begin!

(((Sound Effects: A resounding boom and fizzle firework type thing, and then a fierce cheerleader chant fading into silence.)))

Our lovable Wurtland-Flatwoods 1st Methodist Prophets -- along with 7 other Kentucky Church League teams -- have made the transition to the NBA this past month! Woahhhh!!! WE MADE IT! Some of our boys have even scored more than a few baskets. Some have taken a brutal, near bone breaking charge or two, others have nonchalantly performed no look passes that sail out of bounds; this stronger, longer league takes some getting used to, and that's o.k. Our boys'll adapt fully, and they all are still 100% backed by the commisioner and their respective owners. Contracts, baby! One thing every former Church Leaguer has in common is that these boys PLAY. THEIR. ROLES. And they do it well. Some are like henchman, hatchetmen; they are goons, attack dogs. Coach puts them in, no matter how many minutes, and they perform the task they were groomed to perform out there, with all their hearts.

One of our Prophets hit a game winning 3 point shot in a first round playoff elimination game. I know, I know! You know, too. You've all seen our friend and brother in Christ on Sports Center replays 1000 times! Tim Adkins, the 31 year old former pipefitter/Prophet of Greenup, KY. hit that remarkably clutch jump shot. Carmelo Anthony was guarding him stickily, but a quick crossover gave Tim the split second he needed to show Carmelo what can only be learned on the streets, high schools, and churches of northeastern Kentucky. The shot has gained Tim and his family (well, ALL of us) more international renown than anyone thought possible. Our boys aren't used to having agents, secretaries, endorsement deals, or any kind of fame other than what they've achieved on our local tri-state level. Tim will be the emphasis of tonights PODCAST, as he will be arriving to my hotel room any minute now for the interview. Anyway, where was I? Why do these PODCASTS have to be live streaming?! Ummm...where's that button?

(((Sound Effects: Several small dogs yap angrily at a bigger dog who seems to slowly laugh with his intermittent and deep barks.)))

Wait though, wait...okay, let's retrace our steps, faithful listeners. This merge wasn't as seamless as we all thought it might be. On the dawn of our inception into the "Big Leagues", a startling revelation captured headlines: an audio tape littered with racist remarks by the L.A. Clippers' owner, Donald Sterling, was released to media outlets. A disappointing day for all of sports, indeed. The fact a man of Sterling's nature could come to his position in power isn't surprising; wealthy businessmen seize control of what they want, regardless of their personal convictions or beliefs. But our Commander in Chief Adam Silver made swift work of this geezer who was apparently born and bread in southern Georgia around the mid-19th century. Just days after Silver brought our Church Leaguers to the National stage of Hoopdom, he was caught up in yet another national media whirlwind, where he was forced to act appropriately and promptly. He did just that, by imposing his will with a lifelong ban of Donald Sterling. KUDOS, ADAM SILVER, WELL PLAYED.

(We hear a knock at my hotel room door, the door open, and Tim Adkins walks through. "Smittttttty!" he yells.)

Well, look what we have here, Prophet Nation! None other than Tim "I'm Open!" Adkins. How the heck are ya, Tim?! Get over here and get mic'd up, brother. God bless you! It's so good to see you again. WHAT A SHOT YOU MADE!

(Tim hugs me and kisses my cheek, and we say the Lord's Prayer softly in unison. Tim then get's mic'd up. Three bodyguards are spread through the room, with countless others in the hall and outside by Tim's limousine.)

Let's begin the interview! Whew, Tim, old Smitty here has missed you dearly. I know you don't have long to talk, and I'm bone tired. Let's get to it. Did you ever expect anything like this to ever even be remotely possible in your life?

Tim: I love ya, Smits. Nah, nah. Course I didn't. This has been unreal. I mean, it's somethin' bigger than me, than all of us, it's God. He's leading us where he wants us to go, the reasons ain't there for us to see yet. I'm enjoying this ride, and feels like a dream! I'm so glad to see you. How is the kids and wife?! I sure miss comin' over for Scattegories Thursday's after Prophet practice. Man, I love you. God is GOOD! I heard you nailed that WSAZ PODCAST!

You are on it now, buddy! That is why we mic'd you up! Believe me, I know this is all confusing. I can't imagine what you are feeling at this point...after that shot on Carmelo Anthony to win game 7 of an NBA PLAYOFF SERIES!

(((Sound Effects: "Allllllllrighttttt," says a British sounding man of importance.)))

Tim: I just had to take that shot, Smits. You knew I would soon as the ball hit my hands...

(I cut Tim off, I can't help it) I did, I knew you would do that same crossover and just launch it from 36 feet out with 7 seconds remaining. I had no doubt in my mind!

Tim: Right! God bless you! HARHAHAH! Well, Smits, as you and the whole wide world knows by now, I only got into that double overtime game because so many players was fouled out and Coach says to me, "GET IN THERE TIM, AND JUST PLAY DEFENSE! DO NOT, I REPEAT DO NOT..." then it was just so loud in there because the crowd and almost like a Rome Colliseum and things. But Smitty, he KNEW I would shoot if I got the ball. He just didn't think I'd come up with that loose ball like that! It was heavenly, man. I barely even remember any of it, but I remember that shot going through the hoop!

It was the single most exhilirating moment of my entire life, Tim. When you somehow came up with that deflection that Chris Paul caused, I lost my mind. You were going to take that shot, because that's just what you HAVE to do, right?!

Tim: Preeeecisely, friend. Jus' like in high school, and in the Church League, I take what's mine. Sure, I may have missed a few, but I always take that very predictable crossover move and toss her up! ALWAYS. People's always gotten onto me cause of it, even in Elementary school. Problem for Carmelo Anthony was he didn't know my moves and didn't think I was near close BRAVE enough to do it!

Whether that shot actually went in or not, it was a defining moment in our tri-state's history. I almost fainted when you shot it. I want to go on the record, and say even if you missed it, I'm glad you had (and have always had) the capacity to shoot the ball, no matter where your location or who else is open. My statistical records have always been consistent: a solid 97% of the time it touches your hands, you end up shooting the ball, triple teamed or not. I love you Tim. God bless you, fellow Prophet.

Tim (in tears of joy): You're the best, wish them others were like you...I love you, Smith Holbrook. I need to go. I'll text you tomorrow, man. This was a priviledge to do your iphone show.

Goodnight, Tim. (I'm choking up at this point.) We are beyond lucky to have had you as our inaugural guest on this PODCAST. Who knows how long it, or I, will last. The stage is so big now. I just want to snuggle up to my wife in KY, but duty calls. Have a blessed evening, Tim. (I start to softly but happily weep and mention a Taco Bell down the street I vaguely recall on my taxi trip to the hotel. Tim loves Taco Bell, I remembered.)

(Tim is crying and latched onto a huge bodygaurd of his at this point, and he nods at me as he exits the room.)

Well, listeners, I'm Smith Holbrook. I'm in tears, as you can tell. That was powerful. I think I'm in Salt Lake City. Striver struck a deal with FILA...(sniffles)

I leave you with this: "Some trust in chariots, some trust in horses; but we all trust in the LORD our God." That's Psalms 20:7. Over and out, brothers. God Bless you all.

Smith Holbrook, and it's Prophet Reporting