Someone Is Trying to Break Up Clippers

Doctor, doctor, come quick! They've brought in another one!"

"Don't tell me."

"Another Clipper."

"I told you not to tell me."

"He's hurt, doctor."

"Of course he's hurt, nurse. He's a Clipper."

"Leg injury, doctor."

"Wow, there's a surprise."

"His name is Gary Grant."

"I enjoyed all his movies."

"No. Gary."

"Oh."

"Where should I put him?"

"Over there, by the others."

"We're running out of room in there, doctor."

"I know. It looks like a ski lodge. We're turning into Clippers Sinai."

"Mr. Harper's appointment is at 3."

"And Mr. Manning?"

"His checkup is at 4."

"What about those other basketball people, the ones with the hamstrings?"

"Those were Lakers, doctor."

"Strange how all these L.A. players hurt their legs, isn't it?"

"Yes, doctor."

"What do you suppose causes it?"

"I don't know. Maybe they don't pump enough air into their tennis shoes."

"Hmmm."

"Or maybe they don't do enough walking. These Los Angeles people drive everywhere, you know."

"You may have something there."

"The Clippers shouldn't have shoe contracts. They should have cane contracts."

"True."

"I mean, these guys really take it on the shins."

"How are the Clippers doing, by the way?"

"They're showing a lot of heart."

"Well, they'll probably break that before the season's over."

"They've invented a new lineup--the No-Guard offense."

"Who brings the ball up?"

"Nobody. After every opponent's basket, the Clipper coach calls a timeout. That way they get the ball at mid-court."

"Very clever."

"The Clippers are thinking about starting five 7-footers. The Quintuple Towers."

"Might just work."

"Or, sometimes they use David Rivers."

"David Rivers? Didn't he used to play for the Lakers?"

"Not so you'd know it."

"How about trading for a guard?"

"Funny you should mention that. Elgin Baylor just called me. He's about to trade for a guy, but first he wants us to do something for him."

"Namely?"

"He wants us to X-ray the guy's legs."

"I see."

"Then he wants us to make the guy run 82 simulated NBA games on a treadmill."

"I don't blame him."

"Then he wants us to do an arthroscopic exam, a total leg massage, a blood transfusion, a cartilage transplant, an athlete's foot inspection, and then soak the guy's legs for four hours in boiling Perrier with lime."

"OK."

"Then he wants us to telephone every living relative of the guy and ask them if they have any history of leg problems."

"Will do."

"Then he wants us to strike the guy's knee with a hammer, every 10 minutes."

"To check his reflexes?"

"No. To check the hammer."

"Anything else?"

"Yes. He wants to know if there's anything we can do to guarantee a minor leg injury, and not another one that's going to take a year to heal."

"No. Tell Mr. Baylor I'm sorry, but all I can do is make a suggestion."

"What?"

"Tell him to trade every healthy body he has, before it's too late."

"You think so?"

"How about that Charles Smith person? Are his legs OK?"

"Far as I know."

"Then get Elgin on the phone and tell him to trade that man, immediately!"

"Really?"

"Definitely. The man is afflicted with Clipper Syndrome. It's only a matter of time."

"What should he trade Smith for?"

"Anybody. Anything. Trade him for Ralph Sampson. His legs already are shot. It'll save the Clippers a lot of time and trouble."

"What about Danny Ainge or Jeff Malone?"

"Absolutely not! I have examined the legs of Mr. Ainge and Mr. Malone, and they are perfect! Don't you dare trade them to the Clippers! These men have families to think about."

"They're probably insured."

"Are you kidding? No insurance company in America will write a policy on a Clipper today. They've already paid off a fortune to these people. It's called dribble indemnity."

"I know what you mean. Marques Johnson, Norm Nixon, Derek Smith, Manning, Harper, Grant . . . the Clippers could have won three world championships by now, if they played wheelchair basketball."

"Don't be cruel."

"Maybe we should just put them out of their misery."

"How do you mean?"

"They shoot Clippers, don't they?"

"Oh, well. Maybe the All-Star break will help them heal up."

"Don't say 'break' around the Clippers. Besides, there's only one thing that could help that team."

"What's that?"

"If the All-Star break lasted two years."

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