"I’ve scheduled this practice for an hour and a half. That’s only 90 minutes. Today we’re going to see how long it takes before Evan loses his mind. I’ve got the countdown on my watch and if Evan lasts the entire 90 minutes without a meltdown, the team won’t run today. But if he freaks out, we’ll run a suicide for every minute left on the countdown. So, for example, he loses it an hour into practice, everyone will run 30 suicides. Evan, the entire team’s fate lies in your hands. Don’t let your teammates down."
When I walked over to Evan’s basket, he smacked his lips and said, "What are you doing over here, walk-on?" while in the middle of one of his free throws. (Yes, he called me "walk-on.")
I explained that Coach Matta had asked me to shoot with him and that we were supposed to shoot five free throws at a time before we switched. He seemed cool with this, shot his five free throws, and then stepped off the free throw line to switch spots with me without any trouble. And that’s when, to put it eloquently, **** went down.
Before I go any further with this story, it should be noted that I faced up to 10 suicides if Evan lost his cool, so it’s not as if I was actively trying to **** him off. But as I soon found out, I didn’t have to try with Evan. As we switched spots, I handed him the ball and asked him to toss me a bounce pass once I got lined up, just like a referee would do if I were shooting free throws in a game. But he apparently interpreted this as "roll the ball on the ground before I even get set so it hits my feet, makes me bend over, and completely destroys my rhythm." I picked the ball up and got situated at the free throw line before I gently tossed it back to Evan and again asked him to throw me a bounce pass. This time he fired a chest pass at me.
Now, I admit that I probably should’ve taken the high road at this point and just shot the free throws, but my pride kicked in and wouldn’t let Evan get the best of me, so I threw the ball back and once again asked him to simply throw me a bounce pass. As soon as the ball hit his hands, he rocketed it right back and yelled, "Just shoot the ****ing ball!" so loudly that he got the attention of everyone in the gym, including Coach Matta. But instead of blowing his whistle and making us run, Coach decided to sit back and watch everything unfold.
I shot my free throws and switched spots with Evan, who had been standing underneath the basket rebounding for me (and throwing passes back to me as hard as he could). As we walked past each other, Evan called me a ***** under his breath and threw his shoulder at my face, connecting square with my chin. Coach Matta instantly blew his whistle and yelled, "There it is! Everyone on the line!"
And with that, Evan had finally had his meltdown.