Page 2 columnist
Joe Dumars, fresh off the trading triumph of deadline season, sits in the Pistons war room in Detroit. He has a phone to his ear and a grin on his face.
"All right, 'Sheed, we'll see you tomorrow," he says. "Yeah, yeah, looking forward to it. It's gonna be great! You're gonna love it here."
He hangs up. Suddenly, a fax comes in. It's from 'Sheed's agent. At the top, a hand-written note says, "Just some fine print for the contract. Legal insists we attach it. Ignore it."
But Joe's a stickler for details. He reads on.
"We hope you enjoy your new Rasheed Wallace.
Warning: Coaches, referees, pregnant women, the elderly, and kids from one to 92 should avoid prolonged exposure to Rasheed Wallace.
Caution: Rasheed Wallace may suddenly combust.
Rasheed Wallace contains a molten core, which, if exposed to minor irritations, disagreements of any kind, or slights, perceived or real, should not be touched, inhaled, or looked at.
Discontinue use of Rasheed Wallace if any of the following occurs:
Do not use Rasheed Wallace in a gym, on a bus, on a plane, in a house, or with a mouse.
Do not use Rasheed Wallace. He will see right through you.
If Rasheed Wallace begins to smoke, get away immediately. Seek shelter and cover head.
Rasheed Wallace may cause inflammation.
Rasheed Wallace may inspire hours of insufferable talk radio.
When not in use, Rasheed Wallace should be left alone in his quiet place. You may slip cute notes under the door, but please, under no circumnstances, should you knock.
Failure to adhere to these guidelines relieves the traders of Rasheed Wallace (heretofore known as Relieved To Be Moving On, Incorporated), and its parent company, Can't We All Just Get Along Unlimited, of any and all liability.Ingredients of Rasheed Wallace include an unknown viscous substance which flows through the cerebral cortex spreading paranoid visions.
Do not open Rasheed Wallace.
Under certain conditions, Rasheed Wallace glows.
Under other conditions, Rasheed Wallace steams.
Under still other conditions, Rasheed Wallace oozes a certain stink.
We are not liberty to say what any or all of those conditions may or may not be.
Do not taunt Rasheed Wallace.
Any similarities between Rasheed Wallace and Happy Fun Ball are absolutely intentional."
Joe sets the paper down on his desk and leans back in his chair, still smiling. But it's a different smile now. Vacant. Unsure. Terrified. Larry Brown walks in just as Joe is running the page through the shredder. "We good to go?" he asks. "Yeah," Joe says. "No worries."
Eric Neel is a regular columnist for Page 2.