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Chainmail: Monte’s Marooning

Mailbag stories are back!
By | 25 Comments | Oct 5, 2022

[Editor’s Note: Tim has decided to start writing fan-fiction before mailbags again. We at The Kings Herald apologize profusely. – Greg]

“I cannot believe he’s making me do this. He should have come himself!” Monte McNair mutters to himself as he boards the first-ever Celebrity Comedian Cruise by Royal Caribbean, with Alicia Keys performing. “He bought the damn cruise line. He scheduled the damn cruise. He said he was going on the maiden voyage, but instead, he sends me?! Two week before the draft?!” Monte cries to no one in particular. The room steward, a Lakers fan who has no desire to share that fact with the man he’ll be assisting, looks at his new charge with equal parts empathy and amusement.

The days pass slowly for McNair. Scouting sessions, front office meetings, and DM messages with the Zach Lowe of the Kings Herald, that damn baby giraffe, are interrupted by slow, unreliable internet connections, his room steward can’t stop talking about the promising aspects of Austin Reaves’ career (who Monte had to Google to figure out who the hell he was), and the ship’s only dessert option is yogurt pie, which while delicious, can also get a bit redundant on a two-week cruise around the pacific. Welcome to hell for basketball.

On the evening of the eighth day at sea, McNair drifts off to sleep with the sweet taste of Never Hungover on his lips.

Vivek Ranadive storms into his office, nothing unusual these days, except Vivek didn’t flash the shaka at him as he approached. “This is going to be a bad one.” Monte thinks to himself. Behind Ranadive, Anjali approaches, trailed by Alvin Gentry, who Monte forgot worked for the team in some made-up way. “Meet the new front office of the Sacramento Kings,” Vivek says. “Wait, what? What do you mean, Vivek? Monte asks. Vivek begins screaming “FIRED! FIRE! FIRE! FIRE…”

Monte snaps awake. Someone’s pounding on his door. “Fire!” they scream. “Fire! The ship is lost! Abandon ship!” McNair scrambles from his bed, throws on some clothes, and sprints out his door, coughing amidst the smoke streaming through the hallway. He turns left but finds nothing but a huge wall of flames tearing across the ceiling. He turns left and finds the same thing. Without thinking, he finds his way back to the room, and like his Kings team trying to make a charge up the standings in January, dives off the balcony and into the cold, dark waters of the Pacific Ocean.

Everything goes black.

“Stay with me buddy!” McNair awakes to someone pounding on his chest. He coughs and vomits up seawater. Opening his eyes, Monte sees the one-and-only Bill Murray giving him CPR. “You okay, pal?” Bill asks. “I…I think so…” Monte replies. He glances about and sees himself surrounded by some of the comedic geniuses of the world. Bill Murray, Chris Rock, Tina Fey, Jaden Smith, Hannibal Buress, Will Ferrell, Amy Poehler, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jim Carrey, and for some reason, Rashida Jones? I thought this was a comedian-only cruise, not a dry, overacted in every role cruise? McNair thinks to himself. He shakes his head to clear his thoughts, as Alicia Keys walks up from the beach.

“What happened?” he asks. “Well, it looks like we’re the only ones who survived the fire and the swim to the island” Will Ferrell replies. “None of our phones work, and I heard the captain say we were way off course due to that storm a couple of nights ago, so no one knows where we are. And even worse than that, most of the life boats all burned with the ship. We’ve only got one and it won’t fit all of us. We’re marooned,” continues Will.

“Marooned????? We can’t be marooned!” cries McNair. “The NBA Draft is in less than a week. I’ve got to get back. How many people can the life boat fit?”

“It says it’s rated for ten people.” Alicia Keys replies. “But maybe it’ll fit more? We could test it.” “Well, let’s get to it.” Monte replies.

Over the next few hours, the misfit marooned men and women try everything in their power to make room for all twelve folks to fit. They strip the boat of all of its supplies. They take the seats out. On the last attempt, they even strip down to their underwear to remove as much weight as possible. Each time, they get about 50 yards out into the sea before the boat starts to sink. On their last attempt, Bill Murray tosses Alicia Keys overboard, to the laughter of everyone, but they turn around and pick her up before heading back to the beach, just before the boat sinks.

Three days pass. Boat trip after boat trip fails; it’s truly only rated for ten people. Supplies run low. Six water bottles of fresh water remain. And most importantly, the NBA Draft is just three days away. The crew grows desperate, none more so than Monte McNair. He has an idea. An ugly idea. A horrendous idea. An idea that will save everyone…well, almost everyone. That night, he approaches the man who saved his life. He whispers an idea. The man agrees, although glumly. They’ll execute the two-part plan the very next morning.

A sleepless night ensues. Monte tosses and turns, knowing he’s doing the right thing, even if the right thing demands sacrifice. Before daybreak, he meets his co-conspirator, ropes pilfered from the lifeboat in hand, and they silently stalk their prey. The ambush ensues, their prey captured, tied to a plank scavenged from the shipwreck, and silenced. They drag him to the opposite side of the island. No one hears. No one knows.

Morning approaches.

As the crew gathers, they wonder aloud where their companion has gone. Monte answers their queries. “A brave soul has granted us the possibility of escape.” He announces. “Jaden has agreed to stay behind until we find rescue”. The crowd gasps. “He plans to use his skills learned on the set of After Earth to survive. I have every confidence in his ability. In fact, he’s already started his solo journey, and he wished me to bid you all a fond farewell for him. He left early this morning. Hopefully, his sacrifice will mean the difference for us all.”

“But the boat is only rated for ten people and there are still eleven of us.” states Hannibal Buress. “That true. But we’re hoping we can squeeze eleven on there.” Monte replies. “We’ll take her out of the longest test run yet. Right now. The remaining supplies are already loaded. Let’s get it done, folks.”

Shocked they may actually escape this nightmare, the crew quickly loads on the boat. Slowly but surely, they creep farther and farther away from the shoreline. 30 yards. 50 yards. 75 yards. 100 yards. Gasps resound as the boat dips lower and lower. “It didn’t work!” cries Jim Carrey. “Now, Bill!” shouts Monte.

And with that signal, Bill Murray pushes Alicia Keys off of the boat and into the swirling waters. She cries out for help, but they continue on, despite the protests of the crew. Monte steers the ship away and away, as Alicia grows smaller and smaller, fighting her way back to shore.

The next day, a passing cargo ship picks up the survivors. Monte McNair makes it back to Sacramento in time for the draft, saving his job. Sadly, despite their best efforts, the shipwrecked crew is unable to accurately describe the way back to the island. Jaden and Alicia are never found, perhaps living the island life to this day. That’s what Monte says to himself each day, at least.

What did Monte whisper to Bill on that fateful night, you may wonder? It was part sales pitch, part plan.

*Rewind sound like they do in movies to show something in a flashback*

“Bill, there are three people who don’t belong in our group. An NBA GM, who’s currently making this plan with you, a random actor and musician who has never been considered a comedian, and whose inclusion is a bit of a slap-in-the-face to the rest of you, and a singer who has never made me laugh. We must eliminate one now and one on the boat.” Monte outlines his perfect plan:

“First, we’ll leave Jaden on the board, and then we’ll de-raft Keys again, Murray”.

[Again, I am so, so sorry. -Greg]

_______________________________________________________

Welcome back to Chainmail and the return of mailbag stories! We’ve had an exciting few hours in the fandom, as the Kings kicked off their preseason campaign against the Los Angeles Lakers with a blowout win on Monday evening, and we’re here to take your questions about the game itself, Mike Brown’s rotation, KZ Okpala’s starting role, Keegan Murray’s dominant scoring performance, end-of-the-bench position battles, Sacramento’s three-point shooting (woof), the point guards’ shooting (even woof-er), Will’s new beard style, upcoming preseason games, or whatever else is on your mind!

Now, get to asking, so we can get to answering!

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andy_sims
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October 5, 2022 4:54 pm

Just wow. You had to have twisted yourself into a pretzel to get all the way to that one. Well done.

Q: I was also wondering about the concern regarding Fox and Sabonis not being staggered. If we had no bench guys who were capable distributors, I could see it. From what we saw last year, the two played very well together. Is staggering them to keep the offense moving actually necessary?

MichaelMack
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October 5, 2022 8:33 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

Good question Andy.

RobHessing
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October 5, 2022 5:36 pm

What is Tim smoking, and how expensive is it?

Klam
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Nostradumbass 18
Nostradumbass 19
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Nostradumbass 18
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October 5, 2022 8:45 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

comment image

Convoy
October 5, 2022 6:09 pm

If the Kings have issues at the point, do you you foresee Dellavedoa getting a chuck of minutes or find it more likely they will pick up some more experienced help at the position before the deadline?

Kosta
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October 5, 2022 6:23 pm

Is it possible that there is a lot more tanking this season for Wembanyama and Scoot, and if so, could this help the Kings get into the playoffs?

Kingsguru21
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October 5, 2022 7:18 pm
Reply to  Kosta

Yes.

catterj
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October 6, 2022 8:15 am
Reply to  Kingsguru21

The Spurs and the Jazz are nose-diving. The Thunder might do the same or at least they don’t plan to be good. The same probably goes for the Rockets. If the Kings are not the kangz, that puts us at least 11th.

Who else will tank in the West? Portland is no good and packs it in? LAL? Nah. And for the rest I can’t see it unless major injuries torpedo a season. That may happen to one team.

BestHyperboleEver
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October 6, 2022 8:22 am
Reply to  catterj

I could see the Rockets really surprising people this year and competing for the play-in.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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Nostradumbass 14
October 6, 2022 12:59 pm

Same a starting 5 of KPJ, Green, Gordon, Sengun and Smith Jr. are going to surprise some people. I think it comes down to PDX, Sac, and Houston for the 10th spot.

rff
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October 5, 2022 8:19 pm

Do you foresee times when Fox is at the 2 and Mitchell is at the 1?

AnybodyButBagley
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October 5, 2022 9:29 pm
Reply to  rff

Yes please.

Smart player controlling the ball and the fast player cutting to the basket or to an open shot.

andy_sims
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October 6, 2022 11:12 am

Because remember, everybody: De’Aaron Fox is stupid.

AnybodyButBagley
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October 6, 2022 9:29 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

Compared to other NBA point guards his BBIQ is minimal.

You should focus on reading skills.

Re read every word and see where you find the word “stupid”.

RikSmits
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October 5, 2022 10:09 pm

Fiction is all about suspension of disbelief. You lost me at a Lakers fan room steward with empathy.

Question:
How much of a phyrric victory would be reaching the play-offs in a season where many teams are Sucking for Scooter or Eschewing Victories for Victor?

andy_sims
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October 6, 2022 11:14 am
Reply to  RikSmits

This is brilliant, because it will allow any outcome for the season to be judged as a failure.

RikSmits
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October 6, 2022 10:13 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

You can always lower your expectations.

1951
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October 6, 2022 8:20 am

Is Keegan Murray one of the three best players on the Sacramento Kings right now?

RikSmits
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October 6, 2022 10:41 am
Reply to  1951

And what about right now?

1951
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October 6, 2022 12:44 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

comment image

tom4life2001
October 6, 2022 10:27 am

Which small forwards should the Kings target for trade using Harrison Barnes? What would be reasonable/best packages for said players?

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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Nostradumbass 14
October 6, 2022 1:04 pm

With no major moves likely until the deadline, Is Monte’s extension decision now based solely on how this current roster performs over the first few months of the season? If so, is his future toast if a star player gets hurt and the Kings flounder? It makes me worry for a case of Meningitis.

andy_sims
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October 6, 2022 1:53 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

To me, it makes sense to sync up the contracts of the coach and GM, just for the sake of indicating that continuity is important, even if you end up dumping both before the contracts expire.

My take is that McNair is running things in the way he feels best, and extension or no, he’s content to live or die with the results. I’d hope that if a key player or players are injured and the season skids off the road, that it would be factored in to the personnel reviews of the coach and GM, but as we know, it can’t be ruled out.

Bluejohn
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October 6, 2022 2:26 pm

Tim, two questions please:

First, did these stories accompany the Mail Bag last season. The older I get the less I trust my memory but I don’t recall ever reading something like this ever…….I mean ever?

Secondly, what did Alicia Keys ever do to you?

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