Ball Don't Lie - NBA

Dearest Sister Candace,

It has now been seven winters since I left our home at Clarksdale Hall and ventured to the Colonies to reclaim our family's fortune following father's unfortunate accident on a pheasant hunt. Blessed with tall stature and broad shoulders, I sought out a career in hooped sport to bring honor back to our family's name and perhaps earn our scions a spot for the next form at Eton. It has been an arduous road, taking me all across this infernal nation of louts and traitors to the monarchy.

Verily, you have heard the news by now by way of Mr. Morse's code-- the moneylender Mr. Sarver has released me from my contract with the Suns of Phoenix in order to clear the way for a foreigner called "Marcin Gortat" and one Vincent Carter, rumored to be a half-man, half-monster figure on the order of the protagonist in R.L. Stevenson's masterly Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde. (I hope you have had a chance to read this volume in your studies. Do not waver -- Mistress Haversham is a stern but learned woman.) Gortat is to pair with Don Robin Lopez(notes) to create what they tell me is a most imposing duo.

I fear the writing was on the wall as to my dismissal. Mr. Gortat and Mr. Carter were acquired only by letting go of my good friend the Earl Clark(notes), another nobleman of strong stock who was consigned to the oaken bench in favor of lesser souls. By all accounts, Mr. Sarver has fallen victim to the new populist movement sweeping this country's farmers, no doubt spurred along by the local prefect Lord McCain. I fear there is no room for our kind in this land, though my friends inform me that the latest tax reduction suggests otherwise.

I know not what my next step shall be. Yesterday eve, I supped with my appointed barrister Mr. Derrick Powell, Esq. at an establishment of the restaurateur Mr. Denny. (I requested the "Grand Slam," thinking it fit for a man of my pedigree, but it was queerly damp and tasted of saddle soap.) Mr. Powell has informed me that my options are sadly limited, but good fortune may smile upon me yet. Men of the centered position are often liable to injure their femurs and patella ligaments, and another club may seek my services before long. (Hast thou seen Dr. Woolsley recently? How I long for a good bloodletting. Visiting the physician in this country often requires consultation with an anatomy textbook simply to understand their diagnoses.)

You may wish to sit down to read the following news so as to not catch the dreaded vapors. Mr. Powell informs me that should a basketballing troupe not inquire after my services over the next fortnight, I may have to return to the League of Development, that lowly repository for street urchins and beggars. How I fear a return to those lackluster carriage rides and frigid changing rooms. Yet I must remind myself it is all for the good of our family crest and all for which it stands.

Do not worry after me. In spite of these misgivings, I remain committed as ever to my task. I know in the depths of my heart that all our futures and the names of our forebears depend on it. Anon, I will stand at the throne of this profession, and we will be reunited at Clarksdale Hall, our bellies plump from a feast of roast goose and elderberry wine.

Until then, I shall think wistfully of home and grasp at any piece of information that comes my way. Are the reports true that our fair Prince William has claimed himself an angelic princess? Do not fret, young swan -- soon you will find a suitable husband. With any luck, my victories in America shall provide a sizable dowry.

Please give my best to our loving Mother Jeraldean, feed my hound Tristan his favorite treat, and verify that Billingsley has not let the stables fall into disorder in my absence.

Like the namesake of my last employer's township, I shall rise from the ashes to best all challenges set before me.

Your Humble Servant,

The Earl Barron(notes)

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