The Madison Square Garden arena is filled with roaring fans, cheering for the landslide-favorite team, The New York Knicks.
Our team is on the verge of another defeat at the hands of the reigning Eastern Conference champions.
My jersey is filled with sweat and all of the sprinting back-and-forth finally taking its toll on my weared-down knees.
Suddenly, I saw my wife at the arena stand with a colorfully-designed banner saying, "It doesn't count if you are already planning your defeat" followed by the words, "I LOVE YOU, MY LEGEND".
The clock is ticking, 33-seconds is all that is left on this stalemate of a game, 118-115 in favor of the crowd champions.
My Brooklyn Nets point guard ally, D'Angelo Russell started to dribble the ball, looking for the open man.
He passes the ball to Rondae Hollis-Jefferson but couldn't make a shot then suddenly, with just three seconds left on the shot-clock,
The ball finds its way to my hands.
Lebron Anthony, the best player the league has to offer, is right in front of my face, looking to deflect any shot I would make.
I said to myself, "There's no way I'll miss this shot".
I flung the ball right inside the paint and then suddenly...
The broadcaster exclaims, "The shot is good plus one foul shot."
I felt an overwhelming feeling of comfort and confidence as I said to myself, "I made the lay-up...Against the best in the world."
Confidence flying all around me as I try to even the game to 118.
I flung the ball high...
Broadcaster: "Will the 'diamond in the rough star' Michael Legend tie the game for his Nets team who has suffered already 15-years in the lowest pits of the NBA?'".
The ball was shot but the New York crowd roared as the free throw missed and the ball went to the hands of the world's best basketball player.
Less than 15-seconds is left in the game and Lebron is looking unstoppable as he attacks the rim.
The in-your-face throwdown went in and I was left with a 10-second dose of reality that this 120-117 of a game could very well slip away from my Brooklyn Nets.
D'Angelo dribbles the ball and looks to make a miracle prayer of a three.
(D'Angelo could not find an open shot and passed the ball instead to a shakingly nervous me).
The ball found its way to my hands and all that I can think of is to dunk the ball straight to the basket and win this game for us.
To throw down the ball to the rim and get the extra foul shot.
I put on a sign of a cross as I charge the ball towards Lebron.
The Brooklyn bench roars and the broadcaster screams in excitement the words, "The Miracle Man throws it down and gets the foul!"
"Miracles do happen here in MSG!"
As my feet landed on the ground, it slipped awkwardly towards the unforgiving floor.
Unexplainable agony starts to creep into my feet until the excruciating pain slowly turns into a barren feeling of numbness.
The mixed cheers and jeers in the arena suddenly turned into a deafening silence and indescribable awe as I slowly looked into my disfigured, horribly broken leg.
The clock ticked to zero as the 4th quarter closed at 118-118.
Stretchers, medical personnel hurriedly make their way towards me as players and fans stare with awe looking at the nightmarish sight that transpired right before their eyes.
Nothing is entering my mind as the siren of the ambulance keeps on wailing and wailing.
"Is this the end of my young career?"
"How about my Brooklyn Nets? The team that never stopped believing in me, the team I helped to build to where it is now, finally competing in the Eastern Conference Finals with the reigning NBA champs."
AT THE HOSPITAL ENTRANCE WAY
<TV Broadcaster: The New York Knicks defeats Brooklyn Nets in overtime to win their 3rd consecutive Eastern Conference Championship>
Suddenly, I don't know which is more painful, the agony that I feel from my horribly broken leg or the stinging defeat we just suffered after the so-called "The Year of Miracle in Brooklyn".
The year that we finally racked up more wins than losses, the season on which we have finally entered the Conference Finals.
8 YEARS AFTER
<At a Clothing store in New York>
<Sports TV Broadcaster: The NBA season is coming in less than two months, The reigning superstar, best-in-the-world Lebron Anthony is looking to dominate again this year and capture his 10th NBA Championship>
I asked the 49-year-old man supervisor in the clothing store, “Do you have a triple XL size of this shirt right here?”
The clothing store supervisor tittered in a laugh.
The young store attendee then gave me a shirt that is about my size.
As I went to the fitting room, I hear the old man say, "I recognize that washed-up has been, the broken legged player of the Nets HAHAAAA".
As I exit the store, I try to gather myself from the annoying beratement that the old man just dished out.
Then suddenly he says straight into my face, "Aren't you that washed-up broken leg man from the Nets years ago? Am I right? HAHAAAAA".
I try my best to be patient as I clench my fist and turn back from the man.
But then suddenly he grabbed me forcefully by the shoulders and said, "Look at me when I'm talking to you".
My ears turned red in anger and punched the hell out of the ridiculing man and grabbed him by the collar.
I exclaimed, "You know nothing about me, and one day you'll see why I am called The Miracle Man of Basketball!"
A FEW DAYS AFTER
<My 9-year-old daughter tunes into the TV and watches the classic Brooklyn Nets vs New York Knicks match-up while eating a delicious bowl of homemade macaroni salad>
"Dad! Dad, You are the best basketball player in the world! Why are you not playing anymore?"
"I-I-it was a long story, my 'lil girl."
My daughter exclaimed, "You know mom, always tell me that It Doesn't count if you are already planning your defeat". "You must fight, dad for one more time".
"Please, do it for me, my classmates have been bullying me at school every day, they say that you are nothing but a washed-up has-been."
"I know that it isn't true, for me, you are the best Dad in the whole universe!", my ever-loving daughter exclaimed.
I try my best to hold back my tears but it just can't be helped.
My tears falling one-by-one as my beautiful, auburn-haired daughter enthusiastically stares at me more and more.
<EIGHT MONTHS AFTER>
After the months of training, dieting, and battling against my doubts and insecurities, I finally laced my boots up for one last season with the Brooklyn Nets, the team that I have helped to carry from being the league's biggest laughingstock to a team that can hold it down against the best the league has to offer.
There is one more thing that my Nets has never achieved in the decades of its existence and that is to win the Eastern Conference Championship, let alone the NBA Championship itself.
Day-in and day-out, we scratched and clawed our way, winning enough games to be in the 7th seed.
ESPN Broadcast announcer: "The day has finally come as The Brooklyn Nets battle the reigning, defending NBA Champions, The New York Knicks."
"The sold-out Barclays Center (The Nets' home arena) is brimming with thousands and thousands of fans all around the world as we witness this season's culmination to the storied rivalry between these two teams".
<AFTER more than 40-minutes of a stalemate game of basketball>
Doris Burke: "We are in the last 20-seconds of the ballgame and the ball is in the hands of the best-in-the-world, Lebron Anthony".
"The 36-year old Anthony has already won 10 NBA Finals Championships all throughout his career and is looking to finish his career with another dominating victory against his long-time rival, the returning "Miracle Man" Michael Legend.
Co-Broadcaster, Marv Albert: "This is the first NBA Conference Finals for Michael Legend after the so-called, 'Disaster in the Garden' eight years ago wherein he injured his leg in the worst way possible. It was dubbed as the 'Worst Injury in the history of the NBA.'"
Score: 117-116 in favor of the Knicks.
My fellow Brooklyn Net, the point guard, Jeremy Yin, inbounds the ball as he looks for the open man.
JZ Smith (New York Knicks Points guard) defends Jeremy, the Nets point guard taking his chances as he puts up a miracle shot of a three.
<Lebron Anthony exclaimed to the Knicks Center, Anthony O'Neal: Grab the rebound!>
Anthony says to himself: "I'm the one who'll grab this, you can't risk having another devastating injury, Michael."
<Doris Burke: The Miracle Man, Michael Legend grabs the rebound!>
FANS: "Let's go, Michael!
Head Coach, Kenny Nash then exclaims, "Pass the ball to Jeremy!"
Jeremy Yin looked at me with lots of faith and encouragement, saying right through his eyes, "Don't listen to Coach, you can do it, this is the last chance we got."
Suddenly, my eyes became laser-focused on the rim.
With lots of nervousness, my feet began to leave the ground as I shouted the words, "SLAM DUNK!!!"
Lebron Anthony jumps and extends his arm up high looking to block my monster jam.
<A few instantaneous seconds ago.....>
Doris Burke: "The Legend slams the ball to the rim! Brooklyn Nets wins it 118-117".
The Brooklyn fans at the Barclays Center stood in thrill and exhilaration as the booze started to pop and the Nets bench attacking us with cheers and hugs of unexplainable joy and excitement.
< a FEW DAYS AFTER at the famous, Juliana's Pizza Restaurant>
As I grab a bite of the restaurant's famous Italian bacon and mozzarella cheese pizza, my daughter stares at me and I said, "Why are you not eating, Gianna? The Pizza's best when it's hot".
"Nothing, Dad, I am just happy because I can now prove to my classmates that you are indeed the Best in the world!".
"But you know, dad even before that you lost your ability to run and play basketball, you were always the best dad for me, THE BEST DAD IN THE UNIVERSE!"