Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Big Shot (Book 16) (8 page)

BOOK: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Big Shot (Book 16)
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157
By half-time, the score
was 52—0, and I
was
hoping the refs would
use the mercy rule
and end
the game. But I
guess they don’t do
that kind of
thing in basketball.
I’m pretty sure the
people who run the
Slacksville school gym turned
up the heat in
the
visitors’ locker room just
to make us uncomfortable,
because it was like
a
S
AU
N
A
in there.
158
Coach Patel
gave another
speech, but
this one
wasn’t about
Scottish armies
or anything
like
that. It
was about
PRIDE
.
He
said that
when we
stepped
onto
the f
loor
we were
representing
our
TOWN
.
Then
he
said
we shouldn’t
even
look
at the
score,
because
the
only thing
that
mattered
now was
how
hard
we
FOU
GHT
.
And that
got
everyone
just as
fired
up
as the
speech in
our
first
game.
159
But a
few kids
on my
team took
Coach Patel
too
LITERALL
Y
. Because, when the second half
started, our team was
ready to fight for
REAL
.
Yusef got things started
by throwing an elbow,
then Ruby Bird took
down Slacksville’s centre.
Then the
Woodley brothers
started goi
ng
at
it
with each
O
THER
for some reason.
160
But the refs had
BIGGER
problems to deal
with. Kevin Pomodoro’s mother
and one of the
Slacksville moms started arguing
in the stands,
and the next thing
you knew they were
throwing
haymakers.
The refs went into the stands to break it up, so
I decided to make myself some room on the benc
h,
because it was a
lot
SAFE
R
there.
But I
wished I had
stayed where I
was, because
when Ruby
and Yusef got
ejected for fighting
the
coach put
me in the
game along with
Tommy Chu.
161
The Slacksville coach pulled
his starters to give
them a rest, and
he put in his bench players,
too.
Coach Patel told our
team to run one of the
plays
he taught us at
practice. And
, bel
ieve
it or
not,
the play actually
WORKED
.
Now the score was
52—2, and the Slacksville
crowd was really annoyed bec
ause
the
y th
ough
t
they were gonna
crush
us.
162
So the Slacksville coach
put all his starters
back in
the game. They reeled
off twenty-three straight
points, and it seemed
like there was nothing
we
could do to stop
them.
I didn’t
understand
any
of Coach
Patel’s plays,
so
I
just ran
up and
down the
court and
tried to
look
like
I
knew what
I
was
doing. But
then
Kevin
got flanked,
and
he
threw the
ball
to
ME
.
I didn’t
know
W
H
AT
I
was
supposed
to do,
so
I
just tried
to
throw
the ball
to
get
RID
of
it.
But
a Slacksville
player
hacked
me on
the
arm
and the
ref called
a
foul.
163
The ref put me at the free-throw line and gave
me the ball. And I really wished I remembered
the stuff Coach Patel taught us about shooting
technique, because everyone’s eyes were on me.
And the
Slacksville
crowd
wasn’t exactly
making
it
easy to
CONCENTRA
TE
.
164
I think fans should have to be
quiet
when a
player’s trying to shoot a free throw, but
w
he
n
I tried
to get
them to
be mor
e r
es
pe
ct
fu
l i
t
didn’t work.
I totally whiffed my
shot, and the crowd
let me
hear about it. But
at least it was
O
VER
.
165
Then
the
ref
gave
me
the
ball
and
told
me
to
shoot
AGAIN
.
I
thought
he
was
just
being
nice
by
giving
me
another
try,
but
it
turns
out
that
when
there’s
a
shooting
foul
you
get
T
WO
shots.
I didn’t
want
to
miss
A
GAIN
, so
I thought
about
shooting it
backwards to
at least
have a
CHANCE
of making
it. But
I didn’t
wanna make Coach Patel
mad, and
decided to
try a
granny shot, where you
throw the
ball from
between your
legs.
But, when I airballed that one, even the
GRAN
NIES
laughed at me.
166
After that, I was ready to go back to my spot
on the bench. So
I subbed myself out
of the
game, which I found
out later is not
actually a
thing a player is
supposed to do.
Slacksville kept running up
the score, and before
long it was 98—2.
Then one of their
players hit a
three-pointer, so now they
had 1
0
1 points. But
the scoreboard could only
display two digits for
each team, so all
of a sudden it
looked like we were
AHEAD
.
167
So we started going
CRAZY
on
the bench,
and
th
a
t
r
e
al
l
y
t
i
ck
e
d
off the Slacksville crowd.
The clock
was
winding
down, and
Slacksville
tried
to
mo
ve
t
he
ball up the court.
But now our team
was
playing with
P
RID
E
,
and we locked it
down on
the defensive end.
168
Slacksville managed to get past us, and they
hit a
lay-
up. S
o when the final buzzer
went off
they had
LA
P
PED
us.
The only thing that made me feel better was
when Mr Mealy stopped at the Slacksville dump
to get rid of an old mattress. We might not ever
beat those guys in sports, but at least our town
doesn’t
SMELL
.
169
NO
VEMBER
Tuesday
I wish I could say that after Slacksville our team
got better and we won a few games during the
season, but that’s not what happened. In f
act,
things just got worse
and worse as the
season
went on.
After the
Slacksville game, Mr
Marco
ni fro
m
Marconi’s Deli Bar called
Coach Patel and told
him
he didn’t want to
sponsor our
team any
more. But
by then
it was
too late
to change
our uniforms,
so
we just
used electrical
tape to
black out
the logos.
170
And that turned into
a problem, because in
our
next game one of
the kids on the
other team got
electrical tape from Yusef
’s jersey stuck to
his face.
Then when the kid’s
mom removed the tape
she
pulled his eyebrow clean
OFF
.
Whenever we’d
start to
fall behind
in a
game, Mom
would let
Coach Patel
know what
he should
be doing
differently. And
I’m not
sure he
really appreciated
her advice.
171
Somewhere along the line,
the other teams’ coaches
started feeling
SO
RR
Y
for
us, so they’d play
their substitutes instead of
their starters. But
that didn’t change the
RESUL
TS
.
The parents on our
team started complaining to
the junior league that
we were losing by
too many
points, and it wasn’t
good for our self-esteem.
So
the league made some
rule changes to help
keep
things under control.
The new rules said that if your team was ahead by
twenty or more points you had to pass five times
before you took a shot.
172
And that did actually keep the score down, but it
was pretty humiliating when the kids on the other
team counted their passes out
L
OUD
.
Then teams started trying to keep their scores
down on their
OWN
. And they tried all sorts of
things, like only dribbling with their left hands
and even closing their eyes when they shot.
But the scores were
STILL
lopsided, so halfway
through the season the junior league did
something a little more drastic to help us win.
On
e weekend they dropped us down a whole
age
gr
o
u
p,
and the week
after that
they dropped
us
down
ANO
THER
level.
And there’s nothing like
having your butt handed
to you by a
bunch of elementary-school kids
to
make you feel good
about yourself.
I only made one basket the entire season, but it
was on the wrong hoop. And I guess Coach Patel
wanted me to have my moment, so he didn’t even
say anything when it happened.
By the end of
the season, only Mom
and a few
other parents came to
the games. And by
then
even the
REFS
weren’t
paying attention.
We were
so
happy
when the
season
finally
ended
that we
gave
Coach
Patel one
of
those
victory
baths like
they
do
when a
team
wins
a championship.
But I
hope
he
took
a
REAL
shower
when
he
got
home,
because
that
thing
was
full
of
SW
EA
T
.
175
After our last game, we had an end-of-season
banquet at Marconi’s Deli Bar. And the only
reason Mr Marconi agreed to host it was because
his restaurant still wasn’t officially open and he
needed the business. But I avoided any food with
mayonnaise in it, just in case.
Coach Patel handed out awards, and every player
got one. But, since
no one was any
GOOD
this
season, he had to
get creative.
176
After we had cake, Coach Patel gave a speech.
He said that we might not have won any games,
but he was proud of us for trying our hardest and
never giving up.
Then
he
said
that,
even
though
there
probably
weren’t
any
future
professional
athletes
on
our
team,
there
were
a
lot
of
O
TH
ER
exciting
careers out
there,
like
accounting
and
web
design
and
puppetry.
It wasn’t as inspiring
as some of the
other
speeches he gave during
the season, but I
guess
they can’t all be
winners.
I was just glad the season was finally
O
VER
,
because it meant I could go back to my regular
life. And I’m pretty sure my teammates felt the
same way. But the
one person who couldn’t
let it
go was
MO
M
.
177
Before Mr Patel got
in his car to
leave, Mom told
him about this state
tournament for teams t
hat
hadn’t won
any games
during the
season. Then
sh
e
showed him a f
lyer she’d printed out.
I really wished Mom had asked me about this
F
I
RST
,
because the last thing I wanted was to
play more
BASKET
BALL
. But luckily Mr Patel
felt the same way.
BOOK: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Big Shot (Book 16)
2.11Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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