Friday, February 22, 2008

Keith Van Horn: Today's Hero of the Unemployed


Above: This guy has the same job as Keith Van Horn.


Generally, you have to work hard every day to be a valuable member of our society. Some, however, are able to advance the causes of liberty and justice from their lowly perches among the ranks of the unemployed. Those are our Heroes of the Unemployed, and today, their king is white hoopster Keith Van Horn.


Keith Van Horn is a professional basketball player. After a lengthy and undistinguished career of not playing all that greatly and many a “one of these things is not like the other” moments, Keith called it quits in the spring of 2006. Few in the basketball world mourned his basketball passing.

But it appears that fortune favors the Van Horny. This week, because of the arcane salary rules covering NBA trades, Keith Van Horn was paid $4.3 for having once had a basketball career.

Here’s what happened. The Dallas Mavericks wanted to acquire point guard Jason Kidd from the New Jersey Nets. The problem is that in the NBA, when you make a trade, the salaries have to even out on both sides, and Jason Kidd makes a lot of money playing basketball because he is very good at basketball. So the Mavericks offered the Nets a bunch of guys in exchange for Kidd, but the salaries still didn’t even out. So what did the Mavericks do? They called up unemployed Keith Van Horn, who was not making any money playing basketball because he is not that good at basketball, signed him to a $4.3 million contract, and threw him into the trade. Now the Keithotron will spend the remaining 2 months of the season “getting into game shape,” will probably not play a single game, and will be paid approximately $75,439 a day for doing it. The man essentially just became $4.3 million dollars richer simply for existing. Which is awesome.


Left: Keith Van Horn's career in one picture.


The Keitholizer took a few days to agree to this sweetheart deal, according to his agent, because of all his “other responsibilities,” which I believe is absolutely impossible. So in honor of Keith Van Horn clearly being the luckiest white basketball player ever to grace the hardcourt, here is my dramatization of how the phone call where his agent called him to tell him about this sweet deal really played out, and how Keith Van Horn became today’s Hero of the Unemployed:

Sometime last week:

The phone rings at Der Keithhaus, the Van Horn McMansion.

Keith Van Horn: Yeeeello ello ello.

Keith Van Horn’s Agent David Falk: Keith?

Keith: Keith?

Falk: Keith?

Keith: Keith, yo.

Falk: Keith, are you high again?

Keith: KEITH! KEITH VAN HORN! HORN VAN KEITH!

Falk: Keith you really need to cut back—

Keith: A THRIVEN HONK! It’s a mammogram for my name!

Falk: You mean an anagram?

Keith: No dude that’s in Iraq.

Falk: What?

Keith: HA, NTH INVOKER!

Falk: Listen buddy, I know it’s been a while—

Keith: Davey did you ever play that NBA Jam arcade game? It was awesome, you always had to play the Mavericks first, and they were really bad that year, and you could only use two guys, and one of them was Mike Iouzzolino, and every time he scored Marv Albert would yell “IOUZZOLINO!” That game was the shit, Davey. Wanna toke?

Falk: I’m on a plane, Keith. We’re talking on the phone.

Keith: Oh yeah that’s right! Man the future is awesome. KEITH!

Falk: Be quiet for a sec, Keith. I’ve got great news for you.

Keith: They've resegregated the league?

Falk: No, even better. You remember how when you retired a couple of years back, but we didn’t actually file the retirement papers with the NBA?

Keith: Uh, no.

Falk: Well, we didn’t. That was kind of my bad.

Keith: Naw man it’s all good.

Falk: Well it turns out it was a good thing that we didn’t sign those papers. The Mavs are trying to get Jason Kidd from the Nets, but the money wasn’t working out, but then they realized that they still own your basketball rights, so they want to sign you and then trade you to New Jersey—

Keith: No Davey No! Not New Jersey again!

Falk: But Keith, here’s the thing: they want to pay you $4.3 million, and you don't even have to play.

Keith: What?

Falk: Dude, you don’t have to play. All you have to do is work out for a few months, go to practice.

Keith: And I get four million dollars?

Falk: $4.3.

Keith: And I don’t have to play?

Falk: That’s right.

Keith: And I get four million dollars?

Falk: $4.3.

Keith: Dave is this legal? They won’t make me testify in the Congress or nothing right?

Falk: Totally aboveboard, my great white hope.

Keith: Do I have to blow someone?

Falk: You don’t have to. Might be a nice gesture though.

Keith: Dude, accept the offer. Right now.

Falk: I think we should make them wait, so it’s not too ugly-seeming.

Keith: Dude are you crazy? Say yes right now, man.

Falk: I think we should say you have other responsibilities, and that your personal integrity—

Keith: SAY YES RIGHT NOW!

Falk: Okay. But you know I get 5% of that money, right? Because I’m your agent.

Keith: You know David, insofar as it’s pretty fucked up that I’m going to make millions of dollars for, as far as I can tell, absolutely nothing at all, I’m loath to begrudge you a share of my dubious windfall. I know we haven't talked in a while, what with me no longer being a player and thus strictly speaking no longer in need of your services as an agent, but this was nice. You keep finding me teams that want to pay me millions to not play and I will substantially increase your commission.

Falk: Man, you sober up quick.

Keith: I’m Keith Van Horn, bro.

1 comment:

Adrian said...

Awesome just for that picture and caption.