Welcome to Cleveland, LOL

Crooked Scoreboard is thrilled to announce that we have obtained the video of Luol Deng’s first meeting with Cleveland coach Mike Brown, which took place immediately after Deng joined the Cavaliers last month. Apparently the video was recorded by C.J. Miles, who was skeptical of the new small forward in town. What follows is a word-for-word, action-by-action transcript of what transpired in Quicken Loans Arena. 



[MIKE BROWN’s dimly-lit office. Around 7:00 PM. BROWN is dressed in a white T-shirt and boxer shirts, holding his hands to his temples. LUOL DENG, in a crisp suit, enters the office.]
 

 

LUOL DENG
Hello there, Mr. Brown.
 
 
MIKE BROWN
(startled)
Wha? Oh, it’s you!
 
 
LUOL DENG
Yes, it’s me. Luol Deng. 
 

MIKE BROWN
Of course, from basketball! Take a seat, Loll.
 
 
LUOL DENG
[DENG takes a seat. There is uncomfortable silence as BROWN gazes into his eyes, as if a great thirst has been quenched]
So… nice to meet you?
 

MIKE BROWN
It’s nice to be met by you! [laughs way too hard.] 
I can’t believe a real NBA small forward is willing to play for us!
 
 
LUOL DENG
Well, I was traded…
 

MIKE BROWN
Regardless, welcome to Cleveland! How do you like it so far?
 
 
LUOL DENG
It’s kind of dark…
 

MIKE BROWN
Ah yes. Mr. Gilbert said that as soon as we have more rings than LeBron, all the lighting will go back to normal. And the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame will be hip again!
 
 
LUOL DENG
More rings than LeBron James?
 

MIKE BROWN
Oh, yes. Mr. Gilbert even wrote a memo about it. All caps, Comic Sans. That’s how you know he’s in his pouty mood. Wanna see the memo?
 
 
LUOL DENG
No, that’s all right.
 

MIKE BROWN
Yeah, Mr Gilbert’s got his… eccentricities, I think is a word. But he’s all right. He’s given me two opportunities to coach in the National Basketball Association, here in the greatest town in America!
 
 
LUOL DENG
What town? Cleveland?
 

MIKE BROWN
Oh, you’re funny! I should call you LOL Deng! Anyway, Mr. Gilbert took LeBron leaving especially hard, but it’ll be nice this summer when we sign him again. As a free agent, you know.
 
 
LUOL DENG
How do you know he’ll sign here?
 

MIKE BROWN
Mr. Gilbert promised it, in Comic Sans! Also, he’ll see we’re serious, re-signing you to a lifetime deal and all…
 
 
LUOL DENG
Right…
 

MIKE BROWN
But enough about all that business. Let’s talk about right here and right now–the 2013-2014 Cleveland Cavaliers.
 
 
LUOL DENG
Okay.
 

MIKE BROWN
We’re championship caliber, Lall.
 
 
LUOL DENG
It’s Luol
 

MIKE BROWN
Lool.
 
 
LUOL DENG
Luol.
 
 
MIKE BROWN
Lyle.
 
 
LUOL DENG
Luol.
 
 
MIKE BROWN
Lollapalooza! I’m joking!
 
[silence]
 
So we’ve been underperforming, but I think you’re the guy to turn this thing around. 
 
 
LUOL DENG
I am eager to help the team compete.
 
 
MIKE BROWN
That’s a great attitude, Lulu! Now in order for us to succeed, you need to develop some chemistry with the several superstars of our team, especially Kyrie. See, Kyrie’s been… regressing a bit. But you’re just the guy who can help him out!
 
[yelling]
KYRIE! GET YOUR BUTT IN HERE RIGHT NOW!
 
 
[KYRIE IRVING appears, in blue onesie pajamas with a rubber-ducky pattern]
 
KYRIE IRVING
Yes?
 
 
MIKE BROWN
Kyrie, meet Lola. He’s our new starting small forward.
 
 
KYRIE IRVING
Hi Lola.
 
 
LUOL DENG
It’s Luol.
 
 
KYRIE IRVING
[to BROWN]
Can I go now?
 
 
MIKE BROWN
Yes, Kyrie, but don’t stay up too late. You have a big day tomorrow.
 
 
KYRIE IRVING
Can I watch Adult Swim?
 
 
MIKE BROWN
Yes, but only for twenty minutes. Then bedtime. 
 
 
KYRIE IRVING
[grumbling]
All right.
 
 
[IRVING storms off]
 
 
MIKE BROWN
See what I mean?
 
 
LUOL DENG
That is even worse than I expected.
 
 
MIKE BROWN
Now, now, star point guards regress sometimes. Just look at your old pal Darren Rose!
 
 
LUOL DENG
But his body exploded. He is still quite mature.
 
 
MIKE BROWN
Okay, but still. I bet he was staying up till after bedtime, and that’s why his body exploded.
 
 
LUOL DENG
Mr. Thibodeau never gave us bedtimes!
 
 
MIKE BROWN
He didn’t? 
 
 
LUOL DENG
No! He treated us like adult humans!
 
 
MIKE BROWN
[getting out pad]
What else did he do? Ooh, ooh! What were practices like?
 
 
LUOL DENG
Uh, well… everybody got there early. Noah would be there hours before, lifting weights and practicing his footwork. When practice started everyone would listen to Coach, because we knew what we lacked in raw athleticism we could make up for in discipline and focus. We practiced our set plays until we could do them in our sleep. We went through scouting reports of all the teams we were about to face, and we planned out some defensive schemes we would throw at them.
 
 
MIKE BROWN
[salivating]
Did people chat at practice?
 
 
LUOL DENG
No, we were too focused. Practice is not for chatting.
 
 
MIKE BROWN
[panting]
When someone didn’t touch the ball for two possessions would they pants the coach and punch the point guard in the face?
 
 
LUOL DENG
No…
 
 
MIKE BROWN
[sweat dripping down his forehead]
Did your big man shoot every single time he touched the ball, no matter where he was on the floor, so that his contract could be bought out and he could make millions more playing for the Pacers?
 
 
LUOL DENG
No… why? Did that happen to you?
 
 
MIKE BROWN
Nope, just wondering.
 
 
LUOL DENG
Ok… Well anyway, we all treated each other with dignity and respect. 
 
 
MIKE BROWN
Oh yeah? Well, I think you’re lying.
 
 
LUOL DENG
Pardon?
 
 
MIKE BROWN
It’s a fairy tale, all of it! The weightlifting, the footwork, the dignity and respect garbage! That’s all a big myth, just like the cactus in LeBron’s chest that we call his heart!
 
 
LUOL DENG
Huh?
 
 
MIKE BROWN
Oh, never mind, Lonnie! This meeting is hereby adjourned!
 
 
LUOL DENG
Ok… um, where is my locker?
 
 
MIKE BROWN
Tristan took it. He needed somewhere to store his Dunkaroos.
 
 
LUOL DENG
Ok. Where is practice tomorrow?
 
 
MIKE BROWN
Huh?
 
 
LUOL DENG
Practice? When is it?
 
 
MIKE BROWN
Oh, I don’t know. Whenever everyone shows up. Now get some rest, it’s almost your bedtime. Welcome to Cleveland, kid.
 
 
LUOL DENG
Thanks. 
 
 
[DENG leaves]
 
 
MIKE BROWN
[soliloquy]
What a dirty little liar. Dignity? Respect? Pah! 
[silence]
Wait, if LeBron comes back, how could we win more rings than him? Oh God, these lights are never coming on…
 
 
[BROWN massages his temples, weeps]
 
 
 
END OF RECORDED VIDEO, END OF TRANSCRIPT
 
 
Be sure to tune in next week for Part II, featuring Luol Deng’s exit interview with Mike Brown, after he got traded! Only at Crooked Scoreboard!