On May 30, 2014, the entire Milwaukee Bucks roster visited LEGOLAND Amusement Park to facilitate catharsis in the wake of a malady-riddled regular season and a demoralizing second-place finish at the NBA Draft Lottery. Here’s how it went down.
Nate Wolters, Luke Ridnour, Chris Wright, Miroslav Raduljica: Wait, who?
Ridnour neglected to tell Wolters, Wright, and Raduljica outright where they were headed, and upon parking in the monochromatic Millennium Falcon portion of the parking lot, they were none too pleased with what they saw.
“This is bogus!” roared Wright whilst thumping his chest.
“I’m no child!” yelled Wolters, his elephant-eared face sweltering as he stared at the endless line before them.
“Our contracts will never be renewed!” squawked Ridnour; he only knew one level of volume and practiced it fully. “I pray each night to the old gods and the new for prodigal ownership in the coming months, but all I get is silence. I’m like the millennial version of Tom Hanks in that movie with that island and that volleyball, wait…what was it called?”
Wolters flailed his arms around, setting off three different car alarms, denting the exterior of a neighboring Subaru. Having lost control of his limbs yet again, Wolters said no more.
“Нисам одушевљен ни о чему. У родном граду Србије, легос вас повезати!” muttered Raduljica.
Wright saw the collective line as a displaced power forward, an opportunity to test his vertical leaping ability. As if pulled by some biological imperative, Wright began to leapfrog all of them: children, father’s wielding fanny packs, mother’s in sundresses painted candy colors. He wouldn’t stop, even after myriad toppling’s blurred into one cohesive fall, as if once you turned the spigot, you couldn’t turn it off.
The other three, having grown familiar with Wright’s abnormal temperament, sifted through the Culver’s frequent eater cards in their wallets to find some cash.
Upon entering the park, a giggling Raduljica scuttled away and was promptly found four hours later interlocking red, white, and blue bricks into a makeshift Serbian flag.
Ersan Ilyasova, Khris Middleton, Ramon Sessions, Jeff Adrien, Zaza Pachulia, Ekpe Udoh: The ghosts that we knew
Ilyasova, often mistaken for an inbred James Franco, knew it was now or never.
“It’s now or never,” cried Ilyasoya, always one to share to his thoughts freely.
His haircut had maintained its mangled quality for long enough. Sports Clips had refused him service again, but luckily LEGOLAND had two-for-one haircuts for Turkish immigrants on Tuesdays. Zaza Pachulia would just have to fake it for now.
Udoh secretly was looking forward to the Royal Joust portion of the park, a new feature that nobody could know about. His oblong grin gave it away, though, anyway.
While Middleton did placid Middleton things, Udoh stubbed his toe on the enormous red-bricked giraffe very clearly situated in the center of the park, and limped his way to the family restroom.
Sessions and Adrien refused to leave the inflatable bouncer that smelled of fifty million dead cigars. That, or children; no one could definitively tell. Their uncouth demeanor allowed them to assimilate with ease. Adrien’s lack of eye contact caused Sessions to psychoanalyze the entirety of the day, though; leading to a devastating collapse against the Jasper Elementary Penguins in a game nobody could really figure out how to play.
Unfortunately, the salon was closed for the day on account of there only being three families with Turkish heritage in Carlsbad; the staff had heard two were on vacation that weekend.
“When will I get my hair did!?!!!!!!??!!!!?” bellowed Ilyasova to the heavens.
All Pachulia and Udoh could do was repeatedly play the BIONICLE Blaster’s version of the Water Gun Balloon Game, refusing to shoot any closer than 10-feet, despite the glaring opportunity for success and plush prizes in the form of a seahorse.
Giannis Antetokounmpo: The only Greek, Nigerian in the NBA
Finally fulfilling his lifelong dream of experiencing a childhood, the puerile Antetokounmpo attempted to run his baby face through the front doors of LEGOLAND at 3:35 a.m. Still unaccustomed to the starkly contrasting time zones, the budding Gumby-man decreed as the Greek Freak grew agitated; a 20-year-old in true form.
When the sun broke its way into the sky—grey, tangerine, magenta, and crimson bricks illuminated yet melting in the California heat—Antetokounmpo smiled a smile he thought would shatter his cheekbones. Still not yet habituated to American policies regarding tickets, Antetokounmpo never paid for one. Chad, the overly energetic ticket distributor wearing a sea-bleached bowtie and canary-yellow ball cap, mistook him for Larry Mackadoodle, the funnel cake distributor and part-time DJ.
“Where to frolic first?” thought the self-effacing Antetokounmpo as he glassed over his options. “My soul hath longed for delight.”
When the migraine that ensued from this taxingly introverted existential situation receded, he decided on Dino Island. Three hours later, finally removed from his post-concussion symptoms and bruised shinbone accrued by riding the junior roller coaster continually for the better part of 45 minutes without noticing the height stipulations clearly marked adjacent the ride; a South Dakotan family confused Antetokounmpo for the colossal dinosaur attraction.
Antetokounmpo was staring down at the frying pans his coaches refer to as hands when little Sally fell from atop his shoulders. He was unable to grasp her plaid shirt despite possessing a 7’3” wingspan.
“It’s happening again,” thought Antetokounmpo. He resolved to find a snow cone.
Brandon Knight, O.J. Mayo, John Henson, Larry Sanders: Self-proclaimed Four Bucketeers
Strutting hunter green duds and sneakers lined with just enough silver to subdue their repugnance, Knight, Mayo, Henson, and Sanders moped their way through the gates and into the park.
“I’m so sick of this, all I’ve ever known are half-truths!” exclaimed Mayo, three Auntie Anne’s pretzel dogs in hand.
“I’m not being used correctly! I’ve been berated with caustic remarks until I became this skeleton,” quipped Henson. The other three knew Henson’s metabolism was that of an Antarctic fish, but thought it best not to mention. It was such a vulnerable moment for him, after all.
“My face feels like Billy Collins Jr. after that Luis Resto match,” slurred Sanders beneath his slime-green headgear. Nobody understood the reference, so Sanders did what he had always done best: pout. Over the past few months, Sanders had amassed the medicine cabinet of a septuagenarian. He owned forms of Tylenol not even Jamie Lee Curtis knew of. The lion’s share of the visit consisted of the Mayo-Henson-Knight trio struggling not to listen while Sanders muttered something about upside.
Knight looked off into the distance, the trauma still fresh from DeAndre Jordan, Kyrie Irving, and Jrue Holliday’s herculean antics that sent him to YouTube Hell. He had developed a special aptitude for theology, though.
“Where can we go where we’ll be left alone?” pondered Mayo. Solitude was an everyday thought for Mayo.
After arduously brainstorming for hours with the sole black crayon that comes standard with each ticket, they decided on Imagination Zone.
The attraction was empty save for a few teens caked in enough anxiety to paint an entire middle school cafeteria. It was so quiet Knight could all but hear his heart.
“I’ve got it,” he sighed,
Seizing the crayon from his khaki shorts smeared with designs drawn by hand to mimic emblems indicative of endorsement deals, Knight began to scrawl what he thought was a lodestone for the future, 2015: No Regrets. Upon realizing the wax pastel’s inability to mark plastic, Knight quietly wept into Henson’s outstretched Jurassic arms.
Larry Drew: Smiling through gritted teeth
Sadly peeling over Atlanta Hawks’ box scores, Drew began to hum a favored Marvin Gay track.
A hodgepodge of celluloid had accumulated on the floor of his BMW. The coach had been purchasing ping-pong balls in bulk from the Costco adjacent his duplex for the past week.
“A one-in-four chance and we still couldn’t do it!” squealed Drew. “Next you’re going to tell me we lost 81 percent of our games last year.”
Drew consulted last season’s portfolio, found beneath a copious overflow of microwave pizzas. He shuttered.
To hide his face from a baker’s dozen of season ticket holders at Krispy Kreme, Drew put on his hockey mask, fetched his donuts, and headed to LEGOLAND. After subsequently tripping over the escalator, Drew—whilst falling—considered his pride paradigm, maintained his officious cross-armed posture, and plummeted to the ground, stabbing the landing platform with a cruller.
With eight circles stamped on his cheek, Drew looked up and gasped with incredulity. Members of his team—who had most assuredly spotted him—were fleeing the park in droves.
“Hey, fellas!” Drew called out. If anything, they appeared to sprint faster upon hearing his wails.
Only Raduljica responded. The Serbian wandered over to Drew in a somnambulant haze, as per usual.
“Шта није у реду тренер?” muttered Raduljica.
“Not now, Zaza!” belched Drew. Upon realizing it was in fact not Zaza Pachulia standing before him, Drew decided it wasn’t worth the dialogue, and gave Raduljica the last of his crullers.
[Recurring series about an individual or team who has truly been awful and chooses to go to LEGOLAND to escape critics, teammates, fans, and humanity. For team or individuals who you’ve spotted there, sound off in the comments or by twitter.]