The light at Kevin’s desk came on, filling the pitch black room with a warm glow. The desk sat against the wall of his bedroom, the windows that looked out over the Winnipeg skyline were curtained, blocking the ever present lights of the city. As he sat down at the desk, just as he had left it that morning, he couldn’t help but look around and grin. This bedroom, this apartment, had once belonged to Antonio Garza, the man who had singlehandedly given him the courage to submit his name to the draft.
Well, he mused, not singlehandedly. If it hadn’t been for Terrance Norwich, Antonio wouldn’t have done what he did, but Kevin could only grin. Despite the difficulties, the dinner when he had finally met the locust face to face in Hawaii had done so much for him. And tomorrow would be the first time Kevin would have the chance to play against him. He smirked, muttering to himself. “And people think that I have a crush on him, that I’m going to let him walk all over me tomorrow. Hah! He’s an awesome guy, but I’d never do that, even if I did have a crush on him.”
Tomorrow… though today would have been more accurate. He looked at his phone’s clock. 2:15 AM. It had been a long night already. He had gone for a late night walk with Julian Cross-Kiraly, the rookie Saluki Point Guard for the Hawaii Kahunas, and someone that Kevin considered a friend. The Saluki had been shuffled into the deep reserves after a prank gone wrong, and Kevin hoped that going for the walk with him might have helped, just as he had hoped that it would help clear his own mind and make the decision any easier.
As he looked down at the three papers in front of him, he knew that it hadn’t. There they sat in front of him, the three responses to his request for an agent. On the left, the response from William King, the boisterous agent of his friend Ren Inoue. Originally, Kevin would never even have considered the rather… loud agent, but when he had approached the pangolin the day after the draft, asking if Kevin had an agent, well, that had been the driving force behind his decision to talk with his agent of the time, Trivol McKenley, on the fact that he thought that he wasn’t doing his job.
And it was Trivol McKenley’s original contract that sat in the middle of the desk. He had thumbed through it countless times, reminding himself just what he was leaving behind, and why.
Finally, on his right, was the response from Blake Toivonen. The Reindeer from Finland had always been kind and courteous to him over twitter, and the friends of his that had signed on as Blake’s clients had always spoken highly of him. To hear from his GM that Blake had commented on him with good words, well, that was a nod in the right direction for him.
He looked them over again, shaking his head wearily. It had been a month since he had sent out the request, and since the agents had responded. From barely being drafted to where he was now. One game into his professional career, and he still couldn’t make up his mind. One game, and the stress of the decision was still eating away at him. He worried that if he waited longer, they would reconsider their offers. No matter how long this took, he would make his decision tonight. He wouldn’t burden himself with the stress any longer.
Kevin sat in the seat, muttering to himself about the pros and cons of each agent, pulling each response towards him before putting it back into its spot. Dozens of times Kevin did this, eventually repeating back to himself the arguments he made over and over.
“Blake has experience with basketball. He’s played, he’s coached players in the EFBL. He knows what is necessary to make it here. Not to mention he has clients like Seba, Julian, Brad, Adi…”
“Mr. King, he’s… interesting. I mean, he’s loud and all, and I’d probably get a headache from talking with him for too long, but he’s a pretty nice guy, from everything Ren said. And Ren did get bumped up into the Top 24 when Youssef got injured. That’s not even mentioning the sponsorship opportunities…”
“Mr. McKenley has improved, a lot, since I talked with him. He’s more attentive, more dedicated. But I’m still not sure if we could work together for the best after this.”
Kevin let out a weary sigh, all three contracts in their proper places. His paws were interlocked in front of his muzzle, his eyes heavy. How long had it been tonight? The buzzing in his pocket let him know, as did the musical tone that sounded out a moment later. Five AM. Yet another night lost to his decision. And this one wasn’t a night he should have lost, he had a game that afternoon. A game in which Coach Farai and Mr. Tomasi were giving him another chance to start.
He looked down again at the contracts over his folded paws. One of them, at least, was an easy decision. He pushed the contract in the middle forward, towards the back of the desk. “I’m sorry, Mr. McKenley, but we knew that the odds were very low that I’d come back. I do hope you won’t hold hard feelings over this, it’s best for both of us.”
That left two. William King and Blake Toivonen. He knew he had to choose one. William King had less clients, but also less knowledge of the game. He seriously wanted to give the beefalo a chance. Blake Toivonen had the experience, and despite the fact that he had a rather active roster of players, he knew that the reindeer wouldn’t neglect him and what he needed. He’d treat the pangolin fairly.
Kevin looked down. Without really realizing it, he’d come to his decision. After a month of long nights and stress, he felt almost… relieved.
He grabbed his phone and typed out a short message to his teammate Yves. He knew that the fox would come get him in a few hours, letting him sleep as long as he could. As a precaution, he sent the same message to Emil and Jirra. The two were likely rooming together in the hotel, given that they got a place together in Hawaii, and if Yves failed, somehow, he knew that he could trust those two to come wake him up. It wouldn’t be a proper sleep, only a nap, and one he’d have to repeat later that day when he could slip away for an hour or two, but he needed at least some rest before the game.
Kevin sighed with relief as he hung up the phone. His talk with Trivol McKenley had gone well, and it seemed as if the wolf didn’t care to hold any grudges or hard feelings over his departure. There was still half an hour left before the team would need him in the locker room, and he looked down at the response in front of him, the number printed at the bottom beneath the agency name. The pangolin typed it slowly into his phone. Half an hour, that should hopefully be enough to get this phone call out of the way, make his decision official.
The phone rang, the voice on the other side answered.
“Hello, this is Mr. Toivonen, right? Yes, this is Kevin Malka. I hope you remember me. Good, good. Anyways, if you have time, I’d like to have a little talk.”
General chit-chat all the teams in the West. Rumors, idle banter, trash-talk.
Make sure to read the Rules of 'Roleplay'
Make sure to read the Rules of 'Roleplay'
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