2021 FBA Season/20.11.21/AZW@ALB/Capsule

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Outside of perhaps alums of Furry Arizona State (where Alphas star Narkissa Kassius (Ringtail Lemur, G) played college ball), there normally isn’t much interest in a matchup between the Albany Alphas and the Arizona Whips. Playing in opposite conferences, they share little in common, besides being two teams trying to find their way back to the playoffs.

But one Evan Cross (American Sable Rabbit, G) had a point to prove, a “hater” to show up, in his words. The fur he had a bone to pick with happened to be Terry O’Toole (Irish Wolfhound, F/G). From what the young lapine had heard, the #1 pick in the 2018 Draft didn't think much of him. He was determined to remedy that.

On the Whips' first possession, Cross, in only his fifth start, demanded to be guarded by O’Toole, a two time All-Star, and a game within the game began.

Those watching had only one question about what was unfolding on the court… "Why?” Why would Evan Cross, a fur known more for going after his teammates on Tweeter for "not caring about losing" than for anything he’s done on the court, call out a rising star like Terry O’Toole?

“He called me out first, I was just responding to some **** he said on social media. People talk, that usually doesn’t bother me, but [Terry] was trying to be sneaky about it.” Evan said after the game. “Was I supposed to let that **** go? I wasn’t going to. I went at him. All game I went right at him. No matter what happened he was going to remember me today.”

Evan managed to sink his first shot, though it should be noted that it was with the help of a Morgan McCarthy screen, and he was in Terry’s ear as they went back down the floor, and for the rest of the game.

When asked what was said, Cross simply replied “That’s between me and him.”

Whatever was said, Terry did his best to ignore Evan at first, playing within the Alphas offense and not calling Evan out directly on defense. By the end of the third quarter though, he'd had enough of the rabbit’s constant verbal assaults. The All-Star dropped 10 of his 32 points directly in Evan’s face, a couple of those being key threes and one of them a Snoutbook worthy posterizing, and made a point to shut the lapine down for the entire fourth quarter, leading the Alphas to a comeback 114-97 win.

The wolfhound was confident as ever as he came out to the postgame press conference, flexing and posing not unlike a wrestler about to shoot a promo with Mean Gene. When the topic turned to Cross, he seemed to take pleasure in having needled the lapine.

“Yeah, I’m glad that comment about whether or not he was still on [the Whips] bothered him. Frankly, he needed someone to light a fire under his ass. He’s been coasting on talent the whole time he’s been in the league, hell, probably since he started playing ball as a kid. While he was busy being a sneakerhead, I worked on my game. That’s the difference between those who want to be great, and just another baller.”

Despite being seemingly outclassed by his rival, Cross was defiant in claiming that he had made his point. "He can't say I didn't do nothing tonight. I scored 19 on this dude. Sure he's an All-Star, but I'm a pro baller too. And this ain't the last he gonna see of me either. He coming to our house in February. You bet your *** I'm gonna be ready."

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