"You honestly think someone should pay you $100 million for 13 years when you've never played a second of professional basketball, when your teams have never won anything? You want us to pay you this $100 million—probably more than our entire franchise is worth, probably more than the building where we play our games is worth—before you ever play an NBA game? You want us to pay you more than Bob Cousy, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird and Michael Jordan. combined, made in their careers? You want to become the highest-paid team-sport athlete of all time? Just like that? You want us to mortgage not only our futures but also our very souls on the possibility, just the possibility, that you might be a pretty good power forward? People are starving, wars are being fought, unemployment is everywhere and you want to be paid one hundred million dollars?"
"Yes, I do."
"You see nothing wrong with that?"
"Nothing, sir. That's what I figure I'm worth."
The personnel director puts down his pencil and pushes aside the piece of paper. He begins to cry. His sobs are mixed with periods of hysterical laughter. The sounds fill the small office. Robinson does not know what to do. None of his friends has reported an experience like this. He wonders if now would be a good time to inquire about the company's medical plan. Probably not.
These job interviews sure are weird.