"A little over two minutes," the boy said. Double T muttered in disgust and the Rapids called time out.
"Hey, my man, they got a soda machine here?" Double T asked. The boy directed him to a concession alcove in a corner. Double T bought a root beer, came back and slumped down into an easy chair in the middle of the room. Slowly, the little boy began to inch his wheelchair forward. It was not an easy task, for he also had to drag the IV along.
On the screen. Bill Walton stuffed over Spider Brown: Trail Blazers by 10. And, in a flash, Lionel Hollins intercepted the inbounds pass and made an easy layup. Twelve points and only a minute 38 left. "That do it," said Double T. "I'm gonna turn this sucker off."
The instant the set went off, Double T was sorry he had suggested it, for now that meant he had to deal with the kid personally. He sucked on his root beer and kind of shifted politely in the boy's direction. But then the boy coughed again and Double T arched back. "Hey, you ain't gonna gimme no cold, are you? You ain't gonna gimme no germs?"
"No, it's not contagious. I wouldn't do that to you...Doubs," he added, pleased that he had the chance to use the great player's nickname.
"You sick, huh?" Double T asked, and the kid nodded. "Well, don't worry, I ain't gonna be here long. The X rays will be here soon."
"Does it hurt...Doubs?"
"Well, I hope it's not broke," the boy said. "You're my favorite player. A week ago, when I was real sick, I asked if I could meet you. I hoped maybe you could come and visit me here. Didn't they ask you, Doubs?"
"Hey, man, I don't know. You know, that PR sucker ask me somethin' ever' day. Hey, Doubs, go see this dude, talk to this dude. You understand? And ain't nobody wants to pay for nothin'. You know? That's why I want to get me to New York or Ellay, man, where you can make some bread. Hey, little dude, they asks you to do something there, you gets properly remunerated for it. You understand?"