Oh man, the Pistons again? It’s always the Pistons…
Yo, Beckett, I feel like our rivalry is making us both better players…
…so I want to help you out but I can’t help you out if you know what I mean.
I think it’s code, Sam. Look at this:
You highlighted random letters in that message.
No Sam, this is a message.
“Its u Sam fo sho”?
Sam, I think you’re the one behind whatever is going to happen March 29.
You from the future…er…present. You from 2014.
This is so confusing.
And I still need to decide who is going to be my agent.
Pick me and you’ll be rich with VC!
I can’t abandon my childhood best friend, uh, whatshisname.
You’ll regret this, Sam Suck-It.
Whatever, man, I’m an All Star.
Good news, Sam, I think I’ve got you another deal.
Yeah, what’s going on with Kia?
Didn’t I have to win 4/5 games? We definitely did that.
Don’t tell me it fell through.
Listen, I don’t know what happened. It just hasn’t come up again.
It just hasn’t come up?
I don’t know what to say!
But this is bigger. This is Champs sports.
You know the other guy was promising Adidas.
Man, Adidas was founded by a German named Adolf.
And don’t get me started on that Korn song.
Okay, I know one of those things is innately bad.
Yeah that Korn song is embarrassing.
So, Champs sports is a subsidiary of Foot Locker. Foot Locker, Sam.
Okay, I guess that’s a good thing.
There’s only one catch…
Are you kidding me?
That’s what they’re telling me.
Have they looked at the stats lately? The standings? Anything?
This is just how the game is played, Sam.
Because it clearly is not basketball.
Marketing, man. My game.
Shouldn’t you be able to outplay Ellis’s agent?
Well that’s the bad news, you see, because when you turned down that other guy–
Are you telling me Ellis signed with the super agent? And that’s why I gotta compete with him?
I get it, I get it, this seems like a raw deal after you picked me over him.
If it’s really a big deal you could go back to him. No hard feelings.
Nah, I burnt that bridge. He called me “Sham Wreck-it”.
He really said that?
Man, white dudes do not know how to throw shade.
Yeah, well, I guess I just have to outplay Jackson Ellis again.
This time at the All Star game, right?
What? No. Ellis isn’t an All Star. At the Futures Game.
Am I being arrogant if this is kind of insulting?
So I have to outplay Ellis at the Futures game for the Champs deal?
That’s the deal.
Well, I think I can do that.
Hey, Jackson, looks like we’re both rising stars?
But, you know, I’m already in the All Star Game so, you know.
What? No comeback? No witty retort?
You aren’t going to tell me how you’re gonna dunk on me all day?
Or how I’m just a flash in the pan while you’re a raging fire?
We’re on the same team today.
Man, what’s going on? You’re acting all weird.
Where’s the Jackson Ellis I know?
Let’s just get out there and play the game.
Seriously, did something happen? You know, after you sent the message over twitter about…
You must be mistaken.
Man, something is off…
What did I say? Let’s just play the game.
Seriously man, I know we were on the same team…
…but it felt like you weren’t even trying.
I was watching you.
I was preparing for March 29.
I was looking at your weaknesses.
Man, Ellis, you’re creeping me out.
It’s like you’re a whole different person. What has gotten into you?
Nothing. Nothing has gotten into me.
The idea that something has gotten “into” me is ridiculous.
You’re not even talking like yourself.
You outplayed me. Congrats on the Champs deal.
I will see you on March 29.
Well, I had a lot of fun out there.
But I felt like something was missing.
What do you mean?
You know that Jackson Ellis and I are rivals.
And I think it took something away from the game that we were on the same team.
What “something” do you think that is?
I don’t know. He was acting strange. There was something wrong with him.
Oh god this all sounds weird, doesn’t it?
Sam, are you seriously worried about Jackson Ellis?
Something is wrong with him. Something I can’t place.
Isn’t that a good thing?
He’s your enemy, Sam. We know you need to win on March 29 and–
I’m afraid something happened to him.
What do you mean “something”?
I don’t know. That’s what we need to find out.
Why? Why is it important? If he’s all out of sorts it’s just going to help.
It’s not that simple. He’s my rival. We drive each other to be better.
You’re being silly, Sam.
Am I? I’m not sure Ellis was ever behind the March 29 plot.
Someone–maybe even myself–put him up to defeating me. The last time we met…
He knew something was wrong. He wanted to help you.
That’s right. And now he’s changed. Like he’s brainwashed.
Well, you can’t worry about that now. The All Star game is coming up.
Let’s look at your teammates.
Hey, Beckett, didn’t think I’d see you here so soon.
I told you I was on my way up.
Don’t get a big head, kid. It doesn’t suit you.
Have you looked at my stats?
What did I just say? Let’s just go ou there and I can show you how the game is played.
Man, here we go again. How the hell did you do that
You gotta quit doubtin’ me, LeBron.
We still lost, though, and I don’t know about hogging the ball like that in the ASG.
I guess I just got a little carried away.
Listen, I was wondering if you could help me with anything.
Go for it.
What do you know about lobotomies?
Why would I know anything about lobotomies?
Well, you were investigating crimes for some strange reason so I figured…
Listen, Beckett, I’m an expert baller and detective and short order cook.
But when it comes to neurosurgery I’m only a dilettante
I’ve barely got a hundred hours in the operating room.
Well that’s barely more than a hundred more than me.
So, what do you want to know?
I’m worried about my rival, Jackson Ellis. I’m worried he has been lobotomized or something.
Was he playing basketball?
Well, yes, he was.
Then he wasn’t lobotomized.
While the lobotomy is intended to minimize motor function damage…
…I can’t imagine how anyone could hoop with the cognitive impairment.
Yeah, I guess that makes sense.
Besides, the lobotomy has fallen out of favor since the 70s.
I’m doubting that this was done legally.
How are you on pharmacology? Could this have been a chemical lobotomy?
Man, I don’t know. You’ll have to ask Carmelo Anthony about that one.
Yo, Beckett, quit being so down in the dumps.
I can’t help it, I’m worried about Ellis.
After everything that’s happened, you’re worried about Jackson Ellis?
Man, what the hell has gotten into you?
It’s a long story.
Well, I bet this will cheer you up. Your Champs billboard is up.
Why am I wearing a football jersey?
And why is it number 00 instead of 97?
Licensing issues, you see.
And, most importantly, why is it in Ravens colors instead of Eagles?
I’m going to get murdered for this by the fans.
Okay, that was a pretty big mistake.
Pretty big? Did you just arrive in Philadelphia?
Yeah, yeah, I know… But take a look at this one:
Wow, I couldn’t be more awkwardly photoshopped into that picture.
Hey, I saved you from actually having to step into a Champs store.
And that’s not all. I got another deal that I’ve been holding back on.
You know, a surprise for you. To make up for messing up everything else.
Oh yeah, what’s that?
You’re next year’s NBA 2K cover athlete!
This is, uh, kind of weird.
What do you mean?
I feel disturbed somehow and I can’t explain it.
Like the universe is wrapping around inside of itself.
Put it away! Put it away!
Dude, this is a huge honor.
The last cover athletes were LeBron, Durant, Griffin, Rose, and Michael Fucking Jordan.
Yeah, yeah, I get that.
But I look at that and it’s like it’s peering into my soul and judging me…
…telling me that I’m not even real.
Fine! Fine, I’ll put it away.
Thanks. So, what’s the big cliffhanger for this week.
Yeah, staring at that cover made me suddenly self aware.
Every week suddenly ends on some cliffhanger.
Yeah, and it’s like my life is being told one week at a time.
Beckett, man, you should lie down.
You’re talking all weird.
Seriously, just lay the cliffhanger on me. What is it?
Well, the cliffhanger for next time is…