The Blazer Boys (42-20) had a rough ol’ night on Friday against them ol’ Dallas Mavericks. They started out by takin’ a mighty rough beating from the Spainish Snake, Jose Calderon, then broke a bottle over the bar and hold it to the throat of their opponent. Then that wiley ol’ cowardly gunner Monty Ellis committed an act of theft most foul and left the Blazers broken, beaten, and destitute on that dusty road to Houston to try and wrangle up another win.
The Blazer Boys ride into Houston in the middle of the night their horses coughing from lack of water in the Texas desert. “Big” Lopez, the mysterious drifter who began running with the gang back in September, had to trade one of his novelty guns to buy a bag full of hardtack. Money Williams had taken to drinking his own urine. Meyers Limbs, a gigantic feral child the team had taken on in hopes they could turn him into a decent backup goon, had killed and eaten a kitten he found in El Paso. Times were tough. It was looking grim.
They walked into the saloon. A mysterious figure stood at the bar. The Blazers reached for their pistols. The figure turned around.
“Now y’all listen up.” Sheriff Jim Harden spoke in his brutal rasp, his body and mind warped by a lifetime of fouls. “If you think y’all can just come into a peaceful city like Houston and cause a ruckus, you’re sadly mistaken. If I notice you starting anything, I’ll get the Rockets (43-19, .488 Winning Pct.; Offense: 110.4 points per 100 possessions, 5th in NBA; Defense 105.2 points allowed per 100 possessions, 12th in NBA; 3rd place in the Western Conference) together. And lemme tell you, you don’t want to mess with the Rockets.”
“If I remember correctly,” said Darrell Lillard, the Blazer Boys’ taciturn point man, “We gave your boys a pretty severe whoopin’ back in December.”
Sheriff Harden laughed. “Well, I reckon that may have been the case, Blazer Boys. But if I remember correctly, and I ALWAYS remember correctly, we filled your horses with, oh, 126 Bullets back in January. Not to mention me and my partner hanging 62 on on a mere 31 shots all the way back in November. We’re a different posse now then we were back then. Leaner, meaner. My partner has his steps back, and he’s knocking down anyone who dares to get in his way.” Jim tossed back a slug of whiskey. “I’m sure you heard about our rumble with those Indiana boys from out east. 112 on those stout boys.”
“We didn’t hear about nothing, you…” said West Matthews as his teammates held him back.
“Haha, West. Please, let him at me.” Jim Harden stepped closer to West, looking straight into his eyes. “It would be my pleasure to score 30 or so points on 16 shots again, a hot knife through the bacon lard of your so-called defense.”
West spit in Jim’s face. Everyone reached for their weapons. Jim wiped the spit from his dark black beard.
“This is certainly an insult and it will be repaid. Tomorrow. 7:30. 5:30 your time. At the Japanese Truck Hut. Bring your whole posse. God knows we will, excepting Greg Smith, who had arthroscopic surgery and is out indefinitely.”