Have you ever heard of the ankle bully? The old people say he stalks all the basketball courts in Harlem looking for easy prey. I even heard Ms. Jerry from the 4th floor saying he was born with the appetite for ankles, she thinks he eats them. Some say he is a myth, a story told to kids at campfires, but actually his name is ZRC which stands for Zahir’s Ridiculous Crossover and he’s from the Bronx.
It’s 5pm, friends Zee and Kele meet at 135th street off the 2 Train. They are going to play basketball.
“What’s up bro?” Zee asked. “I got your text.”
“Nothing much,” Kele said, “I was just thinking about going to the park on 145 and Lenox, we always beat those kids.” Zee shook his head.
“Nah man. We should go to the Cage to get worthy opponents.”
Cool! Let’s go!
When they got there, they saw a figure making people fall and cameras recording him. Kele is a big man with locks and Zee is a shooting guard that can shoot, dribble, pass, and dunk. Kele is a big man that can dunk and make flashy passes, but can’t shoot or dribble. They walked up and they got a clearer image of the ankle breaker guy and they saw he was light skinned and was about 6’3. He was fast and had a galaxy headband that made people look at the stars when he crossed them and he got into a lot of fights because people’s homies were getting crossed.
They walked up to the sign up for the tournament and the guard asked,
“Are you guys signing up or spectating?” The friends said they were playing and they put their names on the sign up sheet. After signing up they noticed signs around the park that said “WARNING: The ankle bully is here and you’re going to play against him. When you play him, he will embarrass you and it will be recorded.”
“Yo Zee I can take him I’ll just post him up I see all handle no skill.
“I know but he could just shoot your eyes out and cross you up without you touching the ball.
“I know but he’s probably just a fake ankle bully, one of those imposters AMONG US.
“Let’s just see.”
They went inside the cage and saw all types of people sitting, cheering on bleachers. chairs, etc. It was so loud in there it sounded like if 10 speakers were on blast in one room. Every time someone scored, people started cheering.
“We got next for the duo tourney.”
And everyone got hyped and started placing bets because the duo tournament was about to start. The first two teams were these two tall guys versus a tall guy and a point guard.
The first people to score were the tall team because they just kept posting up, but when they lost the ball game they just got flat out embarrassed and they raged, cursing, fighting, throwing balls at people. Someone even pulled out a gun before they were removed. Zee and Kele were up.
They were up against a team with two small forwards and they could both dunk. Looked like one was a park player. The other was a high school prospect that could dunk like he was doing in the warm ups and shoot. He was the real problem. His teammate was a park ball player. They came on the court and started hyping people up and getting the ball ready for tip off to see who got the ball first, even though it was half court. They tipped it and Kele kinda has hops, but not that much. Their big man, the park player, is a pro dunker so obviously he won. They got the ball and the high school prospect, HP, shot the ball from deep mid range and scored 1-0. They’re going to 10 soon. The dunker got the ball, jumped over Kele, and dunked it. The score was 3-0. For the bonus dunk they had to come back. The dunker went up for a dunk and when Kele went up to get it, he changed his position and tried windmilling it, but Kele head hit the ball with his big head and they got it. Finally, a chance, but of course they knew what to do. Zee got the ball, drove to the basket, went up for the lay then kicked it out to Kele for the drive layup, but instead he went with his weakness and shot the three and missed like always but Zee was there for the rebound. He drove back out, did his little in and out behind the back snatch back and shot it. He almost missed, but Kele tipped it in and it counted as a point for Zee. They got it and Kele threw an oop to Zee and Zee threw it back in the air for a slam dunk. A double oop that gave them extra points and the score was 4 to 3. Kele and Zee were up. Kele wanted to make himself seen because right now he looked kinda dog outta water. So he skyrocketed for a dunk and tried jumping over the dunker, but he flipped over and threw the ball in the air and out of luck, it went in.
Zee stared at Kele and said,
“That was a horrible shot. If you take that shot again, I will hit you with the 300 Mac truck deluxe ReSpEcTfULLy! Then you’ll really be feeling like a dog straight out of water.” Kele knew he was wrong and said,
“Sorry, I’m rusty Zee.”
“Yeah okay buddy. Just don’t sell.” They got the ball and Kele went for the easy lay, but the dunker was not having it and he blocked Kele and then passed it out to the HP. He swished the 3 and said “All net.” The game was 5 to 5 and if someone made a half court shot they got five points, full court is automatically a win. The HP scored two easy buckets. One was a dunk, the other a mid range pull up. They were losing 7 to 5. The dunker got the ball at half court and did the iconic Jordan dunk over Kele and he got two points and it was game point with a three or a cool finish. The HP brung the ball up the court and sauced up Kele and put it behind Zee’s back. Then he went for the layup, but Kele blocked it, brought it back, and shot the 3 and it did a swirl around the net and finally went in. The score was 7-9. Zee brought the ball up, did a professor move, and then bounced it off the dunker’s head. He pulled back, shot a half court, and looked away looking like Curry. He made it, but it bounced out and went to the top of the backboard and then went in and everyone went crazy, even his own teammate.
“I told you dont sell! If they come back I’m quitting and I’ll be mad at you.”
“Sorry I just got overwhelmed and did the wrong thing.”
“This is the game plan. Steal the ball, pass it to me, and I’ll fake shoot and dish it in for the easy dish.”
They got back on the court and took the shot. They missed. Zee got the rebound instead of Kele and passed it out to Kele. Kele took the fake shot and passed it to Zee inside, except Zee was on the outside and he passed to the HP and he took the dunk and started celebrating, but then remembered you have to take the ball out and by that time the friends Kele and Zee were trotting away with a win, waiting for the next round. They watched the round for a little, then went to go get a drink and bumped into a 6’5 guy that was dribbling a ball while walking. He had a neon hoodie with a galaxy headband and was kinda buff, but everyone was backed up because they did not want their ankles broke. Anyone that was near him when he was dribbling was now on the floor in shame or holding their ankle.
Kele walked up to him and said,
“Hey, you that ankle bully guy?”
“Yeah,” said AB.
“I’m bout to put you on the menu when I pull up to the court and end you.”
“I don’t think so but we’ll see because you don’t know me and I don’t know you. I’ve never had an unknown person challenge me sooo. I crossed up LeBron James, that’s what got him motivated to be the best. I taught LeBron and now you’ll see the resemblance.”
With that, they got on the court and AB and his little sister who was 10 and bad at basketball were on a team while Kele and Zee were on a team. They battled it out and until the last points, it started getting interesting. They were going back and forth, both Kele and Zee glowing blue while AB was glowing red. They made a force field that was so big and their energy was so high that they broke the building around them and then Kele went for the dunk. AB tried to steal it, but tipped the ball instead. Zee caught it, passed it to Kele at three, and Kele spawned the three so hard it made the Splash Brothers look like a desert and he baca with the ocean and the ankle bully started fading away and with every other follower. He passed out and became a normal human and said,
“Where am I? How’d I get here?”