SAM CASSELL--ALIEN! East Rutherford, NJ----
In an announcement that will go down as one of the defining moments in human history, the NBA's New Jersey Nets have revealed that star guard Sam Cassell is an extraterrestrial from another galaxy. NBA Commissioner David Stern made the startling announcement, "For centuries man has gazed upon the stars asking the same question- are we alone? Ladies and gentlemen, that question has been answered today and his name is Sam Cassell." Representatives from all over the globe witnessed Commissioner Stern's emotional speech that often brought tears of joy, "This is a great day for humanity. . .the NBA is truly fantastic." Also on hand was President Clinton, "I would like to formally welcome Sam Cassell to the United States and to the planet Earth. I have high hopes that our peoples may learn and share with each other. . . this is indeed a great day for all Americans and for all of mankind." Cassell himself chose not to attend the press conference, deciding to be with his Earth wife and children during the announcement.
Cassell's reasons for revealing his true nature are yet unknown. "Contrary to reports, this is not an attempt by the Nets to help attendance," said Nets General Manager John Nash. "With the public sympathetic towards extra terrestrials now more than ever, Sam felt it was time to come out of the 'close encounters closet' if you will." Nash denied that any bearing on the issue was forced by news reporters who threatened to come forward claiming to have photos showing Cassell's body in an "unorthodox manner" and having a "bluish hue." "There was no blackmail involved. Sam made this decision unpressured and because he felt it was the right time," said Nash.
Nets officials refused to answer questions about Cassell's true origin and any details regarding his anatomy, citing that a separate press conference with NASA is planned for early next week. Cassell is expected to be present during an open forum to answer questions concerning his physical being, journey to Earth, and his society. Cassell is also expected to reveal his actual "space name" which is said to be "easily pronounceable for humans."
Rumors have floated around the league for years about the 28-earth-year-old, 6'3" 185 pound Cassell. Said former Houston Rocket teammate, Hakeem Olajuwon, "I suspected for some time about Sam, the way he played and looked, but I was always willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. Sam is okay in my book." Support for Cassell was also shown by Nets head coach, John Calipari. "I have not known Sam for that long," said Calipari, "but alien or non-alien he is a helluva basketball player and a helluva human being. It makes no difference to me what he is."
The announcement did not go without controversy. Outside the Continental Airlines Arena a large contingency of fans gathered to protest Cassell and his involvement with the NBA. "It's all about trajectories man. Sam Cassell can use his mind to alter the trajectory of shots. He can never miss if he wants. How do you think the Rockets won those two titles?" claims David Shindler, a California native and Los Angeles Clippers fan. Other fan representatives from all teams shared Shindler's feelings. Said Ron Colvin, a Boston Celtics fan, "Cassell can average a hundred points if he wants to. His alien anatomy allows for it. He hasn't, for his own reasons, but he can. That is not fair to the NBA and its fans and Cassell must not be allowed to play."
The only NBA player protesting alongside the fans was Utah Jazz power forward Karl Malone. "I love Sam, don't get me wrong. But I just don't think I could play hard, or play the all-out way I think I should be playing if I were playing against Sam. There are things in space man,
viruses . . . things . . . I have a family." In 1991 Malone was also outspoken in playing against the HIV positive Magic Johnson.