Sunday, Oct. 5, 9 p.m. St. Cloud, Minnesota. I'm here. Radisson
Hotel. To ensure anonymity, I check in under the name Craig
Monday, Oct. 6, 8:30 a.m. Breakfast buffet with the team. I load
up on scrambled eggs and bacon. There's something magical about
9:15 a.m. KG [Kevin Garnett] pulls me aside and advises, "Play
hard. Rest when you have to. Whatever you do, don't throw up on
10:05 a.m. Back brace on. Practice begins. First drill, "guard
close out," involves defense. I quickly lose interest.
12:30 p.m. After practice, a game of H-O-R-S-E with KG. I get him
to R, then let him win. Need to keep his confidence up.
6:28 p.m. A three-on-two drill during second practice, and it
happens. The Pass. Sam Cassell in the middle, I'm streaking down
the left side. KG trails on the right. Sammy hits me. Bang-bang.
I execute a one-handed, no-look touch pass to KG for the slam.
God, that felt good! G.M. Kevin McHale comes over to high five.
"Great pass! Like a young Pistol Pete," he says.
8:45 p.m. Dinner with the guys. I raise my beer and toast the
Tuesday, Oct. 7, 10:40 a.m. Morning practice before our
intrasquad game that night. An assistant coach is teaching me the
offense. "Eighty-four. There'll be a double pick. Pop out
baseline. By the way, who was that girl on your show who got a
45-minute massage on her ass?"
"Kate Beckinsale," I say.
"Yeah. She's hot."
6:00 p.m. Time for introductions. "From the Late Late Show on
CBS, it's Craig Kilborn." I look at Latrell. He says, "What do
you want to do?" I want to chest bump. Latrell leads. I follow.
6:23 p.m. First quarter. I enter the game. Open in the corner, I
get the ball but don't shoot.
6:24 p.m. Guard Fred Hoiberg: "Why didn't you shoot?" Me: "Not
loose. Hey, did you see my chest bump?"
6:40 p.m. Second quarter. I'm back in, open for a three. I launch
it. Feels good. But it's short. An "Awww!" from the crowd.
7:10 p.m. Third quarter. I pull my right hamstring. I yell to
coach Flip Saunders, "I'm done." But then I realize I'm open,
left corner. "Sam!" Cassell throws me the ball. Again, front rim:
7:15 p.m. Fourth quarter. I'm in to shoot a technical, the
crowd's up, anticipating. Ouch. Back iron. Ridiculous. I need to
make one. "Ref, give me the ball!" He feeds me. Release,
rotation, splash. The crowd erupts.
8:05 p.m. Postgame. McHale comes to center court and makes it
official. "We're cutting you."
I say, "Didn't you see the Pass?"
"I sure did. We're still cutting you."