In the locker room, Jose started speaking in broken English, “Taison, we really like you. You are a great player and a great teammate.”
“Unfortunately though, we are going to have to bring in a different American.”
I thought, Nooo, nooo, nooo, this can’t be happening. Noooooo.
Trying to clarify what he meant, I asked, “What do you mean, there will be two Americans?”
“No, there’s only one. You won’t be on this team anymore because we’re bringing in someone else.”
It was happening. My worst nightmare…again. Not having any clue this was coming, but being a professional, I asked, “Por que?” (Why?)
He replied, “Necessitamos un jugar mas alto quien puede salta mas.” (We want a player who’s taller and who can jump higher.)
I thought, Are you kidding me?! I’m the tallest player on this team and one of the highest jumpers.
Having been through this before, I asked them a few questions. “Pero, tengo el mejor puntos y rebotes en el equipo. Por qué?” (But I have the most points and rebounds on the team. Why?)
“Los directores quieren un nuevo jugador. Lo siento Taison.” (The directors decided they want a new player. I’m sorry Tyson.)
It wasn’t his choice but that still didn’t change the situation. Basketball was a business and I was a tool. That was it. There was nothing I could do about it so I stopped fighting and accepted it.
Trying a final time, I asked, “Entonces, hay nada yo puedo hacer? Este definamente?” (So there’s nothing I can do? This is definitive?)
“Si Tyson, lo siento. You can stay in the town until New Years, but once practices start up, you’re going to have to leave.”
Resigned to my fate, I said, “Okay, gracias.”