Whitey peers through his glasses at the 2004 Playoff Schedule. He's having a hard time seeing the sheet, which is strange because there's not a lot written on it -- perhaps that's the point. Of course, Dan shows up, man-bangs and all. Whitey sets his glasses down and cracks, "Dan Scott! They haven't even cut me open yet and you already smell the blood." Dan says snidely, "What's this I hear about you not coaching the playoffs." Whitey holds up his finger of suggestion, and then waves it about in Dan's face: "First game." Dan insists, "And the last if they lose!" Oh brother, we all know where this is going. Whitey says, "The team's ready. MacCallum'll do fine." Dan laughs, "MacCallum. You've got to be kidding me. J.V.'s won what, five games all season." Those poor junior varsity fellows; they're the butt of every joke tonight. Well, actually it's just four games; one win was actually a forfeit. Dan says, "Exactly. Better let me do it." Heh. Can you imagine the wrath of Dan when armed with a whistle and some actual power? I'm shaking in my Nike high-tops already. Whitey senses my hesitation and echoes my thoughts exactly: "Come on, Dan, I'm old, but I'm not senile." Dan's got a solid argument ready. You can hear his mouth watering as he speaks: "Come on, Whitey, you know I know this team as well as you do. Every game. Every player." Whitey cuts him down: "You ought to, you're daddy to half of them." Heh. Whip the scoreboard to one hundred for that one. Dan takes it in stride: "Okay, I know you don't care for me, but you do care a lot about this team --" White interjects, "I care enough about them to protect them from you. Over my dead body, Danny." Dan snaps, "Well, if that's the way you want it." Can no one else in town see that Dan is evil? I mean Dr. Evil evil, so evil that he'd need a superhero to take him down. As Dan's about to leave, Whitey says, "Oh, by the way, I'm going to be just fine, thanks for asking."
Later that evening, Nathan and Luke work out down at the River Court. Luke hobbles around like he's the seventy-year-old, not Whitey. He tells Nate his "legs are dead." Nathan laughs and tells him they need to play one more game. He tosses Luke the ball, only when he shoots it, it's pure air. He misses the basket by so much, Nathan's winded just trying to get it back. Where's Mouth now? This would make good commentary for Ravenshoops.com. Not. Nathan turns back around and jokes, "Nice shot, Haley." Luke guffaws. Then he winces in pain. Nathan nails one through the bucket. Luke stretches his shoulder out, the one that's injured, remember -- the one he was sleeping on this morning, but whatever -- and says, "So, uh, did Dan talk about me at all when you were little?" Nathan handles the ball and answers, "Well, when I was younger, I used to hear my parents arguing about you." Luke nods. Nathan continues, "I knew you were out there. I hated the fact, so I hated you." He takes a deep breath and admits, "I just saw what my dad wanted me to think. It sounds stupid now, but it made sense at the time." Wow. Nathan is a totally different person. But it doesn't seem incongruent or out of order. It seems sort of, well, natural. Unlike Luke's meltdown, you know? Luke tells his brother about Dan wanting joint custody. Nathan fiddles with the ball: "Wow. I didn't see that coming." He shakes his head: "The one decent thing the guy does and he buries it." Luke asks, "Do you think if he had have gotten his way, we might have grown up together?" Nathan says, "What would that would have gotten us?" Luke says, "We could have teamed up against him." Nate says truthfully, "Or we could have killed each other." Luke laughs. Nate continues, "Trust me, man, you didn't miss out on anything." But you know what, isn't that what Luke thinks -- that he'd like to find out for himself, or known for himself? Instead of having both his mom and his dad make up the relationships for him, insisting it's a way that might not have been best for Lucas. But again, yawn, how much of this oh-I-grew-up-without-my-daddy crap are we going to have to endure.