This year, Andris Biedrins improved his free throw percentage by .163 points, while Louis Amundson's free throw percentage fell by .154 points. Some say that these close figures are just a coincidence, a result of a small sample size. But... others know the whole truth.
Louis Amundson arrived at the Warriors' Oakland training facility at midnight. He was deathly tired from his flight, which had been delayed due to some mysterious engine problems. However, he was a man of honor and he had promised to have a workout before the contract was finalized.
"Stupid airlines," grumbled Louis as a gangly man approached him.
"Hello. I am Andris Biedrins, the Warriors' center. I am afraid the team representative was... unable to make it tonight. I will be the one observing you tonight," said the sharply-dressed man.
"Fine," replied Louis. He quickly changed into his jersey and shorts, hoping to finish the workout as quickly as possible and watch the episode of "As the World Turns" he asked the hotel to record.
Louis breezed through most of the workout, making layups and dunking on the chair that Darko Milicic once posted up. After displaying all his moves, he asked Andris if the workout was finished.
"Yes, Louis. It is almost finished. I just need you to do one more thing - I want to see you shoot a free throw," replied Andris.
"Easy," scoffed Louis while he grabbed a basketball and walked to the free throw line.
As he squared up his shoulders to shoot the ball, Louis noticed Andris looking directly at him. Were his eyes always this red? Louis suddenly began to feel woozy. The ball felt heavy in his hands and the basket seemed like it was one hundred feet away from him. Concentrating, Louis mustered all his strength and shot the basketball, which barely grazed the front of the rim. Afterwards, he fell to the ground.
Andris walked up to Louis as he lay panting on the ground. "Thank you, Louis. I have seen everything I need to see. Your free throw shooting is delightful. My assistant can help you to your car if you are too tired." Andris waved his hand and a small, diminutive man emerged from the shadows.
A sudden urge to leave overcame Louis and he leapt up from the ground. "No thanks, I'll be leaving now," he blurted, quickly changing into his street clothes. Louis hurried out of the gym and got into his car. It screeched off into the night.
After making it to the hotel's parking lot, Louis felt a lot calmer. What had he been afraid of? Louis laughed nervously and locked his 1971 Ford Pinto.
However, as he walked from the parking lot to the bright lights of the hotel lobby, Louis began to feel chills again. He grasped for the ruby pendant that his late Serbian grandmother had given him to calm himself down. Where was it? He always kept it in his left shirt pocket, but today it was not there. He turned around to see if he had dropped it, and saw a flash of black.
Louis' scream did not even escape his throat.