FORUM FRIDAY (03/07): If you were Frank…

This week, the challenge facing our combatants was to envision themselves as Frank Martin and what he might say to Michael Beasley at the end of the season when the Kansas State coach and his star sit down to discuss Beasley’s future.

Anything was a go, but with one caveat – no gratuitous use of the phrase “you know.” But I let it slide once in one case.

Be warned — the defending champ, Wildcat Legend, brought it this week. Interesting approach, and we’ll see how it’s received. His challengers, Yosh and Simpson Sampson, have fascinating takes as well, and I must admit — I laughed several times. But this isn’t about me — it’s about you. Vote on which was most effective, most realistic — whatever. Vote on what moved you. Vote on what you found most interesting. Vote for what you liked. But vote — Wildcat Legend is gunning for a third consecutive week.

If you’re interested in next week’s competition — and here’s a hint on the topic: it will probably have something to do with the Big 12 Tournament — and beyond, drop me a line below or at jmartin@wichitaeagle.com with “Forum Friday, please” in the subject header.

Here are this week’s entries:

SIMPSON SAMPSON

Mike. Come in. Sit down for a second, son. I need to talk to you about the NBA. I know we have been busy lately and all, I mean, with the Big 12 Tourney Championship, you being named National POY, and the improbable run to the Final Four culminating in a blowout victory over UNC, but I need to know your plans for the future. I would love nothing more than for you to stay for another year and attempt a repeat. But I have Wesley Witherspoon on hold and I need to know if I have a scholarship available. Thank God Bill came to his senses and decided to stay. He had NBDL written all over him…

Anyway, Mike, I am not going to lie to you. You are going to be selected No. 1 overall in the NBA draft if you declare. That’s about $14 million guaranteed over three years. You are going to get a shoe deal for a few more million. You can sell your soul to McDonald’s for a few more, I’m sure. What I am trying to say Mike is – you would be an idiot to turn that scrilla down. You gotta go. Any rational person would. You have nothing left here to prove, you know (J-MART NOTE: I’ll allow it) with the MVP of the Final Four and cutting down the nets and all. Let me give you some rules to live by that may help your transition if you do decide to leave:

1. Lenny Bias RuleDon’t do drugs. Bias could have been MJ but with street cred.
2. Shawn Kemp Rule - Don’t be silly, wrap your willy. He listened to too much ODB.
3. Jason “Jay” Williams Rule - Don’t buy a motorcycle. Just not a good idea.
4. Darius Miles/Zac Randolph RuleDon’t hang around strippers (after hours), Darius Miles, or Zac Randolph. You are worth 15 million dollars – get the strippers to come to your house.
5. Kwame Brown RuleDon’t be a p#$$^. Just don’t.
6. Sam Bowie RuleDon’t end up being Sam Bowie. Please, oh please, don’t be Derrick Coleman, either.
7. MC Hammer Rule - Keep the posse to a minimum. And no parachute pants.

Follow these rules, Mike, and you will be OK. You have been good to K-State. You’ve been good to this program. Hell, you got me my job, so you know I love you.

The only way people at K-State will begrudge you is if you go pro early and blow it. So do not be a knucklehead.

Now go enjoy the celebration down in the ‘Ville and think about it. I have a meeting with A.D. Snyder to iron out the terms of a new contract. They say I may get Dalonte-type money.

YOSH

Well, Mike, it’s been a heckuva year, hasn’t it?

Beas: Sure has, coach.

Now you’ve got some tough decisions to make. There will be people coming at you from all directions telling you what do, and a lot of them will have ulterior motives in mind. I’m going to be as straight with you as possible, and let you know what I believe to be in your best interest.

Beas: Sounds good, coach.

First of all, as an individual, you have nothing more to prove in college basketball. You’re a first team All-American, the national player of the year and you’ve broken too many individual records for me to list. On top of that, I’m not sure you can improve anymore as a college player. Don’t get me wrong, there are some gaps in your game… Very, very small gaps, but room for improvement all the same. The problem is, the competition at the college level isn’t strong enough to force that improvement. The guys you face just aren’t good enough to take your game to the next level.

Beas: So you’re saying I get buckets?

As for any sense of loyalty or responsibility to the school, fans or community, don’t let that sway your decision. Your presence in this program, even for one brief season, has energized this community and brought hope to a once proud program. These people will stand behind you, no matter what. They know you will continue to bring pride and honor to K-State basketball after you are gone.

Beas: That’s real nice to hear, coach.

Financially, it’s a no-brainer. There isn’t an analyst, scout or general manager that I have spoken to who doesn’t list you as the No. 1 pick. That’s going to be worth $12 million alone. Of course, with your fun-loving personality and charming smile, you stand to earn five times that in endorsements alone.

Beas: That jack could buy a lot of I-Pods.

As for the rest of the team, don’t worry about us. We’ll be fine. I’m sure Dave will come back healthy with an extra year…. And Bill might stick around… And even if they don’t come back, we’ll still be fine…. I mean… We could be fine. Of course, I don’t have any recruits signed for next season… Which could be bad… Real bad…

Beas: Coach?

Then again, if Dave and Bill are back, with you and Jake and Denis… We should be tops in the conference! That team is Final Four caliber! We could win it all… In just my second season! That would show that Bob Lutz a thing or two! Lutz and that Whitlock think they are so damn smart! “Questionable character?” “High school coach?” Smug sons of —

Beas: Coach !?!

OH GOD, Mike, you gotta stay! Just one more season, please!

Beas: Coach, let go of my Sponge Bob suitcase.

I’ve got reinforcements coming in ’09 – just help me bridge the gap! We’re in position to do amazing things next season! Please!

Beas: This is embarrassing.

WILDCAT LEGEND

As Frank Martin, I would creatively capture his imagination:

Well Mike, here we are, it’s the end of the season,
We should talk about your future plans, jot down some reasons-
For you to stay in school or pack your bags and go,
Let’s take a peek into the life of an NBA pro:

The biggest change will immediately take place,
You will get millions and millions shoved in your face;
You will be able to buy scores of houses, a fleet of cars, and diamonds galore,
Your family won’t have to worry about finances anymore;
You’ll move to a big city, something that will dwarf the Little Apple,
You’ll have some fans, more fame, and responsibility to grapple;
The NBA is big-time money and business and contracts,
There’s a lot to deal with for a self-proclaimed Sponge Bob addict;
Games will be subdued with fans sitting on their hands,
You will be viewed as a product, a conduit to a grand marketing plan;
Are you ready for a whirlwind of change?
Or are you comfortable, now, with life on the Plains?

Staying another year in college has its upside, too,
You could be a trendsetter, a trailblazer, a role model for youth;
Think of the statement you could make by staying another year,
You could shift this Wildcat revival to a whole different gear;
Come back and play and compete for a conference crown,
We could make a splash in the Big Dance… We’d be tough to take down;
You could shatter more records and lead us to more victories,
Another year would turn the stomachs of KU and Misery;
The nation would feel a rousing rumble from the Midwest,
The rumble of purple people will feel like a frenzied protest;
This is your chance, Mike, to leave a legacy beyond compare,
The NBA will always be there, but college ball is gone if you declare;
Our team will be faster, stronger, better at everything,
Stay another year and we have a shot at some rings.

The decision is yours, there’s a lot to weigh,
Stay at K-State or go to the NBA?
Whatever you decide, we will support you 100 percent,
Our team will back you and your fans will consent;
Not many people have the chance to play with D-Wade and the Heat,
Although, not many players have the chance to become collegiate elite;
It’s time to wreak havoc and hang some banners in ‘09,
It’s time to strive to play in the biggest game on Monday’s biggest night…