”Morning everybody, how’s it going” Lai said as he walked into the office, greeting his co-workers as he walked by towards his office. He spotted his boss, Gar Forman, down the corridor and greeted him once more.
Forman nodded coldly and turned into his lavish office, slamming the door behind him.
Lai shrugged before heading into his own shabby looking room, he’s gotten used to the cold shoulder from Forman, it had been like that for the past two to three months that he’s been on the job, ever since his first day at the office.
“So, who’s the kid” Forman asked as he glanced towards Lai
“Gar, I want you to meet Leo here, “John Paxson said as they entered the room, “He’s going to be working here from today. Leo, this is Gar Forman, our team’s GM and you’ll be working under him”
“Pleasure to meet you Mr. Forman” Lai said as he extended his hand for a handshake.
Forman ignored the hand and continued to speak to Paxson, “Don’t tell me he’s the new assistant. He’s barely 20 by the looks of him.”
“21, to be precise.” Paxson said, “Trust me, he’ll do a good job”
“Fine, your office is on the opposite end” Forman finally looked at Lai reluctantly, “Rebecca outside will sort you out. Just don’t mess things up and do as I tell you.”
Lai nodded and left the room, but he was halted in his tracks when he saw the tiny, messy room that Forman had said was his. He raised his eyebrows and looked at it in disbelief.
What a great start, my boss hates me already and my office looks like a tiny ass rubbish dump. Lai thought to himself as he started to clean up the documents that were all over the place.
It was finally opening night of the new season and the city was buzzing with excitement. Despite not having Derrick Rose to start things off and maybe for the rest of the season, it couldn’t be much better as they were kicking things off at Halloween night at home against the Sacramento Kings. It was already game time and most of the office had already left to attend the game. Lai, however, would get no such pleasure.
I want to be there too, Lai thought as he looked at his watch. There was about 4 hours left before the deadline for contract extension and Gibson’s agent Mark Bartelstein has still not arrived. A few hours earlier he had stormed away from the office after arguing with Forman while negotiating. Forman wanted them to accept a 4 year, $28 million dollar extension while Bartelstein was looking at closer to $41 million.
After what seems to be a lifetime of waiting, Bartelstein finally arrived.
“Thanks for coming,” Lai said
“I hope you are a more agreeable man than your boss” Bartelstein replied, he felt like Forman had insulted him and Taj with both the offer and the manner in which Forman was negotiating in.
“Well we don’t have much time, so lets just get started” Lai said, “What are you looking at”
“45 over 4 years, with performance incentives”
“When you guys were discussing 41 earlier? I’m no amateur Mark, don’t try me with that bullcrap” Lai answered disgustedly, “Come on, we both want to get this done, Taj wants to stay and the organization wants him. Lets work something out that works for both sides”
Bartelstein chuckled, “Fine, 40 over 4?”
“I can give him 36, you do realize we’ll be over the tax threshold right? Jerry’s not paying that” Lai replied
“38, nothing less”
Lai thought for a while, but agreed in the end. It was fair money for a potential replacement at PF if Boozer is amnestied after the season.
“I gotta call Pax first, give me a moment” Lai said to Bartelstein as he dialed Paxson’s private number.
“Pax, I got Taj’s deal here. Yeah Gar screwed it….38…got it”
“You got a deal, lets just get this drafted out and you go get it to Taj for the signature. Game should be finishing soon”
“Nice doing business with you”
“Leo, in my office” Forman was at the door, looking like a raging Bull
“What the heck did you do yesterday?” Forman said as soon as Lai entered the room and closed the door “What gave you the right?”
Lai was confused, “What?”
“Don’t you pretend to not know,” Forman screamed as he threw down the newspaper, it was a piece from the Chicago Tribune discussing Gibson’s extension.
“The extension? What? Did I do something wrong?” Lai asked
“You undermined my authority and made the decision before consulting me, this isn’t the first time you done this already” Forman slammed the table; Lai had signed head coach Thibodeau to his extension just earlier in the month.
“Well, if you weren’t going to do your job, then I’ll do it for you.” Lai replied, “Besides, Pax signed off on all of these.”
Forman was steaming, “I assure you, if you override me again I’ll have you serving burgers at McDonalds before long.”
Lai rolled his eyes, “Anything else Mr Forman?”
“Get out of my office!”