Belk Kingdom IV, The New Look Squad



The following post (& attached comments) is all about a basketball team built from a great group of guys who (originally) all worked together at a large department store in Knoxville, & then later morphed into a crew of good friends & allies who either met at a weekly Church Street Methodist run, or through working together at Belk. .

Belk Kingdom History:

I created a basketball team when I worked at Belk. As of 2 weeks ago (*Late November of 2009), I no longer work for Belk, but still play on the team… since it’s my team. Most likely I’ll disband it next year and start anew. Or just retire it altogether.

BK was born out of necessity… a strong desire to play some organized basketball. New to the area with very little contacts, I was growing tired of roaming the random neighborhood streets and empty gyms of Knox and Blount County looking for pick-up games, so I found a city recreational league, signed up, and began recruiting players. That was four years ago.

The original Belk Kingdom (BK I) was culled from the (extremely) weak employee pool at the store itself. I was able to attain sign-up money from the store manager, as well donations from the prospective players. I believe that year I paid out $200 alone.

 There was me, Carter, Cory, Vincent, Ruben, Freddy, Matthew, Brandon, and a couple other blurred associates and faceless managers. I had high, unrealistic hopes for the 1st season.

I soon found out that the only players that were on a competitive, healthy level were myself, Carter, and Cory… and maybe Vincent. But even with these guys (& myself), the team sucked pretty bad. I don’t believe the first year crew broke .500, or the second year team. Belk Kingdom III did, just barely, due to a pretty good post-season tournament run.

Throughout the past 3 years, I managed the squad through a lot of subtle tweaking, hopeful adding, and much-needed subtracting. I tried hard to keep the team all-Belk, but at times throughout some of the more difficult stretches of the 3 different seasons, I knew that, if Thy Kingdom was going to be competitive with other teams in the league, I would need to look outside the store for better, more functional players.

This year, this new season of Belk Kingdom IV, I finally went outside the store for talent. *I did this mainly because I knew I was leaving the company & I didn’t care anymore about the “integrity” of the team’s composition.

Like an NBA GM with his eyes set firmly on the prize of a successful season and powerful team, I brought in 2 studs I met on the outside. Lance, a truly talented point guard, & Adam, a hulking power forward of a man and one of the best finishers I’ve ever had the privilege to play with, were my off-season acquisitions. Needless to say, I have some pretty lofty expectations for the team this year.

My goal was to have Cory, Carter, myself, Adam, and Lance starting, and ending… maybe an odd duckling here and there for foul relief or what-not.

The first game is tonight. It’s against an unknown crew called HOMESTEAD. Hopefully my core training through trailrunning will reveal itself and the game will be an exercise in clear-cut domination.










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22 Responses to Belk Kingdom IV, The New Look Squad

  1. Noah Bowman says:

    It’s the next day and the results of last night’s game were horrific. An ugly loss. Outplayed and outhustled. There was no natural flow throughout the 2 halves. Without a doubt, I had one of my worst basketball showings ever. Not only did I barely score, I fouled out with a quarter left in the game, leaving my squad to fend for themselves with only 4 players. I tweaked my back on a meaningless play… The refs, I am afraid, will continue to work the whistle (and no whistle!) against me… no doubt confusing me for some hate-filled Aryan menace. Hopefully that was my one bad game.

    I played today at lunch against some older guys. It was easy and fun. Lastnight high anxiety was exuded out of every porous hole of my body. Almost made myself sick leading up the tip-off. Totally and utterly ridiculous.

    • Noah Bowman says:

      We won our second game against KCDC, a pretty lousy, yet numerous group of city workers. They were large in number and throughout the game were constantly running in fresh players. We, just as the game before where I fouled out and left the team to fend for themselves with only 4 players against a VERY tough HOMESTEAD squad, only had 5 players to suit up. And getting 5 was a challenge!

      Carter’s grandmother passed away the day prior so he was unable to play. We called in Wayne, a short, small-framed, likeable shoe department manager from the West Town Belk store. Surprisingly, he played well. Scored on a few easy lay-ups, as well as hitting a 3 in the end.

      I, once again, played a poor offensive game. Missed some silly lay-ups. However, early on in the game I made a commitment to myself to play smart, solid defense, and use my quick hands for steals and assists. In the end, I had 3 steals and a bunch of offensive and defensive rebounds.

      There will be a 2 week lay-off because of the holidays and then we play The Juggernauts, a team we’re something horrible like 0-4 against. The Juggs are a smart, seasoned, and physically opposing team. They have some talented players with names like “The Cap’n”, “The Assassin”, and “Ant”…

      BKIV isn’t clicking like I had hoped at this point in the early season, but hopefully by gametime on Jan6th we’ll be where we should be, both mentally and physically.

  2. Game 3 tonight against THE JUGGS, a cruel bunch of attorneys & talented ringers. Throughout the seasons (3) they have pretty much owned Belk Kingdom. My “New Look” BKIV has not quite gelled yet, I’m yet to break 10 points, a paltry amount of team assists between the two games… Will be interesting to see how the bout plays out…

  3. tHE sTEAMROLLING jUGGERNAUTS was the 1st team Belk Kingdom ever played, as well as our 1st ever loss. That was way, way back, 3 seasons long since dead & passed. tHE jUUGS are a team of thug attorneys (coupled with young, outside ringers) who play very physical, slightly dirty basketball… a team known for working the refs (like a team of attorneys would be expected to do!) and distributing rude pain against their opponents. They’re also a team that we have never beaten. They’ve owned us every season. Even last season, when they switched to a different branch of the same league and we didn’t have to play them in the regular season, but still ended up meeting them in post-season play, they handedly knocked us out of the tournament.
    I firmly believe that we’ve always had more talent in Thy Kingdom, but The JuGGs represented something (to us) much larger than just another team that has managed to out-play & out hustle us. There was just no way to NOT LOSE against them. They were our personal demons, our past failures… the goals we set aside and tried to forget about.
    For me, they represented the mental prison state I was stuck in while working in Belk Retail Middle Management. For as long as I allowed myself to reside there, not utilizing my stengths & skills, tampering my chi, killing my joy, we (I) would never, ever beat the JuGGs.
    Well… last night The “New Look” Belk Kingdom IV ROYALLY fucked up the JuGGs. From the very beginning, it was an ugly rout. We had them spinning out of control within minutes, in-fighting was abound, rash time-outs were being called by their brute, melon-headed leader, The Cap’n as they screamed at each other, pointing fingers and placing desperate blame. We, on the otherhand, remained focused and calm.
    In the end, we crushed them by over 20 points. I finally had my break-out game putting up double digits, Lance The Facilitator put up double digits, Adam-Man-1 put up double digits, and Cory & Carter both had extremely solid performances. Our 6th man, D-Wayne, hustled throughout his playing time & performed his role perfectly.
    All my instincts leading up the game were spot-on: My defensive strategy came to me in a trailrun a few weeks back. I would cover the long-range threat, The Assassin. He’s typically good for anything between 9 and 12. I would take away those potential 12 points. I’ve owned him in the past in pick-up games and tHE jUGGs would have never guessed that I would shed off one of the bigger guys for another Belkite to cover. In the end, I limited The Assassin to only 6 points (a pair of 3 pointers) -the 1st one came from him running off & around a messy tangle of set screens & the 2nd one came from me visually losing him completely.
    To slow down his constant running off screens, I realized the refs weren’t watching anything away from the ball so started holding onto him, as well as some subtle bullying… and some not-so-subtle punishing (a taste of their own medicine!) I even told him at some early point in the game, (soon after his 1st tre, I believe) that that was what I was going to be doing the rest of the night, and that the refs didn’t care because of all the bitching & moaning tHE jUGGs were already throwing at the pair of refs.
    I had Adam cancel out the brutish Cap’n & Lance cover Ant, another big-time JUGG scoring threat. Lance OWNED Ant so much that he completely vanished after the 1st half. I had to check to see if he was even playing anymore. For the most part he sat on the bench with his head in his hands. I had Carter cover Justin, a large, yet physically strong idiot man-child, & Cory shut down their other PG, a newly acquired slasher. He quickly disappeared, as well.
    And since the game was at 9PM, I, much to the chagrin of Adam & Lance, went & played some pick-up ball just prior to the game… to loosen up. I figured keeping my legs rested & taking it easy up to gametime had not worked out at all in the previous 2 games, so I had nothing to lose. It worked. I played loose and cool, almost as if I was back in O-Town ballin’ with my basketball mentor, Rodzilla.
    The season could end now and I’d be happy. The rest is bonus as far as I’m concerned. The ugly, metaphorical demon represented by The Steamrolling Juggernauts has been vanquished.

    So the lesson: Have a plan, try & stick to it, & above all, follow your instincts.
    It was worked to plan.

    • the facilitator says:

      last night was one of my favorite bball experiences ever. thanks so much for devising such a brilliant plan and playing your ASS off last night!

      the line “…their brute, melon-headed leader” made me laugh out loud.


  4. The following post-game write-up is from “The Cap’n”, leader & creator of The Steamrolling Juggernauts:


    Game 3 v. Belk Kingdom IV

    “Belk, Will You Still Respect the Assassin in the Morning?”

    The Steamrolling Juggernauts’ cap’n the Cap’n has suspended four players indefinitely after they were arrested Wednesday morning. Myriah “Misdemeanor” Cain, Barry “Jesse” James, Blake “Blakeula” Littleton and Shannon “2 Dope” Wiener were taken into custody on an array of charges, including unlawful gun possession.

    “The Cap’n is deeply saddened and troubled by today’s news,” the Cap’n’s statement read. “The Cap’n is definitely suspending Myriah, Blake, Barry number 1 and Shannon from all team activities until the Juggernauts have more information about today’s incident. The Cap’n apologizes for the embarrassment this has caused to the Juggernaut organization. Regardless of the information gathered, the suspensions will be lifted by tournament time and bonus checks distributed as it’s not fair to our less talented teammates to suffer a lopsided tournament loss just to punish a few bad apples.”

    Myriah was held on $2,500 bond. Blake was held on $2,000 bond. Shannon was held on $1,500 bond. Barry number 1 was held until he agreed to do one of his crazy backflips to the delight of the crackheads and prostitutes in the Knox County Detention Center.

    Knoxville Police arrested the four after a routine traffic stop around noon Wednesday, near the intersection of Kingston Pike and Alcoa Highway, at the tail end of the strip.

    The officer detected a smell of Ben-Gay coming from the driver’s seat of the car which Myriah was driving.

    Police searched the car and reported finding guns under Blake’s shirt sleeves and scrotal piercings under Shannon’s jock strap. Police also reported finding a baggie of pain meds which 3 of the 4 passengers claimed were for knee rehabilitation purposes and an open container of whoop ass.

    Please contact the Knox County Sheriff’s Office for mug shots.

    In an unrelated story, commanding post presence and Juggernaut utility man John Dreiser put himself on injured reserve for Wednesday’s grudge match against Belk Kingdom IV as reportedly his vagina was killing him.

    With the absence of 50% of the Juggs’ offensive firepower and 66.67% of the Juggs’ post presence, the Jugg’s were outmatched in Wednesday’s game against the massively retooled Belk Kingdom IV. BKIV’s veteran tools were sharp shooters Cory and Carter and dominating tool in the post King Noah. The two new tools were jacked up tool in the paint Adam and true point guard Lance, a frequent teammate of the Cap’n in various church leagues and Jugg for a day when the Cap’n was suspended for brawling with former NBAer Fred Jenkins in December 2002. Coming off the bench for BKIV was the Human Book Mark, #5, who stepped in to hold a tool’s place as said tool sipped lattes on the bench, ate crumpets and enjoyed the revenge ass beating of the under tooled Juggs who had won the first 4 meetings against the Belkers. The Juggs were comprised of the Cap’n, the Assassin, Barry number 2, J-Mart, Ant and Chris Cain.

    BKIV came in with the brilliant game plan of the King repeatedly sodomizing the Assassin while Adam muscled the Cap’n to the high post. The Assassin was unable to get off many shots as the King repeatedly used his Kung Fu ball sack grip to restrict the Assassin’s movements. On the offensive end, the King used more conventional tactics to make the Assassin look like a punkassbitch by scoring 8 of the first 10 points by pounding the rock through the Assassin’s tissue paper defense.

    Ant took the tip from Belk and directed it to Barry #2. The Juggs drew first blood with the Cap’n scoring in the paint. The King put on a clinic for the Assassin in the paint. Ant capitalized on two breakaway layups. However, two minutes into the contest, the refs turned on the Juggs as Ant complained about the lack of fouls called on his drives to the basket. Three minutes into the contest, the Juggs completely imploded as J-Mart lit into the Assassin in response to derogatory comments about his shot selection from the Assassin and Cain. The Cap’n called a timeout while J-Mart walked off the court pledging not to return. The Cap’n went ballistic on his team for leaving him alone to rebound against 5 Belkers on the offensive glass. Cain immediately stepped up his rebounding efforts on the defensive end pulling down three consecutive rebounds and asked the Cap’n to officially acknowledge his rebounding prowess.

    Barry dove to the floor early in the game to win possession of a loose ball. Confounded by Barry’s #2 lack of penetration into the lane on offense and inability to guard Lance at the point, the Cap’n learned in the post game debriefing at Puleo’s that Barry #2 was playing on a tender ankle. Per Juggernaut policy, all injuries must be reported to the Cap’n prior to the game so efforts are not wasted on the Juggs’ ineffective man-to-man and the Juggs’ can concentrate on their ineffective 2-3 zone.

    Carter, Cory and Lance drove to the basket at will. The King imposed his will in the post. The Cap’n limited Adam to short jumpers in the lane which Adam capitalized on. Posting up Adam on offense is akin to posting up a brick wall. The Cap’n was able to dislodge Adam from his position through the sheer strength of the Cap’n’s indomitable will and determination, but after about three trips in a row of imposing his superior will the Cap’n had to call timeouts to recover from sheer exhaustion. The Cap’n would be in better shape if his work out club, 180 Fitness, previously Bally Total Fitness, had not been abruptly shut down by financiers in December leaving the Cap’n’s invested 16 years of a lifetime membership absolutely worthless.

    The Cap’n capitalized on his exhaustion by remaining under the offensive basket on one series as the other nine players raced down the floor. The Juggs threw the ball the length of the floor for the Cap’n’s easy score eliciting chants of “Savon!” from the Belkers referring to Savon the Church Street baller who has used the lazy tactic for years during Wednesday night pick up ball as his signature move.

    As we all knew, Justin could not stand to watch from the bench for more the two minutes and quickly returned to the fray. Seconds before half time, Cain, frustrated with the lack of movement in the offense, used instinct and the force to guide a 3 point shot through the fuzzy orange blob 20 feet away. Cain got the Juggs back to a respectable score of trailing 15-24 at halftime.

    Immediately following halftime, Ant went ballistic after being fouled on a shot although the Cap’n put Ant’s carom into the basket. The Cap’n called timeout as a record second Jugg in a single game walked off the court vowing not to return. Ant kept good on his promise leaving the Juggs to play ironman ball the rest of the way. Ant announced his retirement and returned his jersey to the Cap’n’s 7 month pregnant wife. Ant is at a crossroads in his basketball career where he simply hates the City league. The Cap’n understands the feeling as after getting into the second of consecutive brawls in the 2007 and 2008 Middlebrook Pike Church League championship games the Cap’n retired midgame after altercations not of his own making with an opposing prick, a referee with a long term grudge and comments and actions by some pricky teammates. Ant has also lost that lovin’ feelin’, but the Juggs are here for him if he decides to return as the church league is now defunct and we are the only game in town. Ant will be required to serve out a half game suspension when he returns, but with 3 games under his belt, he is eligible for tournament.

    The surprise of the second half was the emergence of J-Mart (formerly Justin) as an offensive weapon. With so much attention focused on the Cap’n, J-Mart exploited the offside block for 8 points. J-Mart could have broken the double digit barrier for the first time in Jugg history if the Assassin had not jinxed him at the freethrow line. That was not the worst freethrow infraction of the night as Barry #2 saved that to deny the Cap’n a chance to convert his hard fought 1 and 1 opportunity. Barry #2 stepped past the three point line to assume his rebounding position outside the lane after the ref had already given the Cap’n the ball thus denying the Cap’n the opportunity to even shoot. After the game Barry #2 disavowed prior knowledge to such a rule stating, “I never knew that was a thing.” To earn the 1 and 1, the Cap’n was fouled by two Belkers while taking the ball coast to coast and had to tackle Lance to the floor after Lance legit stole the ball. The Cap’n got the benefit of a makeup call as the Cap’n was previously screwed over in the game on a three point play on a banked hook shot which the ref called a non-shooting foul.

    The Assassin was not only punked out by the King, Lance blew past the Assassin who simply pivoted and did not pursue. Lambasted by the Cap’n for his trademark toro defense, the Assassin scolded the Cap’n for not playing help defense. It’s hard to help when the Cap’n is guarding two big palookas in the paint. Cory made similar unaccosted trips to the rim against the slow footed Juggs on the ice skating rink slick gym floor. The Assassin garnered a tech late in the game for simply being the Assassin. The Cap’n saved a burst of energy for late in the game and went into Adam elbows up on every shot attempt.

    On the bright side, Barry #2’s ankle should be better next week, J-Mart has learned how to exploit an opponent’s weakness and how to throw a tiff without getting ejected from the game, the Cap’n is back up to a 10 ppg scoring average, after counseling at the rape crisis center the Assassin managed two 3 pointers, Cain has reacquired the Eye of the Tiger, Barry #1 and Shannon will most likely be off of suspension next week, Blake is targeting a February return and a collegiate interfraternity super heavyweight boxing championship in March and Myriah will be representing the U. S. in downhill skiing by competing in the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver.

    On the negative side, the Juggs got their asses kicked 56-34 by a team that they had beaten in their 4 previous meetings by a minimum of 20 points. Well played, Belk Kingdom IV. Cute “Go Belk” sign held by the Belkette in the stands by the way. The King credits his team’s recent success to thinking outside the Belk and recruiting two tools who have never taken a box cutter to a pallet of plus women’s clothing or folded the pleat in a pair of Levi’s red tab 550 loose fit jeans. The King also takes pride in screwing over old colleagues and teammates not invited to play this year and quitting Belk to pursue his passion of tutoring kids who have no business staying in college other than to keep Maryville College in business during these trying economic times. With Cory having one foot out the door, junior’s and women’s undergarments manager Carter will be the only remaining Belk link. Fearless Freddie, the Juggs miss you and your lack of discernible basketball skill.

    Although the loss hurt, the worst pain of the night came during the post game debriefing at Puleo’s by the triumvirate of J-Mart, the Cap’n and the Assassin with special guest star the Cap’n’s wife when the Cap’n flung his Smoky Mountain Burger across his plate after some of the sauce penetrated the various cuts on the Cap’n’s fingers due to the annual winter chapping of his delicate but strong hands.

    Juggs seek to reach .500 again next week vs. M. V. P.

    H: 24-15 BKIV

    F: 56-34 BKIV

    Rec: 1-2

    STATS: Cap’n – 12 pts, 2/4 fts; J-Mart – 8 pts, 0/1 ft; Assassin – 6 pts, (2) 3 ptrs; Ant – 4 pts; C. Cain – 4 points, 1/2 fts, 3 ptr; Barry #2 – 0 pts.

    STATS for Belk Kingdom IV:

    King Noah – 14 pts; Adam – 12 pts, 4/4 fts; Carter – 11 pts, (3) ptr; Cory – 10 pts, 2/4 fts; Lance – 9 pts, 1/2 fts; the Human Book Mark – 0 pts. Belk almost landed 5 players in double figures by the Cap’n’s count although the “official” scorebook credited Cory with 14, Lance with 5, Adam with 10 and a missing 2 points. Adjustments are routinely necessary as the official scorebook is crap and again screwed up the scores of several Juggs. Belk, who normally dominates with three pointers, connected on only one three pointer as several lanes to the basket were open throughout the game.

  5. BKIV takes down chippy-cheap attorney team#2, TEAM BYE in a mind-controlled 52-36 rout.

    With 4 out of 5 Belk Kingdom starters, for the 2nd game in a row, reaching double-digits in scoring, the only other impressive stat of the night was BKIV’s impressive amassed total of 14 personal fouls.

    It was a battle of peaks & valleys. Fortunately, for our (now) 3&1 team, there were more highs than lows. For the most part we controlled the game with an 8-9 point cushion, but @ times we watched the lead slip to as little as 5. Our points were coming from open jumpers, great ball movement & cuts & sharp breakway points from Church Street steals.

    Our first points came from a 14-foot baseline jumper from The King. His cover was a 6-5 foot circus geek with bad hair. The King immediately recognized the geeks’s scary potential & started the tactical assignment of slipping into his opponent’s head w/ nonsensical conversation… & 3 minutes into the game the old shool central florida jedi mindtrick (often employed by The King’s mentor & spiritual advisor, Rodzilla) was in full-effect. Team Bye’s center was limited to 7 uncontested points & pretty much remained a nonfactor throughout the evening.

    The King spent the rest of the game talking to most of the other team, constantly asking who was a lawyer? why were they lawyer? what kind of lawyer were they? –His mental web of confusion & uncertainty spun masterfully.

    BEAUTIFUL ASSISTS from COLT.45 & THE FACILITATOR throughout the night! COLT.45 hit The King of a pair of their signature follow-each-other-2-the- rim-last-second-dish attacks. THE FACILITATOR hit THE KING on a sweet between-the-legs (of the cheating 6-5 circus geek) pass that sent the Kindomytes into momentary joyous ecstasy.

    ADAM-MAN-1 was once again the physical leader of the night, imposing his will on the ever-collapsing D. His brute strength mixed with his savvy game know-how & raw finishing power was tsunami-devastating & way too much for the motley crew of attorney-adled carnival chimps.

    THE FACILITATOR scored @ will with his signature 8-9 foot jumper & several blurred baseline drives to the rim… and between COLT.45 & THE FACILITATOR, there were easily double-digit assists handed out amongst the 2 guards.

    LORD CARTER’s precision outside shooting, relentless drives down the crowded lane, & sick All-American defensive tenacity continued to break the spirits & hearts of our adversaries.

    COLT.45, matched up against the team’s 2 most talented & dangerous shysters, had his hands full the entire night. Still, pulling down multiple rebounds, dishing out multiple assists, & putting up his own points, the (soon to be x-Belkite) shooting guard had one of his most well-rounded games of the season.

    A low point (the night’s most significant valley traversed) came when TEAM BYE, late in the 1st half, turned up the dial on their scrappiness meter & punished BKIV w/ 4 consecutive (& impressive!) shot blocks.

    Another tough team-internal struggle was foul trouble for the 5 starters. For the 1st time this season, the refs stayed off of The King’s back & targeted Adam-Man-1 throughout the night. But by the end of the 2nd half, all 5 starters had collected 14 fouls. If it were not for our belk hustler & life-saver 6th man, D-Wayne, the night very well could have ended in an ugly loss.

    An additional low point was COLT.45’s bottom lip getting busted open by TEAM BYE’s 2nd hardest cover, a elbow-flying blonde with an ugly chip on his shoulder. Regardless, COLT.45, bloody mouth & all, rose to the physical challenge & kept the 2 gunslingers @ a scoring minimum.

    And in the end, Belk Kingdom was able to battle through several other potentially game-blowing low points, unfair & random whistles, & brief scoring droughts & come out victorious.

    “New Look” BKIV on a 3-game winning streak.


    KING: 16
    COLT.45: 5
    ADAM-MAN-1: 11

  6. Game 5 tonight against an unknown TEAM BLUE… Also: BKIV may have one of ADAM-MAN-1’s ringer buddys joining our motley crew… also TEAM PHOTO!!!

  7. Possible Thursday Morning Headlines:

    “BKIV Dominates TEAM BLUE Early & Throughout.”

    “4 Wins in a Row… Season 4 Belk Kingdom Squad Hitting Their Stride Early.”

    “BKIV: Most Unselfish Team Ever?”

    “56-30… ‘NewLook’ Squad Making Belk Kingdom GM & Creator, Noah Bowman, Look Like a Genius… 1st Year Coach Carter Admits, “This is Easist Job Ever!'”

    Wednesday night’s bashing of athletic enough-looking TEAM BLUE marked the team’s 4th impressive victory in a row.

    At the halftime buzzer of last night’s first 16 minutes, I feel that Belk Kingdom had just finished playing their most solid half in the 4 years of its humble existance.

    Sweet Church Street assists were a-plenty, spilling out from everyone’s generous hands… solid, tough defense & abundant, strong rebounding was an obvious team priority… Lance (it became quite clear very quickly) came to the Deanne Hill Rec Center Wednesday evening ready to breakdown & dominate the opponent, hitting on both creative drives of his own, as well as from inside passes from his brethren teammates… Cory nailed a pair of in-the-moment consecutive 3’s right off the bat. Carter was possessed, fearlessly tearing through the crowded lane with beautiful, point-producing runs, Adam was ever-dominant, controlling the constant, yet ineffective wave of TEAM BLUE’s collapsing D… his ringer-buddy Lucas came off the bench to immediately hit a sweet baseline 3, then continued to play impressive throughout…

    Heading into the game, having diagnosed their athletic-looking team from afar (across the bleachers as their players, one-by-one, slowly trickled into the gym), I quickly devised my gameplan. It would consist of 4 tactics: 1) get Lance going early with some easy assists to lay up & put him in place for his $weet 8-10ft jumper. FYI: that worked immediately… 2) keep my bearded biggie from contributing ANYTHING SIGNIFICANT all night. “THAT’s a BINGO!” 3) CONSTANT yammering & pointing… yelling “SMART D! SMART D! NO 3’s!!!” -Did that, no problem… & most important, soul-soothing & gratifying, 4) from the very beginning, I was going to f@*k with their entire crew to a point of TTMC (total team mental collapse).

    Before the game even started, the ref pulled me & TEAM BLUE’s captain over for some ridiculous explanation of substitution methods. Halfway through the ref’s instruction, I decided to begin #4 and abruptly pushed TEAM BLUE’s captain off the block & demanded the ref to “tell that guy to stop crowding me!” I left the 2 goons slightly dazed. The actual game began & I then started REALLY laying into my bearded biggie, sapping all of his strength by applying “ancient kungfu secret.” That dick was done before the 1st half ended. I located their potential X-Factor, a quick-footed longhair with a bit of an attitude, & began my jedi-techniques on him, calling him “California” throughout the night & touch fouling him every chance I got. At one planned point, away from the ref’s attention, I gave him a nice asshole shove off his mark & watched in cruel nirvana as he flew into empty rec center space. California was shocked with the abuse & immediately tried to retaliate by running after me with a series of weak, slow leg sweeps –& like the calm mantis balancing on slight bamboo reed, I casually stepped over his flailing hushpuppies & left him for dead, for he was finished for the night. Ego, along with his broken teammates, smashed… Gameover…

    It’s true… all of these horrible, central Florida outdoor jungleball tactics have come into play here in Knoxville… & these cruel street-learned, neglected latch-key child methods are JUST A FEW of the horrible things I’d do for this beautiful team of mine… this core squad I have grown so much to love & respect… & they deserve so much, much more of this…


    THE KING: 13 or 15 (the consistantly fatigued-looking rec-center league girls responsible for keeping up with the individual points awarded are horrible & lazy & obviously don’t realize the importance of keeping accurate track of the players’ earned points.)

    ADAM-MAN-1: 8

    THE FACILITATOR: 12 or 14


    COLT.45: 9

    THELUCAS: 5 or 6

  8. the facilitator says:

    another classic post, king! i love the “TTMC”…in fact, we should use that as code-speak for our defensive strategy. i.e. when someone calls out “TTMC” it means go into higher gear.

    also love the story about “california” didn’t hear you doing that. you are the jedi master…and i your grasshopper.

    the kingdom has come!

  9. Tonight we play Will’s team, PRL.

    Don’t know much about that crew as a whole other than knowing they lost their season opener to THE JUGGS. Will kept it kind of close throughout, but in the end, failed to hit enough big shots.

    Will is a brother from our Wednesday night Church Street runs. He’s a solid hustler with a real strong nose for the ball. Great rebounding ethic, as well as a tremendous 8-10 foot jumper.

    Lance has already called “dibs” on Will, for Lance, The GateKeeper of Church Street Methodist, owns all the Wednesday night point & shooting gaurds… because that’s his job, for he’s The Facilitator…

  10. GAME 6
    BKIV: 66
    PRL: 37

    The “NewLook” Belk Kingdom IV applied a methodical, business-like death-squeeze to fellow Church Street baller, Will, & his struggling PRL team for its 5th impressive victory in a row.

    The Kingdom started out a little slow Wednesday evening, yet were still able to play smart, collective basketball & ever-so-slowly, pull ahead of the (surprisingly large) PRL team. BKIV built up some positive steam through solid, smart man defense & consistent offense & by halftime the game was pretty much over.

    BelkKingdom silenced PRL’s small, frantic bursts of mini-surge attempts w/ a barrage of forced turnovers & sharp outside shooting from Lord Carter & (without a doubt, Deanne Hill Rec League’s most talented 6th man) Thelucas.

    By the end of the night, there were a heavy bucket load of BKIV assists & steals from essentially everyone in black; however, The Facilitator & Colt.45 easily led the team in those specific game-changing categories.

    Lord Carter peppered the night’s box w/ a large mess of rips, dagger-driving lay-ups, 3pointers, & physical rebounds. He played like a demon possessed & set the tone for Belk Kingdom early.

    With sheer will & brute inhuman strength, Adam-Man-1 overcame a somewhat slow start & ended up dominating the offensive boards & team scoring w/ an individual/all-team scoring high of 20… By the end of the night it was essentially PRL verses Adam-Man-1 & they had absolutely no chance of denying him his little pink bunnies.

    By design, The Facilitator controlled PRL’s leading scorer, biggest threat, team captain, & Church Street Brother, Will like the true TeamLeader he is. Will had no chance of applying his offensive shooting strengths to The Facilitator’s veteran defense. If PRL had a chance of beating The Kingdom, it would have been through Will’s lethal jumpers & uncanny rebounding. The Facilitator made sure that didn’t happen.

    Colt.45 played his typical smart game & kept his assigned cover(s) from making any sort of scoring impact. Colt.45, like The King, most likely took advantage of his athletically-talented & stacked team & sat back a little to better enjoy the evening’s Lord Carter, Adam-Man-1, & Thelucas Show.

    Thelucas came off the bench & continued to solidify his place on the squad w/ sweet outside jumpers & strong drives to the hole.

    The King had a relatively quiet night, hitting his signature single outside 15 footer… made true on a pair of freethrows, & then connected on an easy inside dump from The Facilitator.

    “I sometimes can’t help but just sit back & watch this beautiful team of mine perform their magic,” The King told a gaggle of awaiting reporters when asked about the night’s surprisingly low point tally.

    For the first half of the game, it should be noted, PRL’s very own BIRDMAN (without the strength or tattoos) made impossible shot after shot over & around The King. Fortunately, THE BIRDMAN’s mystery dust eventually wore off & he flew south somewhere soon after the 2nd half began.

    D-Wayne provided his much-appreciated strong spirit & bench support throughout the evening’s victory. It should also be noted that at the time of this publication (tomorrow to be exact), D-Wayne will be the only actual BELK employee remaining on BELK KINGDOM roster.


    The last 4 games BKIV has beaten their opponents by point margins of 22, 16, 24, & 29…

    Last Night’s Point Distribution:

    Noah: 6
    Lance: 5
    Adam: 20
    Carter: 16
    Cory: 2
    Lucas: 16


    Next week is a BYE.

    To my wonderful players, I suggest you take it easy by running some half marathons, trailrunning, playing basketball next week @ Church Street, lifting weights, 1000 push-ups, 2000 crunches, & watching at least 4 basketball games, college or pro…

  11. The King says:

    1 other comment/observation regarding our game against PRL: @ some point early on in the contest Will’s team decided their best tactic against us was to try and play a real physical game. They hwere all over us, it was HackCity in KnoxVegas! As a BKIV team whole, I would say everyone who drove the lane (which is everybody on our squad!) that night found themselves at the line at least once, & PRL had no qualms with putting us there. But as we shot such a high freethrow % throughout the game, you’d think they would’ve changed up their gameplan ! some point. They didn’t; in turn, PRL played right into 1 of our best strengths. BKIV is a physical lot that feed off the contact! The only thing their desperate gameplan accomplished was angering Adam-Man-1 & making him drop 20 on them.

  12. BKIV plays TEAM MVP tomorrow. They are one of the better teams in this league. There’s a cocky guy on their squad that’s a good passer & 3point shooter. The team that shows up to play wins.

    • The King says:

      BKIV Puts TEAM MVP (AkA: TEAM WHINE) Through a Methodical 57-44 Drubbing, Extending the Impressive Winning Streak to 6 !!!

      Very, very late last night, eyeswideshut & deadly awake due to all the dangerously built-up chi & excitement stemming from our latest Wedneday Night League Victory, I hastily scribbled down game highlights as they, bit by bit, swirled up through the murky intracoastal chop-waters of my mind. Reviewing the notes this morning with a tinge of self-disgust, the paper looked like some sort of odd, psychedelic hybrid of Cluster, Mind-Mapping, & Branch Note-Taking techniques.

      Below are the interpreted bulletpoints:

      …THE KING pulls a last-minute mgnt change without advising team counsel, bringing in a surprise guest: shooting/point guard/forward/center & all around high-intensity Church Street ringer, THE ICEMAN MORTON. We all know Chris’s game quite well, & we all are beginning to understand our collective team game, but the question was, could THE ICEMAN play and/or at least blend into our game style?

      …Chris wanted to know we were going to begin our lay-up drill warm-ups & what-not. He quickly learned the casual & comfortable nature of BKIV as we chatted & caught up with the past week’s events.

      …THE KING easily won the team’s first tip-off of the season by carefully studying nba and ncaa jumpballs all last week. Adam-Man-1, immediately following the won jumpball, jokingly warned his brothers that we’ll probably lose the game since we actually won a tip. Again, it’s that casual brevity that makes our team so unique. Casual brevity mixed with a loaded team of scorers!

      …COLT.45 shuts down THE DOUG HEFFERNAN-LOOKING, LARY BIRD WANNABEE shooting/point guard–AkA, MVP’s most talented & dangerous player. I had intended on Carter covering THE CHUBBYBIRD, but after the shock of actually winning the tip, we all scattered & Cory ultimately took the assignment, & then immediately began mind-f’ing him. We’ve watched THECHUBBYBIRD all season ruthlessly decimate & pick-apart team defenses with his high release, hot perimeter shooting & whirley-bird lane-dancing. The scouting report was to watch him in the lane, as he likes to dish with fancy passes @ the last moment, feeding 1 of TEAM MVP’s many competent bigs. But by the time COLT.45 was finished with him, CHUBBYBIRD had about 3 of his inside dishes picked off by our savvy & collapsing vet squad, and (I believe) zero 3pt shot attempts. His mind was broken by halftime. I caught him side-mouthing something to LORD CARTER, who was taking turns covering him / Cory, so I quickly extinquished that ill-directed fire with a barrage of instigating barks & direct threats. Head slunk, he slipped away unheard… Later, on the bench watching his team fall further & further down the rabbit hole, he tried eyeballin’ me… again with no success. His cheap, white-boy unit-shooting was weak & had no strength to it. With my mind, I showed him the ugly horrors which lay within… the dragon was revealed, as my central florida mentor would say…

      …Speaking of Yoda, I had to employ the Jedi-Mind Trick on the rec league staff, turning our late-season surprise guest (Chris) into the No-Show D-Wayne. One is 6-5, the other is just about 5 foot… still worked, though… More evidence of how strong the Force is within our beautiful team.

      …MVP tried running a zone against us throughout most of the game. LAUGHABLE with our dangerous crew, for LORD CARTER & THE FACILITATOR are the league’s top zone-busters! It was ridiculous! Even though our (3pt) shooting was off during most of the first half, ultimately our offense lossened up, opened up shredded their shameful attempt at cheating on defense. But, in MVP’s defense, they had to pick their poison. Adam-Man-1 and THE KING dominated inside, even THE FACILITATOR with his power drives, and COLT.45 with his sharp cutting slashes.

      …Back to THE ICEMAN MORTON: he played his role perfectly. We split our time through the game, as he played hard, aggressive defense, amassed 4 fouls, stopped their bigs from building up any steam, keeping the ball alive at crucial moments, as well as contributing to our score & lead.

      …MVP’s giant red-headed Irishman, a city league vet, who is normally a pretty consistant scorer, completely disappeared under the might of ADAM-MAN-.1

      …Their #8 was talented, yet contained for most part. The shots TEAM MVP made were difficult ones. They earned every single point the put up. We, on the otherhand, scored with easy lay-ups, drives, seemingly endless freethrows & simple wide-open jumpers.

      …The refs were great, definately on the side of The “New Look” Belk Kingdom. At this point in the schedule we’ve come to learn how to treat and definitely how NOT to treat the referees in the league. Unfortunately for most of the other teams, they have not yet picked up on how to keep them on your side. BKIV, if anything, is an even-tempered & cool-natured DEATH SQUAD BASKETBALL TEAM.

      …1st half BK scored 24 points, & in the 2nd half put up another 31 points. “FINISHING STRONG” is THE FACILITATOR’s repeated mantra, so he should be happy with this particular stat.

      …THE KING was called out by his own brothers for his weak freethrow line/box-out defense -TWICE! He also collected a bunch of dimwitted, unnecessary fouls towards the end.

      …THELUCAS, one of the most talented pick-ups to ever don a sweet Belk Kingdom reversible, was tricked into thinking he would be playing all game and scoring 30… Upper Team Management went from only having 5 to dressing 7… THELUCAS, the obvious pro that he is, still came out hard, dominating during some of the difficult stretches. A perfect fit heading into the post-season.

      …The genius of the game management is worth mentioning…
      …The crystalline excellence of Wednesday night’s subbing…


      POint Distribution:

      ***(& again, the numbers those crazy rec girls come up at the end of the game are not to be trusted. Please “reply” back with any inconsistencies and/or comments… it’s purely coincidental that the numbers given at the end of the night & are quickly thrown into the write-ups favor THE KING)***

      THE KING: 18 (Yes, I seemingly scored at will against their slow-footed 3-2 (or was it a 2-3?) but I don’t recall racking up 18… but I’m sure Lebron has the same problem…)


      COLT.45: 4

      ADAM-MAN-1: 6

      LORD CARTER: 11

      THELUCAS: 3



      • innocent bystander says:

        You guys played hard and smart basketball all game long. Clearly Belk Kingdom outhustled TEAM MVP. Nice work. You’re a fun team to watch!

  13. The Phantom says:

    Final game of regular season tonight… Very exciting! The King’s stomach held tightly in his throat as BKIV attempts to knock out their 7th consecutive win against old school ruffians, The K-Town Bombers!

  14. The Wanderer says:

    52-35 win over K-Town Bombers gives BKIV its 7th victory in a row.

    Regular Season Record: 7-1

    Point Distribution & Game Stories:

    The King put up either 6 or 8… the gym’s jacked-up score table girls logged 8, but he recalls that not… However, The King does recall his perfect 2 for 2 ft shooting. Somewhere in the early 2nd half he was nailed across the face down low on a power move to the basket & had one of his contact lenses knocked out. The King caught it between the thumb & forefinger due to his learned mantis-like skills. The obvious foul whistled, The King called a quick time-out & stomped to the bathroom to re-insert his dangling lens. Lens replaced back onto bloodshot eyeball, he walked back, & hit both freethrows. Nothin’ButNet. No big deal… perfect from the line all night. And The Wanderer uses the term “stomped” because this particular game happened to be filmed by some random traveling German-National documentary crew, & much later in night, after the game, The King watched selected bits of the recorded game-play & saw how, as he moved up & down, & around the court, he resembled a tall, thin & bald sort of Frankenstein… stomping around the wooden floor, quick arms & hands flailing like one of Godzilla’s randomly awkward, yet extremely angry Japanese monster rivals… his mouth running the whole time. And throughout the night, the German documentary crew & The King laughed together & drank stout lager.

    The Facilitator was camera shy with somewhere around 6 buckets. He’s like the loved & famed celebrity that shuns the media. The world loves The Facilitator & wants more of him! But by now Lance is learning about how The King, for reasons unknown, enjoys chucking mental wrenches @ his team during the last few games of the regular season –throwing in odd, quirky x-factors like surprise, last-minute ICEMAN-MORTON additions to crucial Game 7’s, & then turning around the next week, busting out with In-Your-Face Video Cameras! But I assure you, my Wanderer readership But @ no time was the King in fear of BKIV losing the game. It was a laughable night as BK’s winning business-like grind slowly, yet effectively broke down the collective weak minds of the KTown Bombers. Ultimately, KTown achieved Total Team Meltdown –-& surprisingly, The King reflected post-game with his fellow Germans, it happened at a point in the game where they could have (at least!) attempted a threatening run at Thy Kingdom’s practically game-long lead. But they didn’t. They freaked out on the refs & stopped playing basketball. Their meltdown was captured on video as the 2 old, salt & pepper refs quickly turned on them, sending Adam-man-1 to the line for a gaggle of freethrows & essentially hammer in the final few nails of the KTown Koffin.

    Cory had a modest 6 points but managed Stinky & co. with ease… & Stinky STILL STUNK! –His odor was ridiculous & back with a vengeance! –& he still couldn’t make an open lay-up. Colt.45 has one of the fastest 1st-steps in the business & he repeatedly beat the entire collapsing KTown D to the basket. One other thing regarding the collective TTM of all the other teams BK has outmatched & outwitted: BKIV is so mentally sound, so stable & mature & in control of their actions, a TTM is not a risk for BKIV. Too many times this season has
    The Belk Kingdom roster, from both the stands & the court, witnessed the collective collapse of weak-minded teams under the pressure of a few bad calls by the refs. The savvy vets that they are, BK just sit back & watch it all go down… sometimes even instigating an opponent’s emotional breakdown. Perhaps there’s a method to the King’s continuous jammering? Perhaps not… perhaps he’s just mad!

    Adam-Man-1 racked up a bevy of points, throwing an even-tempered 17 up onto the scoreboard! Adam-man-1 (taking into account the estimated points he put up in the first 2, unrecorded games) is the UnOfficial Team Scoring Leader… But not to worry, Kingites, for Thy King generally likes to really turn it on for his fans once his team makes it into the post season. And with (surely!) an excellent seeding in the upcoming city tournament, he is due a ROYAL EXPLOSION! Adam-Man-1’s cover of the night was the toughest of the KTown Krew. He was matched up against a well-known & extremely athletic 6-4 blonde warrior. It should be noted that before the game The King was in the restroom with The Nordic Flattop & overheard him farting like a real Thunder God! But even then, he was not alarmed or fearful of the upcoming match-up. Adam-Man-1 trumps most Nordic Gods. Adam-Man-1 is the Uber Man… Man at his greatest. He does physics for fun. In the end, Flattop eventually fouled out trying to contain The Uber Man & decided to watch the rest of the game from the stands.

    Lucas, the best mid-season draft ever, came off the bench & put up 7 of his own… Thelucas is Instant Offense & he will be a key element in our post season success. Look for Lucas starting & putting up major minutes in the upcoming city tournament, for the tournament scheduling will no doubt interfere with most, if not all, of the personal & professional lives of the entire BK roster.

    Carter-10 had another solid scoring night with 10 big points. The King, without going back to the tape, recalls Lord carter scoring first with a huge, DownTown 3. Lord Carter, since Game 3 (Point Distribution in Games 1 & 2 were never logged –probably because The King did so poorly in them!) Lord Carter has scored double digits every game following: x, x, 11, 10, 10, 16, 11, 10. Steady & Consistent, that’s what The King loves.

    In the past BK has played poorly & lost; now, with the “New Look” BelkKingdom in place, the team can play sub-par (like they did last night) & still come out with a win. What our team deems poor is another team’s rich. Yes, our ChurchStreet standards are higher than most, but in the end, it’s the W that matters, & it’s the W they get.


    • The Facilitator says:

      You totally should have brought in a boom box to the restroom and cued up Kiss’ “God of Thunder” while the Nordic Flattop was doing his business.


      Sorry I stunk it up last night (pun from previous story intended). But as you so eloquently have put it…the Kingdom has so many weapons. And is sound mentally. We just do what we do and wait for the inevitable T.T.M.C.!

      Kingdom 4eva!

  15. City Tournament begins tonight against Team KAT. And let me tell you, Thy Royal Fans, it was like an Act of Congress getting 5 of my players to commit to tonight! But in the end, The King succeeded in pulling together a squad! It’ll be interesting. Adam-Man-1’s brains are no doubt fried with endless mid-term studying and I had a tooth pulled this morning, and will no doubt have terrifying amounts of percecet and hydrocodone pumping through my body. Carter & Cory probably had to pull all-nighters at Lucky in order to get the evening off. Our star PG The Facilitator, unfortunately, will not be there tonight! What a mess! However, we have Lucas and Chris stepping up to help make sure BKIV takes care of the city transit bums. Stay Tuned!

  16. Ok, so lastnight was a big hot mess. BKIV* lost against a stud crew of talented KAT ballers, a team that should, with little problems, make it to the final stages of the city tournament.

    Everytime a KAT player would shoot, he would yell “Cal Johnson” and then, as the ball went through the bucket, the place would blow up!

    Excuses: The tournament was not seeded properly. No way was that team anywhere near .500 in their league! We should have been playing a much worse team. I was heavily sedated on strong pain medication throughout the night. We were missing our star Point Gaurd. The gym lighting was piss-poor. Too many turn-overs. I didn’t make a point until the 2nd half. I missed both my free throw attempts as well as 2 easy buckets. I had invisible weights fastened to my ankles. I struggled to get my 10, and by then it was too late.

    I used the asterisk in the above BKIV reference because last night was not the BKIV team of my vision. It was not our starting 5. We had last minute substitutions. And although they noble & honorable efforts by our late-season help, the flow was not anywhere there. There was no magic –Look for a new Wanderer post one day soon of the significance of a good PG on a successful squad–

    Tonight’s game against THE JUGGS would be even less effective, as Lucas and Adam can not make it. What to do…

    The King slept on it, and upon awakening, has decided, for the sake of my Vision, to concede. The Juggs will move on thru our forfeit. Godspeed to our Church Street friends. I will not compromise the integrity of my DreamTeam by peicemealing together a replacement roster in the 13th hour.

    My vision this year was Adam, Noah, Cory, Cater, and Lance… and a strong 6th Man. When we rolled, we were beautiful, beating most of our opponents by 20+.

    The experience was a royal success.

    Season Record: 7-1

  17. The Cap'n says:

    Juggernauts 2009-2010

    Tournament Game 2 v. Belk Kingdom IV

    “Gimme Back My Mojo” or “12 Ibuprofen Later”

    The battered and bruised Juggs secured their first tournament victory of the year by fielding 5 players at the start of the game for a 2-0 forfeit win versus their old rivals Belk Kingdom IV. This makes the second year in a row that the Belksters have been ousted from the tournament by the Cap’n and his crew. The Juggs even showed up with 6 players just to rub it in.

    The Juggs respect the magnanimous decision of Thy King Noah in deciding not to field a team, thus, giving the Juggs a full 48 hours to heal before matching up with The Ridge in tonight’s contest at Cal Johnson at 7:00. The following are excerpts from Thy King’s thought process throughout the day leading up to the contest:

    “There will be no rematch… Thy King hath spoken…

    “We can’t pull together our 5 for tonight’s game against THE JUGGS. We are slated to play you at 9. I will not compromise the chemistry of my visionary team by adding a last-minute emergency sub.”

    “I slept on it, and while we could make it happen, I’d have to bring in someone (or two) that hasn’t played a single game, thus cheating. My vision of the whole season was playing with Carter and Cory, and Adam and Lance. Without the whole unit, there is no joy or meaning.”

    Thy Kingdom definitely benefitted from thinking outside the Belk this year and assembling a stud crew for a 7-1 season. The Cap’n admires the honor and discipline with which the Kung Fu Master conducts all aspects of his life. While the Cap’n loves his core Juggs, the Cap’n will field two pregnant women, a troupe of circus midgets and Jo Jo the Dog Faced Boy rather than forfeit a game in the tournament. All of those participants would be technically legal as the Cap’n fills the scorebook with names each week of anyone with the most remote possibility of playing. The Cap’n’s wife who is giving birth in 3 weeks is on the tournament roster. Inactive for most of the millennium, Jason Long and Nic Arning are still listed on the season opening roster.

    The MVP of the night was Ant who realized that the scorekeeper had recorded the wrong winner in the books and on the tournament bracket. The Juggs suspected underhanded Jedi mindtrickery from Thy King but caught the gaff in time to preserve the Juggernauts’ tournament life.

    The Juggs worked the next hour on the open court to restore the sharp shooting mojos of the Assassin and Ant. The Assassin and the Cap’n won the first two 2 on 2 contests against Ant and J-Mart on the strength of the Assassin’s treys. Ant and the Cap’n won the last contest against the Assassin and J-Mart in come from behind fashion with Ant capping the last three consecutive treys. J-Mart tried his best to cripple the Cap’n for the rest of the tournament, but by staying out of the paint and issuing constant threats the Cap’n emerged unscathed.

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