Tyrone was ecstatic, and that was saying something; he was usually a calm and mild-mannered man. However, there was a good reason for his excitement: the NBA Draft. This was the moment he had been waiting 24 years for, and now his dreams had finally become true.
Recently, Tyrone was a member of the Duke Blue Devils squad that won the NCAA Championship in 2009. There was nothing special about his team, except for the fact that it had him on it. He led the NCAA in points, assists, and steals 3 seasons in a row. He wasn't alone in his quest to be a part of the NBA; hundreds of other hopeful youths gathered from around the country as well. Among one of the most prominent was Kyle Studebaker, Tyrone's biggest rival. They disliked each other because they were on feuding teams, and each thought he was better than the other.
Tyrone had had the upper hand in the last bout, where his Blue Devil's beat the Tarheels in the NCAA final.his brother was a well known guard for the best team in the Eastern Conference. Another thing that could improve his draftability was the fact that he had a dad by the name of Daryll, who owned the Atlanta Hawks.
The day of the draft, June 26th 2009, Tyrone arrived in New York City with his brother Jonathan, who was there for moral support.
"Stay calm, don't go outside yourself," the Boston Celtics guard told his little brother.
"I don't know if I can. I'm so wired and excited," Tyrone replied, nervously adjusting his suit coat.
Dressed in a freshly purchased Louis Vuiton suit and situated next to his brother Jonathan, Tyrone felt well represented. Tyrone and Jonathan were escorted to a table near the center stage.
Tyrone had worked out for several NBA teams before the draft, and did fairly well in the NBDL. However, he realized how many people were there at the building to get drafted, not to talk about the ones who stayed at home! The draft started at 5 P.M., and after half an hour of rigmarole, the selection process began.
Although he was a projected top 5 pick, he realized it wasn't likely he would go that early because none of those teams needed guards of any kind. David Stern, the league commissioner, announced the names of 5 young men from varying colleges, but no Tyrone Jackson.
"Don't worry about it, Tyrone, there's no doubt in my mind you'll be a top 15 pick," Jonathan boldly stated.
"I'm not too worried, I just hope I get drafted before Kyle Studebaker does," Tyrone replied, lazily rocking back on his chair.
Tyrone chanced a look to his left, and Kyle Studebaker glared at him icily. Tyrone stuck his tongue out at Kyle and then laughed.
By his table, Tyrone could see the stage and all the general managers that walked it; most of their names he new by heart. He had been around them regularly since his father was an owner. It seemed to Tyrone, however, that maybe his connections weren't good enough, and that he might not get picked ahead of Kyle. Tyrone then watched in resignation as David Stern continued. Five more picks later, and still no selection for the desperate Tyrone.
Kyle walked over to Tyrone and sneered haughtily, " I'm going to beat you, Lips! I'm going to be drafted before you!""Pssh, you wish little man," replied Tyrone, ignoring the taunt, " You have a one in a million chance of beating me""Oh ho, we'll see about that!" Kyle spat, laughing maniacally as he walked back to his seat.
After the first 10 draft picks, the ceremony was put on hold due to technical difficulties.
Tyrone leaned over the table and whispered to his brother, "Man, at this point, I'd even enjoy being drafted by the Sacramento Kings!"Jonathan laughed raucously, then replied " Don't worry little brother, I doubt it will come to that!"Five minutes later, Commissioner Stern trotted back up the steps to the platform and announced that the proceedings could then continue.
Just as Jonathan had predicted earlier, it wouldn't come to the Kings selecting Tyrone. The Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak walked by them, and said friendly hello's to both of them. The Jackson brothers reciprocated the kindness, then focused on what David Stern was saying:" With the 11th pick of the 2009 NBA Draft, the Los Angeles Lakers pick Tyrone Jackson!"When that announcement was made, the entire crowd burst into applause. His nervousness and apprehension gone, Tyrone pushed out his chair and stood up. He waved to the assorted crowd of fans, press, players, and team representatives. He then turned to Kyle, pointed his finger and laughed uproariously. Feeling much better after this, he trotted up the flight of stairs and met with the two older men, the general manager and the Commisioner. Tyrone was gleeful, and he prepared an acceptance speech off the top of his head.
"Thank you so much for the opportunity to play in the NBA, Mitch Kupchak. This means a lot for me, because it has been my main goal since I was conceived. I hope to have a long and fruitful career in the NBA that will take me to many places that I never expected. Also, I would like to state the fact that I have beaten my rival, Kyle Studebaker, yet again. This time I have been picked in the NBA Draft before him. And I bet everything in my soon-to-be ridiculous salary that I will be the best player to ever play in the NBA."Kyle glowered at the mention of his name, but made no move in his chair. Tyrone then posed with the two men flanking him. After the press took a few smiling photos, Tyrone was told to go down the stairs to meet with ESPN's Michelle Tafoya for a post-draft interview.
Up till then, the whole event had seem to have been happening in fast motion: the entrance, the introduction, and the draft picks. However, what happened next happened very slowly: He tumbled down the stairs, and seemed to fall very hard on his head. It seemed that he had stubbed his toe o something just above the final stair of the staircase,, and went tumbling head over heels. At once, the crowd shot up in uproarious laughter. Kyle laughed the most. Kyle then abruptly stood up and exited the room. However, when they saw how hard he hit the ground, they were in shock. Whispers of " Is he alright?" and "Is he alive?" shot through the crowd. Jonathan, who was a veteran point guard in the NBA, knew exactly what to do. He called the paramedics and rushed to support his brother's head.
"Don't leave me bro! Hang in there, little bro," Jonathan screeched, his voice growing hoarse from his pain.
Tyrone Jackson was pronounced dead at 10:51 P.M. in Lincoln's Grace Hospital.