“Xiao Chuan,” Reece’s knuckle brushed over Nie Chuan’s cheek and caught the tear. “Although tears never mean that you’re weak, I hope that this will be the last time you shed tears because of regret.”
Reece’s “Xiao Chuan” was so gentle that Nie Chuan felt as though he had heard wrong.
But what he said made Nie Chuan’s thoughts, which couldn’t find solid ground, to suddenly stabilize.
“Also, welcome to UDK’s basketball team.” Reece held out his hand to Nie Chuan.
His fingers were very long and had an unreal beauty under the dim light.
“Ah? That shouldn’t count, right? I haven’t seen Coach Gordon yet.”
“You’ve seen him already, during the practice.”
“What? Where was he?” Nie Chuan thought hard but still couldn’t remember……
Suddenly, the figure of the stern man with grey-blue eyes came into mind.
Nie Chuan’s shoulders trembled. “He…… he wouldn’t be the coach that was sitting behind UKB would he?”
Nie Chuan raised his hand and covered his face. When he thought of his incomprehensible performance in the first half, he felt very embarrassed.
“He seems…… very serious……”
“As the coach of the basketball team, it’s hard for him to be like a spring breeze. After class on Monday, I’ll take you to see him.”
“He really agreed to let me join?” Nie Chuan felt that it was inconceivable.
“Why didn’t they tell me that that was Coach Gordon?”
“If you knew that was Coach Gordon, you would’ve felt more nervous wouldn’t you?”
Reece got up and walked towards his Land Rover.
“Hey…… did I really join?”
In the past, Nie Chuan didn’t understand the significance of the college basketball league, but now he did.
It’s the cradle of the NBA, so much so that when it’s approaching the finals, the NBA stops all competitions to show respect.
We’re sorry for MTLers or people who like using reading mode, but our translations keep getting stolen by aggregators so we’re going to bring back the copy protection. If you need to MTL please retype the gibberish parts.
“What you should be asking isn’t this question but whether you like playing basketball or not. It’s impossible for a person to do his best in the face of something he doesn’t like. So, do you like it?”
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“Yeah, I like basketball.”
Nie Chuan looked in Reece’s direction as he said this very seriously.
“If you like it then that’s good.” Reece had a small smile, his lips drew a warm arc.
He opened the car door and stepped in. Nie Chuan stood at the door and watched his car go further and further away. He had a faint premonition that his tranquil life was about to change.
Reece’s Land Rover stopped outside an apartment building. He went to the top floor and rang the doorbell. A middle-aged man in lounge wear opened the door for him.
“Oh, how rare! I thought you wouldn’t come. What do you want to drink; coffee or ice water?”
“Water.” Reece sat down on the sofa.
“I thought you preferred coffee.” The middle-aged man smiled calmly and threw a bottle of water over which was caught firmly by Reece.
“Because your coffee is too hard to drink.”
“Well aren’t you always heartbreakingly honest.” The middle-aged man directly sat down at the coffee table with his coffee, face-to-face with Reece.
“Reece, I know that Carlo and them really want that black-haired Chinese kid to join the team and I admit that he has potential, but I want to hear your true thoughts.”
“Why my thoughts, Coach Gordon?”
“Because you are the most stubborn, principled, and uncompromising player on the team. If you think he’s good enough then you will pull that kid into the team even if others think he isn’t; if you don’t think he’s good enough then even if Carlo and the rest of them liked him, you will kick him out.”
“Coach, you just said that Nie Chuan has potential. Then what is his potential in your opinion?” Reece asked with his arms crossed.
Coach Gordon smiled faintly. “A strong sense of the ball and control of his rhythm. His ability to shift his center of gravity and control his inertia are likely to be better than yours. And he’s not like you – excessively strong personality, suitable for fighting alone. His adaptability to the team is also better than yours.”
“What about his shortcomings?”
“The shortcomings are obvious. His explosiveness, speed, and endurance were all not up to my standards. Not to mention his lack of experience against high-level teams.”
“Then why did you send me a message telling me that you agree to let him join the team? Was it just to appease Carlo and the rest of them?”
“No, because I believe that he can still be carved. And until the regular season in late November, we still have enough time for him to have the qualities that we think he should have.”
Coach Gordon stared at Reece as if trying to spot something from his eyes.
“Oh, and more importantly I see in you the desire to connect with someone on the court.”
Reece leaned forward and met Coach Gordon’s eyes. “Since you’ve said so, do I have any reason to refuse?”
Coach Gordon froze. He thought that Reece would coldly deny that last part.
“Then, see you on Monday.”
“See you Monday.” Reece got up but seemed to have thought of something when he arrived at the door. With his hands in his pockets, he turned back and said, “I forgot to tell you, he seems to be really afraid of you.”
“Afraid of me? Why?” Coach Gordon exposed a surprised expression.
“It’s probably because you always deliberately make yourself look unfathomable, not as honest as I am.”
After Reece left, Coach Gordon shook his head helplessly.
That night, Nie Chuan fell asleep very quickly due to being so tired.
The first time he met Coach Gordon was at the end of class on Monday morning. As soon as Nie Chuan stepped out of the classroom, he saw a middle-aged man in a suit smiling and leaning against the corridor while looking at him.
He raised his hand and said a “Hi.”
Nie Chuan suddenly felt nervous.
“I think you already know that I’m your coach.”
This sentence made Nie Chuan feel even more nervous. Coach Gordon is different from his physical education teacher in middle school. He is a professional coach.
“Yes, I know.”
“Although at this time you should be answering me with ‘yes, Coach,’ but since I’m an amiable coach, I have an equal relationship with you so I care more about your attitude than any superficial efforts.”
Coach Gordon watched Nie Chuan carefully. He didn’t know if it was an illusion but he felt as if this Chinese boy seemed even more nervous?
“Let’s go have a chat.”
Coach Gordon bought two cups of instant coffee and sat with Nie Chuan on the college’s lawn. Surrounding them were either students who were studying or couples lingering together.
“The school has very clear rules about training time for the team. From April to October, tactical drills and field training are not allowed because the kids need to study.”
Nie Chuan nodded.
“Of course, the freedom to organize small-scale, unofficial practice matches belongs to you guys and have nothing to do with me.” Coach Gordon smoothly cleared himself of any responsibility.
Nie Chuan nodded again.
“So from April to October, it’s up to you guys to do your exercises, not me. All I can give you is advice.”
“En, good child. I’m sure you’re very clear right now about where your problem lies.”
“I think I know.”
“Let’s hear it?”
“Speed, endurance, explosiveness, experience, and shooting percentage.”
“Ah…… in that game I haven’t found out about the problem with your shooting percentage yet,” Coach Gordon said seriously.
Nie Chuan really wanted to lower his head to wipe off his sweat. Didn’t that practice match expose all of his problems?
“But those first three are fatal.” Coach Gordon’s originally smiling expression disappeared.
“Yes, they are fatal,” Nie Chuan lowered his head and knitted his eyebrows.
Coach Gordon’s finger flicked Nie Chuan’s forehead. ”Boy, never have your head down in front of me. It’ll make me unable to see your expression.”
“Yes, Coach!” Nie Chuan looked up earnestly.
“Although there are many college students…… they will hire personal trainers for themselves in order to have an outstanding performance in the league to get the attention of the NBA. But I think your goal isn’t the NBA, but to happily play basketball.”
NBA or whatever…… it’s all too far away. If Nie Chuan isn’t sitting on the cold bench by the time the league starts then it would be very amazing!
“In order to match your speed, endurance, and explosiveness, this is my training plan for you.”
Coach Gordon handed a USB flash drive to Nie Chuan.
Nie Chuan never thought that the other would actually make him a training plan. Would this count as turning on a small stove?
[T/N: turning on a small stove is an idiom for receiving special treatment]
“Don’t think you can get it all done right from the start; it’s just a goal. I hope you can achieve this plan with completing your studies as the basis. I also hope that, in addition to basketball, you can have a rich after-school experience and enjoy your life.”
Nie Chuan nodded, it seems that Coach Gordon wasn’t as unreasonable as he had thought.
“Of course. I know kids your age are sometimes a bit lazy and sometimes lack perseverance; this is understandable. That’s why I’ve arranged a teammate for you that you already know as an assistant coach to urge you to finish as much of the exercises as possible. I call this ‘package practice.’ You can supervise each other and help one another which makes it easy to improve team cohesion.”
“Ah? Then who’s my practice partner?”
“Don’t worry. His temper isn’t bad as far as I know. He’s also highly skilled and always takes care of you. You guys will get along well.”
Nie Chuan’s began to go through possibilities in his head.
Is it Montenegro? Although Montenegro looks rather scary, Nie Chuan felt that he was really good-tempered. He is also understanding and will comfort people. It should be very pleasant to practice with him ba?
If it’s excellent skills, it’s Ewing that comes into Nie Chuan’s mind. What a natural and elegant three-pointer ah!
Moreover, Ewing is a foodie. Every day after practice, they can go to a Chinese restaurant together to eat. What a tacit understanding!
But the one who had always taken good care of him seems to be Carlo ah! It’s just that Carlo sometimes has a screw loose…… but they will still be able to get along happily ba?
“Alright, go back and take a good look at your training plan. I will give consultation once a week, that’s if you can get in touch with me every week of course……”
Coach Gordon’s lips held a crafty smile as he took his instant coffee and contently left.
Re: Poor Nie Chuan, he’s been pitted against
MadMadamMims: how could nie chuan forget his doting hubby 😍