CHAMPAIGN, IL - JANUARY 10: Jared Sullinger #0 of the Ohio State Buckeyes defends against Meyers Leonard #12 of the Illinois Fighting Illini at Assembly Hall on January 10, 2012 in Champaign, Illinois. The Illini defeated the Buckeyes 79-74. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
(A crowded college bar. Jared Sullinger sips slowly from the cup the bartender provided when he ordered a pitcher for himself. He thinks about how awesome it is that the bouncer let him in because he's Jared Sullinger, even though the bouncer knows he's not 21 because the bouncer knows he is a sophomore basketball sensation, never pausing to think about the fact that the 5-foot-3 19-year-old girl in line behind him got in with an ID describing her as a 5-foot-8 Latina. A hand touches him from behind.)
Jared Sullinger: HEY! DON'T TOUCH ME. DID ANYBODY JUST SEE THAT BLOW THE WHI-
Meyers Leonard: Hey, Jared, relax. It's me, Meyers.JS: Oh, thank goodness. I've been waiting all night for somebody good enough to talk to. What's up?
ML: I figured I should come out since I was feeling a bit down on myself after we got upset by Northwestern. I mean, everybody knows we're a better team than Northwestern.
JS: Don't be down on yourself. Everybody has a bad night.
ML: Hey, I had a great night. It's just... we went into their house and SLAUGHTERED them. Like, they couldn't hang with us. I mean, they're Northwestern, and we're Illinois, and we have me.
JS: Yeah, I remember, I turned that game off since it was such a huge blowout.
ML: AW MAN, YOU MISSED IT. They had the ball down one with the last possession, Drew Crawford tried to drive, and I had THE SICKEST block. He thought they could upset us, and I swatted the hell out of him. Game, Meyers.
JS: Wish I'd seen it.
ML: So, like I was saying, they suck. I... I guess I just wasn't expecting them to beat us, you know?
JS: You never do. I didn't think they were going to come close against us last year, and now Northwestern is one of my favorite places to play! It's cute how they tried.
ML: Why do people try to be as good as us?
JS: I don't know, man. I just don't know.
(A pause. They look around. As the bar collectively bounces to whatever that damn song with Ne-Yo and Pitbull is called, Leonard and Sullinger are isolated.)
ML: So, what are you thinking, Sully? NBA next year?
JS: Yeah. I'm just tired of being better than everybody.
ML: I know. It's just not fun.
JS: Like, this bar for example. It's no fun being an environment where there's nobody up to your level.
ML: I mean, just look at all these girls are trying to get with me.
JS: But we're just too good for them.
ML: I feel bad swatting them all away, but that's what I do. I'm Meyers Leonard. I reject things.
JS: Same! I mean, get your hands off me. You have to be as good as me to touch me. And nobody is as good as me. NOBODY gets to touch Jared Sullinger. Not these really hot girls, not Luka Mirkovic, NOBODY.
ML: It's tough, you know, being us.
(another pause. As they quietly sip from their clear plastic cups, nobody approaches them. A few people glance, but nobody's eyes linger.)
JS: Hey, Meyers.
JS: Do... do you ever feel... you know, since we're better than everybody...
ML: What, Jared? I know we're better than everybody.
JS: Do... do you ever feel lonely?
JS: Oh, yeah, neither do I.
ML: Nope. Not at all.