“Unbelievable,” whispered the owner to his General Manager, sitting beside him. “Wesigned him for 10 years, and he’s continued to disappoint us every day since.”“The worst deal we ever made. He’s got a full no-trade clause, and he won’t waive it.The former three-time MVP knows he’s on the twilight of his career. We are stuck with him. It’shard to bench a man making over 25 million a year,” spoke General Manager Jason Hendrix.Almost immediately he regretted what he’d said as the owner smirked. He forgot he was talkingto a convicted felon. A man who blackmailed players to stay with the team and was always inshady business deals. Most of the owners, especially in the past, where connected with the mafiaand he was no exception.“Maybe there is something we can do about it,” grinned the owner.“You are not thinking what I think you’re thinking, are you?” asked Jason, but the owner didn’t reply. “I thought you were done with that type of behavior? You almost lost the team andeverything we’ve worked for.”“There is a major difference. Last time I got caught,” laughed the owner. He called theinfamous Johnny Houston, a guy known to be connected with the mob but never convicted. Asalways with Houston, he never answers the phone until you leave a message with what you want.The owner knew he was in a public place so he couldn’t say much, he said only that he had a business deal for Houston.Jason and the owner took a cab back to the hotel to get some privacy. Jason was nervous;he didn’t want a part in what was going to happen. He knew the owner’s past before taking the job, but he didn’t want any part of it. Yet what could he do? He had no choice but to go along.He already knew what was going to happen, and he was powerless to stop it. Perhaps he could play the hero, but playing the hero could send him to the morgue. Jason felt terrible but hewould prefer to be around for his kid’s fifth birthday.The owners’ cell phone rang, and even though the number on the caller ID wasn’t listed,he knew it was Houston.“So what is this business deal?” asked Houston, getting right down to business.“Ten million dollars,” the owner replied casually.“You have my attention,” Houston said as nonchalantly as he could.“I have this player I need to get rid of. I’m sure you have been reading the papers. I needa quick escape from the Kid and his lifetime contract,” he said choosing his words carefully.