On Monday afternoon, a rumor tore through social media claiming that the Knicks signed Master P's son Romeo Miller to a 10-day contract.
RT "@WojYahooNBA: The Knicks have signed Romeo Miller (Lil' Romeo) to a 10-Day contract after tenure with Erie BayHawks, sources tell Y!""
— #BullsNation (@H00PINATI) December 9, 2013
J.R. Smith's brother would have been mighty salty if it were true and the media would have staked out Brandon Jenning's Twitter page for hours. Perhaps it was Dolan's way of focus testing his next desperate celebrity acquisition, but the disconcerting aspect for Knicks fans is that this asinine hoax actually sounded believable. Hoopheads should remember when USC coach, Tim Floyd offered Romeo a scholarship as part of a package deal for his AAU teammate Demar DeRozan’s commitment. It wasn't implausible for lightning to strike a second time. (Code for: USC hoops > Knicks)
The hoax was easily verifiable, because NBA teams can’t sign free agents to 10-day contracts until January 5.
However, it got us thinking. Having celebrity minority owners is en vogue around pro sports because entertainers want to be athletes and athletes want to be entertainers. What other entertainers should NBA front offices consider dishing out minimum-level rookie salariy to occupy a dispensable spot on their bench and in practices? Here are 10 alternatives that should have James Dolan working the phones this evening.
Eminem – Sacramento Kings
Demarcus Cousins is one of the few players that can match Marshall's unbridled fury. If Eminem is as quick off the dribble as he is on the mic, Sac-Town may have found its most creative baller since the original White Chocolate.
The Game – Los Angeles Lakers
Kobe Bryant needs a foil in the locker room to keep him on his toes. Ask Brandon Jennings, Jayceon Taylor isn’t afraid to speak his mind and put hands on somebody if they step out of line. As he recovers from his torn Achilles, Bryant needs someone to keep him in check.
However, neither one of them wants any beef with Steve Blake. Yes, I said Steve Blake.
Common – Brooklyn Nets
Sure he’s older than their head coach, but the Nets have an infinity for aging role players and for clinging to their New Jersey nostalgia (see; Jason Kidd) and Common once played the greatest New Jersey Net player in film history. Besides, the Nets need another artist to co-sign on how cool their franchise is.
Michael B. Jordan – Chicago Bulls
Chicago needs a spark right now. What better way to re-ignite the fan base than by distracting them with Jordan’s most successful namesake? While they’re going out on a limb, they can give Marquise Teague’s roster spot to Marcus Jordan as well.
Kanye West – Charlotte Bobcats
By now everybody has heard Michael Jordan's getting cut from the varsity team as a sophomore lit a fire in him that still burns today. He even invited the poor guy to his Basketball Hall of Fame induction. Then called him out on stage. Here’s a quote from Kanye’s infamous New York Times interview about playing high school hoops in Chicago that sheds some light on their matching egos.
"I think you got to make your case," he says. "Seventh grade, I wanted to be on the basketball team. I didn't get on the team, so that summer I practiced. I was on the summer league. My team won the championship; I was the point guard. And then when I went for eighth grade, I practiced and I hit every free throw, every layup, and the next day I looked on the chart, and my name wasn't on it. I asked the coach what's up, and they were like, 'You're just not on it.' I was like, 'But I hit every shot.' The next year—I was on the junior team when I was a freshman, that's how good I was. But I wasn't on my eighth-grade team, because some coach—some Grammy, some reviewer, some fashion person, some blah blah—they're all the same as that coach. Where I didn't feel that I had a position in eighth grade to scream and say, 'Because I hit every one of my shots, I deserve to be on this team!' I'm letting it out on everybody who doesn't want to give me my credit."
Robin Thicke – Toronto Raptors
Toronto has a low retention rate with superstars they draft and develop in part because of their coordinates north of the U.S. border. Their new strategy is to assemble a homegrown franchise. Drake is a team executive with close ties to Kentucky’s John Calipari, but he's got Brandon Roy knees, Steve Nash has been a trade target of theirs since last season and now they’re tanking for Andrew Wiggins.
A$AP Rocky – Miami Heat/Houston Rockets
It’s not about his moves on the court. Miami is a roster full of fashion mavens. Rocky has the design credentials and eye for color pallets to post up—on the Heat bench and in postgame press conferences beside Dwyane Wade and LeBron. Or he could take his talents to Houston since he has a penchant for biting their styles.
Childish Gambino – Philadelphia 76ers
This is more symbolic than anything. The Philadelphia 76ers intended for this season to be an 82-game wince-inducing sparring session. Just like Gambino’s rap career, it turns out the joke’s on everybody else. Neither Gambino nor the 76ers will win any hardware, but they’re also not a laughing matter.
Kevin Hart – Houston Rockets
Because someone has to be the set up man for Dwight Howard's locker room punchlines.