To: NBA Coaches
From: Commissioner Adam Silver
Date: May 19, 2016
Re: Rent-A-Kid Program
Congratulations on making the Conference Finals! The next few weeks promise some exciting basketball, and plenty of postgame press conferences. I understand these are tedious, but as Riley Curry has shown us, a child’s laughter can distract you from the game-winning three her father shot in your face 15 minutes earlier. Not every player is fortunate enough to have sired a precocious child who can brighten up the doldrums of a ho-hum postgame presser. That’s why, in the interest of ratings, the league has teamed up with local orphanages in Cleveland, Oakland, Oklahoma City, and Toronto for our first ever NBA Rent-A-Kid program!
Finally, our league’s best players can enjoy the heartwarming presence of a child without the emotional hassle of long-distance parenting. The following childless players will be paired with these kids:
Matthew Dellavedova (Cleveland Cavaliers) + Julissa Benson
If there’s one thing Cavs fans know, it’s that Delly isn’t afraid to dive for the ball. This makes him the perfect match for eight-year-old Julissa, her orphanage’s star soccer goalie. We’ve given Julissa permission to dive headfirst into the press table and make a mad scramble to grab the microphone. (Don’t worry. She’ll get a helmet.) A Julissa press conference desk dive may happen at any time, and if Delly objects, he’ll be ejected from the room and Julissa will continue to field questions from the press.
Russell Westbrook (OKC Thunder) + Calvin Myles
Calvin is ten years old, enjoys playing Minecraft, and may slip up every once in a while and call his player “Kevin” during the press conference. Rest assured that this is due to a nervous tic, and isn’t because we originally promised he’d be paired with a better different Thunder player, who had to back out at the last minute.
Festus Ezeli (Golden State Warriors) + Harris Jones-Harris
Just as Festus is a towering shot blocker, 11-year-old Harris Jones-Harris is the tallest kid in his Oakland orphanage. As a result, he’s a bit on the shy side. That’s why we’ve written a script for him, and he’s been instructed to call his player “Festivus Ezeli.” While Harris has no idea what Festivus is—and Festus may not, either—it gives the NBA press pool the perfect opportunity to ask whether OKC will need to use a grievance pole after witnessing Steph Curry’s feats of strength.
Terrence Ross (Toronto Raptors) + Carly Vieira
Carly is not only an aspiring journalist, but the 12-year-old also happens to be a huge Toronto Raptors fan (or at least a fan of Drake). We’ll plant her among the press pool and arm her with a comically small NBA-issued fedora and a list of hard-hitting questions for Terrence, such as “What’s it like being Drake’s cousin?”, “How can you be related to Drake when Cory Joseph looks more like Drake than YOU do?”, and “How do you plan to move forward against Cleveland? And can Drake help?” (When saying “Cleveland,” she will adorably pronounce the letter “L” as “W.”)
The kids will only stay on board until their teams are eliminated, and then they’ll be hauled back to their respective state-funded cots. No pressure, but they’ve already lost their parents, so make sure they don’t lose again.
Natalie McGill wishes she could’ve been a Rent-A-Kid. You should follow her on Twitter.