+334 – Time is running down in the final game of the season for the 76ers and Pistons. Joel Embiid, looking to have a little fun during the garbage minutes before time expires, drives to the hoop to put Isaiah Stewart on a poster. Their bodies collide midair, sending Embiid into a frenzied, upside-down fall and he lands on his head. He is out cold and there is a visible crack on his head that can be seen from the broadcast.
Oh no! What a horrific and unnecessary injury for the 76ers right before the postseason! I know we seem to say this every year, but just how will the 76ers be able to recover from this heartbreaker?
The crowd is silent. Medics are sprinting across the court to help him.
Suddenly, the crack in Embiid’s head opens up. At this point, silence turns into shrieks and cries. Like Leonardo DiCaprio in The Wolf of Wall Street crawling out of his crashed Lamborghini Countach high on quaaludes, a small mouse emerges.
So, now knowing that Joel Embiid is controlled by a mouse, do the writers still vote for Jokic? I lean no. I personally think that if Joel Embiid was controlled by a mouse, his stats would be much more impressive. The mouse will obviously be a favorite for the writers on top of that, as it gives them softball “The Season of the Mouse” headlines.
This opens up a boat-load of questions.
**Would Adam Silver actually let a mouse win, or intervene and force the writers to vote for Jokic?**
This would set a dangerous precedent for the game and animal-controlled bodies. It opens the door for any animal to pull the same trick which would obviously change how basketball is played. By 2030, the entire league could be different rodents in fake bodies, which would lose a lot of the sport’s relatability.
**Do mice have to pay taxes on their income?**
Initially it would seem not, but this could easily be seen as a money laundering scheme to claim untaxed winnings. Even if this was not the case for this specific scenario, and the mouse was acting on his own, the NBA could see some intervention from the IRS due to the possibility.
**Would the mouse be allowed to return next season?**
Obviously, the mouse would become an instant fan favorite and boost ratings significantly. But is it fair to the other teams and players? As far as I am aware, there is no NBA guideline that restricts rodents from playing basketball. But like I said before, if you don’t ban the mouse, we may see other rodents implementing the same strategy. In the event that the mouse is banned from the league, would it be fair to the 76ers, as they spent a valuable draft pick, time, and money on a player who turned out to be controlled by a mouse? You can argue that the 76ers should have done better scouting pre-draft, but how exactly would they have foresaw this?
If the mouse can come back, I can think of two interesting ways to implement rules to make the game more fair and interesting, but they are not perfect:
1. The mouse can come back, but it must play in its own body. This could bring about ethical concerns, however, as a mouse in its own body is very vulnerable to being stepped on and killed. I don’t know if the NBA wants to deal with a PETA lawsuit
2. Every team is allowed to have one mouse in a player’s body, but do not have to tell opposing teams or the fans who it is or if they chose to do it at all. However, this could easily be figured out and the mystery would be ruined if a player on the opposing team took out a piece of cheese in the middle of a game.
Obviously this is all hypothetical and for all we know the mouse could be disqualified immediately after revealing itself. What are your guy’s thoughts?