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Monday, September 10, 2012
Celebs who soon could own NBA teams

By Steve Etheridge
Special to ESPN.com

Justin Timberlake
Justin Timberlake recently joined Jay-Z, Usher and Will Smith as part-owners of NBA teams.
Justin Timberlake, an entertainer best known for his work in island-themed Chili’s commercials, has reportedly signed on to be part of the Memphis Grizzlies' ownership group.

Having a small sliver of the team to call his own, Timberlake can inject some of his baby-back-rib-lovin’ attitude into the franchise, recalling the highly involved celebrity investor relationship Jay-Z has forged with the Nets.

With Usher and Will Smith also involved with teams (the Cavaliers and 76ers, respectively), it seems likely that the celebrity owner trend soon will take over the entire NBA. Here are some other celebrity-team partnerships fans can expect in coming months.

• Not to be bested by their divisional foe, the Mavericks will match the Grizzlies by bringing on ‘N Sync member Chris Kirkpatrick, who will use his $43 monthly royalty checks to buy the team some slick new garbage cans.

• Also not to be bested by their divisional foes, the Rockets will recruit Weird Al Yankovic, who will hilariously impersonate whatever Timberlake and Kirkpatrick do, and form a super group with Royce White and Omer Asik called the Poo-ston Mock-its.

Kanye West
Could Kanye West soon own a stake in the NBA like his "Watch the Throne" buddy Jay-Z?
• Kanye West will get involved with his hometown Chicago Bulls, but will immediately sell off his stake in the team once it’s revealed that his girlfriend, Kim Kardashian, is more interested in Kirk Hinrich, Jerry Reinsdorf and Giordano's pizza.

• Canadian power couple Chad Kroeger and Avril Lavigne will buy a stake in the Raptors, and eight minutes later everyone on the team will be diagnosed with elephantiasis.

• Limp Bizkit will sign on with the Heat, per LeBron’s request. “Come on, guys, they’re really awesome,” he’ll tell his teammates, sporting a wallet chain and a clip-on septum ring. “And besides, I just really miss people ripping on me.”

• Not understanding the concept of fantasy sports, Mitt Romney will buy most of the Eastern Conference when one of his aides asks him to join a league.

• Proving that they’re not defined by their failures -- that they’re “2 Legit 2 Quit” -- the Bobcats will enlist MC Hammer, who will outfit the team in velour parachute shorts and squander all of their payroll money on fresh-to-death diamond backboards.

• Drawn by the mystique of Anthony Davis’ eyebrow, Lady Gaga will buy a stake in the Hornets. She’ll build womb-like VIP suites that slowly close in on guests and feed them pre-chewed foie gras via umbilical chutes. She’ll insist that quarters be called gestation periods on the scoreboard. T-shirt cannons will be filled with egg yolks and glitter. The team’s mascot will be one giant cloud of actual live hornets, and the jerseys will get progressively more transparent till they’re just clear latex jumpsuits by the end of the season. Because Lady Gaga is weird.

• Hologram 2Pac will become a minority owner in the Lakers, and he’ll spend all of his time trying to scare Dwight Howard by popping out of lockers and urinals and stuff.

• The unbearably hip Zooey Deschanel naturally will pair up with Portland. She’ll just sit around in the front office all day, plucking on a ukulele and making mason jar terrariums for the players. “Siri, is it raining outside?” she’ll ask her phone several dozen times a day, even though it’s always raining in Portland. Eventually the team will ask her to leave, as LaMarcus Aldridge will get fed up with her cross-stitching emoticons on his headbands.

Who do you think is the next celebrity to buy a stake in an NBA team? Laura Dern? Air Bud? Let us know in the comments.