Today the NBA announced a landmark agreement with the LDS Church to ensure that Jabari Parker’s desire to serve a mission does not interfere with his draft prospects, saying the church has agreed to their proposal to call Parker to serve as a missionary in the city of the NBA team that drafts him. While the official statement is brief, sources close to the negotiations report that because the NBA considers Parker to be a certain star, league officials, including new commissioner Adam Silver, went to unprecedented lengths to ensure that Parker enters this year’s draft.
The deal stipulates that Elder Parker will proselyte and live with missionary companions, like other volunteer Mormon missionares, except that, since Elder Parker will be an NBA player, he and his companion will attend all of the team’s practices and games. The NBA has even given permission for Elder Parker’s companion to sit on the team bench in missionary attire during games to comply with mission rules, and has guaranteed that the companion will be shown at least twice during every televised game. The league also made other concessions to secure the church’s cooperation, including donating a box suite for the local mission to use for entertaining investigators.
Joe Dumars, President of Basketball Operations for the Detroit Pistons, is excited about the proposal, saying it raises Parker’s draft prospects even higher, “There’s not a GM in the league who wouldn’t like having two clean-cut Mormon missionaries traveling with their team to reduce late-night carousing, and motivating the team in the locker room with heartfelt prayers. Can you imagine how long me, Isaiah, Laimbeer and Rodman could have stayed at the top if we’d been surrounded by that kind of spiritual stature?”
Church spokeswoman LaDawn McConkie says the church expects Parker’s mission president will be flooded with requests from missionaries asking to be Parker’s companion, but it’s all part of a president’s demanding job. According to ESPN, the mission presidents in the cities with teams most likely to win the draft lottery are already making plans. Keith Harris, president of the church’s Wisconsin Milwaukee Mission, told ESPN’s Ric Bucher that he’s asked his missionaries to fast this Sunday to ensure Parker becomes a Milwaukee Buck. “Ever since the Bucks started setting NBA loss records I had a feeling their abysmal season was all part of a higher purpose, so with this announcement I’m not about to sit back and watch the missions in Orlando or Philadelphia win Parker because we’re not worthy.”
Denver Nuggets owner Stan Kroenke praised Silver’s foresight, “The commissioner really pulled out all the stops. Just announcing the NBA Free Book of Mormon Night is certain to cement fan loyalty. Our season ticket holders love basketball, beer, and half-time entertainment, but when they hear they’ll get a free Book of Mormon, too? We’re already discussing internally what to do with all the extra money.”
Haha—- good one!
Isn’t today April Fools Day?
Haha, well done. If only LaDawn McConkie was a real person.
Matt, you’ve outdone yourself!! This could go viral!!!
LaDawn McConkie. Nice.
Had me going for a minute. I’ll now say that I don’t like this kind of April Fool joke. While some may find humor in it, I feel that in the long-run the Church and it’s members will wind up looking foolish. I would hope that you will reconsider the wisdom in this piece.
Well done. I bought it almost to the end.
You had me until you misspelled Isiah.
LaDawn McConkie? That name is probably the most believable part of this spoof.
“While some may find humor in it, I feel that in the long-run the Church and it’s members will wind up looking foolish. I would hope that you will reconsider the wisdom in this piece.”
You had *me* going there for a minute! I actually thought you were serious! April Fool’s on me!
It’s easy to reconsider the “wisdom in this piece” because there isn’t any. And none was intended. Happy April Fools’ Day, Ann!
Not a ton of comments, but judging by my Facebook feed, I’m guessing this post is pulling in more first-time visitors than any post in years. Great job.
Knew at the very first it was an April Fool’s joke. This was so stupid that if people did believe it they were really out of this world. I can just see the NBA trying to settle for this and that Jabari would be traveling with the team but let two other missionaries go with them. Give me a break. How would people actually fall for such a prank.
Hahahaha I’m LDS and for a moment I really couldn’t believe this BUT I do have to say that this is by far the BEST April Fools Day joke EVER Lol…
Fun stuff. :)
Hilarious. I laughed my head off. Ann, lighten up.
Hilarious. LaDawn McConkie…Rodman and Lambeer…
Maybe if the Celtics can land him, Danny Ainge could be a GM and the Mission President. Just thinking outside the box…
@Ann. Just think…Broadway’s Book of Mormon tried to make the Church look foolish. It ended up doing exactly the opposite:)
People who get baptized by Elder Parker could wear a t-shirt that says, “I got Dunked by Jabari”
hahahaha, i believed it up until i read the mission president’s “higher purpose” comment. yes, i can’t believe i fell for it up until that point either. even reading ladawn mcckonkie didnt throw me off. #mombrain
Ann probably went to BYU
You did not report the secret clause in the deal: Jabari cannot go to Utah and play for the Jazz while on the mission. My cousin heard this at the zone conference Elder Callister spoke at this morning.
I’m LDS and I thought this was really fun! It’s good to be able to laugh at ourselves!
Ahhh, I was so excited for a moment, thinking about the great exposure it’d give the Church. Argh.
Great!! I was hooked for about 2 paragraphs.
Way to bring down the web page, Matt. I got the text of this in an email long before I tried to access the site. Nicely done! Viral indeed!
I am Mormon and I love the subtle use of Rich Bucher ie “They are Mormon…”
Very well done!
This should be true, the church should take a chance like this. We need to be creative with ways to get word out there. He would be 100x more effective as NBA missionary than going to Bolivia for 2 years.
The NBA is a business and doesn’t have much of a sense of humor or righteousness. Great pipe dream on 4/1. I laughed and it is good to laugh about the sports obsession that drives so much of our economic, social and internal life.
Funny. Ric Bucher doesn’t even work for ESPN anymore.
hahahahaha. This is too funny.
Love this! Great work–polished, well-constructed, and funny all of the way through. Sorry for the plug, but over at the Mormon Tabernacle Enquirer, we do this stuff all year. Love to have you on board! http://motabenquirer.blogspot.com/
Some of you people need to lighten up. If you know the church, then you should know that the brethren would never consider doing this.
Great laugh,thank you
Though funny I don’t agree those people who say the church should do this for more publicity. The ultimate purpose for this young man to serve the lord and any of his companions as well would end up exploited .He would end up getting very little missionary work done. Not none but not enough. He would end up a pawn in a messed up situation that church wouldn’t allow to happen.it goes against what we hold to sacred about the sacrifice to serve the lord. Great april fools though.
What gives it away is that the link in the first paragraph doesn’t work. Searching the NBA website also resulted in no matches. Good joke though!
Well done. I’m putting in my papers in hopes of being his companion. I’m a retired military public affairs officer and former ISAF press desk chief in Afghanistan, so I could also be his media adviser.
I think get that he want to do both that great man there
I seriously thought this was about to be like a break through haha darnit. Really didn’t know it was a joke till got to the comments. Well the article got me! lol! Love it, and what a fun thought it would be for real. I was a little bummed …. haha but still entertaining. But if the mission thing is still for real, good luck and have fun Elder Parker :)
I just saw this post on FB and since we live in Australia and it’s now the 3rd, you had me going till I read the comments!!! Had me thinking no way!! This cannot be for real!!! What he heck is happening in SLC???!!!
You forgot to mention that games which Jabari plays in as a missonary will only be halfcourt to keep in mission rules!
Haha my husband sisa was telling me the story and i was like cant be. The church should not be bowing to fame or world standard. The only deal we follow is the one set by our maker. We almost got into an argument coz i said it cant be. He pulled up this article to read to prove to me. The first thing he read was april 1st. I said : “you fool its on april fools day” lol. He then read other comments and confirmed that he was bein fooled. Hahaha. Thats why man need a wife. :)
@Ryan, that is hilarious!! “I got dunked by…” Funny joke.
Take it off, enough, “Truth Will Prevail” my ass.
I must be no fun at all. The title gave it away.