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The economy is bad. It's probably going to get worse. And NBA teams are not immune -- several small market teams' (Indiana, Memphis, among others) already paltry attendance figures could well be affected by the economic crisis, in ways that could eventually cripple the organizations. Or bankrupt them. Like we said: things are probably going to get worse.
Which is why NBA teams can thank the Orlando Magic for devising a forward-thinking business strategy for these challenging times. That strategy is to sell everything in sight. In this case, "everything" stands in for Dwight Howard's dunk contest phone booth.
Yes, the Magic are giving away the booth, which Howard used as a prop in the 2008-09 NBA All-Star Dunk Contest. In accordance with his typical "Superman" gag, Howard disappeared into the booth -- which was adjacent to the court on a stage -- and re-emerged with a red cape and a much smaller, tinier version of his own jersey. That was sort of weird, actually.
Anyway, the booth is available on NBA.com, and it comes with an autographed Dwight Howard jersey and a certificate of authenticity. That last part is important. Fake Dunk Contest phone booths are everywhere, and they are no joke.
Where would you put the booth? Does the booth have any practical uses, like a connected phone line? Why should you give your money to an NBA team for something as clearly frivolous and silly as this? Those are all questions you should ignore. Do the NBA -- and your country -- a solid, and buy the phone booth. Go on. Be a hero.
Eamonn Brennan is a Chicago-based writer, editor and blogger who wonders if the NBA can get an AIG exec to spend his bonus on the booth. You can also read him at Yahoo! Sports, FanHouse, Mouthpiece Sports Blog, and Inside The Hall, or at his personal site, eamonnbrennan.com. Follow him on Twitter.