The Dallas Mavericks are honoring Tony Romo tonight by making him a member of the Mavericks for a day. This is where the confusion starts as fans are wondering if the former Dallas Cowboys quarterback will actually be playing basketball for the Mavs.
Dallas has made it clear that Romo will not be getting any playing time. The team did not sign him to a contract so technically he is not on the team. One option would have been to sign Romo to a 10-day contract but that did not happen for a variety of reasons. Head coach Rick Carlisle explained to the Star-Telegram why Romo was not signed along with how the Mavericks planned to honor Romo.
He’s not going to be signing a contract — that’s not really feasible for some different reasons. But he is going to be with us for a day, he’s going to participate in shootaround, I’m going to put him on the scout team — the Denver scout team — to do our walk-through stuff. He’s going to be assigned a shooting time before the game with all our other guys, he’s going to suit up and be in the warm-ups, and he will be introduced and we will have a tribute to him.
Since Romo is not under contract, he cannot play in an NBA game. The team has tried to make it clear that Romo will not be playing in the game tonight, but some fans may leave disappointed expecting just that.
“To give you a little bit of insight, it’s not a good idea to take a football athlete and throw him in an NBA basketball game. It’s a completely different sport, number one. Number two, to sign him we would have to go through just a tremendous amount of screening, physicals, all of that kind of thing. It’s just really isn’t in the best interest of anybody to do that,” Carlisle told the Star-Telegram.
Romo may not play tonight but all indications are he was a solid high school basketball player. According to ESPN, Romo played for Burlington High School where he averaged 24.3 points, 8.8 rebounds and 4.7 assists.
Count former NBA player Caron Butler as one of the people who believed Romo could have been a special basketball player. Butler played against Romo in high school and witnessed his ability first hand.
“Believe it or not, man, when we were in the prime of our careers, I used to always talk about it: [Romo] could have easily been a professional basketball player. And a lot of people were like, ‘Man, you’re crazy for saying that,’ but Tony could shoot. He could handle the ball. He had a knack for scoring, man, he really did,” Butler told ESPN.
Fans will have to settle for highlights of Romo playing. Former Cowboys teammate Rico Gathers posted this video of Romo playing at a church league game earlier this week:
Here’s some footage of Romo during the Mavs shootaround: