NBA Referee Revealed to Be Actual Zebra

Not so black and white.

By Clay Beyersdorfer

NEW YORK - In a turn of events that has left the sports world stunned and slightly confused, the National Basketball Association (NBA) confirmed today that one of their most respected referees, Doug Simmons, is indeed an actual zebra.

For years, fans and players alike have casually referred to basketball referees as 'zebras' due to their black-and-white striped uniforms. However, it turns out that in Simmons’ case, the nickname was more literal than anyone had realized.

"This is an unprecedented situation," said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. "We hired Doug for his exceptional understanding of the game and his ability to maintain order on the court. I am not sure how it went completely unnoticed that he was an actual zebra."

The revelation came to light after a curious fan, who wished to remain anonymous out of fear of zebra retaliation, noted Simmons’ uncanny zebra-like characteristics during a game. 

“Just his general mannerisms on the court, the way he ran up and down the sidelines on all fours,” the fan said. “The fact he drinks water out of a bucket during timeouts, and the massive shit he took while standing on the baseline - I just knew something was up.”

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Following the rumors, a subsequent DNA test confirmed early this week that Simmons is an Equus zebra, a species native to southwestern Africa.

Those in league circles are reportedly “shocked” at the revelation.

"I used to refer to the refs as zebras when I didn’t like a call," said Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James, "but now, it’s kind of like I am just calling him what he is. Do you think that’s why people call me a crybaby?"

Despite being outed as a wild animal, Simmons’ colleagues have come to embrace the diversity he brings to the league’s officials.

"He may not have actual hands" noted a fellow referee. "But we welcome him with open arms.”

The NBA is now reviewing its hiring policies to ensure a more inclusive environment for all species. 

"We're committed to diversity, even if it means rethinking what we know about wildlife in professional sports," an NBA spokesperson said when reached for comment. “Though thinking through this out loud right now, I can see how having actual Bulls on the court in Chicago could pose a problem."

End of the Bench will have more as this story develops.

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