New NBA Big Three alert: Meryl Streep, 50 Cent and Kobe Bryant (Photos)

Ball Don't Lie

Last week, the New York Times' Sarah Lyall brought us inside the world of Madison Square Garden's machinations when it comes to welcoming, glad-handing and seating celebrity guests at New York Knicks games. This, apparently, is a complex matter:

The Garden, it turns out, has an ad-hoc celebrity-handling team whose members determine who in fact counts as a celebrity and to what degree; pursue relationships with those people (or their representatives); and deflect demands from lower-level personalities who wish they were celebrities but in fact are not. On game nights, the team also has to contend with such tricky questions as, is Katie Holmes more important than Liam Neeson? And, when you have two rappers with the same last name — Mike D. from the Beastie Boys and Chuck D. from Public Enemy — should you seat them near each other?

Such questions, Lyall informs us, are answered on an Excel spreadsheet "organized according to some mysterious proprietary formula" that determines who goes where, next to whom, and why. It seems unlikely that we'll ever learn the secrets of the MSG crew's dark star-relating arts; the Knicks, as you might have heard, aren't exactly the most forthcoming organization. That's a shame, because we'd certainly love to celebrate the formula, and shake the hand of its creator, for providing us with this wonderful pairing:

I'm not sure exactly what Meryl Streep and 50 Cent discussed as they watched the Knicks take care of the visiting Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday behind 35 points from Carmelo Anthony (clearly, he was off his game), who led five Knicks in double-figures in the win. Perhaps they discussed a shared love of song; Streep, after all, has been known to belt 'em out from time to time. Perhaps they chatted about cinema; 50 (or, if you prefer, Curtis Jackson), after all, has 14 feature-film appearances to his credit, with another two in the can slated for release this year. Perhaps they just enjoyed batting around the question of whether all that switching really does make sense for this Knick roster.

Whatever it was, they seemed to have a nice time together while seated alongside Streep's husband, sculptor Don Gummer. A nice time seems to have been had by all.

After the game, though, Streep and Cent decided they needed to make a change to their three-person power trip. Sorry, Don — we've replaced you with the Black Mamba.

"#50 #merylstreep #respect #legends," injured Lakers star Kobe Bryant hashtagged in the caption of the photo he posted to Instagram. "That's All."

Except, of course, that it's not all, because this also exists:

Really, really, really hoping this results in a "K.O.B.E." remix with Meryl on the hook featuring 16 Curtis bars about rebranding Street King as SK Energy. This would be a way more valuable use of your time than auditing marketing, Kobe, and besides — upgrades don't come much bigger than trading Tyra for The Iron Lady. Do the right thing, Kobe.

Also, please feel free to give me a shout the next time you three hang out. I'm available, I dig ABBA too, and I can borrow Cards Against Humanity from my friend Russell. It'll be a blast, I swear.

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Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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