Mike Miller and the Thunder: Monkey Business


As newly minted free agent Mike Miller continues to ponder which team he’ll play for in the future, the decision, itself, may not have anything to do with basketball. The rumors are that Miller is looking for guaranteed years, a little bit more money, and playing time for a contender. But the answer to the decision of which team Miller plays for may actually lie in something more universal to all people: the ability to own a pet. More specifically, a pet of one’s choosing.

One of the quirks of Miller is that he used to own a Java Macque, which is a type of monkey. Sonny, as the monkey was called, was basically Miller’s first child. He had his own room, wore diapers, and was involved in child-like shenanigans. In a hilarious story, Miller describes how Sonny escaped the house and created a bit of a ruckus in the neighborhood,

“You would always put him in his room, and then we’d lock the door, and then we’d put the dogs out, and then we’d lock the front door. Well, he found out how to unlock doors, unlocked his door, went downstairs, let the dogs in the house and opened the front door. About an hour later we got a call from our neighbors, saying, ‘Your monkey is riding your dogs around the neighborhood.’…I said, ‘C’mon y’all, y’all got to get in the house.”

Unfortunately, Miller had to give Sonny up to a primate sanctuary when he started having his own children. Animals can be very protective/jealous and can pose a risk to small children. But with Miller’s children getting older, he may be thinking about getting a monkey (or any other exotic pet, for that matter) in the future. That may possibly factor into his decision for his future team.

Charlotte Bobcats v Miami Heat

Every state has different laws when it comes to owning primates. Some states out right ban keeping primates as pets. With that in mind, here’s a look at the primate possession laws of the four states whose teams are bidding for Miller’s services.

  • Texas (Houston Rockets) – State permit for great apes and baboons only. Many counties have bans on exotic pets (which includes monkeys).
  • Tennessee (Memphis Grizzlies) – Apes and Baboons BANNED. No word on smaller monkeys.
  • Oklahoma (Oklahoma City Thunder) – Fill out an application and have the game warden inspect the monkey. Once approved, all that is required is yearly inspections by the game warden.
  • Colorado (Denver Nuggets) – BANNED

Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game Five

For some reason, I don’t see Miller as a ‘Great Apes and baboons’ type. He’s seems like more of a capuchin monkey or macque type. With that said, the only state out of the four that had a definitive policy on allowing monkeys was Oklahoma. So, that completes the deal. In the future, when Mike Miller is knocking down 3-pointers against the Miami Heat or Brooklyn Nets in the NBA Finals, remember to go to the zoo and thank our closest living ancestors. As an added plus, the thought of a pet monkey sneaking out of  a house at night and riding a buffalo is just too much to not make this happen. You’re on the clock, Presti.

monkey buffalo

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