What the Suns are doing should be applauded
Pardon the seriousness for a moment but …
You know what?
Regardless of what we think about the Phoenix Suns as a basketball team, I think it is now impossible not to think of them as a good, socially-conscious, responsible group of men.
Not sure if you’re aware, but they’ll don Los Suns jerseys tonight for their game against the Spurs to protest the draconian Arizona law that makes it a state crime to be in Arizona illegally and allows local police officers to determine the immigration status of anyone they please.
Here’s Paul Coro’s piece out of the Arizona Republic that explains it far better than I can.
Anyway, I think it’s hugely appropriate that the team is taking this stance because sports reaches so many people of so many different walks of life that it’s a unique opportunity to draw attention to such issues.
I’m kind of conflicted about the whole “role model” thing with pro athletes; I believe they have some duty to comport themselves at a higher level but at their very heart they are normal men and women who succumb to the temptations of life.
But in instances like this, where there are huge social issues at play and it’s a collective protest, I’m all for it.
There needs to be more awareness of issues like this so they aren’t repeated by equally wrong-minded civic officials and I am almost certain that the Suns protest will cause great discussion among fans who wouldn’t normally know, or care, about what’s going on in Arizona.
We all know how socially aware Steve Nash is so it’s not at all a surprise that he’s fully supportive of this initiative.
What’s comforting, to me at least, is that so many of his teammates and coaches, along with the team’s owner and general manager, are so vocal in their disgust with the situation.
The NBA, perhaps more than any other sports league anywhere on earth, does an excellent job of promoting equality among races and gender. It is a leader and should be followed.
And now the Suns are out in front, leading awareness and protest of something I happen to feel is fundamentally wrong and it does my heart proud to know that a team in a league that I cover takes this kind of initiative to say: “This is wrong and you should know about it.”
Good on them.
Chris Bosh was at the Lakers-Jazz game in L.A. on Tuesday night.
Can only mean one thing, right?
Yep, he’s gone.
Or maybe he’s out there on business. Or vacation. Or some convention of tweeterers or whatever the heck they’re called.
Speaking of Los Suns, a Happy Cinco de Mayo to all of you.
Which reminds me …
For some reason known only to bosses who didn’t know what they were getting into, I was once asked to cover an Ottawa Senators-Philadelphia Flyers playoff game on May 5.
(I presume it was because I didn’t have, you know, Raptors playoffs to worry about and our zillion pucks scribblers were otherwise occupied).
Anyway, I go, the Senators win handily and I write perhaps the greatest hockey story ever penned by a guy who knows nothing about the game (or not).
Now, when you’re on the road covering an event you know nothing about, the first tendency the next morning is get up to read the local fishwraps to make sure you haven’t missed the obvious angle.
And that next morning I saw one of the greatest sports back pages I’ve ever seen.
The Philly Inquirer, a rather cheeky tab at times, has a full page picture of an empty net with the puck in it and the only thing you can see for yards and yards in the pic is a goalie stick.
And the headline:
Stinko de Mayo
Ernie Harwell, RIP
Classic voice, great man, superb broadcaster.
Next to the incomparable Vin Scully, maybe the best there ever was.
Somewhere in the clutter of this house, there’s one of those cardboard face cutouts of Ernie, I should try to dig it up.
First call for questions for the weakly mailbag.
Weekly, I mean.
Nice to see the real Dwight Howard last night, wasn’t it?
All he did, really, in comparison to his foul-filled flameout in four games against Charlotte was play in control at both ends and show how dominant he can truly be.
Except for one little blip I can remember – putting his head down and throwing a shoulder into either Al Horford or Josh Smith (I can’t recall) – he played like the defensive player of the year on one end and a powerful force on the other.
It was no surprise, really, that Orlando knocked down so many shots because they were so ridiculously so wide open thanks to the attention Howard was drawing.
And the game went to prove my point about Orlando: They’ve got a pretty bullet proof offence because so many guys are perimeter threats that if one’s not going well, someone else will be. And with the anchor in the game, I’ve got to think maybe they win this series in five games.
At the threat of having my retinas burned to the point of no return, I think I’d like to watch a free-throw shooting contest between Kyrylo Fesenko and Shaquille O’Neal.
That’d be train wreck, basketball-style, wouldn’t it?
So you guys and gals ready for the big game Friday?
No, not Boston-Cleveland or Lakers-Jazz.
I’m talking CKSA Moscow-Barcelona at the EuroLeague Final Four.
Why, you ask?
Not because of Ricky Rubio, I tell you.
We all know that the incomparable Pops Mensah-Bonsu is in Moscow and if that’s not enough to make you all fans of the team, I don’t know what is.
Am trying to find somewhere with a good enough satellite so I can see the games because the intensity is like you seldom see. The quality may not be of NBA Finals standards but that’s okay; it remains one of two global basketball events I still want to see. The other’s the European Championships but unless our department his the number and wins a lottery, can’t imagine that happening any time soon.