Ray Allen - Senator Obama with a Smooth J
[this post was inspired by Bethlehem Shoals, may he R.I.P.]
From the South Florida Sun-Sentinel:
NO RAY OF HOPE
Guard Damon Jones confirmed he was snubbed from the 3-point contest during All-Star Weekend because Sonics guard Ray Allen asked to participate.
Jones found out from NBA Vice President Stu Jackson he was on the six-man list until Allen made his overture.
Asked if Allen's actions upset him, Jones said, "If he has the power to do that, so be it."
Damon Jones was told he would be the replacement choice should one of the contestants be unable to participate Saturday night in Denver.
Ray Allen's star is one that the NBA has never allowed itself to iconize. His quiet, distinct grace has long been overshadowed by the chaotic rapture of the Answer, Kobe, Shaq, T-Mac and the Franchise.
Although he is quite possibly one of the most elegant shooters in the history of basketball, Ray Allen has never been able to bend the public will to his aim as others can.
Recall that he was once the sweetest face in the nation after his starring role in "He Got Game", but Denzel's vitriolic salesmanship and Spike Lee's puppetry made the movie more about them than about the actual athlete who showed he could both act and dunk - not vice versa.
He is a recipient of both the Joe Dumars Sportsmanship Award and is a two time member of the All-Interview First Team. Clearly, Jack Kemp in big shorts.
Ray (whose Fine Art collection is neck and neck with Chris Webber for finest in the Association) recognizes that he must seize his own future now. He must scold Kobe, fabricate rivalries and inject himself in every Basketball lover's living room. Time has shown that as we get older we gravitate to insanity, not to the All-American Boy that made us all jealous in High School.
No, the stack is against Ray Ray and he now recognizes that he must put himself on par with the thugs who control the NBA group mind.
Why? Because he is a man who knows fate lies farther for him than on the basketball court. It lies in the cherry-lined offices of privelege, pedigree and power. The Hill. The West Wing. Maybe even the Oval Office.
A star is emerging. By pushing out the underlings like Damon Jones, Ray Allen is showing both the tooth and nail needed to make him a fixture on the American landscape for decades. A fitting First Fan for all of us.