Fear not light duty
If you want to read Intelligent Shoals, click here
Some things are so obvious that to say them borders on cliche. And when it's the kind of thing you're kind of known for spouting, then you run the risk of unveiling self-parody. But fuck it, this has to get communicated: Keith Van Horn has no right to take the year off, much less get praised for it. Having a family is nothing special; many NBA players have serious partners and children. And I guarantee you that if any NBA'er ever took a year off to get to know their illegit seed, it would be mocked to all high hell. Certainly, a non-descript vet spending time with his stable, wedlocked bunch doesn't deserve a medal.
The realness, though, is that Artest's request for absence has become a running joke. This despite the fact that, as the heart and soul of his team, Artest had a far more demanding job. And, as someone with a history of disciplinary problems and possible psychological issues, his walking away might've been a pressing need. Were Van Horn a remotely important player, he'd be getting ripped right now. If he weren't white as a porpoise's fangs, there would be a tacit suspicion about this "family" he so cherished. And why can Van Horn weasel out of a dreadful reputation with the panacaea of gleaming woman and children? HE IS ONE OF THE BIGGEST BUMS OF THE LAST DECADE. THIS IS A SUGAR-COATED COP OUT.
Or maybe it comes down to this: if KVH skipped the year and no one wrote Gene Wojciechowski's column, would anyone even notice? No, and that's why he's a quitter fading out gently, not a bold statement to a league full of punks.