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DeShawn Reaction

Jason Whitlock of the Kansas City Star has been consistent in discussing the
racial angle of the Myron Piggie affair, saying that he was indicted primarily
because he was of his race and because he works with poor young inner city kids.

Well it's not like he's Mother Teresa.

First of all, he got a ton of money for his troubles. Secondly, he
arranged a kickback scheme where the players who were supposed to go pro would
pay him when they got there after he paid them during their time on the

He has moved on from Piggie
to DeShawn Stevenson,
saying that the first round money he'll likely get
will make up for his missing college and if he blows it all then he was too
stupid for college anyway. That's a funny line.

There are some good and bad points here. First of all, he is unfortunately
largely correct in saying that people don't care about poor inner-city kids
unless they have athletic ability. And we have said before that anytime a
poor person gets rich it's a good thing, as long as it's not ill-gotten, and if
someone can parlay an athletic talent into wealth and security, then God Bless

But what he doesn't address is the cold reality that there are only a very
few job openings in the NBA every year and there are thousands of people seeking
each job. For every DeShawn that makes it, 100,000 fail, many of those
being precisely the inner city kids no one cares about. What happens to
them then with no education, no marketable skills and no way out? They've lost
their chance. Clearly for some people sports can lift them into surreal
wealth and power, but for most poor people, sports is a chance to get to the
middle class, not to the upper crust. We'd all be better off if that
message were as loud as the NBA dream.

One final point - he says that DeShawn is from a loving family, but
completely overlooks how the kid has blown them off. They are terribly
concerned that he's not ready for the NBA, and they're right. For one
thing, NBA players don't cry on the phone to their high school friends when they
are trying to figure out what to do. And they do seem to be worried that
the lifestyle is a bit fast for him. That's a good thing for parents of an 18
year old boy who has lived at home his entire life to worry about. Next
year he could be hanging around with Sean Kemp or Anthony Mason or Jason
Williams. All admirable athletes, but none of them people you'd want your
kids to bring home.