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Some Comments On The All-Star Game

We'd like to take a minute and talk about a couple of things about the
All-Star game.  First, the unfortunate reality that the Magic have decided
that Grant shouldn't play. It's their prerogative; he works for them. 
He'll still be heavily involved and a big part of things, but his comeback will
have to wait.  We're sure he'll roar back and wish him the best.

Second, the nature of the event.  What is the point of doing this? 
The main point is of course to raise money for the Burch Street Center. 
The second, understated point and in fairness lesser point, is to honor the Duke

In short, this is a feel-good/do-good event. 

Out of  the people who are returning, we all have favorites and some
less-than-favorites as well.  Certainly Corey Maggette and William Avery
ruffled some feathers when they left, and since in some ways, at least in
Corey's case, and a few e-mails and a few posts on the board have underscored
that lingering resentment.

But when asked this week specifically about those two, Coach K said that he
still supported them, even though when they left he thought they were making
poor decisions and was bluntly honest about his feelings, and while it doesn't
matter that much in this context, he was spot-on in his advice, which was
unfortunately not taken, and that led to some discord.

Regardless of that, we hope everyone gives them as warm a welcome as they
give everyone else.

We can see why there would be some sore feelings - we shared that for awhile
ourselves - but there comes a time to let go of that sort of thing, and if you
haven't yet, an event which is designed to raise money for a pet project for
Coach K is probably a good time to do so.  What he has given Duke, and the
pride in what he has built, has enriched us all.

Beyond that, and more fundamentally, this is an event for charity, and all
these guys are contributing their skills.  In the case of Avery and
Maggette, it takes some courage to come back, considering the way they left. Why
would they? Well, first, because Coach K asked them to, and second, because they
know they were part of something special, and though they have probably felt cut
off from it, they know what they experienced in Cameron, and it's not like what
they experience in Minnesota or the Clip Joint.  They gave it up, and
they're entitled to do that, but they still know they gave up something special.

So we say if they want to reach out, that's great. It's healthy, it's
healing, and all to the good. If you feel a need to be bitter, you can consider
Avery's precarious contract situation or how much money Maggette could have
commanded after this season had he stuck around -- millions and millions more
than he has now or is likely to get any time soon.  But do that privately.

The bottom line is that this weekend is a charity event, specifically
designed to help a struggling neighborhood, and then to honor the tradition we
all love.  There is no honor in bringing bad feelings into that occasion,
just as there is no honor in picking fights at a wedding or funeral or bar
mitzvah.  Those occasions transcend personal feelings, and while this is
not on that level, it is nonetheless an important occasion for the Duke Tribe,
and we urge everyone to realize that diminishing the occasion diminishes the
tradition. It's not what we're about. It's a passion we have, not a grudge.