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The good side of professional athletes PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, December 20, 2012 3:30 PM

I am no fan of Kevin Garnett, other than the fact that he remains a supreme competitor with an incredible passion and fire for the game of pro basketball even after 18-plus years.

However, he showed a part of himself that the average fan doesn’t see every day.

Kevin McHale — I am no Celtics’ fan, by the way, as you can probably tell already! — returned to the bench for the Houston Rockets last week after a hiatus away from the team after the too-early death of his 22-year-old daughter, Sasha, from Lupus.

McHale drafted Garnett out of high school all those years ago as general manager of the Minnesota Timberwolves and eventually traded him to Boston about five years ago for a handful-plus of players.

Everyone knows that to this day, Garnett has a grudge and wants to beat not only the Wolves but anyone associated with them.
Look how he treated former teammate Ray Allen earlier this year when the Celtics played the Miami Heat; he didn’t even acknowledge him.

However, he embraced McHale after the game and McHale was visibly moved — watch it on YouTube.

Nice touch, Mr. Garnett.

I don’t expect you to all of a sudden become a puppy dog — I like to see a professional player play with passion even after all these years — but all I ask is to acknowledge your humanity.

Shhh! No one tell me he won’t read this!

While I am on the subject of handing out accolades, I might as well give kudos to Derek Jeter of the Evil Empire.

Everyone knows the story of the Sandy Hook School massacre and some of the stories coming out about it.

One involves Victorio Soto, the first-grade teacher who died shielding her students — “no greater love can one have than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” — and was buried Wednesday.

Well, it seems she is a fan of the Yankees and Mr. Jeter called her mother, Donna.

He didn’t call a press conference or post on Twitter that he was doing this. I think we all know some that would have made sure their fans or the media knew about this.

No, he did this quietly and without fanfare.
The only reason anyone knew about it was the family publicized it.

I know Jeter has been through the ringer with the New York tabloid press with all the things going on in his career — on and off the field — but this is another part of a professional’s life that we all need to see more regularly.

Let’s face it: with all the problems our society is trying to deal with these days, especially our children, don’t we need to hear more about the good that our role models —  yes, Charles Barkley, you are a role model whether you like it or not — do?

May Ms. Soto and all those innocents that died on that “day that will live in infamy” rest in peace.

Merry Christmas.


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