Monday, September 12, 2005


a game.

That's what a lot of people will be saying about the event Kenny Smith oreganized through the NBA. In thirty hours of planning, the Jet brought together over 20 NBa stars, including Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, and Allen Iverson, to host a charity all star game. The players and ex players involved pledged over 1 million dollars in relief.

It was just a game.

Forget about the money involved. How about Charles Barkley pledging 250,000 of his own money, and using another 750,000 to build five brand new homes for the victims to start new lives in. Add to that the Robert Pack S.O.S. foundation that was started, to support survivors by providing another 50 or more homes. And look at all the supplies, mostly from sponsers, the players got contributed.

It was just a game.

Now put all that good away. It means a chance at a brighter future, and that is no small thing. But it pales in comparision with what I saw last night. Kobe Bryant took a kid in his arms and kept him there THROUGH the game. That young child, younger than my own nephew, got to sit with his idol through a game, laughing and joking and playing like a normal kid. If you still don't see why that is so important, let me spell it out. This kid lost everything he ever knew in an instant. He is now surrounded by loss and grief, everywhere he turns. He has to live with thousands of other people, strangers. Normalcy is gone for him. His whole life is devistated. But you know what that kid is going to remember? Getting to sit with Kobe Bryant.

And hundreds of other kids and adults have similar stories. The money and the aid is amazing, but these few NBA players took the power they were given through the talent they have, and changed peoples lives. They could actually erase the tragedy from the collective memory of so many kids. Those kids will grow up looking at this as an opportunity, as a blessing, not even in disguise.

This wasn't just a game. This was a game.

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