Well, this could get awkward. Doc Rivers and Ray Allen are scheduled to play together in Barack Obama’s basketball game, but — thanks to NBA lockout rules — the two aren’t even allowed to speak. (ESPN)
A number of NBA stars have committed to play in an exhibition game to raise money for President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign.
The mix of hoops and political fundraising will be staged Dec. 12 for the “Obama Classic Basketball Game” in Washington, D.C.
The venue for the game has not been finalized, but a number of former and current NBA players already have committed to participate. They include: Dwight Howard,Kevin Durant, Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony, Ray Allen and Chris Bosh.
Sources also said Baron Davis, Vince Carter, Alonzo Mourning. Jamal Crawford, Rudy Gay, Kevin Love, Russell Westbrook, Amare Stoudemire, Blake Griffin, Tyler Hansbrough, Derek Fisher, Antawn Jamison, Juwan Howard, Quentin Richardson, Dahntay Jones, Brandon Knight, Jerry Stackhouse, John Wall, Dikembe Mutombo, Patrick Ewing and Doc Rivers are expected to play. Veteran WNBA star and all-time leading scorer Tina Thompson and former USC great Cheryl Miller also is expected to participate.
Let me just gather my thoughts for a second. Sorry, I’m just amazed that Vince Carter will be playing basketball voluntarily. I really expected that his lockout would be filled with nothing except trips to the bank, glasses of red wine, marvelous gourmet cooking from a live-in chef, responses to a steady stream of hate mail (mostly postmarked in Toronto), and daily sessions dedicated to working on his fake limp. I guess an invitation from the President goes a long way.
Okay, thoughts are gathered. Now, odds on who will need the oxygen tank first:
Alonzo Mourning: 30-1 — Mourning was, is and always will be a physical specimen. But that whole kidney thing makes him a wild card. Plus, there’s always a chance Mourning sees Vince Carter, remembers this, and enters a confounding fit of hyperventilation.
Doc Rivers: 10-1 — He hasn’t played in a while, but Rivers was always a gamer. More importantly, he will probably be treated like he normally treats rookies: I can’t imagine anyone lets Doc play more than three or four minutes at a time.
Dikembe Mutombo: 7-1 — Mutombo has a lot going for him in The Oxygen Tank Quest. He’s as old as the sun itself. He was forced into retirement two years ago after suffering an injury. (Apropos to nothing, that injury was suffered when Mutombo got tangled up with Greg Oden, lending proof that Oden’s contagious.) But I just can’t see Mutombo aging. In my mind, he’ll always be the dude with weird teeth, gangly arms and an awesome tendency to wave his finger after rejecting an opponent. Long live the finger wave, long live Mutombo.
Baron Davis: 4-1 — Davis doesn’t have the advanced age some of his opponents do. He won’t turn 40 for another eight years. But what Davis lacks in sheer time spent on earth, he more than makes up for with a tendency to expand during offseasons. Now, he has an NBA lockout to help that tendency.
Juwan Howard: 1-2 — Rumor: Howard wasn’t signed by the Miami Heat to play power forward. He was signed as a chaperon for road trips. The odds-on favorite in The Oxygen Tank Quest, indeed.
P.S. – Please don’t invite Rajon Rondo, Mr. Prez, or else he might never make a jump shot again.