This evening the Orlando Magic welcome the Detroit Pistons to town in what is a rather important game for both squads. Detroit is trying to get back to their old winning ways while Orlando is trying to get past a team that has been giving them troubles for years.
A focal point of this game will be Rasheed Wallace, everyone's favorite crybaby. After receiving his league leading 15th and 16th technical fouls against Denver on Wednesday night he should have been suspended for tonight's game. However, the NBA withdrew two techs from a previous game this year, thus lowering his season total to 14 and allowing Sheed to suit up tonight.
Mr. Wallace is a poor sport. He whines, moans and complains at every opportunity. He comes off as what is what is wrong with sports and society today: Me first all the way.
Now backup to yesterdays Orlando Sentinel.
Last week when Orlando traded for PG Rafer Alston the Magic parted ways with Brian Cook, Mike Wilks, and Adonal Foyle. That said, Mr. Foyle purchased some ad space and sent this message to the community.
"Let's keep in touch..."
How pleasant and relieving. Mr. Foyle was here less than two seasons and never made much of an impact on the court. Buried on the bench behind Dwight Howard, Marcin Gortat, and Tony Battie, we never heard him complain. We never saw him act unprofessionally. Towels were never thrown on the court and at Stan Van Gundy. Most of this season Adonal was dressed in a suit with no chance of playing. However, he was always up congratulating and willing on his teammates. He had a clipboard in his hand, either making game notes or breaking down Jean-Jacques Rousseau's Social Contract.
But that was just his basketball side. A few weeks ago we discussed Adonal's presidential abilities. To take from that:
Adonal grew up in the tiny island of Canouan, where he was raised by his grandmother and pet donkey and relied on a kerosene lamp to light up his room while doing homework.
At the age of 15, he was adopted by two college professors and moved to New York. He lived the middle-class American lifestyle throughout college, and after being selected 8th overall by the Warriors in the 97 draft, he entered the life of an NBA player, basically guaranteeing him financial security and a sudden opinion on the Capital Gains Tax.
So there you have it, rags to riches. Nice story. But that is isn't even half of it. Just take a visit to AdonalFoyle.com. He is at the helm of Democracy Matters (Seriously, look at this) and the Kerosene Lamp Foundation (Seriously, look at this one too), two organizations that tackle both political issues and poverty.
No one twisted his arm on this one. He's not doing this to further his career. It's not a publicity stunt. Heck, I'm sure most people don't even know about any of this. As a reader pointed out on our last Adonal post:
You left out how genuinely nice he is. I went to high school with Adonal. He's not just smart, he's educated - and he worked hard to be. Between the end of school and the start of practice he would get extra help from his teachers in all subjects so the he could be a straight A student.
Just a few days before the trade Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel wrote a piece about Adonal. Bianchi received a letter from a coach who took a group of kids to see the Magic play in Denver. The letter said:
There were about 20 people (mostly kids) on the bench just as the Magic players took the court. Within the first few minutes, many of the Magic players took the time to wave, say hello and throw a smile toward our group. One player in particular went out of his way to interact with us. As it turns out, this player was Mr. Adonal Foyle.
Mr. Foyle came over and sat on the floor in the middle of our group. He faced us (not the court) and made small talk as he stretched. The kids (ages 4 to 12) were quite scared of Mr. Foyle at first (he is a VERY large man). This is when Mr. Foyle literally laid down on the floor and asked the children if he could be included and play with them. Now that this enormous man was lower than the kids, they warmed up to him quite quickly. Mr. Foyle smiled and spoke to the kids with a very sincere and gentle voice and before we knew it, he was holding the kids on his lap for photos. Mr. Foyle shook hands, high-fived and signed autographs for about 10minutes.
As he started taking practice shots, Mr. Foyle passed the ball back and forth with the kids and then invited them to come on the court and run some line drills with him. All I can think of are the stories that must have gone around at school on the Monday after the game. This is the stuff of dreams; these memories will be cherished by these kids for the rest of their lives!
Mike approached Adonal and asked why he treated the fans the way he did. The answer? "Why not?"
This is the anti-Sheed. I really hope Orlando keeps in touch.
Thanks to TPASTBM contributor El Fantasma de Carlos Arroyo for catching the Adonal ad.