At some point last season, Darfur was suddenly a hot topic around NBA circles. That's because Cavs forward Ira Newble got involved in the anti-genocide activism, and LeBron James wouldn't follow suit. This led to all sorts of rampant speculation: Was Nike whispering in his ear? Was James just not mature enough? Or is this not the kind of thing superstars do these days?
Well, they do if they're Tracy McGrady. Today's Houston Chronicle has a lengthy feature on T-Mac's trip to live among refugees in Chad. This wasn't a publicity appearance; McGrady went on his own, and brought a film crew to document both the situation and his crash course in its harsh realities. The plan is to produce a documentary that can attract fans of the NBA.
One especially trenchant quote from the article:
But McGrady can no longer think of "AK-47" as an innocent nickname for a Utah Jazz forward named Andrei Kirilenko; it is now a reminder of those moments of doubt.Hats off to T-Mac for setting the bar high for fellow stars like LeBron. He may never get out of the first round, but the Rockets star is certainly finding a way to age gracefully. And maybe, just maybe, a way to make an impact that will be felt well after his retirement.