SportsProf

(Hopefully) good sports essays and observations for good sports by a guy who tries (and can sometimes fail) to be a good sport.

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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Former NBA Player is Now in U.S. Army in Iraq

His name is Tim James. He went to the University of Miami, played in the NBA and in Europe, and joined the army last year. He was deployed to Iraq in July.

Click here to read all about it, thanks to Comcast.

James' story is very inspiring, particularly on a day where I read a quote from former 76ers' general manager Billy King talking about former 76ers' star Allen Iverson. To paraphrase, King said that Iverson was a selfish player who didn't make the players around him better. My initial reaction was that I was sure that it didn't take King almost a decade to figure that out, but that as GM he had to balance his frustration with public relations. Still, I was interested in hearing that a few NBA teams have interest in the 32 year-old one-time MVP (who in my estimation needed about as many shots to get his points per game average as any other player in NBA history and, no, that's not a compliment).

Tim James is in the U.S. Army, helping the U.S. government finish a messy job before the Iraqis take over.

Allen Iverson perhaps still doesn't get it.

Not, of course, that I expect him to join the army.

It just would have been nice to have seen him set a great example for his teammates, lead better, take more responsibility and help his teammates maximize their talents.

Tim James' story is a stark contrast and a reminder that the best teams need all players -- and not just the role players -- to be unselfish and help mold themselves into a team.

To Specialist James -- Thank you and Godspeed.

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