Tony Allen shows strength in times of storm and stress. (Getty Images)
One nice side benefit to NBA suspensions and/or fines is the fact that all the money collected from a player as a result of either a fine or being docked a game’s pay goes to league-chosen charities. Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, notorious for over a decade’s worth of fines for various referee-related reasons, even matches his personal NBA levy each time out with his own charitable contribution. It’s a good give back than everyone can get behind, even if we’re a little uneasy with the way we got to this benevolent turn.
Memphis Grizzlies defensive stopper Tony Allen, in his typically inimitable way, has created a unique turn on this sort of back and forth.
You’ll recall that in mid-November Allen inadvertently kicked Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul during a game. It was an accident, to be sure, but Allen left himself prone to criticism for being out of control on the court on his way to bonking the NBA’s top point guard, one that has battled the Grizzlies in both the 2012 and 2013 playoffs. Watch:
Allen apologized via Twitter soon after:
1st thing 1st apologies 2 @CP3 accidental kick.....
— Tony Allen (@aa000G9) November 19, 2013
Feeling some type of way about being ejected .... so not my character !! 1st and last ejection ! That's my word — Tony Allen (@aa000G9) November 19, 2013
This didn’t matter much to the NBA, who rightfully suspended Allen for one game soon after the incident. A month later, though, Allen is doing something pretty interesting with the shoes that once grazed the Clippers All-Star. He’s auctioning them off for charity, in time to benefit local youth around the Christmas season. From Ronald Tillery at the Memphis Commercial-Appeal:
The shoe that Tony Allen wore when he inadvertently kicked Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul in the face on Nov. 18 will be auctioned online to benefit Youth Villages. Allen, who was ejected from that game and suspended, donated the shoe to the national nonprofit organization headquartered in Memphis. Youth Villages is auctioning the shoe online as part of an effort to raise $15,000 to buy presents for children receiving help on its residential campuses and group homes. The shoe is autographed by Allen and is mounted in a custom Memphis Grizzlies display case. The eBay auction runs through Sunday. All proceeds generated from the sale of the shoe will be matched by an anonymous donor up to $10,000.
The shoe is autographed by Allen and will be enclosed in a “custom Memphis Grizzlies display case.” From the eBay auction site:
“It’s a one-of-a-kind piece of sports memorabilia that will be an amazing addition to any Grizzlies fan’s collection,” said Richard Shaw, chief development officer at Youth Villages.
Starting bid price of $750 will provide holiday gifts for 10 children in Youth Villages' care. The auction ends Sunday, Dec. 22, 2013.
All proceeds generated from the sale of “The Shoe” will be matched 1:1 from an anonymous donor (up to $10,000) and will be used to ensure that all children away from their families this Christmas at Youth Villages experience the joy of the season.
Youth Villages serves more than 1,000 of the most vulnerable children and families in Shelby County every day. While many are served through in-home and community-based efforts, more than 355 children are in Youth Villages’ residential programs.
“About 60 percent of these children will not be able to go home for the holidays and will wake up Christmas morning in residential care,” Shaw said. “Understandably, this time of year is particularly difficult for these children. We go to great lengths to ensure that each of them can celebrate the holidays with the excitement, gifts and joy they deserve.”
Of course, this isn’t the first bit of charity work Allen has done in the Memphis community, or even the only bit of charitable work he’s done this month, as we can see here:
— Donna Meagle (@JustToiaya) December 17, 2013
Keep kickin’, Tony. Grit and grind and good cheer.
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