October 24, 2011
With the NBA lockout now in its fourth month, it's more important than ever for out-of-work players to find constructive ways to fill their time. After all, idle hands are the devil's workshop, tools or playthings, depending on your chosen translation of Scripture/preferred description of prehensile multifingered extremities.
Some players choose to keep their hands busy by playing in high-scoring exhibition contests. Others prefer filming commercials in which they dunk over cars. Denver Nuggets forward/center/iconoclast Chris Andersen(notes), though? This weekend, his hands were full with encouraging Colorado schoolchildren to fill their hands with Rubik's Cubes.
From Kristina Iodice's advance story in the (Colorado Springs) Gazette:
Those who want to see real puzzle solving can check out a contest that's all about Rubik's Cubes and the kids who solve them — without peeling off stickers.
Students from 14 schools across the Front Range will test their Rubik's Cube skills Saturday morning at the state's first "You CAN Do The Rubik's Cube" competition at the Colorado Springs City Auditorium.
The competition features a little star power. Denver Nuggets player Chris "Birdman" Andersen will offer commentary during the tournament and will present awards to the winners. Andersen is a Rubik's Cube fan and he supports an in-school program designed to foster students' science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills.
I appreciate the diligence of Iodice's reporting, but I'm sure we all already knew that Chris Andersen is a Rubik's Cube fan, because it is very obvious that he is committed to problem-solving.
When faced with the hypothetical problem of being stuck on a desert island and having to identify only one item he could bring with him, he solved that problem. When faced with the all-too-real problem of children having to meet an insufficiently boss Santa Claus, he solved that problem. And when faced with the realest problem ever — the problem of having undecorated throat skin — well, you know.
So, as the greatest tactical mind the NBA has ever seen, it is no surprise that Chris Andersen is a very big fan of Rubik's Cubes. Nor is it a surprise that, according to the parent of a student who participated in the event, which was part of the second annual Colorado Springs Cool Science Festival, Birdman "signed t-shirts, hats, jackets and Rubik's Cubes for all the competitors" and "did a great job rooting the kids on and joking along the way." After all, if he doesn't encourage the next generation of Cube-heads, who will?