Invoking the name of a legendary and groundbreaking civil rights icon, a shaper of culture and human expectation and a shifter of public policy, should usually be done with the utmost taste and tact. And references to the icon should usually come while in the midst of talking about the subjects listed above. Even if you do it in a strange, passive/aggressive manner.
And probably not while discussing the All-Star snobbery of your top point guard, as Golden State Warriors coach Mark Jackson did on Wednesday, even before Warriors guard Stephen Curry got the bone and missed out on the All-Star team. From the San Francisco Chronicle, via SB Nation:
"We know who the jurors are," Jackson said, referring to the Western Conference's head coaches. "I think you have to question the process. I'm not going to go all Dr. King on us, but you've got to stand for what's right, man. These guys have changed this whole organization. They have led. They have sacrificed. They have defended. They have competed."
It’s true. Both David Lee (who was selected to the All-Star team) and Curry have led, sacrificed, and competed for the 26-15 Warriors, currently ranked fifth in the deep Western Conference. They’ve even defended, as their coach points out, in sharp contest to the reputations as sieves both brought into the 2012-13 season. They, along with coach Jackson, have changed the Warrior organization for the better — even if it took a few frustrating years to get there.
But bringing up Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.? Come on, coach.
Sure, Jackson told us he was “not going to go all Dr. King on us,” but that’s exactly the same as bringing it up! It’s the same as saying, “I don’t want to go off on a rant, here,” before completely going off on a rant … except this one compared the injustices Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. faced with Stephen Curry being left off of a stupid NBA All-Star team.
Curry deserves to be on that team. Not only has he played like an All-Star this year, to these eyes he’s had more of an All-Star season than LaMarcus Aldridge and Zach Randolph (who are both deserving All-Stars, but not at Curry’s expense). Curry’s impact is too strong to ignore. He’s averaging nearly 21 points per game with 6.6 assists a contest and 4.1 boards, along with 1.7 steals. He recently fell from first to third in the NBA in 3-point shooting percentage after a tough 3 for 14 outing against the Oklahoma City Thunder, but for a lead guard (and not a specialist) to take (7.1 a game) and make (3.2 per) that many completely turns a game on its ear.
It truly is a terrible snub, one the coaches should feel bad about.
Just don’t, y’know, invoke Dr. King. Even if you’re “not going to go all Dr. King on us.” Kind of a reach, coach Jackson. Kind of a reach.
Jackson, in the midst of what could be a season that truly earns him a Coach of the Year award, will lead his Golden State club into Chicago for what should be one of the better pairings of Friday night.