Because what they do is glamorized by society (including this lovely publication), it’s sometimes hard to remember that NBA players are just regular dudes that happen to be really good at throwing a spherical object into a cylindrical object. Not coincidentally, my favorite stories are often those that remind us that NBA stardom, let alone NBA off-the-benchdom, is no ticket to a worry-free life.
Enter Kenyon Dooling who, to be honest, hasn’t flashed across my consciousness very often. I have vague memories of him being apart of those exciting early 2000′s Clippers teams with Lamar Odom, Elton Brand and Quentin Richardson, and know him as one of Dwight Howard’s sidekicks in Orlando, but when he announced his retirement a week ago I barely blinked. I didn’t stop and ask why a guy who signed a free agent contract a few months before was retiring, or why a guy who was 31 and still in demand was retiring. I just let it pass me by.
So why did Dooling retire? Plain and simple, he didn’t want to ball anymore. He’s done. His body hurts, he hasn’t spent enough time with his family, and he is dealing with some heavy emotional issues leftover from a childhood filled with abuse. He has earned close to $30 million in his career, and he was ready to walk away. As he says, “The average career is 4 1/2 years and I tripled that, almost.” Yes you did Kenyon, yes you did.
On the heels of Kenyon Dooling’s emotional retirement comes the ridiculous story that Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen had a dance-off to Trey Songz and Fabulous’ “Say Ahh” at Pippen’s 47th birthday party. What?
There are so many ridiculous parts of this story. First, the guest list included Jordan, Bulls President Michael Reinsdorf and his wife, Amad Rashad, Nazr Mohammed, ANTOINE WALKER and Worldwide Wes. That’s about as bizarre of a collection of people loosely affiliated with the NBA as I can imagine.
Second, what are a bunch of people in their late 40′s doing at a club? Admittedly, I have zero percent expertise on the Chicago club scene, but wouldn’t they prefer sitting around a living room drinking wine, or perhaps a group trip to Hawaii or something?
Finally, what the fuck are Jordan and Pippen doing have a dance contest? What were the rules of this contest? Was it friendly (yeah right, Michael Jordan was involved) or competitive? Was Jordan wearing his usual pair of hilariously large and distressed in all the right places jeans? Why did they choose to dance to “Say Ahh”? Did Jordan hog the dance floor? Does ANYBODY, for the love of god, have video of this?