Boom the Mentor

February 29, 2008

Baron Davis need be recognized for more than just his filthy set of skills (of which he definitely has many). Analogically put, Baron Davis is Batman AND Bruce Wayne.
Bruce Wayne.
The NBA has had its proverbial giants off the court like AC Green, David Robinson, and hundreds of others that contribute on a philanthropic/altruistic level: Reading programs, rebuilding Nola, Thanksgiving/Christmas soup kitchens, and so on. Their efforts aren’t to be slighted at all, because they are surely making an impact. And Baron is obviously right there with his LA Stars charity basketball games put on cooperatively with Paulie Pierce, as well as still participating in the league associated NBA Cares programs. But Boom seems to go the extra mile of improving life and inspiring awareness in less anticipated venues. He is outside of the box in his ventures.
In a world where super heroes are constantly admired from through a television screen or at arms length as you reach your pen over the railing to get an autograph, Boom Dizz, like Batman, makes the audience feel like they aren’t so far away. Audiences love Superman, but don’t feel close to him because he is inhumanly perfect, and no one of us knows what that feels like.
Baron struggles.
Brought up by his grandmother, he fought for his high school scholarship, once there, he fought for his college scholarship, and once he exploded into the NCAA he then fought back from injury to be the #3 pick in the ‘99 Draft, only to battle more nagging injuries. Sure, even the Supermen in the NBA struggle, but we don’t see it. We see Baron’s struggles; we appreciate Baron’s struggles.
Baron cares.
Armed with the star status that he fought for, but is not defined by, he spends his free time making gang documentaries, visiting children’s hospitals, co-founding the social competition site iBeatYou, and starting book clubs in the NBA. He doesn’t just play a game that makes us temporarily forget what we’re struggling with (though he does definitely succeed there as he is running the league’s highest scoring offense …and oddly enough was an All-Star mega-Snub), but he seems genuinely charged with the mission of ridding world’s (read: communities, the young man he visited that was ‘in the wrong place at the wrong time’, his embattled teammates) of their struggle.
Mostly, Baron is under appreciated. He ought to be lauded for his determination as a complete player (went out and got in the best shape he’s been in since about his sophomore year in the Association) and his pride as a complete person. He’s the kind of guy I hope all young people strive to be, and he is the sort of leader every team ought to have. Maybe that is why we appreciate him the most.

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