Welcome to Sheed Week, folks! And Happy Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior day, too! These men have very little in common, so there’s no use in comparing them. But let’s go ahead and list a bunch of random trivia about them, shall we?
Lots of games today, so let’s dive right in.
Orlando Magic @ New York Knickerbockers (1pm EST)
In his rookie year, Sheed broke his thumb against the Magic and was sidelined for the rest of the season. Dr. King’s most inspiring speech against the Vietnam War was delivered on April 4, 1967–exactly 1 year before his death.
Chicago Bulls @ Memphis Grizzlies (1pm EST)
Sheed averaged 15-6-2 against Chicago during his career. U2 pays homage to the assassination of Dr. King in their song “Pride (In the Name of Love)” with the following lyrics:
Early morning, April Four
Shot rings out, in a Memphis Sky
Free at last, they took your life
But they could not take your pride.
Milwaukee Bucks @ Philadelphia 76ers (1pm EST)
Rasheed Wallace was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.Â Last winter, when throngs of citizens were protesting the governor outside the state capitol in Wisconsin, Reverend Jesse Jackson (a close friend of Dr. King who was with him the day he was assassinated) addressed the protesters, telling them, “This is a Martin Luther King moment; this is a Gandhi moment.”
Houston Rockets @ Washington Wizards (2pm EST)
President Kennedy–the only politician Dr. King admitted to wanting to endorse–drove the United States to put a man on the moon by the end of the 1960s; NASA’s headquarters in Houston was tasked with overseeing the Apollo program that put a man on the moon on July 20, 1969. Rasheed Wallace was selected 4th overall in the 1995 NBA draft by the Washington Bullets.
Cleveland Cavaliers @ Charlotte Bobcats (2pm EST)
In 2001–37 years after the passage of the Civil Rights Act–the former majority owner of the Bobcats, Robert Johnson, became the first African-American billionaire. Rasheed Wallace spent 2004-2009 drawing the ire of NBA fans in Cleveland, especially when he “guaran-SHEED” victories against the Cavaliers in the 2006 playoffs.
Portland Trailblazers @ New Orleans Hornets (3pm EST)
Sheed. Blazers.Â Ask Sean, if you need to know more. In the 1990s, the Louisiana state legislature officially named Interstate 110 the Martin Luther King Junior Memorial Expressway.
New Jersey Nets @ Los Angeles Clippers (3:30pm EST)
Sheed’s only game as an Atlanta Hawk was against the New Jersey Nets.Â Dr. King would probably not be a huge fan of Donald Sterling.
Toronto Raptors @ Atlanta Hawks (4pm EST)
Dr. King was born in Atlanta, Georgia.Â 1993 was a momentous year for two reasons: Jurassic Park, the namesake of the Toronto Raptors, had an opening weekend of over $50 million, easily making it the most popular dinosaur movie of all time. Just 3 months prior, freshman Rasheed Wallace helped the Carolina Tar Heels win coach Dean Smith’s last NCAA title.
Oklahoma City Thunder @ Boston Celtics (8pm EST)
Sheed’s final season in the NBA (or is it???) was played with the Boston Celtics. Based on a cursory internet search, I find absolutely zero evidence that Dr. King ever visited the state of Oklahoma.
Sacramento Kings @ Minnesota Timberwolves (8pm EST)
During Sheed’s tenure in Portland, the Blazers never once played the Kings in the playoffs. The University of Minnesota created the MLK program–an academic advising program that fosters multiculturalism– “after the landmark Morrill Hall take over by a group of African American students who were seeking equity of programming, faculty, classes and other services.”
Dallas Mavericks @ Los Angeles Lakers (10:30pm EST)
Another pioneer of Civil Rights in the 1960s, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in a motorcade in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963. After the Pistons beat the Lakers in the 2004 finals, Sheed bought all of his teammates celebratory championship belts.
Enjoy the games, everyone.