Isiah Thomas talks new Chicago youth league
Tue, 19 Feb 2013|
Basketball Hall of Famer and area native Isiah Thomas discusses his new Chicago youth basketball league and LeBron James on Chicago Tribune Live - 2/19
The guy who knows the names of Kendall gill and -- thinking pretty well written. I've got to get parents giving up a hall of Famer Isiah Thomas thanks for coming in the pride of us saint Joe's of Westchester. Thanks for coming you've had yourself a busy day -- -- -- a lecture -- this initiative you're starting up of me around Manuel. It's been a very busy day we actually announce and to park districts where we gonna start the windy city basketball league. And it's for kids ages thirteen seventeen. Starting remarks. Every Friday and Saturday night. Think we go to the park who register and play and we. Believe that if we can get the -- thing get to know each other given some recreational activities. Things to do doing a week in -- sports to play. Back in their communities. We believe that they can start to slowly erode if that's -- -- -- and -- you yourself you know when you were growing up do you were no stranger to what was going on around you. In your neighborhood and -- one who through with flying colors. And you've seen all the news reports there has to be an elevated. Level of concern with the elevated numbers unfortunately we've been seeing lately. Yet it is then that that's that's a good thing about what the mayor is doing he's really taken upon it upon himself and it's really taken. Personal responsibility to try to get everyone involved trying to get to see these guys understand that. This is an. One segment of the population problem this is everyone's proud -- -- and -- Chicago and he could pitch in and lend a helping hand and you know sports. For all of us it's not just the score of the game. It's about the mentors that you me it's about the coaches that are around you about the education services that wrapped around that and it's about. You know you you learn how to resolve conflicts though as opposed to. When we get mad at each other and can you say well. That's fine you say I was playing game the team and definitely you can write you know so those type a conflict resolution and those type of things that you learn at a very young eight. Terms of getting together working together and a group. Those are those acute. Would you like to see. More athletes involved like this and don't do it -- came out and says some things out of the violence in a -- team and everything. Would you like to see more of the MBA players didn't ball. Yeah I believe that you know I've always use my sports platform. To be activists in our community. My hand I believe that more athletes need to be activists and particularly. You know the more -- the -- who the more guys who are -- educated I believe with. With with -- education. And we Kweisi to have some type activism inside of you so. The more guys that can speak up and speak out particularly about what's happening now communities right now in Chicago and they need to get involved. Their voice is needed and their presence is needed. Isaiah what was the tipping point for you was there a moment or was it through the recent tragedy we have here in Chicago with the young lady. Mishandled and that they can prompted you to. To get involved. Not I have been on this road if you go back and look at career since I stepped on that. I guess I'm public states and that was like 1516 years so. My mother was an activist and industry after -- here in Chicago and you know that's what we worked hard enough and the to speak up -- to speak out and you know if you sign a -- part of the problem and you know when I was in Detroit. Organized no crime -- there 1986. You know I have big rallies about crime and everything and so everything that. You know we were doing in Detroit everything that I've been doing you know most of my life. I've always been doing it here every summer I came home on the west side of Chicago and try to do good things and again not just write the check but it soon enough and being present that that's the biggest thing. Isiah when we're in the late Kirby Puckett was going in the hall of fame. -- the album was able to go to the Robert Taylor homes and walk around and his story was his he had grown up there but his mother and moved to hit it -- family out of their further to the south side and that was. In part so he could play in Little League Baseball and he can that Wear our uniform and play. You know organized sports it just didn't exist in in that community and it interest me this basketball league Friday Saturday night's. Is that still such an underserved. You know community where -- there they're really. Aren't the organized sports because you know this was he was going to the hall of -- around the year 2000 and still didn't exist. Yeah in most areas that are really out poverty stricken the first thing they do is they take out sports and play. Can you take out sport and play from the community every successful society since then. Stay that human beings or is it you know existed on this earth has always had some form of play and sport. And what sport does is it reinforces the values that you learn at home to the communities trying to teach at the school is trying to teach so. Being in these park districts these Tim park districts that we're we're venturing off into right now. Did he make in his a fool use facility in terms football baseball basketball swimming. And again you get to meet friends you get to meet people. You get to interact and learn about different cultures you may get to travel on a team you may get to. See a different part of the world are different part of your own neighborhood community that you never were exposed to. I really got two or three minutes level as I do want to point out you've seen on the screen. You want more information go to city of Chicago dot org slash hoops to make a donation you can purchase a Jersey pay a referee. -- record support another part of the program the goal is to raise 480000. Dollars in sixty days and there's the information right there all right last couple days have been. Here about a big fiftieth birthday party. Other big fiftieth birthday party last night and had to hit it. Few other guys been celebrated thought I had learned in my -- it's not a my wife my kids gave me you know a nice fit this -- oh my goodness they're NASA is very. Everything was -- they -- happy birthday you know gave -- K Kim gets my screen and. -- -- -- and ask you know today on radio you talked about the Jordan LeBron comparison. There's been so much debate about that. I mean he's demo what you say he's you feel -- the -- the better athlete and then with. I think LeBron is a great athlete and has -- say that I I think -- a great athlete I think Jordan was I have a great athlete in his era in the -- is a great athlete in this era and any time I think where do you Jordan LeBron. Being compared to each other in the -- so good. They compare Chris Paul to me right now I think. You know you always at least I do you always want that next generation. Coming up as an athlete to be better than -- sort of pushed that envelope further and I think these kids you know in the league right now the way they're playing the Atlantis is in the there half. You know we we've never seen in our league a 611 Kevin Durant who can do the things that he does -- basketball in this league is never seen. How LeBron James it's 68 to fifteen with a with a handle like massive support here grows you just haven't seen those things so. You know that that's that's accurate and factual points. Quick thought on what Derrick Rose is going through right now your thoughts on him. What he's done so far in his career in the kind of the inner battle I suppose he's going through knowing when to push it when it's really Israelis come back and have know what he's quick he's doing and what he's done. You know he's. Not only has he. He's done it on the court. But off the court. You know he's so -- out and he's he can out in the community my hand he's been a positive role model. In the community and you know the dilemma that they have right now in terms of doesn't come back when does he come back. It really all depends and him in terms how he feels physically. In the organization in terms of where they wanna go that mean you really have to view. Smart about the decision that you make in. You know I don't know. How many of you grew up here but I remember growing up here and it was a guy here brand name and Gale Sayers mean with. A phenomenal athlete in you know did things that we didn't see any more until Barry Sanders came around -- and he tore his knee in. You know I'm sure had they. Had surgeries and everything back in -- way they do now you know I may be a different story some. In -- I say to divorce into Derrick Rose take your time because -- you have it a gentleman here who's young and got a lot of basketball left. I think so much for coming and we appreciate each time we know you're watching Indiana tonight going to go to Michigan. I have -- -- shall I go about our guys slash -- for more information if I -- a real involved with -- is. -- there with the mayor Rahm Emanuel the artist Sara this basketball league game keep you off the streets it's.