UCSD and NBA Champions: Artest Out, LeBron James Returned   Leave a comment


UCSD Welcome Week 2010 continues, and a marginally conspicuous absence from the festivities has been noted: Ron Artest. Here he is performing at last year’s All-Campus Dance:

No on-campus chatter, Twitter, or blog postings have detected any Artest encore at this year’s All-Campus Dance. That’s disappointing, because the Tribune is reporting that he is in town. Perhaps being an NBA champion now, he doesn’t feel as though he has time for UCSD.

That might also help explain why LeBron James returned to UCSD this summer to hold his King’s Academy Basketball Camp. LeBron comes back, Ron Artest doesn’t. As a Lakers fan, I’d prefer it the other way around, and it’s a strange note that LeBron James showed UCSD more loyalty from ’09-’10 than he did for Cleveland.

But I’m glad LeBron James came back this summer. As much as he’s damaged his own image this summer, his fearless reappearance at UCSD may repair the school’s. Between LeBron James’ two King’s Academy camps at UCSD, something called the “Compton Cookout” occurred. Papers and blogs across the nation said UCSD was a campus torn apart by racial divisions.

LeBron James chose to return despite all of the falsely magnified rhetoric bandied about by the media. He didn’t even find any of the year’s events at UCSD worth mentioning. I interpret James’ return to UCSD this summer as a statement on the campus climate, which is as mild and balmy as the weather. That’s a considerable response to any lingering jabber about a toxic climate.

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Posted September 21, 2010 by Wada in UCSD

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