Tuesday, March 01, 2011

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is a baller!

I finally got around to watching the 2011 NBA All-Star Celebrity Game, which had been buried deep in my DVR. I know it's pathetic, but I'll watch anything with basketball in it. I saw Space Jam in the theater.

I was pleasantly surprised at how competitive the game was this year. The requisite former NBA-ers like Scottie Pippen, Jalen Rose, Mitch Richmond, and Chris Mullin did their thing. Other standouts included Romeo Miller aka Lil Romeo, Common, and yes, Justin Bieber, who took home the MVP award (based on fan voting) and showed decent skills along with an annoying, self-absorbed personality.

But let me tell you, I was most impressed with 46-year-old U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. Before dedicating his life to public service, Duncan was schooling overgrown blue bloods as captain of the Harvard basketball team, and then took a 4-year walkabout in the Australian pro league. So the dude can obviously play. But in the Celebrity Game, Duncan played with a particular poise that should make all of us aging ballers proud. He didn't try to do too much like the boy-idiot Bieber. He wasn't trying to be a star. He played within the flow of the game, setting solid screens, making nice crisp passes, and never forcing shots.

Duncan clearly had some serious game as a younger man, and while he doesn't have much speed or hops left, he has become a cerebral, efficient old-timer. Check out this nasty behind-the-back dime. No cutter left behind!