Philadelphia 76ers @ Indiana Pacers
Saturday, January 23
7:00 pm EST
Samuel Dalembert comes to Indianapolis tonight, and a meaningless basketball game will hopefully provide him with a short distraction from real life. See, Samuel is Haitian and has struggled to sleep or concentrate on anything other than the tragedy that struck his country for the past 10 days, during which time he visited his country to see what he could do to help.
All this has pushed him to the front of the NBA’s admirable relief efforts since the quake (which TJ Ford and Josh McRoberts have contributed to), and his heartfelt remarks after his recent return from his demolished homeland provide the league with a first-hand account of the horror — and the unfathomable challenges facing those trying save lives and repair infrastructure.
“I’m doing my best,” he says. “I’ll take another trip with UNICEF. So we can try to get all those children out there … you know, we have parents who have been trying to adopt for two or three years.”
At this point, tears are streaming down Dalembert’s face. “You know and … that’s frustrating me … you’re asking people to help. And kids have parents over there who want to adopt them. I’ve got a hundred parents, and you have a bunch of guys sitting down with the freaking papers. All it takes is one hour to go over everything, you know what I’m saying?
“I saw somebody’s leg amputated in front of me. Surgeries performed on a kitchen table … I’m talking about a folding kitchen table … I have some disturbing pictures. And it hurts. … There was no surgery room … You heard him screaming. … Not enough alcohol. Things we take for granted, you know. They try to make one bottle of alcohol last …
“And I’m going to do something in Philly. I will have a plane come in here, in Philly, and collect stuff next week … and I will have the plane take the stuff over there. Also I will let people know that if doctors want to give their time, that plane can go over there bringing doctors over there. Hopefully we’ll make huge progress. Hopefully we’ll save more lives.”
Samuel’s ongoing efforts are truly noble.
And they make all efforts into anything related to sports and entertainment inconsequential. Even as I type this, for example, I feel worthless for spending so much time over the past two weeks going on about my merry life and putting time into writing about the Pacers while millions suffer unthinkable calamities.
But this is what I do, so it is what I have done.
In fact, last week marked the six-month anniversary of this blog’s existence and me having been doing this. I didn’t even notice until just now, and while six months certainly isn’t that big of a deal, it does present a small opportunity for me to urge you to help people in dire need of help.
I know we haven’t always provided the timeliest or greatest or funniest or consistentest or [insert superlative here] coverage of the Pacers. We’re still learning the ropes and have made a lot of mistakes over the half-year. But we have put in a lot of effort and, presumably, at least a few of you have enjoyed our coverage — our coverage that is free to you and for which I don’t get paid.
I’m fine with that. I would never ask for payment from readers for this drivel.
But if you have ever even for a quick second wanted to give us thanks for any of the content we’ve created for the Pacers community thus far, please give $10 to the relief efforts in Haiti. All you have to do is text “Haiti” to 90999 and $10 will go to the Red Cross and be added to your next phone bill. Or even if you think we are doing terrible, terrible work here — or have know idea who I am — and are for some reason reading this sentence anyway, please, still send $10.
It’s literally the least we can do.
Thanks for reading, and please watch the video below that shows how President Clinton has partnered with the NBA for relief efforts, which are also being greatly advanced by Dwyane Wade and Alonzo Mourning.
Topics: Game Previews