This is a blog on internet safety and reputation management, but I had to write a short post about Ronny Turiaf and something he did last night in the New York Knicks game. In the fourth quarter, of a very close game between the Knicks and the Charlotte Bobcats, Turiaf grabbed a rebound in traffic, and inadvertently elbowed a Bobcat player in the process. Turiaf threw the ball to his teammate, and then looked down at the Bobcat player who was still on the ground as everyone else was running up the court quickly to the other end.
You could literally see what was going through Turiaf's mind as he hesitated, "Should I run to the other end with everyone else, or make sure this guy is OK and help him up?" In a pickup game, decency dictates that one help the guy up as there is no real competition, nothing is at stake. In the fourth quarter of a professional game, book is to run to the other end, gain the offensive advantage of 5 against 4, and see the guy after the game. That is obviously what Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant would do in the same circumstance.
Turiaf's humanity won out. It's almost like he tried to turn away, but he could not. After a moment's hesitation in which his shoulder started moving toward the other end of the court, he quickly turned back, gave the fallen player a hand up and ran back to the other end. I did not see Mike D'Antoni's reaction (the Knick's coach), but the announcers were saying he was not pleased with Turiaf.
But in that moment, my respect and appreciation for Turiaf soared. I already suspected that I really liked Turiaf. His hustle, team oriented play and how how he does the little things have been a real pleasure to watch in the young season. His actions were exactly how I would want my kids to act in that situation. Competition is important, but too often it seems to take a back seat to our decency.
I don't think there is YouTube video of this play, but here is a nice post that highlights the value of Turiaf to the Knicks team: Ronny Turiaf