Utah Jazz Delve Into Dodgeball For Charity’s Sake

Okay, when we heard that the Utah Jazz were going to get into a common gym-related activity that everybody can participate in for charity, naturally, we thought it’d be Jazzercise. Yes, because of the team name, but also because we could totally see Kyle Korver doing this (it’s basketball-themed and everything!).

Dodgeball Purple Cobras
(Is it too late to go with the “Utah Purple Cobras” for next season?)

No no, though, it’s dodgeball, as the team held a “Dodge Barrage” event for charity this weekend. The two principal characters in the charity are Korver and Deron Williams, and they promoted it with some admittedly awesome work on YouTube. Video is below.

Unfortunately, the event didn’t go exactly as planned; Andrei Kirilenko got way too into it and demolished some little girl’s nose with a crushing throw, then totally punched out her parents when they complained, and… okay, that’s not true at all, things went great. Per the SALT LAKE TRIBUNE:

Two weeks before the start of training camp, Deron Williams was on the Jazz practice court Saturday firing dodgeballs hard enough to bring a smile to your face yet leave you holding your breath all at the same time.

“I’m a competitor,” said Williams, who emerged unscathed aside from a sore shoulder.

It was all in good fun as Williams and Kyle Korver co-hosted their first “Dodge Barrage” charity tournament, which drew some 40 teams and raised an estimated $10,000 for The Christmas Box House shelters for children.

Okay, look. We’re never ones to begrudge charity, since it’s largely only a matter of good fortune if you never have to depend on a charitable organization at some point in your life. And $10,000 can go a long way for an organization that needs it.

But these are millionaires we’re talking about, ones who often earn eight-figure contracts over the course of about three years. Deron Williams makes a free throw or farts during a TV timeout and earns $10,000. And this is hardly an isolated incident.

In fact, look at Carmelo Anthony. He’s widely recognized as one of the most charitable players in the NBA, and the fact that he’s given back over $4.5 million dollars in charitable contributions speaks to that. Yet $3 million of that went to a new basketball facility at Syracuse that’ll bear his name. No offense to the good people at Syracuse, but how does a private university need money more than the actually needy people, either in America or abroad?

Even Harvard, which is literally the richest college in America, has topped $1.6 billion in donations for this year alone. Why? If it’s in the interest of maintaining the power structure atop which the Ivy Leagues currently sit, then that’s a good way to go about it, but there’s a whole lot of people who, through no fault of their own, are going to go to bed hungry tonight.

Again, donations to charity should be applauded, but $10,000 going from Deron Williams to charity is, mathematically speaking, like $20 from me. It’s better than 0, but it’s hardly a sacrifice.