CNN’s Piers Morgan interrogated LeFrak City native and Archbishop Molloy High School alum Kenny Anderson last week about being one of a number of former NBA players who went on Dennis Rodman’s latest ill-advised tour of North Korea. As naive as it may sound, Kenny claimed that he was unaware of what a totalitarian state North Korea is. He added that he felt he owed Rodman a favor for frequently coming through for him in the past.
Kenny also made it clear that he realized that he was in over his head the moment he set foot in Pyongyang and tried to stay in his hotel room as much as possible.
Morgan lambasted him for shaking hands with Kim Jung-Un and for accepting monetary remuneration for the trip. Anderson smartly asked Piers what he would have done in a similar situation. If he refused to shake the North Korean dictator’s hands he might have met the same fate that Kim’s uncle did. Although he earned millions as an NBA star, Kenny has admitted that he squandered it all and has to do whatever he can to feed his family.
I remember Anderson being very arrogant when he played with the then-New Jersey Nets after leaving Georgia Tech after his freshman year. He became a lot more personable with maturity. It’s to his immense credit that he earned a bachelor’s degree from Miami’s St. Thomas Aquinas College at age 39.
The St. John’s Red Storm men’s basketball team was supposed to be a team capable of getting an invitation to this year’s NCAA Tournament. At the very least, the Johnnies were considered to be one of the dominant teams in the revamped Big East. Alas as the poet Robert Burns once wrote, “The best laid schemes of mice and men often go awry.”
The Red Storm have been winless in the Big East going into tonight’s game with Seton Hall at Carnesecca Arena. They have managed to beat teams vastly inferior to them including those from two Ivy League colleges, Columbia and Dartmouth. Defeating a bunch of smart kids who don’t get athletic scholarships (Ivy rules prohibit them) is not very impressive. Head coach Steve Lavin had better make sure that his underachieving Johnnies start posting some wins over quality opponents or he could meet the same fate as his predecessor, Norm Roberts.
I was saddened to learn of the passing of longtime Queens Tribune photographer Ira Cohen. Even though we worked for competing newspapers, Ira always treated me as a colleague and a friend. He never hesitated telling me about an event or giving me a ride. The US Open will not be as much fun without him.