by Alejandro de los Rios
Just to be perfectly clear: I whole-heartedly support Peja Stojakovic's Charitbowl event at AMF All-Star Lanes on March 21st. As I've mentioned before, it's for a good cause; all proceeds will go towards Peja's Courts for Kids charity and will help the Boys and Girls Club of South East Louisiana build a basketball court at their new Iberville facility. Moreover, I'm a fan of Peja who, like most of the Hornets, is engaging, smart and gives great quotes.
As for Peja's bowling skills well, I defer to the following video:
To be fair, I stopped filming after this gutter ball, but it should be noted that not once did he bowl a strike (mercifully, he allowed the media to leave). Clearly, Peja is no Julian Wright on the lanes. Hell, he's not even Hilton Armstrong. But I guess that's not the point. Peja more than makes up for his lacking in bowling skills by announcing his plan to match the amount of money raised at the event (Buy tickets, people, it should be a good time).
While we're here, I'd like to point out that I didn't see any of the local television people interview the Boys and Girls Club representative, Johnny DiBartolo (Note: Peja, myself and his P.R. rep Carrie DeVries were a little late arriving from Hornets practice. The media may have interviewed DiBartolo before we got there, but I didn't see any evidence of that during last night's newscasts. If any of you did, feel free to let me know). Seeing Peja attempt to bowl was cute, even gimmicky if you consider he only did a few frames and by himself. But isn't the real story where the money for this event is going?
I talked to DiBartolo at length about the Boys and Girls Club of South East Louisiana and he mentioned how the BGCSEL has made almost a full recovery since Katrina. Peja's Charitabowl will help immensely in this process, as it is integral for the new Iberville center opening in April. It should also be noted that Peja is also not the first athlete to help out the Boys and Girls Club down here; Chris Duhon of the Chicago Bulls helped out with a center in Slidell, where he played in high school. And let's not forget that the NBA Cares about New Orleans. All of these efforts are what are helping the Big Easy getting back to pre-2005 levels and the real stories; not Peja Stojakovic failing to hit a strike as comical as that was.