The world of professional sports can often be a unbearably cynical one. Whether it’s ego boosting self pat on the backs, asking for more money from their teams… the various entitled antics of professional athletes aren’t usually the most likable of things, as far as human interactions tend to go. Once in a while though, a story comes along that brings you back to the innocence of childhood, a time when all you wanted to do was to play the game that you loved so much for a living.
A week ago, Isaiah Austin was one of college basketball’s best prospects. The 7 foot 1 center for the Baylor Bears was set to fulfill his dream of becoming a professional basketball player by being drafted in the late first round or early second round. However, Austin would be diagnosed with Marfan Syndrome, a genetic disorder which in its most serious form can cause defects to the heart valves and aorta. Austin, who already overcame blindness in his right eye to play at the highest level of college basketball, was dealt a serious blow. For his own sake, Austin had to step away from the game, just a mere 4 days before it would come through.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver though, had other ideas. In a move that can only be described as “super duper classy”, Silver took a break from the usual proceedings and drafted Isaiah for the NBA. The symbolic gesture (which you can see in the video above), clearly meant a ton to the young man, who teared up as he took to the podium and certainly brought a smile to my face and many others watching. Here, the rest of the basketball and the Twittersphere react.
Austin moment was so good…so good
— Ernie Johnson (@TurnerSportsEJ) June 27, 2014
Adam silver is such a classy man! That’s love right there. I’m emotional for him. Damn I love that
— Kevin Durant (@KDTrey5) June 27, 2014
Happy Isaiah Austin was able to hear his name called at the NBA draft. Very cool to see.
— Kevin Love (@kevinlove) June 27, 2014
— COMMON (@common) June 27, 2014
Silver, who just took over from long-time head honcho David Stern in February, is already off to a stellar start as Commissioner, having handled the Donald Sterling racist remarks case and this awesome gesture with flying colours. Other executives (*cough* Sepp Blatter of FIFA) should take notes.