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about j. cross
  J. Cross was born and raised Southern, where he was, at one time, a journalist in Missis- sippi. Currently, he lives in Pennsylvania. Through his essays, he seeks to explore meanings and to somehow make a difference that will make a difference.  
Ray Allen's faith (or, the issue of something else)
A lot of next-level NBA ballers think they're unstoppable on the court. Not Seattle's superstar. Ray Allen has faith. His faith, now, doesn't mean that he can walk on water. or perform all manner of miracles. But…well, his faith does allow him to produce righteousness out there.
Did you see what he did in the series against the Kings? Put on a clinic. No, it was more like a sacred service. He went to the altar, communed with his Game.
Ray Allen's team probably won't make it to the finals. So what? Ray's still bound for glory. He's so smooth. so fluid. so devoted.
What if you believed in your god the way Ray believes in his Game?
Call it what you want, but I'm thinking Ray's practice routine is more like a prayer ritual than anything. He's not just showing up at the gym to become a better player; he's trying to become one-with-Game.
And you thought religious zeal only occurred among Muslim Extremists, the religious Right, and the holy rollers at your church. Please. Ray's faith makes him blind to those hands in his face. He thinks of those double teams as minor tests of faith-something to note but certainly not strong enough to shake a true believer.
No wonder Spike cast Ray as Jesus in that movie. But then, Ray Allen's no savior. If you've only glanced at the playoffs this year, you know them cats need no savior. They've already been "saved." Ray-A is just doing his thing.
The sportscasters praise Ray's cool smoothness. Bless their hearts, they still haven't figured out, though, the extents to which Ray Allen is something else, a vessel perhaps, for transmitting holiness to the masses. That is, for example, watch what happens when lil brown kids translate a Ray-style faith into themselves, their Game (including non-bball Game, of course).
Whatever the case, I'm quite respectful of folks' religious beliefs. So when Ray drove the lane, split defenders, cupped the ball, took flight, and scored the game-winner the other night, I did what came natural. I nodded my head and softly said, "amen."
 
in the struggle, peace...
J Cross
 
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