No jokes here: Isiah Thomas is doing heavenly work in Chicago right now. The Westsider great hosted the Peace Basketball Tournament at a church gym in Chicago's South Side this weekend, pulling players from some of the roughest neighborhoods in the country. The goal: get these kids to meet each other and, well, stop killing each other. Quoth Zeke, from NBA.com's excellent Steve Aschburner:
"Murder has run rampant in Chicago the last couple years, but gangs are calling a truce for this. By getting them to come together and play a sport, they might come to know each other. We believe it's hard to kill someone if you get to know him."
Derrick Rose, the Chicago native and young Bulls legend, came out for an appearance. Current Bulls Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson coached a game. Current NBA refs Danny Crawford and Jim Capers worked the games. High school phenom Jabari Parker visited. And best of all, this happened on the South Side, right in the neighborhood where the murder rate has recently exploded.
Kudos to Isiah. This is real work being done.