In light of the Mayor of Sacramento and former NBA guard Kevin Johnson releasing a statement on behalf of the NBA Player's Association about Donald Sterling's retrograde, senile nonsense, we thought we'd introduce you to Mayor Kevin Johnson's wife Michelle Rhee. Rhee stands for improving the education of children. She was on the cover of both Time and Newsweek Magazine! How many wives of professional athletes can say they actually stand for something?
First, let's back up to the statement Johnson gave today.
We may not have the power to force Mr. Sterling to sell his team, but make no mistake, we believe that Mr. Sterling should no longer have the privilege of being an owner of an NBA team. After all, how can we expect any player (the majority of whom are African-American) to want to work for him?
This mirrors what Charles Barkley said a few nights prior in reference to the fact that hundreds of black athletes had built up Sterling's $12.5 million 1981 investment into a $575 million team. The message is very clear: no one in the NBA wants to have any association with Sterling. Doc Rivers has also stated he won't necessarily return to coach for the Clips, and he's under contract.
Michelle Rhee should be proud of Kevin. Rhee herself was the chancellor of Washington D.C. public schools from 2007 to 2010. She worked her way up by first teaching for three years in an inner-city school and then founding a project that recruited 23,000 teachers to work in city schools. School reform is a contentious topic as it pertains to standardized testing. Rhee's claims that she improved student scores may, whether accurate or not, lead to a deeper question: do improved standardized test scores mean students are learning how to more efficiently take the tests, or are they actually learning more? These are very difficult problems to unwrap, especially in poor communities without money to throw at the problem. This should tell you how dedicated a person you have to be to try and tackle such issues. Michelle Rhee started StudentsFirst after her chancellorship ended. It's a non-profit with the goal of improving education.
And Michelle Rhee's husband? Well, being mayor of Sacramento (and listening to all of the commentary the past few days, you would be forgiven if you thought his actual name is Mayor Kevin Johnson) is no small task. It's almost as difficult as, say, dunking on Hakeem Olajuwon. Back in the mid 90's, the clip of Johnson slamming one on Hakeem was used endlessly on shows like Inside The NBA and any intro to a playoffs series. It may have been the most widely used clip of 1994, with the possible exception of Shawn Kemp completing a high-wire alley-oop (perhaps the most used intro clip ever). The Dream of course paid Johnson back with a fairly humorous fast-break swatting that sent KJ to the ground.