There is a Lot More to Derrick Coleman Than Points and ReboundsCharles Barkley once said that the first time he saw Derrick Coleman play he thought that Coleman could become the greatest power forward ever; at 6-10, 230, Coleman could shoot, pass, rebound and defend. Coleman won the 1991 Rookie of the Year Award, made the All-Star team in 1994 and earned a pair of All-NBA Third Team selections but he obviously fell well short of becoming the greatest power forward of his time, let alone of all-time. Some people play basketball because they are consumed by a love for the game and that passion is translated into a furious, relentless work ethic that leads to them maximizing their potential; other people play basketball because they are tall and athletic but they don't have that burning desire to focus on nothing but the sport. Coleman averaged 16.5 ppg and 9.3 rpg in a 15 year NBA career, which is certainly nothing to sneeze at, but it is not surprising that he recently told Sports Illustrated's Selena Roberts, "I didn't have a hard time (leaving). I don't miss playing the game."
What may surprise you, though, is why Coleman does not miss the NBA life and what Coleman has been doing with his money since he retired: Coleman has spent more than $6 million on Coleman's Corner, a brick and stucco strip mall on the west side of Detroit, his home town. Coleman Center is the first retail center built in that area since the 1967 riots gutted that portion of the city. When Coleman grew up, west side retail establishments all had bars, steel shutters and bullet resistant glass. Coleman recalls, "As a kid I got tired of talking to people through glass. Why can't I have a conversation with you without talking through glass?" It has always been his dream/plan to revitalize Detroit and he is most definitely putting his money where his mouth is.
Check out Roberts' must-read story about the second act of Coleman's life; after you read it, you will have a totally different perspective about someone who you once may have mocked or disdained:
posted by David Friedman @ 5:21 AM