One of my favorite rituals to watch in all of sports is to see the New Zealand All Blacks — the national rugby team — perform the native Maori war dance the Haka before each game. One of the few sports rituals I would consider genuinely intimidating. (Confession, I enjoy watching rugby and we’ve got a good team in my neck of the woods playing it.)
Dwight Howard is working his way through Europe on an adidas promotional tour. The All Blacks are in Europe now as well. So, of course, Dwight joined them in doing the dance (he’s not in front but he’s pretty easy to spot quickly).
I would love to see David Stern’s face if Howard and the Magic make this their new pregame ritual instead of traditional pregame introductions. And how many technicals would Steve Javie give him for this?
Kendrick Perkins could likely play for New Zealand’s national team, if he were interested. Not this summer, as Perk is likely to be out of action until December of January with a torn ACL. But supposing the ‘Tall Blacks’ could persuade Perk to play, they could add a physical defensive presence inside that would help New Zealand compete against other mid-level national teams.
It won’t happen. Kenny Perkins, Kendrick’s father and the avenue through which Perk would likely have FIBA eligibility for the New Zealand team, insists that Perk has no interest whatsoever in playing for the Tall Blacks. That makes sense, considering Perkins was already included on Team USA’s active roster released earlier this year, and could have been a viable candidate for the World Championship this summer if not for an unfortunate injury.