Back in 2004, Steve Rushin had an interesting take on athletes and materialism in the magazine SPORTS ILLUSTRATED. Attending the NBA All-Star game—that year in Los Angeles—Rushin noted in an article entitled “Amens and Amaretto”:
Jesus said, "Ye cannot serve both God and mammon," but that didn't stop everyone from trying during NBA All-Star week in Los Angeles, where Magic Johnson took the stage of the Shrine Auditorium and said earnestly, after a three-hour tribute in his honor, "First I want to thank God, but also American Express."
It was like that all week in L.A., God and money intersecting, sometimes literally, as in the gold cross of diamonds that dangled from the neck of Indiana Pacers forward-center Jermaine O'Neal. Or the silver cross of diamonds that accessorized the Kobe Bryant jersey worn by TV's Laverne, actor-director Penny Marshall…
My concern is not for the ones in the story. For all I know, they may have changed. My concern is, how much do their attitudes reflect mine?