Basketball is just a game. But sometimes…it’s more than that.
Steve Nash preached this sentiment in an NBA Cares commercial that began airing a few years ago, but NBA Finals superstar guards Dwyane Wade and Russell Westbrook are keeping the message alive tonight.
The duo has dedicated tonight’s pivotal Game Four to the millions of children across the world who have been forced to endure the pain of living their entire lives without owning a pair of nerd glasses.
“It’s just another way to give back,” said Wade, “I remember the horror of growing up without nerd glasses. We all saw Urkell on TV and how cool he was—the other kids picked on me and made fun of my bare face constantly.”
Wade, Westbrook, and others have made a statement this season by wearing oversized nerd glasses during postgame press conferences. While players like Amar’e Stoudemire and Dwight Howard have been avid proponents of nerd glasses awareness for years, the movement is reaching new heights during the NBA Finals.
“I applaud those guys for their courage,” said Howard, “The top one percent doesn’t want you to think about the lack of nerd glasses for the youth in this country. It’s something that makes you sick to your stomach.”
Wade and Westbrook sought permission from NBA Commissioner David Stern to wear nerd glasses during the game, but they were ultimately denied. Stern cited safety precautions in his decision, claiming that the glass could shatter and cause injury to the players’ eyes.
The players countered by pointing out the fact that the nerd glasses don’t actually contain any lenses, but Stern refused to go back on his ruling.
Despite being on opposing teams, Wade and Westbrook have showed tremendous teamwork in delivering their message this postseason. And should both players make this summer’s Olympic basketball team, they plan to take their cause overseas.
“Children in Europe generally have more nerd glasses than those in the U.S.,” said Westbrook, “but it’s still an epidemic. We wear oversized glasses because it’s an oversized problem.”