Today the Sports Talk Nation is fixated on Michael Vick and his prison sentencing. I'm over Vick. He will pay his debt to society and hopefully come out a better person. If NFL commissioner Roger Goodell thinks Vick deserves another opportunity to play in the NFL again, great. (Whether he will have the ability to come back after a two, probably three-year layoff is another story.) While Vick couldn't sever his ties to his past, there are many other professional athletes who recognize that there are many positive ways to stay true to their communities. Baron Davis, whom I've known since his Crossroads High School (Santa Monica) and UCLA days, gets it. Baron is quoted in the SacBee:
"When you come from where I came from and you come into a lot of money, then a lot of people come out of the woodwork. Those weren't the best people to have around. When you're young, you allow that to happen. You feel a sense of guilt for your success. But you also want to help change people that you feel have potential and talent. But those people are there for a reason, and that's to really become takers.
"I've just become more well-rounded as far as what I want out of life. Coming into the league, it was really all about basketball and it was all about being real and keeping it real with my friends from my neighborhood. I just kind of walled myself off from the rest of the world and from challenging myself to be more than just a basketball player.
"I was just so caught up into going back to my community and going back to my neighborhood and doing as much as I could there that I wasn't allowing myself to soak up all my resources or utilize all my resources. A lot of times, you just get tunnel vision. When you're in the league, sometimes you have people around that just make you feel good. Now, I've opened myself up to having those friends in my life that challenge me every day and force me to be more."