Volume 81, Number 5 | June 30 - July 6, 2011
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933
U.S. soccer superstar Claudio Reyna, who grew up playing the sport in New Jersey.
Stars dazzle on S.D.R. pitch
By Benjamin Tocker
Local residents and sports fans of all ages came out to Sara Roosevelt Park on the Lower East side last Wednesday night, June 22, to watch two-time NBA Most Valuable Player and current Phoenix Suns star Steve Nash at his fourth annual Showdown In Chinatown. The Showdown is a charity soccer match hosted by Nash to raise money for various children’s causes.
This edition of the Showdown featured NBA stars Grant Hill, Tony Parker, Leandro Barbosa, Brandon Jennings and Marcin Gortat, as well as soccer superstars Giuseppe Rossi, Claudio Reyna and Patrick Vieira. Gortat, sporting a neon green jersey, was the goalie, but even his 6-foot-11-inch frame could not effectively block scoring attempts, as Nash and Rossi peppered him with point-blank shots, showing no mercy for Nash’s Phoenix teammate.
Rossi, to the delight of screaming fans, scored six goals and earned the Player of the Game award.
In the media frenzy before the game many of the players, including Nash, were asked about trade rumors.
“I’m not up to date on the rumors,” he said. “I really don’t read the papers. I usually hear from people on the streets, ‘I hear you’re coming to the Knicks’ or ‘I hear you’re going to Minnesota’ and I think it’s all paper talk.”
For one night, these NBA stars were able to put all of the “paper talk” and the anxiety of an impending lockout behind them to have fun and raise money for a worthwhile cause.