NBA players to pimp their Priuses?

This is the NBA's first-ever Green Week, in which the vaunted league of loud noise, eco-unfriendly scoreboards, and huge SUVs attempts to reduce its carbon footprint.

He hasn't twittered it yet, but I am suddenly full of belief that Shaquille O'Neal is about to buy a Smart car.

What has driven me to this "yes, we can" moment? Why, the first-ever NBA Green Week.

Launched Thursday, this is the NBA's attempt to reduce its carbon footprint (size 45).

It's a footprint that is characterized by large, pimped-out SUVs, vast, flashing scoreboards, long flights in 757s to New York and Los Angeles, and, especially, the infinite noxious detritus from its Pistons--exemplified by the fumes regularly emitted by power forward (and technical foul king) Rasheed Wallace.

The NBA has gotten its teams together to launch Green Week with the National Resources Defense Council, a green organization that proudly whispers the tagline: "The Earth's Best Defense." (This might cause a few of the Boston Celtics to cough a little furiously.)

The NBA even persuaded renowned, um, power hitter, Robert Redford to introduce the week on YouTube.

And, should you be so inclined (though it might burn up quite some laptop power), there are seven NBA videos to encourage you to change your position on the environment from center to power forward.

You can see members of the Houston Rockets and the Atlanta Hawks planting trees. You can enjoy Louis Amundson of the Phoenix Suns riding his bike to work. And you can commune with the Suns' Steve Nash as he talks about getting solar panels on the arena roof in Phoenix and about his clever basketball shoes made from recyclable materials.

Now doesn't that say No. 1 draft pick to you? CC Alan D/Flickr

Nash is one player who, when it comes to preaching, would never utter Allen Iverson's famous complaint: "Practice?? We're talking about practice?"

Nash lives in New York during the off-season and doesn't even keep a car there. Yet as you read on the special NBA site about the Denver Nuggets, the Charlotte Bobcats and the Chicago Bulls all wearing uniforms and socks made from 45 percent organic cotton, you wonder where the greenery begins and the greenbacks end.

It's all very well for the Toronto Raptors to offer a 25 percent discount to anyone who shows up with a ticket from public transportation. And it's lovely that any Minnesota Timberwolves fan who arrives by bus, train or, who knows, balloon for the game on Sunday will get a free upper-level ticket.

But these are teams that drying paint refuses to watch.

Then there's the extra-special opportunity for fans to purchase 100 percent organic-cotton shooting shirts and recycled Spalding basketballs.

As any fan of the Golden State Warriors will tell you, something is better than nothing. But wouldn't it be the ultimate joy if LeBron James suddenly rolled up to a game in a Prius with recycled, personalized hubcaps?

I mean, the NBA is where amazing happens, right?

 

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