Republican Chris Dudley hopes to become Governor of Oregon, a prospect that seems about as likely as the former Nets/Blazers big man coming out with a free-throw tutorial DVD. Still, if Dudley succeeds in defeating former Governor and Democratic Party nominee John A Kitzhaber this coming November, who’s to say Chuck Hayes might not launch a presidential bid in 2012? The New York Times’ Thomas Kaplanon on Dudley’s efforts to be taken seriously :
Dudley, 45, is an unusual political candidate. He played basketball at Yale, a university far better known for producing politicians than N.B.A. players, and did so while living with diabetes. And in N.B.A. history, no player who scored as little as Dudley ” he averaged 3.9 points per game and was famous for his inept free-throw shooting ” has managed to linger longer than his 886 games, which included four seasons with the Nets and three with the Knicks.
œPlaying in the N.B.A., you™re used to getting attention, and it™s normal to have people come up to you and talk to you about sports, Dudley said. œNow, people are coming up to you and talking about their life, and what™s going on, and their frustrations with what™s happening in our state, and you really get to know people at a different level, and I™ve enjoyed that.
Campaigning brings some unusual logistical challenges. At a visit to an education nonprofit here, an office chair nearly collapsed underneath him as he tried to park his gangly frame. At a happy hour for young supporters, he tried to speak from a doorway ” except he could not fit in the doorway.
While most people internalize as children that it is rude to point, when a 6-foot-11 man walks by, that bit of etiquette seems to be forgotten. On the campaign trail, onlookers have a tendency to gawk, and many people introduce themselves by informing Dudley how tall he is.