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Suns’ rookie Alex Len takes to court with #prayforukraine on shoes

Mar 6, 2014, 3:32 PM EDT

Phoenix Suns v Utah Jazz Getty Images

Suns rookie Alex Len is the only current Ukrainian on an NBA roster.

Ankle injuries combined with surprisingly good play from the Suns existing front line (Channing Frye, Miles Plumlee, the Morris twins) have kept him on the bench much of the season. However Thursday night he is going to get the start against the Thunder in an important game for the Suns as they fight to get one of the final playoff spots in the West.

But that is far from the most important thing on Len’s mind lately.

For the past several months as the situation in his homeland intensified into an international situation (and proxy battle for the United States and Russia) Len has taken to the court with this message on his shoes:


Len said the situation in his country is a political battle where the common person seems caught in the middle (as it always seems to go in power struggles). Here were his comments to Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic.

“If you watch American news, they say one thing. If you watch Ukrainian news, they say another thing. In my home, I have a Russian channel and they say a totally different thing. It’s politics, so I don’t know what’s really going on. I pray for Ukraine. I want peace.”

The situation in the Ukraine ties back now ousted Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych and his government rejecting a deal with the European Union in favor of strengthening ties with Russia. This led to mass protests that came to the nation’s capital Kiev, clashes with police, battles with protestors dying and an eventual ousting of Yanukovych. However some people in the country, especially in the Crimean region, have pushed for closer ties with Russia.

Len probably sounds like most average Ukrainians — they want peace, not to be caught in the middle of a political power struggle. #prayforukraine

Hat tip to Dan Devine at Ball Don’t Lie.

  1. peddealer - Mar 6, 2014 at 3:38 PM


  2. azarkhan - Mar 6, 2014 at 3:43 PM

    According to the Obama regime, the Russian invasion is not really an invasion, it’s an “uncontested arrival”. So what’s the big deal? Of all the Orwellian euphemisms coined by the regime, that’s my personal favorite!

    • eventhorizon04 - Mar 6, 2014 at 4:30 PM

      Remember when George W. Bush said he looked into Putin’s eyes and saw a good man who is fair and trustworthy?

      Great call on that one. I’m sure the protestors dying on Ukraine’s streets agree with his assessment.

    • asimonetti88 - Mar 6, 2014 at 5:33 PM

      Russia should have just claimed Ukraine has WMDs.

      • casualcommenter - Mar 6, 2014 at 5:53 PM

        And to back up those claims, all they would need to do is say that Ukraine has suspicious looking aluminum tubes.

        Even without UN approval, invasion would apparently be legal then.

      • azarkhan - Mar 6, 2014 at 6:03 PM

        Ahhh, the Obama nuthugger appears right on cue. LOL

      • asimonetti88 - Mar 6, 2014 at 6:12 PM

        I’ve been called many things before, but Obama nuthugger is certainly not one of them. I voted Libertarian in the last election.

        But you clearly missed the joke.

  3. trollaikman8 - Mar 6, 2014 at 4:03 PM


  4. mtheparrothead - Mar 6, 2014 at 4:08 PM

    Just draw a red line and advise not to cross! It always works!

  5. garypagetwo - Mar 6, 2014 at 4:31 PM

    Oh look at all those Thumb Downs . Nothing like sheep that come on here .. Who are obsessed with sports and could careless of what is happening to this country .. You know America is funding Al Qaeda in Syria . and Now Support Neo Nazis in Ukraine .


    • antistratfordian - Mar 6, 2014 at 4:48 PM

      Another brash amateur. You’d shrivel on the world stage. You shrivel in your bedroom when your mom tells you to answer the doorbell.

      • gameisours - Mar 6, 2014 at 6:09 PM

        Such a pathetic response. You blindly believe your media.

  6. ggallin4evr - Mar 6, 2014 at 4:35 PM

    Obama called it an invasion days ago, as did SecState. What r u talking about?!

    • azarkhan - Mar 6, 2014 at 4:48 PM

  7. bigmeechy74 - Mar 6, 2014 at 4:46 PM

    Ok let’s all pray… All of us shut our eyes and send our telepathic prayer beams to the creator of the universe… that will fix the ukraine problem!!!

  8. metalhead65 - Mar 6, 2014 at 4:50 PM

    lies! all lies! rembember during the debate when our president mocked Romney for sayng the russians weree a threat? looks like Mitt was 3-3 on his predictions, the economy is is still a disaster in his 5th year as president, healthcare is a huge mess and though he can try he can’t blame that on Bush, anybody rememberis if you like your po.icy you can keep it promise? how is that working out for everyone? ass for the russians that cold war strategy does not look to bad right now does it? we could not stop them from invading but under the old do not appease them policy they never would have done it. they wouid have been worried about a response tougher than boycotting russian cavier.

  9. andreboy1 - Mar 6, 2014 at 4:52 PM


  10. antistratfordian - Mar 6, 2014 at 4:53 PM

    I never thought I’d see the day – massive conservative support for a communist dictator. How will they ever lampoon actors going to Cuba or Venezuela now?

  11. billtetley53 - Mar 6, 2014 at 6:16 PM

    Monetti : That “joke” was D.O.A.

  12. metalhead65 - Mar 6, 2014 at 6:42 PM

    suddenly that cold war diplomacy obummer mocked Romney for doesn’t look so bad right now does it? putin and other tyrants do what they want because they have no fear of U.S.reaction. under Bush and other strong leaders they never would have taken the chance of doing this for fear of what the U.S. reaction would be. at least he is consistent, his foreign policy is just as disaster as his domestic policy. into his second term and still blaming everything wrong on Bush. hope those onama phones and welfare checks were worth voting for this clown twice.

  13. psly2124 - Mar 6, 2014 at 10:36 PM

    The u.s. Media is rarely right, which is very similar to the Russian media. So of you take both with a grain of salt you know what going on.

  14. sailbum7 - Mar 7, 2014 at 2:37 AM

    I am waiting for the NBA league office to fine him for this unapproved poitical message on his shoes. I mean if they can fine players for wearing ones that are the wrong color.

    Seriously, I realize that this player is concerned about his country but I think that if the NBA allows this who knows what other players are liable to try and put on their shoes. I was being a little sarcastic about a fine, but I am also not sure that the league wants to start allowing players to put personal messages on their shoes, or anywhere else on their uniforms for that matter.

  15. blaxmyth - Mar 7, 2014 at 2:42 AM

    Alex Len, I am praying with, praying for Ukraine… from South Africa.

  16. sumkat - Mar 7, 2014 at 3:24 AM

    Nobody cares about the Ukraine

    What is not clear people. As a country, we are only interested in what he media tells us to be interested in. We will NEVER be interested in the suffering of poor white people. Poor minorities? Without a doubt. Rich white people? Without a second thought. Poor white people….ehhhhh that’s not really “our” fight

    Not that media attention would matter much in this case. Obama is literally the worst out of the possible (serious) candidates from either side since 2008 for this type of situation

    “I’ll pretend like the past doesn’t matter and we can all be friends” doesnt’ work too well when the other guy thinks of nothing but the past, and has been waiting decades for the change to sucker punch you. Still waiting for my slice of his pie in the sky

    • calkinsrob - Mar 7, 2014 at 2:14 PM

      Its not “the Ukraine” Its Ukraine!!!

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