Rob Dixon has at least one thing in common with Gandhi: Gandhi never played for the Bullets, either.
There’s one difference between ’em, also: Gandhi never claimed he did.
Now, according to Dixon’s charity, he’ll stop making such claims.
Dixon was one of the good people featured during pre-game ceremonies at the All Star game. He runs Project Rise, a charity in the Boston area that for years has tried to get kids who otherwise might not go to college into college.
His tale was enough that he was voted via a People Magazine national contest as being among the do-goodingest folks in the country. Dixon and the other winners stood on the field in St. Louis last night as President Obama and all the living ex-presidents talked them up via videotape. Dixon was among a small group that got a personal presidential tribute: George W. Bush talked about Dixon’s charity to the stadium crowd and a national TV audience. Bush didn’t mention Dixon’s basketball experience.
But while successfully campaigning for this People honor, Dixon claimed to have played for the Washington Bullets. That NBA experience was repeated in pretty much every news story about the People awards; he was identified as a “former Washington Bullets guard who left the NBA in 1983” by a publication near his hometown of Dorchester, Mass.
One problem: Dixon’s name, according to Abe Pollin’s franchise, doesn’t appear on any Bullets rosters. The organization has no record that he ever did play for the team. Neither does any other NBA squad.
Turns out he tried out for the Bullets as a fifth-round draft pick in 1983, but didn’t make the cut.
After being contacted by City Desk yesterday to fact check the Bullets portion of the People poll bio, Project Rise spokesman Jeff Gulko said by phone from St. Louis that after looking into the matter the charity could not confirm that Dixon in fact ever wore a Bullets uniform.
And early this morning, Gulko emailed an official statement from Project Rise about the misinformation used to win the People poll.
“Rest assured we have already taken steps to address it,” Gulko wrote. “With so many young people needing assistance and so much to be done to sustain this vital program, we failed to spend adequate time reviewing certain materials. This was our oversight.”
The statement has similarities to Jason Giambi‘s public non-confession about steroids, in that Gulko never says what apparent wrong he’s addressing. But, enough already.
Bullet or no, Dixon could have taken Gandhi to the hole at will.