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Originally published January 21, 2005 at 12:00 AM | Page modified January 21, 2005 at 12:25 AM

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Steve Kelley

Keep NBA reality on court, off VH-1

Ray Allen knows the truth about the "reality" Doug Christie and his wife are proposing.

Seattle Times staff columnist

Ray Allen knows the truth about "reality." He knows what it's like to be followed day and night by a professional, whose charge is to pay attention to his every move.

Allen doesn't need reality TV. He's already experienced the truth.

Several years ago, when he was playing with Milwaukee, a threat against Allen was taken seriously enough that he was followed all season by a personal security detail.

Before he entered a hotel room, security entered, checked the room and the closet. A security guard stayed at Allen's home. Everywhere Allen went, the guard went.

"He was following me around for the whole year, and he was a good guy and we became really good friends," Allen said. "But we were attached at the hip, and I got tired of him. We developed a close bond, but he was there by my side all the time.

"I've always been kind of an individual who's not a loner, but likes to go out and do my own thing and kind of move and not have to ask anybody's permission to go. And to have someone attached to your hip is a little strange."

Allen doesn't need what the Christies — Orlando guard Doug and Jackie, his wife of 11 years — are proposing.

The couple is developing a reality show for VH-1 that will document their lives as an NBA couple. Think of Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne without the bleeps.

"To each his own, but me, personally, I wouldn't do it," Sonics point guard Antonio Daniels said. "I doubt I'd even watch it. But you know, all TV is now is reality. Every channel you turn to there's a reality show about something. It's almost to be expected now."

But is this show really necessary?

It will be Jackie Christie's first extended TV appearance since she ran into the tunnel at the Staples Center to help her husband, who was fighting with the Lakers' Rick Fox after both were ejected during a nationally televised 2002 exhibition game.

She has become rather notorious around the league for being, shall we say, protective of her husband.

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"Doug Christie? That's a weird dude," Sonics power forward Reggie Evans said, raising his arm to mimic Christie's on-the-floor gesture that acknowledges his wife.

But Jackie Christie wants the country to see the reality of their relationship. She has told interviewers the theme of the show will be, "It's cool to be committed."

Does the country care?

"They have the wrong guy," Evans said. "You need some sparks to fly for it to work. I'd like to watch a reality show starring Ron Artest. That would be real fun to watch him. He would be the perfect person. Perfect.

"But the idea of your own show? I think it's real weird. I don't think I could handle that. I wouldn't like it. And if they followed me around at home in Pensacola, I think they'd get real scared if I took them into my neighborhood."

Besides, if the league truly wanted a reality show that could make a difference, how about, "Calvin Booth, the Extreme Makeover"?

How much reality does the league really need? Isn't each night its own reality show?

LeBron James in the open court is reality. Allen Iverson throwing his lithe body at the basket or Allen catching and shooting from 25 feet — that should be all of the reality we need from the NBA.

"But that's the new television," Sonics coach Nate McMillan said. "Now they want to get into our huddles. They want to hear you cuss out your players and all of that. ... I'm still trying to catch up with that 'Swap Wives' or whatever that show's called. I mean where do they find these people? My God. I'm watching that show and I'm looking at my wife and she's like, 'Don't even ask.' "

But if McMillan's wife, Michelle, told him she wanted to do a reality show?

"I was surprised she did the Christmas show for Fox," McMillan said. "She actually allowed a camera to follow her around in the mall and I couldn't believe it. No. No. There'd never be a show about us."

And if one of his players wanted what the Christies want, would McMillan grant access?

"I wouldn't allow cameras in our locker room or bus," he said. "I would think his teammates would have some problems, some issues, with that. But I'm sure there are a lot of guys in the league people would like to follow. I'm sure they would like to follow Shaq and see inside his house and his bedroom. See his cars and what he does."

But Doug and Jackie Christie? Where's the conflict? Where's the hint of danger? Where's the entourage? Where's the drama?

You want NBA reality TV? Watch Tim Duncan in the low blocks. Or Steve Nash on the dribble. Or Dwyane Wade on the drive.

That's the real world.

Steve Kelley: 206-464-2176 or skelley@seattletimes.com

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About Steve Kelley

Steve Kelley covers all sports, putting his spin on matters involving both the home team and the nation.
skelley@seattletimes.com | 206-464-2176

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