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Bill Bradley, who went from professional basketball to the U.S. Senate and wrote a memoir, made his latest career change over the weekend with his debut as a television news essayist.

The former New Jersey senator who played for the New York Knicks in the National Basketball Association, closed the "CBS Evening News" Saturday with a somber message on the meaning of compassion.

"Personal tragedies are happening all around us, disasters that leave people feeling that they can't go on," Bradley said, giving examples ranging from the Oklahoma City bombing and the TWA Flight 800 disaster to everyday tragedies like fatal highway crashes.

"If you know someone, family or friend, who's been hit by an overwhelming loss, let them know you feel their pain."

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