(Here’s the video of the fight)
Or maybe I should have said “I went to an NBA game and the Vibe Awards broke out”. In case you haven’t heard / seen it by now – “Fight breaks out between fans & players at NBA game“. WTF is going on? The NBA can’t get those international players into the league fast enough. More to come after I return from my bike ride…
Update: Ok, I’m back to finish my thoughts on this…
First off, I don’t even want to get into who’s to blame for what went down. I’ve heard arguments on both sides and each has valid points. I will say that I’d bet that the fan who threw the cup at Artest would have never done that if he was on the street with Artest, or anywhere else besides the “safe” confines of the stands. He would have guaranteed himself an ass whipping. Anyway, I’m more interested in the impact on the NBA and the implications on the players. Here’s how I see it:
We already know that Larry Bird said what a lot of people won’t — people would like to see more white players / stars in the NBA. The process of bringing in international players has been well underway for years now. A big attraction to the foreign players is that they’re more ‘coachable’ (eg. controllable). The Artest incident can only exacerbate that phenomenon.
I know some people think that race doesn’t play a part in all of this but I think they’re fooling themselves. I was glad to hear Jason Whitlock and John Saunders bring up the issue of race on the ‘Sports Reporters’ this morning. Like they, and the other, white, panelists said, it’s the pink elephant in the room. I totally agree with what Whitlock says about the NBA having a credibility problem. And the players aren’t helping the situation much. Just a few recent examples:
- Latrell Sprewell complaining about a $10,000,000 offer, to which he said that he couldn’t feed his family on that kind of money. Ha!
- Ron Artest showing just how unstable he is by asking for a month off from playing basketball so that he could promote his upcoming CD.
- Various clowns getting arrested on drug or weapons charges.
- Kobe Bryant’s rape case. Let’s not forget that a white woman was involved.
It seems clear to me that many players have attitude problems and/or don’t appreciate the incredible amounts of money they make. Well, there are plenty of poor foreigners just itching to take their salaries. We saw a good example of that on Battlegrounds: King of the World this season. That brother from France was much hungrier than the American players and it showed as he crushed them. Bruhs had better get their minds right and step their games up.
And while I’m on the subjects of sports, race and general ignorance, this Terrell Owens/Nicollette Sheridan/Desperate Housewives story is just ridiculous. I can see the point of parents who were concerned about their kids seeing such a provocative scene when they were expecting to just see some football. But what really gets me is how, if that scene was so shocking, all of the news and talk shows play the spot over and over again at all hours of the day. If it was so bad should they be airing it? Should the FCC fine all the other shows which have rebroadcast it? What a joke this whole thing is. And of course the same pink elephant (race) is in the room. But let’s not even go there…