Yup, he’s a basketball player and I hate basketball… but by all accounts, he’s the sympathetic and decent sort, aka, the 1% in basketball. Seriously, is there a sorrier group of people, ranging all the way from the fans who go to the games to the executives who own the teams, in any walk of life? With the players, you have unabashed narcissism coupled with IQs that barely remove them from Special Olympics eligibility. Seriously, who are the NBA’s biggest stars. Arguably, Lebron James, Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard? Is there a single sympathetic character among them? You could make arguments in defense of Kevin Durant because he still kisses his mommy, which is cute, but he hasn’t been around long enough to do anything super evil yet. And it’s not just this generation of players. Michael Jordan is a gigantic, uh, donkey orifice. Remember, he sported a Hitler mustache for a while. We can go on forever but in the interest of moving this forward, we won’t. You have media who, as what can only be described as a giant middle finger to the craft of journalism, spew fawning word vomit devoid of any real analysis at volume levels that should be reserved for a metal concert, with grammar acumen that should be reserved for speakers of English as an eighth language. (editor’s note: the owners are part of the problem, for sure, but Mark Cuban gets one in the positive column here for telling it like it is to Skip Bayless.) You have fans that riot and cause public destruction, whether their team wins or loses the championship.
You have a commissioner who is unapologetically corrupt. You have greedy owners who collude with one another, break the hearts of cities by taking their teams elsewhere, somehow manage to be greedier than even the players, and goodness knows how many malfeasances one could find with even the most cursory of perusals over financial histories. Am I missing anyone? Oh yeah, a ref who has admitted influencing games for betting’s sake. Where does it stop?
Now, we have reports from ESPN, also part of the problem incidentally, that some NBA executives are upset that Steve Nash was somehow allowed to join the Lakers. Really? A 38-year-old who, though still good, is easily closer to the end than the beginning joins the Lakers, about whom the same description can be offered, and people are upset? What is it with these idiots? After all, it wouldn’t even be an issue if David Stern hadn’t nullified a trade that essentially sent an entire starting lineup to New Orleans and Chris Paul to the Lakers, under the premise that New Orleans was better off keeping Paul, before sending Paul to the Clippers for pennies on the dollar of what they’d have received in the initial trade, dooming the Hornets to at LEAST another 5 years of cellar dwelling. It’s almost like that movie, Major League, where the owner wants the team to be awful so she can move it to Miami. Except the team ends up being good and everyone lives happily ever after. Only this story has no happy ending, except for those possibly going on in shady massage parlors. It has no ending. Because every time you think the ridiculousness has reached its maximum, like with those stupid lensless costume glasses so many of the players wear these days, something else will happen that defies reason. How often can a circular firing squad shoot without eventually hitting itself?
One for the good guys: Props to the fans in Kansas City. They really got it right cheering for Chipper Jones, RA Dickey and Melky Cabrera. It was wonderful to see Chipper get a hit in the last all star at bat of his brilliant career. And Dickey, the veteran knuckleballer who defied all odds and found awesomeness in his late 30s got a nice reception as well, and scoreless inning to his credit. And MVP Cabrera, who plied his trade in KC before joining the Giants was still cheered like a hometown boy. I wish every city’s fans got it. KC can be proud that their fans do.