September, 7, 2012
By Henry Abbott
- Another story of some macho college basketball coach allegedly crossing the line in heinous ways. (Via J.A. Adande's Twitter feed.) That it happens sometimes does not shock me. It's an industry with little oversight and huge stakes that attracts and rewards power-tripping alpha males. (All these various alleged transgressions, with players, staff and women, are about power, and showing who has more.) What really shocks me, though, and scares me, frankly, are some of the comments. Some minority of commenters on the story at that link above strongly believe that tolerating the kind of abuse this coach allegedly dished out is simply what it takes to be a man, or a basketball player, or a winner. Some minority of commenters believe nine-hour practices, long practices while injured, being locked in bathroom stalls, being humiliated time and again in front of peers and others ... is just the price of success. That's a total crock. Groveling at the feet of a tyrant is part of how some people get ahead, but not most. Tolerating abuse is, sadly, a daily reality for many sad children, but it ought not be. (Has everybody read "My Losing Season?") We'd be a stronger and tougher people if we didn't tyrannize each other. Calling it education makes it no less ridiculous.
- Kevin Garnett sends telegrams.
- Digging into the idea that a player can make his teammates better, looking at the Lakers when Sedale Threatt replaced Magic Johnson. Tricky stuff, but interesting that it's so tough to find teammates who became less productive in Johnson's absence.
- This post was created in a laboratory specifically to anger Knick fans, Laker fans, and LeBron-haters.
- There have been several articles through the years about the Silnas, the former owners of the Spirits of St. Louis who folded their team with the ABA but only after negotiating themselves a perpetual hunk of NBA revenues which has already totaled close to $300 million. What I wonder is: Who's the guy from the NBA who gave them such a sweet deal?
- Corruption, gambling and manipulation in sports ... the panel discussion.
- Basketball fights are generally greeted with hysteria and a lot of talk about how they must be prevented. By all means preventing them is great and I'm glad the NBA has been effective in that regard. But what's with the fans? Check out the comments after a recent baseball fight. Overwhelmingly -- almost unanimously -- fans are in favor of the precise kind of fighting that makes people crazy in basketball. Hard not to think race plays a role.
- The Mavericks have 11 players on the roster who play guard or small forward. I hope Jae Crowder doesn't get lost in the chowder.
- How ESPN the Magazine came up with the franchise rankings that chose the Thunder first overall. It turns out sports fans did most of the prioritizing. So, even though on Twitter NBA fans seem to think the Lakers are THE franchise, yet in this poll they came in 89th (84 spots after the Grizzlies) in no small part because fans said affordability and bang for the buck were huge concerns.