I wrote this blog on the saddest day in sports. I call it the saddest day because it’s the day after the MLB All-Star game. Nothing is going on in sports and every sport’s reporter in the world is dwelling on the past season of their cities success or what the possible future of their franchise is going to become. ESPN is digging into retro Jai Lai videos to drum up an audience.
I’ve also decided not to just write about football. I have to let my readers know I’m not a one “sport” pony. Since I’m a Los Angelino, I’ll start with the Lakers.
Everybody in the history of the NBA, including James Naismith, knows the front of one of the most storied franchises in basketball history has no idea what they’re doing. Yes, Phil Jackson was the right hire. No, having a guard the same age as Bob Cousy running the pick and roll from the top of the key with an injured center that can’t hit a 10 ft. jumper wasn’t the best idea. Howard was never focused, nor was he especially fond of his teammates (at least one of them), nor was he committed to even being in Los Angeles. They should’ve traded him at the deadline. At least they could have gotten another point guard to replace or share time when Steve Nash decides to turn to dust. Certainly the city of Los Angeles isn’t relying on 2014 when they’ll have a more cap space to sign some elusive free agent that’s probably happier winning where he’s already created a home to come to Los Angeles where the cost of living is second only to New York. Oh, and lets not talk about private schools and traffic, oy vey! Are the Lakers skipping next year? That’s not my Jerry Buss’ Lakers. He’s turning over in his grave knowing he didn’t pick Jeannie to run the team.
Let’s talk future. If you think Lebron is coming to L.A. when he’s just won two championships in Miami, his family is there, his girl is there, you’re out of your mind! It ain’t gonna happen! Carmelo, maybe, but he ain’t coming to L.A. averaging 26 jacks per game. Kobe will be like “Pass the ball or I’ll get rid of you myself!” Maybe it’s the lack of “D” that will endear him to Dan’Antoni, because as we all know, neither Dan’Antoni nor Melo will say, “We don’t believe in D.” Lastly, to Lakers fans, am I to believe your gonna spend $1500 a ticket, sit back, and say wait til next year?
None of my blogs would be complete without me talking about the sport that’s the closest and dearest to my heart. Unfortunately, not much of what we’ve seen lately has been good. With the arrest counter rising like the temperature in Africa, it’s hard not to revisit a blog that I wrote a year ago about the troubles of football players and most particularly the black athlete. Because I am African-American it seems that I have a particular interest in trying to right the wrongs of our culture. At least 85% of those arrested have been African-American. Things don’t seem to be changing. Even after a $40 million dollar contract, it would seem that the financial windfalls would tend to discourage this bizarre behavior. Apparently, it’s the opposite. We are quickly realizing money doesn’t change behavior. The screening of players has to be more stringent and the penalty more severe. I’m a firm believer in the higher the pay, the higher the standards. The NFL must consider character over talent. Win at all cost cannot be the deciding factor in whether the NFL signs a player or not. The players of today have a greater opportunity then ever to examine what choices they make, based on the knowledge of other criminal acts that have been well documented by television and other mainstream media outlets. I know that if I’d seen the likes of O.J., Rae Carruth, Ray Lewis, Michael Vick, Jamaal Lewis, Lawrence Taylor, Plaxico Burress, Dexter Manley, Pacman Jones, Nate Newton, shouldn’t I have learned something? (I’m starting to sound like Bryant Gumball)
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