Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Guns don't kill people, headphones do

So people and the media are generally idiots about many things, particularly NBA's "business casual" dress code, but there are few voices of reason out there.

  • Mark Cuban shows why he should be everyone's favorite owner with his candor in explaining the real immediate motivation behind the dress code and calling out those who are happy to sell the NBA's "thug" image and the public who buys it
    For many teams, I dont even want to say most teams, if the team wants to try something different , they are truly afraid of how their players, particularly their stars might respond. Its the teams that are afraid of their players that forced David Stern into creating a Dress Code for players.

    Its funny how the media likes to talk about the fundamentals of the players on the court being lacking, the real lack of fundamentals is in the teams' executive suites. When a team is unable or afraid to communicate their message or iniative to their front office or players, or when they know they have a problem they are afraid or unable to deal with, they ask the Commissioner to create a league wide edict. This is a convenient out for the teams. Its not their fault that the players have to do this, its the league's fault.

    "If you look at NBA players. White, black, brown, yellow, whatever color or nationality, regardless of how they dress, and think thug. You are an idiot. I have said it before, and I will say it again. I have run companies with a predominantly young work force. My personnel issues were far worse in those companies than anything at the Mavs, or what I have seen across the NBA. Young kids makes stupid mistakes. Thats what 21 year olds do...

    I'm willing to bet that you could take the workforce of any major corporation, segment out all their employees 35 and under and without question, you would find far more problems and issues in their workforce on, in absolute numbers or on a percentage basis than you would in the NBA.

  • Joey of Straight Bangin points out the bloody obvious that people who support the dress code don't like to talk about:
    Report the real story: The NBA wants to change its image because stereotypes about black people and hip-hop culture have worked in concert with the regrettable actions of a few players and the regrettable presence of a few ugly hip-hop conventions to alienate largely white corporate partners who can't get past racial bias. Write that. Don't even make the corporate types seem like villains; like most of us, most of them probably can't overcome the socialization to which they're constantly subjected. And use that melancholy truth as a catalyst for a sustained nationwide dialogue about race. Why doesn't the NBA, for years a fascinating incubator for issues of race, lead the way? The problem will never get better if it is always ignored. This dress code is not only about race, but it is in part"

  • Dan Wetzel of Yahoo Sports thinks USA Basketball's hiring of Coach K and the dress code are motivated by the same public misconception fueled by the media:
    Perhaps the most shocking development to come out of the Athens Games for USA Basketball and NBA commissioner David Stern wasn't that we won only a bronze medal, but that maybe half of America wished we wouldn't do that well. The jersey may have said 'USA' across the front, but there were plenty of Americans enjoying every ugly, embarrassing defeat while watching supposed cocky, young, rich, African-American athletes get their comeuppance...

    Of course, if you want to know the problem with USA Basketball, there is no greater example than Odom.

    Not the real Odom, the one who played his ass off in Athens (seriously, he did) and happily played out of position at center because Tim Duncan kept getting into foul trouble, and the one who was a class act – like his teammates, save Carmelo Anthony – no matter how often Larry Brown trashed his players.

    That Lamar Odom was great.

    The problem is the public image of Odom – a bad-apple, underachieving, disinterested professional and ungrateful multimillionaire who's a product of a too-much, too-soon grassroots system that turns Middle America off.

    Odom isn't ever losing that rep. Not even by wearing the red, white and blue.

    Speaking of image problems, Julius Hodge is accused of attempted sexual assault. This is the third worst thing to happen to Hodge after taking a crotch punch from Chris Paul and attending NC State.

    Finally, it appears 'abnormalities' were found in Jason Collier's heart, which compels me to ask again, why does Eddy Curry refuse to take the DNA test (well, besides the obvious privacy/employee rights issues)? Or has he taken the test already but doesn't like the results? Either way, I'm uncomfortable.

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