Not a big NBA fan. College Basketball was, at least until it got screwed by the destruction of the good college basketball leagues by schools pursuing that college football money, my favorite spectator sport. What I would like to see is separate Football and Basketball leagues in College. One of the major reasons college bound potential basketball stars wanted to play in the Big East or the ACC (before they sold out to football) quite frankly was the level of competition.
In any event, as the NBA strike/lockout staggers on, becoming more acrimonious by the day, there is the increasing chance of issues, which shouldn’t even be issues – becoming key impediments. Bryant Gumbel was waaaaaay out of bounds – it’s hard to have sympathy for a bunch of guys, almost all of whose annual income puts them in the top 1%, and sometimes in the top .05%.
The owners “lied to you,” Derek Fisher said, moments after the players’ union president walked out of fruitless labor talks in Manhattan on Thursday night. And with that the mutual distrust and name-calling began anew.
Now the NBA is again facing the prospect of a bye year. Soon, it won’t be about money. Soon, the Rev. Jesse Jackson worries, it will be personal and irreconcilable and no longer about the color green.
“I hope it doesn’t degenerate into names and language that’s hard to take back once it’s started,” Jackson said from his Chicago office late Thursday afternoon. “If it goes down this road, that could amount to irreparable damage. If it goes away from labor negotiations, things could become irretrievable.”
I called Jackson to see what he thought of Bryant Gumbel’s portrayal of NBA Commissioner David Stern as a smug and pedantic bully in his dealings with the players during his closing remarks this week on HBO’s “Real Sports.” Gumbel’s commentary included the misguided characterization of Stern, widely known as the most forward-thinking, ethnically inclusive commissioner in modern pro sports, as a “modern plantation overseer.” (more…)