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NBA Steps Up on Gun Violence

The NBA isn’t exactly the racist right’s favorite league or sport – but it is for millions of normal, sane adults and kids. In what appears…FINALLY…a movement to start putting the brakes on some of the craziness and insanity about guns – perhaps the NRA’s days of carrying guns to PTA Meeting, school sports events, and Churches are numbered.

NBA Stars Steph Curry, Carmelo Anthony And Chris Paul Call For An End To Gun Violence

They’re appearing in ads set to air during NBA games on Christmas.

The spots will begin airing during five NBA games on Christmas, when the league draws large audiences. The ads are part of the latest push by Everytown, dedicated to raising awareness of gun violence and advocating for reforms like expanding mandatory background checks and closing the “gun show loophole.”

The group has also worked with celebrities like Julianne Moore, Amy Schumer and Sofia Vergara to call for legislative action, but many of its best advocates are those who have suffered gun violence themselves or in their families.

For one of them, the NBA’s involvement is especially meaningful.

Richard Martinez started advocating for gun control measures in 2014, after his 20-year-old son, Christopher Michaels-Martinez, was killed in a mass shooting in Isla Vista, California.

As he told The Huffington Post, his son loved basketball.

“I don’t think ‘loved’ is even the right word,” Martinez said, recalling that his son played basketball throughout his life and, as a kid, participated in a basketball camp run by NBA legend Michael Jordan.

“He would be thrilled that these players are doing this. He was a great fan,” Martinez said.

Since his son’s death, more mass shootings have occurred, and Martinez said that every time, he has the same response.

“I have a visceral reaction because I know how they’re feeling,” he said, referring to the loved ones of those killed. “I know what it’s like to miss your loved one every day. People tell you to get over it, and you don’t.”

Martinez hopes that the basketball fans who see the ads recognize the devastating regularity of gun violence in America and “the appalling toll of gun violence on American life.”

“People see the news and forget,” Martinez said. “We need to do better, we can do better. We owe it to our kids. It’s a choice to do nothing. I don’t accept that it has to be this way in this country.”

The holiday season is a particularly painful time for Martinez, as his son would have turned 22 years old on Wednesday. Last year on Chris’ birthday, Martinez bought a cake and played basketball while wearing one of Chris’ favorite shirts. This year, he hopes to once again do something that Chris would have enjoyed, like going to see the new Star Wars movie.

“Maybe I’ll watch some basketball,” Martinez said.

 

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NBA Lockout – Racial Dimension

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%.

NBA lockout: Negotiations could be hijacked by racial perceptions

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.” Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on October 23, 2011 in The Post-Racial Life

 

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Successful Export to China…Basketball? Washed Up NBA Players Find a New Home

Old NBA Players never die… They just fade away to China.

Steve Francis and Fred Maubury have found new homes in the CBA post NBA. If Chinese Basketball talent develops the way everything else does in China – we may soon be importing lots of Chinese players to the NBA.

Chinese Basketball Association: ‘We love this [NBA] Game!’

While Congress has worked hard in recent years to compel China to increase imports of American goods, the U.S. has been extremely successful in exporting at least one product to the mainland: NBA-proven talent.

In recent years, American players have started to arrive in droves to the mainland to play in its commercial basketball league, the China Basketball Association (CBA). Established in 1995, this local league of now 17 teams across China doesn’t generate nearly as much interest and excitement as their imported American compatriots from the NBA.

However, as basketball has taken root in schools and public courts throughout China, the CBA has increasingly found a receptive audience. As viewer numbers – 436 million last year – and advertising dollars have increased, so have team budgets and consequently a desire to sign foreign players to increase the talent pool.

That interest paved the way for a relaxation earlier this year of the $60,000 monthly cap on salaries for foreign players, a move that league organizers hope will improve the quality of the game in China and generate a buzz amongst a Chinese audience that is already extremely well informed about NBA rosters. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 22, 2010 in News

 

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Things That Make You Go – WTF Were These Guys Thinking?

Seems to be a lot of “Stupid” in the air to start this New Year. Two highly paid members of the Washington Wizards NBA Team accused of drawing guns on each other in the locker room –

Now – I’m not an NBA fan. I prefer College Basketball for many, many reasons. The Wizards have been the most snakebit miserable team in the NBA for years. These guys have qualified for the Draft Lottery of losing teams 6 times…

And each and every time come out last.

This is in a town which has 4-5 quality College Hoops Programs, at least one of which seems to make a serious run at the Final Four each year. The Wizards would have a better record if they just fired the whole team and contracted with Georgetown, Maryland, George Mason, and whichever of American, UVA, Howard, GW, or other local schools has the best record to each play 20 NBA games…

And save $100 million a year. And probably wind up with a lot less stupid drama.

And just in case you think College Players can’t get stupid…

 
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Posted by on January 3, 2010 in Nawwwwww!

 

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Kareem Abdul Jabbar Diagnosed With Cancer

 
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Posted by on November 10, 2009 in The Post-Racial Life

 

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