With his decision to ban one of its owners for life and attempt to force the sale his franchise, post-Stern NBA grand dragon Adam Silver has made it clear that the league and its twenty-nine other owners (as well as thousands of season ticket holders and countless other fans) were smooth sailing right along with a slumlord racist billionaire and equal opportunity offender. But an embarrassing, bigot sugar daddy — not so much.
I guess you could say that Entertainment Media led the button-pushing charge against him; the overwrought display of shock and dismay this past week channeled the quintessence of our age as it relates to equal rights: it’s all imagery. Hell, the NAACP was set to give him his second lifetime achievement award until the grainy image afforded by his pay to be a player status conflicted with the surreptitious recording of his sticking his private dick in his mouth.
Not to entirely miss a point, it was repeated ad news-eum that Los Angeles Clipper owner Donald Sterling’s bigotry was notorious. In fact, one heard again & again that his attitude had been well-known, and that the way he did business had suffered, repeatedly, legally-actionable consequences; even if you didn’t as often hear about the failure of those legal actions.
So in not missing points, points are always missed, as if so beautifully by design.
The spin was that the owner told his mistress not to bring Black people to his basketball games. In the analysis of his alleged hypocrisy, however, the titillating tidbit that he was okay with her sleeping with Black men, as long as she doesn’t pose with them in pictures, neglected the nexus: He was embarrassed by her being seen in public with Black men because he just knew that his buddies would think she was fucking them whether she was or not. Dude Sterling is so classically a phobe.
I love basketball like jazz: I can’t play it well, but like to witness the players play. The former, as a game, is fraught with the pitfalls of competitive artistry. Once, after taking in the tough loss of a team I admired, I went to see a film to unwind and was reminded of the stark limitations of one-off entertainment, in particular when its value is tied to victory – or mired in failure potential.
Or it might have been a lesson about living in the moment. The Zen Master says hello.
Uniquely defined amongst your standard capitalist organizers, sports’ leagues have established an employee distribution system to make as many teams in as many cities as competitive as possible on the court, for, with rare exceptions, if the team is not competitive, the fans in that city won’t find them entertaining, so won’t fill the seats in the arena, stuff their veins with cheesy fries, show off their tats in Truth jerseys, or send their kids to school with sneakers strung together by kids their inferior.
Because professional athletes make so much damn money – and the economy thereabouts generated resembles a pyramid of subjugation so bottom-heavy – folks find it hard to accept the truth that the administration of their trade, more than any other, resembles good ol’ chattel slavery. Sure, huge-wage slavery, but still.
Once a player finishes out his initial contract with the team that drafted him, his freedom can be bought by another billionaire, assuming the team can afford to lure him while still remaining under the league’s imposed salary cap for their roster.
So at this point, the illusive choice can be made; a player can choose whom he would like to play for, which naturally includes his current team. Common wisdom says that there are two primary factors that go into the player’s decision: Money and championship potential.
Frequently, one hears of a free-agent choosing a team because of its owner’s rep for maintaining a winning organization, though more often the choice is based upon the talent-level of players on the current squad. If you hear a player’s reasoning for not choosing a particular team (always via unnamed sources), it only ever has to do with the owner as it relates to perceived incompetence.
The team owned by the Black Snake Moan, the Los Angeles Clippers, acquired a coach just this season who chose to go there because he saw an opportunity to win. And make a lot of money. That same team’s biggest draftee agreed to sign a contract extension with the notorious bigot. And while the league’s best point guard was traded to the Clippers, he, too, agreed to re-sign with them, with winning and money being obvious factors.
Nowhere in the sports media did one read, “How can you play for this guy?” But in the wake of his mistress-manufactured cock and caw, last Sunday, when the Clippers went to San Francisco to play the Golden State Warriors, the team took to the floor hiding their team logo, with their warm-up shirts on inside out, in solidarity against the organization’s dickhead.
Then they proceeded to lose the game, which you can bet they wanted to win.
It was said that the ongoing distraction might’ve been too much. It wasn’t said that the lack of focus might have been the result of their key athletes’ embarrassment at having chosen to work for such a guy, or that they may’ve been suffering unconscious impotence under the weight of his perverted fantasies.
On the day off between playoff games, the opposing coach suggested that the fans in Los Angeles not attend the next game, wherein he unconsciously revealed that demonstrations of solidarity might be gamed to the advantage of his team only; he’d love nothing more than to play in an empty arena on the road, with no one cheering against them.
Of course that didn’t happen because Clippers’ fans want to win, too. Anyway, the tickets were already sold, right?
Following the announcement of their owner being banned for life yesterday, Los Angeles came back to win the next game in the playoff series last night. In the postgame press conference, their star point guard was asked if the action taken by the commissioner might engender a “unifying effect” between the the players union and the league, who had so “butted heads” with each other in the past. He responded, “No question.”
Granted, he’s just a sports guy boilerplating another sports guy’s boilerplate, but he also happens to be the president of the players union, whose only interest is in opposition to league ownership and their selves-appointed executive.
Who’s gaming who?