Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Shame on the NBA


Excuse me for a moment while I get on my soap-box (and for those that know me personally, there's a very good chance they're all exiting their browser right now).




A very brilliant, well spoken, and obviously handsome man called into 107.3 WAAF up here in Boston this morning (ok, I admit it...it was me) during their weekly "Ask the Owner" segment with Boston Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck.


The conversation with AAF started with the NBA All Star game, and it eventually turned to the violence that occurred in Vegas during the weekend celebration. Grousbeck seemed genuinely surprised that it happened. I asked him why he'd be surprised...it made perfect sense to me. I don't think the national sentiment was one of "shock and awe" when the reports of the violence came about.

I asked Grousbeck, in a very tongue in cheek and sarcastic/cynical manner if he truly was surprised that the reported violence occurred, if deep down he had ZERO idea that it was possible.

I really didn't expect him to take a stand and answer it honestly, because if he did, I truly believe he would've been insulting the NBA fan base, but the way in which he answered the question struck me as interesting.

He didn't address the issue of the violence, nor the circumstances of the weekend that left the majority of those in Las Vegas genuinely worried for their safety (to the point that they'd rather wait for a 3 hour taxi ride, than walk from one casino to another), but instead chose to point out the ratings and publicity bonanza that having the NBA All Star game in Las Vegas created. In short, not so much commenting on the risk but solely focusing on the reward. And it wasn't as if he was pulling this out of his ass, he was legitimately relaying the pro's that the NBA saw and planned on with the Allstar game being in Las Vegas.

It begged the question: Did the NBA simply turn the other cheek and ignore the powder-keg that the NBA in Las Vegas could become, solely to promote the league nationally and internationally?

In my opinion, they did.

And for that reason, I think the NBA owners and David Stern should thank their lucky stars that one of their own wasn't harmed this weekend, a family of fans wasn't harmed this weekend, or something worse. If the reports are to believed, and there's no reason to believe that they're false, Vegas turned into a real life Grand Theft Auto this weekend.

And please spare me with the "how can you stereotype" like this argument then point to the Cincinnati Bengals and Tank Johnson as examples of those in the NFL who have had run-ins with the law.

That's two instances.

You could probably find at least 1 run-in on every NBA team. And I'm really not joking.

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Zballs said...

My only wish for the NBA is that Jason Kidd gets traded to the Lakers today. Kidd, Kobe and Odum could be the best and craziest trio in the league.

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