NBA Players Are Acting Like Some Hoes This Week.
Some, not all, but still...
I expect this sort of behavior from baseball players.
Someone hits a home run and stands in the batter’s box for 1.2283 seconds longer “than they should”? He’s getting beaned.
Same home run hitter has the audacity to do anything but gently place his bat on the ground before rounding the bases? He’s showing up the pitcher and therefore deserves to get hit in the ribs with a 95 mph fastball.
Pitchers get hyped up after strikeouts all the time yet if the batter does anything other than swing and immediately run, he’s the one showing off. I played baseball for ONE YEAR and quit afterwards because of stuff like this. Baseball players can act like some sanctimonious hoes.
Football and basketball were more my jam anyway because they were full of action and allowed you to do something that apparently the ghost of Babe Ruth frowns upon — talk cash money shit.
Speaking of which, one year while playing rec league football, my team (the Pepperhill Stallions) were getting our collective keisters handed to us by the (Union Heights) Raiders. I was in sixth grade and I remember standing on the sideline, evoked to tears by a distinct combination of getting our butts kicked and the Raiders insistent need to celebrate.
And it wasn’t just the players celebrating: their cheerleaders, their fans, even the coaches would be high fiving and cabbage patching after every big play. Grown men and women wearing Raiders paraphernalia would be in a profane raucous while in sitting in the silver stands.
“That’s right! Fahck’em up! Dem boi ain’t want no parts ah dis ass whuppin’ chea!”
And as much as it hurt, they were right. I wanted no parts of that ass whuppin’.
Before I continue, I think it’s important to give some background to the social/ethnic makeup of our respective teams. If this were a cheesy sports movie, the Pepperhill Stallions would be the All-American, racially diverse, suburban team with middle class parents and shiny new everythings. The Raiders would be the all black team (literally and figuratively) from the wrong-side-of-the-tracks with big chips on their shoulders and attitudes to match.
While on the sidelines, my coach was getting furious in that clinched-teeth-red-face way (a la Bobby Knight) that all great white male coaches learn to perfect. And in between coaching/blasting us for sucking so hard that day, he kept saying stuff like: “classless” or “unbelievable” or “no respect for the game”. Being, like, 11 years old and having tons of respect for my coach, I took on his persona and found myself repeating the same rhetoric.
After the game with post-game snacks in hand (I earned that Capri Sun and oatmeal pie) I headed to the car with righteous anger. I was furious that those “classless” a-holes would have the unmitigated gaul to behave in such a boorish manner. I told my Mom that coach was right about those Raiders — they showed an extreme lack of respect for the game (I really spoke like that as a 6th grader which is probably why I got beat up a lot in 6th grade)!
My Mom smiled — which I took as a sign of “she understands” — and said in the calmest of voices:
If you don’t want them dancing in the end zone…stop them.
That shook me to my core. What my Mom did for me in that moment, with that statement, was life changing. She inadvertently made me take full responsibility for my actions on the field. It’s not the job of the other team to caress my hurt feelings. It’s my job to make sure they don’t have a damn thing to celebrate in the first place.
Which is why these NBA players are starting to get on my nerves. So what Lance Stephenson lays the ball up with 3 seconds left in a 15 point butt cuttin’ of a game?
So what if JaVale attempts a three at the end of a certified blowout instead of just taking the turnover instead?
How on earth is shooting that three pointer MORE DISRESPECTFUL than Brandon Jennings’ shove? Spoiler alert: it’s not. In these two specific instances, and countless others, it’s not really a matter of disrespect as much as it’s an instance of grown men getting their feelings hurt.
[SIDE NOTE: that “disrespecting the game” rhetoric (to refer back to the JAY CASPIAN KANG article I linked to in the beginning) has always struck me as some elitist, semi-racially coded coach speak meant to keep persons in color in line. Yet another reason I’m glad my Mom didn’t let me feed into that mess when referring to that Raiders team so many years ago. She knew what time it was and squashed that noise, on sight. Thanks, Mom!]
Yes, basketball is just a game. But I assume the NBA players who left college early didn’t do so because the game wasn’t fun. Rather, they wanted to get paid for their services. Ball isn’t just life — they wanted it to be their livelihood and I take no issues with that. But because of that, I also have no sympathy in these situations.
They are getting paid to provide a specific service. When they get blown out by 20, it’s safe to say they did not perform to the best of their abilities. So the fact that they didn’t do their job AND got their shorts in a bunch because someone else — who is also getting paid to play basketball — is performing too well, makes them look hella petulant.
Here’s some unsolicited advice: play some defense, stop turning the ball over, quit taking ill advised shots and you’ll greatly reduce your chances of getting smoked by 20 points.
Also, athletes of color, I beg of you: stop using that stupid “respect the game” phrase. By repeating that, you’re unknowingly continuing to push the narrative that there is only one way to play and or respect “the game”. I’m not signing up for flavorless, soulless, unseasoned, and semi-enthused ball. I love to see you play with passion, talk your talk, and do your dance. You are rhythm and athleticism personified. Don’t let these unwritten rules created by men who couldn’t Dougie their way out of a wet paper bag stop you from doing you. I don’t want to see the NBA end up like the NFL.
Oh and in all seriousness…it’s not that serious, Brandon. You not earning stripes from doing some butter soft shit like that. Don’t hate the playa, respect the game.