NBA / Aug 20, 2010 / 11:00 am

Is the NBA Too Soft?

Ron Artest, Dime #21

Whether it’s Kendrick Perkins in the NBA’s Eastern Conference Finals or some 12-year-old hothead playing pickup during his lunch break, basketball is by nature a game of emotion, confrontation and, sometimes, anger. So it’s unavoidable that games will sometimes turn into Fight Club scenes, whether it’s the millionaires doing their jobs or the rec-leaguers doing it for pride.

Still, it seems this summer tensions are extra high. Already we’ve seen multiple incidents jump off during international “friendly” exhibitions leading up to this month’s FIBA World Championship — including Carlos Arroyo slapping an opponent during a Puerto Rico/Mexico game, and yesterday’s Serbia/Greece brawl. During that fight, Serbian star Nenad Krstic (OKC Thunder) threw several punches and then threw a chair. He was taken into police custody and held overnight, but sources believe FIBA will slap Krstic with a suspension of less than five games.

Had Krstic gone off like that during an NBA game, he would have been suspended for the rest of the season, or depending on when the brawl took place in the schedule, been given at least a 60 or 70-game ban. It could be seen as the only fair punishment, since Ron Artest was suspended 70-plus games following the Pacers/Pistons brawl in 2004.

Was there any difference between Krstic’s actions and Artest’s actions? You could say Artest was worse because he actually went after a fan and incited a riot that got the fans involved, but Artest also didn’t throw any objects intended to maim like Krstic’s chair-toss. Bottom line, both players went temporarily insane and were out of control, creating a dangerous situation for everyone involved.

So why such a discrepancy in punishments by the basketball governing bodies? The first reason is obvious: Krstic is never going to play 82 FIBA games — let alone 82 FIBA games in one season — so the scale by which you can punish him is different. (Although he could be given a lifetime ban.)

The second reason isn’t so clear. Is it because the NBA is too strict on players for behavior with which FIBA is more lenient? Does FIBA have a better understanding that basketball players sometimes lose control and are therefore more forgiving? Or is the NBA’s aim to create a fan-friendly product making the league softer in regards to what is deemed unacceptable?

What do you think? Is the NBA product too soft?

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  • http://www.netshype.blogspot.com netstar

    violence has no place on an nba court…. emotion, though, does.

    there is a reason that the nba is the premier league in the world. it is because the players rely on skill, competition, and talent – not right hooks – to be the tough.

  • control

    Not only is the NBA a league full of pussies, damn near the entire usa is turning into a country full of pussies. A nipple slip on tv having damn near the same shock value Germany invading Poland had in 1939…it’s disgusting.

    The NBA is a VERY soft league, you can see it by the fouls, the introduction to flopping, and the trend that people would rather just flop on defense instead of actually touching another person. There are very few true “bangers” anymore, and when those bangers really start to bang…they are slapped with 3 quick fouls and put on the bench.

    For example, look at the most dominate big man in the league right now: Dwight Howard. He’s got an amazingly strong body, but you don’t see him just brutalizing people like Shaq used to, instead he uses his athleticism to just out-jump the offensive player and snatch the ball out of the air. Back in the day, if people drove against someone like Dwight, they’d be rocking a few bruises…now if Dwight tries that, he’d be out a game or two for a flagrant.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPfPNe2sgq4&feature=related
    Check out that dunk/push by Shaq at 2:10. He doesn’t get called for a foul. If that would have happened last season, and Chris Dudley threw the ball and started walking towards Shaq like that, they both would have been suspended for a few games.

    The NBA is a pussy league now.

  • karizmatic

    The NBA generally overreacts to any kind of violence because the sport involves mostly black men who are perceived as violent by the mostly white audience who sit in closer proximity than any other sport to the action. I’m not arguing that Artest should have gotten a lighter punishment, I think any player should get a season suspension if not more for jumping into the stands after a fan, but the above reason is why players will get slapped with several game suspensions for much lesser infractions.

    As you mentioned before, FIBA doesn’t have 82 games to punish Kristic and they also don’t have to deal with the racial balancing act that the NBA does.

  • Patrick

    I agree with Control

    In the last 10-15 years the league has become incredibly soft. You can probably trace the evolution of pussydom back to the lockout season. In fear that they were losing fan base the NBA changed their rules in an attempt to attract casual fans interested in watching something shiny rather than basketball fans.

    Unfortunately some of this transformation could be seen as racially motivated. The upper middle class and above (in the US typically white people) that the league wants to attract because they can actually afford to go to the games can be easily disenchanted with the increasingly tattooed and thuggish image that the NBA was gaining. To bring the game back to those fans the league started down road to the flopping, slow garbage that we see today (that I as an enormous fan still love). We now have dress codes, and touch fouls, and flagrants for mean looks. Shot blockers are athletic small forwards instead of centers. Tony Parker can dance in and out of the lane all day without even considering a need to hit the weight room to put on some protective muscle.

    The league will say that they are emphasizing the skill players and trying to increase the pace of play. Unfortunately now we see centers shooting threes rather than bodying down low, and when dime writes an article about rought play it is about Carlos Arroyo slapping someone, the Melo back pedal, or Matt Barnes.
    http://dimemag.com/2010/08/the-nbas-top-10-goons/#more-52412

    When baseball is more of a man’s game then basketball it is a sad day.

  • control

    karizmatic

    So you are essentially saying that the NBA is a pussy league because it is predominately black? What you are describing is similar to saying basketball is just white people watching black people in a zoo or gladiator type of exhibit.

    FIBA has a worse racial balancing act to deal with than the NBA, in the NBA isn’t mostly americans vs americans. In the FIBA, they have countries that have had years of bloodshed and hatred playing against each other. I think having a riot turn into an all out war is more of a concern to FIBA than a few players exchanging blows on the court.

  • Darius

    the league is extremely soft. It needs to go back to the times of the 90’s with the tough Knicks & Pacers

  • lowblow

    yes

  • http://www.kikaayacollegeschool.net smity closer now

    yes.

  • hahns

    i agree w/ netstar- i think the league has done some good things to free up the game and to make it more fan friendly- but as some of the above posts have highlighted, it has gone too far.

    as the commentators during the playoffs constantly remarked upon, especially jvg, the double technical is an example of the league trying to exert too much control over emotions instead of game play.

    i dont know about you all, but i get annoyed when im ballin and some guy is too aggressive and is fouling too much or is dirty. basketball is a game of skill- you should have to out-game your man instead of brutalizing him. its not football.

  • karizmatic

    @ Control

    I disagree

    And yeah sure basketball is an exhibit…every sport is an exhibit, it is essentially what has replace gladiators in a “civilized” society.

    It might sound counterintuitive but I would say FIBA doesn’t have to deal with as much of that threat precisely because it does involve so many different countries and the magnitiude of the players actions is on a much larger scale, if Bosnians fight Serbians on an international stage it may in fact cause an international incident, this is more than enough incentive for players to keep things generally civil, which is why it is so surprising that there have been more conflicts relatively than in the past.

    On the other hand, with the NBA the players play each other more often and for that reason rivalries are built up, there are players who just don’t like each other etc etc, it is more likely that players might engage in some type of altercation. In addition, as I said before the stakes are much lower. Which is another reason the NBA slaps on bigger penalties, to raise the deterrent for players to fight. But there is nothing that the NBA dreads more than the image of the league having a bunch of “thug” ball players running around getting in fights. Particularly when its paying audience is a predominantly white crowd which harbors that type of a fear, whether it be suppressed or overt. It’s something people don’t want to talk about but you better believe it’s there.

  • Big T

    Karizmatic… that’s probably the dumbest reply I’ve seen in the few years I’ve been reading Dimemag articles. Must be Jesse Jackson in real life…

  • KT

    The NBA is starting top overreact on some issues but I hate to say it, but you must take into account the target audience and perception. Baseball allows you to clear the benches and retaliate against players who hit your guy and it is wiped of as part of the game. Everyone loves hockey fights. But when bigger than life stars on the basketball court get emotional or fight, the words that come up are not tradition and passion, but thuggery and anger. Until those perceptions are dealt with, the NBA will try to protect their logo like the NFL does its shield.

  • karizmatic

    LOL

    Yeah Big T that’s usually what people say when someone introduces race as a reply.

    Maybe I should have gone with the pc answer huh?

    “Well the NBA just wants to keep its game cleans and devoid of the physicality that could ruin what is supposed to be a finesse game. So maybe they overreact a little bit…I don’t see a problem with it..especially since it makes for a more aesthetically pleasing game.”

    Is that a little more intelligent for you?

  • Brown

    I didn’t see one punch thrown in that whole “bench-clearing brawl.” It was more like a bench-clearing shoving match.

    These types of scuffles happen in hockey on a regular basis, which is a way more physical and emotional game than basketball. If someone gets out of line, they’ll get taken care of. There’s obviously more potential for violence, but for the most part, hockey players police themselves.

    Basketball players can be thrown out of a game (or at least called for a technical) for simply mean-muggin’ and jawin’ at each other. It doesn’t get more pussy than that. If the NBA would be more lenient on allowing players to play with emotion, which is part of the game, it would go a long way in changing that perception.

    To put it simply, the NBA doesn’t allow men to be men. Being a skill player shouldn’t be akin to being Mr. Nice Guy all the time. Stifling a player’s competitive edge can only have negative impacts on the game.

  • control

    karizmatic

    I don’t think race is an issue here. The NBA is about one colour: green. Period. Corporate america is about that same colour.

    You might be right about the whole “thug and gangster image” though. The NBA is a business, and presenting a positive image to your clients/demographics is the number one rule of business. There are very very few major companies in the usa that will push a corporate image that they are “straight out the hood”, “living the trailer park life” or “we gonna kill you!”. It ain’t just “black” people who look that way, you won’t see some white trailer trash motherfuckers pushing any products either (cept Nascar).

    Don’t split the lines up based on race, it ain’t about race, it’s about positive image. Positive images generally mean looking clean cut, presentable, and respectable (in most ppl’s minds). Guys like Stephan Jackson don’t always promote clean cut, presentable and respectable…but then, guys like Chris Anderson don’t either.

  • http://www.dimemag.com Celts Fan

    The NBA is too soft for 2 main reasons.

    1. Kermit Washington meets Rudy Tomjonovic, Kermit wins big.
    2. The Heat and Knicks deciding to turn the 90s Playoffs into a real-life version of Arch Rivals (if you’re too young to remember that game, I hate you.)

  • http://www.cnnsi.com JAY

    @karizmatic
    It’s the exact opposite of what you brought up.
    There are WAY more heated moments in International tournaments. Why? Because these guys are not friends, and they are repping their country. See Vince. He’s Mr. Fagget in the NBA. Always has been. When he played for the US he was a different man. There’s so many altercations between teams it’s almost expected. Greece, Spain, and Puerto Rico are always getting into some shit with other teams. Those are just the usual suspects… the other teams don’t shy away from physical altercations either.

    “with the NBA the players play each other more often and for that reason rivalries are built up, there are players who just don’t like each other etc etc”
    This is the exact opposite too. How many guys acutally don’t like eachother in today’s game?? You can count them on your hands. Nowadays, there is waaay more comraderie in the NBA, i actually find it offensive. Lol.
    Compare yesteryear’s NBA to today’s AAU NBA. The Knicks were public enemy #1, Isaiah hated Michael, Zo’s Heat vs. Knicks/Indiana, Portland/Lakers, Sac/Lakers…
    You bring up rivalries but outside of the Celts/Lakers, what other rivalries are there today??

  • the truth

    control spittin the truth

  • karizmatic

    Nah “positive image” is all about race…after all who decided what is a positive image and what isn’t? That’s just the pc way of addressing race without addressing it…now I will admit you hit a chord with Chris Anderson it’s not just race…and it is socio economic, which means it’s all about color, racial color and the color green. Upper class people decided what was a “positive” image and they use their power over the players to enforce it.

    Now on the “hood image” corporations used it widely when it was in their interest and they still use it. Universal uses the “hood image” all day everyday to promote rap and that’s just the most obvious example. But the NBA can’t use it because their audience is not one that is receptive to that image.

  • karizmatic

    @ Jay

    I happen to think if there is more comraderie among the players today, that too is by design. The NBA decided that they’d rather have their players be friends than mortal enemies.

    We got focused on my response but the question was is the NBA too soft…I think a lot of us agree that it is…so now the question is why…I happen to think race has something to do with it…Control and others disagree.

    If what you say is true and it is the exact opposite, and international guys get in more altercations, then why isn’t it treated like the world is coming to an end? Maybe because that is expected in athletics? Maybe because athletics isn’t supposed to be nice? Maybe because athletics is in fact an exhibition of some of the toughest SOBs we can find?

    So why is it that the NBA (and the NFL to a lesser extent) finds it necessary to make it a point to discourage the physicality that goes along with the game? I guess I’m one of the few here who thinks that it might have something to do with the fact that the league is made up of about 90% black players (and the stereotypes that accompnay them) and its audience is majority white?

  • Joe’s Momma

    It is still a tough game, so I don’t think soft is the best word. More like, overreactionary if that is even a word.

    It seems like everytime something happens, a scuffle on the court or trash talking, the refs are right there handing out t’s. and then you got the league reviewing things after the fact and possible suspensions and such.

    The flagrant fouls are getting really out of control. If a guy like Dwight Howard gets fouled hard then its only a foul. If Jameer Nelson gets hit with the same force its gonna be a flagrant 2. Sometimes the way a guy lands will get someone kicked out.

    Okay, maybe soft is the right word.

    This is a physical game, it might not be like football where the intention is to knock a guy to the ground everytime he touches the ball, but there is definetely a level of phyisicality on that court. The NBA is trying to control that and is making the game really watered down.

    I like the days when in a playoff game, someone comes down the lane untouched he is gonna get his head broken off by the likes of Charles Oakley or Sir Charles.

    I think this has caused the rise of the smaller guards becoming terrific players. Because opposing teams can’t rock these guys like before, they will get suspended. Don’t get me wrong, those smaller guards are pretty wicked and some would be terrific even if they got popped once in a while too.

  • karizmatic

    @ Joe’s Momma

    I’m not so sure that Tony Parker would be terrific if he was subject to those 90s fouls…I’m not too sure about Chris Paul either. I know one thing, both of them would have been in the weight room a lot more.

  • control

    karizmatic

    You said it, Companies use images to sell their products. It’s 100% a social economic thing, rich people/companies produce items that they need to trick poor/middle class people into buying, thereby keeping the flow of cash going upwards. They will use any image required to do so, period. Otherwise, how will they keep the poor, poor, and the rich, rich? The upper class people are deciding more about your life than just what a “positive image” is…

    I live in Detroit, I see companies that want to sell car stereo systems and 26″ rims. Who do they use as spokesmen? Hiphop dressed black people generally speaking, because they are trying to present themselves as a company that is like the demographic they are trying to pursue. I see commercials about IRAs and investments, the spokesman is generally an older white or black guy wearing a suit. I see commercials about weight loss products, I see younger black or white people who are in exceptional shape. I see commercials about nascar, I see spokesmen who are white, sloppy, fat and dirty rednecks.

    NBA is a business that is trying to be the most popular sport in this country. A sport accepted by all families, of all demographics, so they have to cater to the most common demographic. Generally speaking, giant males doing random acts of violence doesn’t appeal to good family fun (black or white males).

    What I don’t get, is why the NBA thinks that the only way to reduce violence in the game is to make all of these men play like pussies, instead of grown men. You can be aggressive, and play a hard game without getting violent or dirty…

  • fallinup

    Hell yeah the game is too soft. And the rules dictate that it be soft. Any type of squabble is hit with suspensions and fines. Teams aren’t allowed to play real defense anymore. You can’t touch a player without the whistle blowing. The game is tailored now for the athletic slashers. And the rules protect that so all you can do is go for the charge.

    Watch an NBA Classic game anytime before the mid-late 90”s… you’ll laugh at all the contact allowed. You’d be calling foul on every play.

    I blame the NBA as a whole. Those 90’s rivalries… specifically MIA vs. NY were brutal, ugly, hard fought games. It wasn’t pretty, but it was basketball. When other teams started going hard nose, the casual fan turned off because they didn’t see the value in a game ending with teams scoring 80-90 points. So they changed the rules to cater more to the offensive player.

    This is where you get everyone bitching about the refs controlling the games (when in essence, they are doing their jobs pertaining to the rules now)… and this is where you get everyone complaining about flopping (but hell, it’s all you can do now).

    And I don’t see NBA de-pussyfication anytime soon.

  • http://www.cnnsi.com JAY

    karizmatic

    “If what you say is true and it is the exact opposite, and international guys get in more altercations, then why isn’t it treated like the world is coming to an end?”
    Simple, because it’s not. Look at yesterday’s altercation. HUGE fight but some media outlets are only showing a clip… other are just reporting it w/ no video clip. There’s no discussion. People realize it’s just a game not the end of the world.

    We agree on some issues and disagree on others.

    Just thought I’d mention this though…
    I find it ironic (and silly) that the same reason the NBA merged with the ABA is what they want to abolish. With Gervin, David Thompson, and Dr. J, the showboating, beating-on-your-chest, in-your-face, macho taunting is the reason the NBA became so successful. Now they want to get rid of it. As ballers, we get it. We see the league turning on it’s heels and moving away from what made the league exciting. It’s bullshit.

  • http://twitter.com/therealknowbody Mr. Brogden

    Thanks Karizmatic and Control for bringing well thought-out responses to the Q: Is the NBA too soft?

    Perception is everything. And, the ‘race’ issue is real in America because it’s our only tried and true taboo.

    Sports is a spectacle. Broadcasting sports is big time green. If too many altercations occur in the NBA unchecked, that will undoubtedly cause broadcasters to ‘filter’ or ‘decrease’ the telecasts of NBA games. That’s how the theory goes, that’s how the thinking goes.
    At the end of the day, it’s all about the green.

    That’s why the Offense has more fluidity nowadays. Less hacking, equals more points, more points equals more entertaining basketball…and you can see how this tree grows.

    Well, cordial play with emotions in check attracts ticket buyers. Good play attracts more ticket buyers. Starting a fight in front of 500 toddlers and children watching thier favorite bball players…induces fear and discomfort. Older folk don’t like it neither…makes the game watching experience miserable and frightening.
    Negativity and physical confrontations and nasty arguments detracts ticket buyers.

    It is about the green.
    The NBA is a house for professionals.
    Not everyone in the NBA is professionals.
    Majority of the NBA players are not white.
    Perception about minorities are real enough to fuel age-old stereotypes. So, it is real.

    I believe Karizmatic and Control have hit some pertinent and poignant POINTS. Thanks

  • karizmatic

    @ Control

    As I said…because of the stereotype of black male physicality, the NBA knows that its audience perceives its players that way whether it is suppressed or overt. The term socio economic refers to race and class, the social condition is racism, the economic condition is capitalism, or classism, that’s what every business has to deal with in order to make profit.

    The fact of the matter is the NBA is a business that is attempting to sell a “black” product to “white” america. And they aren’t selling hip hop which actually feeds into the stereotypes. Rather they are trying to buck the stereotypes and say “see we can bring these black athletes to you in a safe package” so by necessity they have to water down the physicality of the game…as someone said they can’t “let men be men” more specifically they can’t let black men be seen in any way as threatening to the paying white people.

    They want white people to be in awe of the athletic ability of the players without being in fear of any possible violence. This fear is intensified by the stereotypical views that white people have of black people in America.

  • karizmatic

    @ Jay

    You’re proving my point…why is it that when it happens in FIBA there is little or no clips…when it happens in the NBA it’s run on every major news stations and ESPN all day and it is treated like the end of the world? Why is that?

  • karizmatic

    @ Brogden

    Thanks, I think you hit it more directly than I did.

  • Poolpal44

    Isn’t the NBAs “weak” image a product of its popularity? I dont think David Stern is a wimp, I think he has a business that reaches children and families. He has an image to uphold, and he also has superstars that he cant have LeBron sidelined for three months cause he got hit with a chair. Makes sense to me.

  • control

    karizmatic

    I think the major point we disagree on is that you see poor america as “black” america. I don’t. There are a lot more poor white and brown people than there are poor white people. Shit, even George Bush said that mexicans are needed to “do the jobs americans won’t do” when talking about illegal immigrants, and nobody was talking any shit about him being racist (when he is). I think the ratio of poor browns compared to rich browns is much more drastic than poor blacks to rich blacks.

    The issue is the image of morality, and selling that to the middle class americans. Look how much heat the NFL took over Janet Jackson having a nip slip during the superbowl, and the steps they’ve taken to ensure that nothing even remotely close to that ever happens again. You don’t think that nipslip was race related do you? The NBA is doing the same thing by overcontrolling shit to try to remove violence from the game. Even the NHL has taken steps to remove violence from the game, but they can’t pussify it too much, else that savage white redneck audience would get turned off…

  • control

    “There are a lot more poor white and brown people than there are poor white people”
    Should be
    “There are a lot more poor white and brown people than there are poor black people”

  • Skeez

    Why is everyone on here getting on Karizmatic for speaking the truth?!? Anytime race gets brought into the equation peoples defenses go up cuz they dont want to talk about it. Its not like Karizmatic is trying to make excuses for black (excuse me ….african-american) ball players. Hes just stating his observation. No one issue gets as many responses as race on this blog or any other article/comment/topic that may center around race. Its definitely still an issue in this country and if you dont believe that cut on Fox News and see how overtly racist that network is (Shirley Sherrod anyone).

    P.S. – Sorry for veering from the topic at hand. Im in agreement that the league has gone soft but everyone commenting on this blog still watches the game anyway.

  • M Intellect

    Austin – Did Nenad really try and maim Baby Shaq? Really?

  • http://www.cnnsi.com JAY

    karizmatic
    It could be because we live in North America and we get the North American perspective. North American media isn’t always interested in what happens on the other side of the world.
    If we were in Europe, do you think it would be different??
    If we were in Europe, do you think the NBA fights would be front page??

    I’m not saying i entirely disagree with your point of view about it being a racial thing… I’m just saying there could be other reasons. Here, in North America, are quick to pull the race card. Again, I’m not saying, u are being rash by arriving at that conclusion… but the picture isn’t always painted in white and black.

  • dapro

    Good topic and I say emphatically YES, the NBA has gone soft.

    Part of it is due to race and/or the perception of the “Hip Hop Culture” thus the reason for the dress code and to a lesser extent the age restriction, and hip hop artist aside from Jay-Z, Kanye(maybe) and soon to be Drake allowed to be featured as an act during games or the All Star Game. Several years ago, Cam’ron and Mariah Carey had a huge hit but only Mariah was allowed to perform during the All Star Game because the league doesn’t want the association of a “Hip Hop” artist. Yet and still they use the music of the artist during games to hype both the players and the crowd

    As for the softness-
    The League has essentially removed alot of the competitive and aggressive nature of men in the game because for the most part rivalries are not allowed to form. Although it was ugly, HEAT VS KNICKS was must see TV. It created drama; the NBA can’t have it both ways.

    Part of the problem is the marketing scheme behind the league. They promoted Lakers vs. Heat when Shaq was traded because they knew fans wanted to see the drama unfold and we played right into the media’s hands by feeding into the bs. We’ll see how the league promotes Miami, particularly Lebron because he has become the villain- the person everyone loves to hate. When someone puts him on his ass will Stern respond with a knee-jerk reaction?

  • dapro

    One last point but the relaity is- the issue is about race. For whatever reason, we as Black people allow society to dictate who represents us

    Case in point, an athlete gets busted with a gun and he becomes the face of what’s wrong in the urban community

    Particularly we as black men shouldn’t allow others to dictate how we are represented. One idiot does not represent us as a whole. That’s what the issue has become, we may not want to hear it but it’s the truth. Why do you think so many people are surprised at how Obama handles himself?

  • karizmatic

    @ Control

    Nah I don’t view poor America as black america, but I am aware that black america is disproportionately affected by poverty, so anything that has to do with poverty is going to have more of a widespread effect on black people than any other ethnic or racial group in this country. Now that being said, we’re talking about basketball here and in basketball this is even moreso the case because most of the players are black.

    I think what we disagree on is that you think somehow class and race can be talked about separately, while I don’t think they can or should be talked about separately.

    It seems to me you’re perfectly fine talking about class separation but when it comes to race separation particularly between blacks and whites you don’t really want to discuss that…

    overall my point is that you can’t really discuss one with the other. If it’s about green it’s also about black and white…that’s just the way this country was founded and it still happens to affect the way things are done today.

    @ Jay

    I’m not trying to paint it as a solely race issue…although I did introduce race into the conversation. I understand there are other issues to take into account such as class, which me and control have been discussing. I just really wanted to make it known that race is indeed a factor in this issue and I didn’t want it to be discounted or pushed to the side.

    And yes we are talking about the American perspective here, and a big part of the American perspective and experience which Americans hate to talk about is race. And I’m sorry I have to take issue with your use of the phrase “race card” if you study American history long enough you’ll realize that race is not a card blacks or whites can pull out whenever they feel like it…rather race is always in play.

  • http://www.cnnsi.com JAY

    BTW…. good job AB. A topic that provokes thought was brought up by Ms. Austin James. Who woulda thunk?

  • karizmatic

    @ dapro

    Black people don’t allow anything to represent them…the media particularly picks up on certain themes which have wide currency with viewers and puts them out there. “Athlete gets busted with gun and drugs” comports with the American stereotype of the urban black irresponsible athlete and so that’s what the media peddles.

    As a result the NBA has gone to far extents to promote its NBA Cares program which portrays these athletes in a different light. The NBA Cares promotion is largely an attempt by the NBA to dispel the myth and stereotype that athletes, particularly black ones are a menace to their community on their off time. If the media was telling this story do you think the NBA would have to do it? So Blacks don’t do that…other people determine what images of black people society sees and responds to.

  • dapro

    karizmatic

    I hear but reality is it happens because we allow it and we feed into the perception in some cases. I’m speaking as a black man and the truth is we do allow the media to define our culture. If we didn’t allow it, it wouldn’t happen. We perpetuate the sterotypes many times because we heard it so much it starts to resonate and we become exactly what scoiety defines us as

    “You know, it’s not the world that was my oppressor, because what the world does to you, if the world does it to you long enough and effectively enough, you begin to do to yourself.”

    James Baldwin

  • http://www.cnnsi.com JAY

    @karizmatic – damn bro. U typing too fast. Lol. I’m at work… can’t keep up with the replies. Hahaha

    “Athlete gets busted with gun and drugs” comports with the American stereotype of the urban black irresponsible athlete and so that’s what the media peddles.”
    This is an example of the media pushing the negative story. White or black, negativity sells. Clemens was indicted yesterday. That is a HUGE story and he’s a white guy. Big Mac got a LOT of grief too… he’s white. You can’t blame the media for pushing the Vick story, the Plaxico story, Jayson Williams, OJ Simpson, etc. The white athletes aren’t putting themselves in those positions to be portrayed in the media like the above mentioned players are. Negativity sells. I’m mixed race. I see both sides. The black community needs to stop giving media material to feed off and stop saying, “it’s a black thing.”

    If Kirilenko dove into the stands and attacked fans, you don’t think it would be a huge story??

  • http://www.cnnsi.com JAY

    Well said, dapro.

    BTW, I just re-read the title of the article and said to myself, “oh yeah!”. Lol! We’re waaaaaaaaaaay off topic. Good discussion. You could tell grown men are talking.

  • karizmatic

    @ dapro

    Touche,

    Good point I understand that one…and I love that James Baldwin quote by the way…it’s been one of my favorites for a long time, but I guess I don’t characterize it as what we let the media do, I characterize it as what has been done to us…that’s just me though. I understand some people say well we should get over that and work to change it ourselves, and I understand that too.

    But at the same time I don’t think that people understand that conditioning is something that is real deep.

    I guess the question is ….if someone does something to you with the full knowledge and understanding that what they do is going to cause a particular outcome in you…is it more their fault or your fault when those outcomes become a reality. But that’s veering waaay outside the scope of this particular question.

  • LakeShow84

    Id say the NBA is soft and the players arent..

  • karizmatic

    @ Jay

    My bad…I’m at work too, but I’m doing anything today lol. Ehhh I would just say it is really doubtful that white people don’t put themselves in these types of positions more often…if I give examples though we’ll really get into some murky stuff. Like would Ben Roethlisburger have got the same level of treatment from the media or more if he were black? From my point of view he really didn’t get treated that badly…yeah he’s a semi pariah in Pittsburgh, but you’re telling me if he was black they wouldn’t have found a way to trade him?

    Control brought up Birdman earlier…this dude was on drugs and came back from a suspension to be a great player…does the NBA spend so much time on that story if he’s black or do they just breathe a collective sigh of relief, remain silent about it and move on?

    But once we go here we’re into circumstantial stuff and it’s really going to depend on what side of the coin put more weight on. From my point of view I’ve seen black athletes vilified for stuff that I can say a white athlete might have just been made fun of for.

    Whitlock has an article on foxsports about this concerning Brett Favre…I don’t see racism there, but it does make you wonder…what if Favre was black would he get the same rope? No way to prove it, just something to wonder about.

  • raytard

    What’s wrong with pussy? I love pussy lol

  • sh!tfaced

    Hell yeah. I love soft pussy too (the literal kind)…

    Gotta agree, the NBA has has become a pussy league. Should put a picture of Chris Bosh in there instead of Ron Artest…

  • sh!tfaced

    Chris Bosh wouldn’t even be playing if this was 80’s ball…

  • Mtx

    Who’s Chris Bosh? I only know the RuPaul of big men

  • http://uoregon.edu sans

    Yeah the L is soft, but because they call tickytack fouls on the perimeter and fouls on the shot after ball contact that just don’t make sense….

  • control

    Well, racial bullshit aside, the answer to the question is “fuck yeah, the league is soft”. Austin, you are soft for even ASKING the question, because it isn’t a question, the league is soft and has been for a while.

  • John

    All I can say is, if Stephen Jackson, Ron Artest and Jermaine O’neal were part of the other team, Nenad would have gotten knocked out! I don’t know if I can qualify Nenad’s tapping on other players’ backs with a closed fist as a punch. Pacquiao or Mayweather needs to show that guy a thing or two about how to punch. After watching the brawl at the Palace, and how Jackson, Artest and O’Neal were connecting with their punches, I don’t know if this brawl in Greece is close to the same level. Nenad would not have even gotten to the Jerry Springer chair-throwing part, if he had to face off against one of those guys from the Palace brawl.

  • http://getyourishbusted.net Chicagorilla

    @KT
    “Baseball allows you to clear the benches and retaliate against players who hit your guy and it is wiped of as part of the game. Everyone loves hockey fights. But when bigger than life stars on the basketball court get emotional or fight, the words that come up are not tradition and passion, but thuggery and anger”

    That^ is the realist ish you ever wrote son. It’s the bottom line to all this.

    @Control,

    I agree with you as far as the NBA being pu$$ies and wanting to clean up the image, but trust and believe that the image of it being “Black men” has a lot to do with them not liking that image. This goes all the way back to the ABA days.
    Also, you wrote about corp America and the color green. I agree 99% that the color green is the bottom line for them, but please understand that the NBA is not catering to “Black Corp America” because there is very little Black people who have the money to support the NBA.

    As KT pointed out, Baseball has bench clearing brawls (along with fans coming out of the stands to beat up umpires and players), and Hockey is the most Brutal Sport in America, and Football is the most violent after hockey. Yet they have no problem with their image.

    David Stern is a smart businessman, but you better believe he doesn’t GIVE A $H!T about the sport of Basketball, it’s history or its future. He is in it for the money because that’s his job. On any street or Gym here in Chicago, a guy like Tony Parker would never be able to cut into the lane without getting punished for it. Sure he’ll be good enough to get there, but he’ll have to be strong enough or tough enough to FINISH there. The NBA has gone away from this (hence the reason Allen Iverson was so successful) and thats why I will never respect the numbers any of these guys (NBA players) put up from here on out.

    the 80’s and 90’s were the best the NBA had to offer with a great combination of talent, athleticism, and skill to match.

  • http://getyourishbusted.net Chicagorilla

    @KT
    “Baseball allows you to clear the benches and retaliate against players who hit your guy and it is wiped of as part of the game. Everyone loves hockey fights. But when bigger than life stars on the basketball court get emotional or fight, the words that come up are not tradition and passion, but thuggery and anger”

    That^ is the realist ish you ever wrote son. It’s the bottom line to all this.

    @Control,

    I agree with you as far as the NBA being pu$$ies and wanting to clean up the image, but trust and believe that the image of it being “Black men” has a lot to do with them not liking that image. This goes all the way back to the ABA days.
    Also, you wrote about corp America and the color green. I agree 99% that the color green is the bottom line for them, but please understand that the NBA is not catering to “Black Corp America” because there is very little Black people who have the money to support the NBA.

    As KT pointed out, Baseball has bench clearing brawls (along with fans coming out of the stands to beat up umpires and players), and Hockey is the most Brutal Sport in America, and Football is the most violent after hockey. Yet they have no problem with their image.

    David Stern is a smart businessman, but you better believe he doesn’t GIVE A $H!T about the sport of Basketball, it’s history or its future. He is in it for the money because that’s his job. On any street or Gym here in Chicago, a guy like Tony Parker would never be able to cut into the lane without getting punished for it. Sure he’ll be good enough to get there, but he’ll have to be strong enough or tough enough to FINISH there. The NBA has gone away from this (hence the reason Allen Iverson was so successful) and thats why I will never respect the numbers any of these guys (NBA players) put up from here on out.

    the 80’s and 90’s were the best the NBA had to offer with a great combination of talent, athleticism, and skill to match.

  • http://getyourishbusted.net Chicagorilla

    D@mn did I double post?

    I’m better than that, thats “Bush League”…thats what that is!

  • Chaos

    I agree with a lot of you on this but it all comes down to….MONEY…wh;ile the hardcore basketball fan loves all aspects of the game: skill, toughness, finesse, strategy, teamwork….the casual fan which lets face it, outnumber the hardcore fans, want to see all the stuff that gets on Sportscenter: dunks, killa crossovers, ankles broken, alley oops, open court steals, fancy passes, etc…and David Stern knowing all of this is doing whatever he can to attract the casual fan because its more of them and they have deeper pockets. Stern wants all of this with scores in the 100s and not a hard nose, hard fought game like we saw with the 80s-90s bulls vs pistons games. In seeing these games with low scores and low ratings, what did he do, he did like the nfl and changed the rules to emphasize more skill and athleticism, no hand checking, more fouls, especially flagrant, less physciality just like the nfl has increased rules to protect wide recievers and qbs, not because of safety but because of increasing highlights and making games more exciting for the fans. Why do you think more people turn in to see the warriors or suns than they do to see the spurs and utah?

    if you had jordan, zeke, magic, moses malone, dr. j, barkley, robinson, drexler, hakeem, stockton, and karl playing into todays games, they would average 40 easy! if the best players were playing in the 80s then they would get hit in the mouth and sent down to the D-League to grow a pair of balls. even lebron would have been crying…but thats not exciting. there are no rivalries anymore. there is no hard fought games anymore. not like there once was, not like life or death. but stern doesnt want anything to happen that changes the view of the league and runs away any fans, basically cutting down on the thug-dom, heated confrontations, fights, anything that may drive away fans.
    I feel bad for players like Dwight Howard because he is a man that has been neutered like a dog because he can’t move without something happenin. he can be the second coming of shaq, but cant take a step with out causing and drawing fouls, so he can’t really make a move because he plays a POWER game like shaw did. yes he has to develop touch but sometimes you got to let a bull be a damn bull. …..thats exactly what i see the league as a bunch of neutered men who cant be men or show emotion because of david stern.

  • http://Dimemag Smitty012

    Karizmatic u need a girlfriend. Damn dick head do u checkk this shot every hour ?

  • Kyle

    Obviously there is a lot of racism involved with how the NBA calls games, but that’s not the only reason the NBA has become more of a show/or basically just entertainment. Corrupt officials, Stern who is a businessman, and the upperclass white guys who pay for the expensive seats.

    Look at Bird, Mullin, Stockton, Havilicek, Rick Barry, Laimbeer, or even Nash playing with a jacked up eye to finish off the Spurs… they’re white. And could handle tough play. Blame the Rudy Tomjanovich incident… Kermit was cowardly and dirty while ruining a guy’s career who had been a 5 time all-star(and averaged over 18 and 9 rebounds a game)before that cheap shot and had just turned 30. Kermit Washington was a scrub who was like Bruce Bowen but could rebound.

    Get rid of the thugs who have no skills, but just play dirty.

  • Guitar Hero

    Being European, thus looking from the outside, it’s obvious for me that the Americans try too much to build a family friendly atmosphere in sports. And that reason alone “pussyfies” the sport and it’s surroundings.

    In Europe, South America, etc, the environment surrounding football (soccer) is completely different. You know that there’s a good probability that players are going to exchange some blows, and that the same could happen between fans. Because in sports outside the US, the rivalries are REAL. Just google Barcelona-Real Madrid, Porto-Benfica, Marseille-PSG, Argentina-Brasil, England-Germany, etc. There’s a deep cultural background supporting all that…and that leads to hard fouls, rabid fans, etc.

    You do not see that in the US. LA-Bos is the greatest rivalry you have, and it’s totally fan friendly. You just hear the occasional Beat LA or Boston Sucks chant, and that’s it. That is not a rivalry, sorry…

  • Mtx

    If Pau Gasol and Chris Bosh are considered two of the best big men, then this league is def soft

  • tiks

    Imagine ballers slugging it out like ice hockey players almost every game. Now imagine the reaction of the general public. That’s how easy it is to pick on the NBA players.

  • http://twitter.com/Chris_Barrio C Money

    If the “stars” today played in the League in the late 80s and early 90s they woldnt be stars! i like FIBA play and they should implement some rules BACK into the NBA like hand checking. Half of these points the “stars” in the nba score are because they are “chosen” ones and get calls and get buckets at the line.The NBA is soft and though fighting shouldnt be tolerated it shouldnt be a problem. With all the moeny these kids are making so early they have NO INSENTIVE nor do i see the passion for the game i ONCE SAW as a child and teenager. So when a player has that fire and fight in him i dont see his aggression as a problem i see it as competitiveness. Everyone in the league is too friendly with one another they smile too much and wear their head bands upside down and to the side like its a fashion statement. THIS IS BASKETBALL (at its highest level) NOT NYC FASHION WEEK! Wheres the Rodmans the Oakleys and Laimbeer’s Xavier Mcdaniels of the league now? THEY DONT EXIST. The NBA is a cream puff league and without Kobe James Wade Mello and Howard amongst other elite players watch the “stars” of our NBA in FIBA play get EXPOSED!!!!!!!

  • http://getyourishbusted.net Chicagorilla

    One guy you guys have to exclude as a “Nice guy” in the NBA is Dwight Howard. Nothing about the way this guy plays screams Nice guy. He has dunked on people without any regard to to their feelings since he got in the NBA. Just last year I watched him smash Derrick Rose TWICE in the same week on the same play and injure him both times. Howard later made NO APOLOGIES and suggested Rose try coming down the lane a different way, then 3 days later played in the All-star game with Rose. That right their is old school and is not “nice guyish”. Howard also got into a scuffle with USA and All-star teammate Chris Bosh last year.

  • snuffkin

    the nba is soft nowadays bec its protecting its image and selling out. it should go back to the 90’s, where it was tough basketball, like the bulls vs knicks or pacers vs knicks kind of style. there was even a time that it was so soft, the refs are calling techs when players show emotion! thats really BS. it is really business and ratings first.

  • http://www.threadsandkicks.com.au Eduardo

    They made the league soft in the NBA so that the players can score more points, to make it more exciting. Besides the Celtics compare a majority of teams these days to the late 80’s and throughout the 90’s. The Detroit Pistons during the mid 2000’s were a great defensive team that got defense all happening again.

  • pace

    BRING.

    BACK.

    HAND.

    CHECKING.

    PLEASE.

    it makes the game much more challenging, and i wanna see real 80’s-early 90’s era goonie D be played.