For reasons unknown, I decided to take a sabbatical from The Black Quarterback. I could blame it on the work. I could blame on a lack of motivation. I could blame it on the fact that I wanted to enjoy my summer by traveling, visiting family and vacationing. Nonetheless, I’m back. And hopefully will be back on a consistent basis.
I saw this live and after I figured out the young lady in the middle of the rucus was Gloria James, LeBron’s mom, I died laughing. And I wasn’t even going to bring this up until Jemele weighed in today.
I agree with her on this point– you should never, under any circumstances, cuss and your mom, or either parent for that matter. As upset as I’ve been at both of my parents, I can’t even fathom what would happen if I drop a cuss word on them.
But in this situation and under the circumstances, I can understand. I can also understand it if he and his mom have that kind of relationship — which some people do — where bad language is the norm. But in a crucial game four, in a must-win situation and with large men in the way, I can see how Bron Bron would be upset and let that slip. I can see it, but it doesn’t make it right. James apologized after the game and on ESPN the following day.
Jemele suggests we can’t look at LeBron the same way after this. I disagree. Anyone who’s played sports has dealt with over zealous parents and, while we may not have cussed at them, we’ve wanted to put them in their place. Many my feel as though LeBron was out of line, particularly since this was seen by millions. But, in this case I think we can give him a pass because when you’re paid millions and in the heat of battle,you have to be on your game at all times. And, if someone gets in your way they’re fair game, even if it’s your mom.
Just make sure apologize real quick.
Kudos to the boys over at The Starting Five for this news. It appears columnist and NBA guru David Aldridge is taking a buyout from the Philadelphia Inquirer. From Jackie Mac to Sam Smith, it appears, lately at least, that this is sadly becoming a trend in the newspapaer business.
Back to Aldridge, for as long as I can remember, he’s been one of the go-to voices of the NBA in the print/TV media. And while I honestly haven’t kept up with his writing at the Inquirer, he was always solid on ESPN and now on TNT. It appears Aldridge is worn out from working tow job and is going to focus on his television work, which is fine by me. i wish him the best.
However with Aldridge taking the buyout, that means in the past year, the Inquirer’s sports section has lost two of most prominent columnists, both of whom happen to be black — Aldridge and Stephen A. Smith. Now I’m sure this isn’t on purpose and we know both of these guys have solid tv gigs to fall back on, but there are now two fewer black sports columnists in the print media. And that’s not a good thing. Sure, there’s the dot-com/online wave of the future, but for the most part young sports journalists get their start in newspapers and with black columnists dwindling, who are the role models?
Many young journalists see the “glory” of some of these prominent journalists who’ve “made it” but don’t know their story of how they got there. And if these faces aren’t in the newsroom, that’s a problem.
The young man you see above is Kevin Durant.
From the picture alone, he seems like a clean cut, young man. After all, he’s still a teenager.
Durant made a name for himself last year at the University of Texas were he was a freshman sensation for the Longhorns, winning National Player of the Year honors.
As a result, he was selected No. 2 overall in last year’s NBA Draft by the Seattle SuperSonics.
That is a short summary of Kevin Durant — exactly the type of young man the fine folks in Oklahoma City don’t want invading their precious community.
Darnell Marberry, fellow HBCU grad and NBA Insider from the Oklahoman, had an interesting piece in response to last week’s vote that downed the idea of the public paying for improvements to the Ford Center.
In Mayberry’s reported, he came up several instances in which local residents were not keen on the NBA coming because it would, among other things, drag down the city and increase crime. Citizens on local talk shows and message boards claimed the NBA has an image problems with a bunch of fatherless children and hoodlums.
To rehash, the New Orleans Hornets spent two great seasons in OKC in wake of Hurricane Katrina and it appears now, the Sonics are on their way there in a couple of years. But if this is who my fan base potentially will be, I’m looking elsewhere.
I’m not going to dispute the fact that the NBA has some image problems, but too often we see the misinformed make ignorant statements characterizing an entire league based on a few incidents. If the Sonics do move to OKC, I’m not Jeff Green won’t pose a threat. Nick Collison and Luke Ridenour probably won’t be rollin’ through the streets of Oklahoma City 20 deep. Who knows.
But it’s statements like this that shows we have a long way to go.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell has an intersting nugget in his awesome SportsBiz blog. He looks at how successful Michael Jordan still remains in the shoe business, despite being out of the NBA (playing at least) for nearly five years. In 2007, 40 of the top 50 basketball shoes were Jordan styles and overall, the Jordan brand is an $800 million brand.
To some this is surprising, but it shouldn’t be. Until recently, when I started having to pay my own bills and understood better the power of the dollar, I had every pair of Jordans. I had to. I wanted to jump higher, run faster and be cool. Having Jordans was a status symbol. So, even though his playing days are over, the Jordan effect still resonates throughout basketball circles and on streets.
As long as Jordan is interested, he will have success in the shoe business. They are, as Page 2’s Todd Boyd says, the holy grail of basketball shoes.
With the Suns (suprisingly) trading for Shaquille O’Neal yesterday, it got me thinking. There are athletes of all races who are universally despised by members of the media for various reasons. Barry Bonds is the first to come to mind. For years, he’s been considered a jerk and asshole and, as a result, has not been giving a pass on his transgressions — alleged steroid use, domestic issues, etc.
On the flipside, there are certain athletes who, in the eyes of the media, can do no wrong. Maybe it’s because they have been engaging and charismatic with the media, thus giving certain writers scoops, good quotes and basically just the time of day. Or, it could be that, because of the enormous celebrity that surrounds a particular athlete (Michael Jordan) some media are afraid to criticize or expose them in fear of the athlete shutting them out.
So again, it got me thinking — what black/minority athlete is the most beloved among the sports media.
Here are the five I came up with.
1. Charles Barkley — No other athlete, black or white, can speak his mind and not worry about repercussions as Barkley can. The former NBA All-Star, now a fixture on TNT’s NBA studio show is perhaps the most candid “analyst” I can think of and because of his candor, he’s always called upon to be an “expert” on various topics, not matter the sport. The media loves him because of his candor and sense of humor.
2. Michael Jordan–During and after his playing days, Jordan walks on water with the media. There is such a reverence that surrounds him during interviews it’s astonishing. Even when Jordan had his troubles with gambling, infidelity and his divorce, those stories had a life of about a couple of weeks and they drifted off, never to be discussed again. One of the things that helped Jordan with the media was the way he presented himself. Always stylist, always classy, Jordan had crossover appeal and was never a “threatening” athlete, like an Allen Iverson.
3. Tiger Woods— The most dominating athlete in his sport and maybe overall, Woods is approaching Jordan-like treatment fromt the media. Golf is perhaps the most popular sport to play among sportswriters and other members of the media. We play it in our spare time and thus, makes the appreciation for what Woods does that much greater.
4. Shaq –The fun-loving center is adored for that very reason — he’s fun loving. Since he came into the league, he’s giving some of the most memorable soundbytes and clips in NBA history. He’s given the media quotes and anectodes that are priceless. Not to mention the numerous nicknames — The Diesel, The Big Aristotle, etc.
5. Derek Jeter –He’s the captain of the New York Yankees and has won four World Series titles. That alone will get you a pass.
I hope to keep politics out of this blog, but when I come across something fun and sports related, I have to pass it along. I was doing some reading on Barack Obama’s win this past weekend in South Carolina and in the process, I stumbled upon a piece Sports Illustrated’s S.L. Price did on the presidential hopeful back in December.
Any politicians who rocks Jordans has my support.