Stern’s Politics, Oberto’s Neutrality, and China
In case you missed it last week, NBA commish David Stern strolled into a Harlem barbershop and displayed a skill he’s masterfully crafted, that of the silver-tongued politician. Watch for yourself.
I love how he tells almost everyone “you are right,” before making his own point, or says things like “good question,” while avoiding being patronizing.
Funny, when I say those things in public I come across as a condescending S.O.B. … guess I shouldn’t be telling the homeless guy ‘good question’ after he asks me for some change.
On Stern’s Convo:
For entrance into the NBA, one year after high school is a good rule (but I’m not saying it’s the ‘best’ rule). David Stern & Co. are not telling kids they can’t go out and make money. The Commish is also unquestionably right about it being better for league business to have the ability to evaluate these kids for one year. What they do on and/or off the court can be very telling.
It’s the college system needs to change … to force at least a three year commitment from players AND PAY THEM FOR THAT! Until then, collegiate athletics will struggle and represent an unspoken shadiness blinded by the presumed purity that stems from college kids playing without contracts.
Top Marketing Line: “We gotta do this once a week.” -David Stern, as the screen fades to black.
What Others Are Saying:
Anyone who thinks Stern has lost a step, gotten clumsy about rigging the league or sold out to Republicans and the Chinese just doesn’t get it. Well, they sort of get it. [Bethlehem Shoals, The Sporting Blog]
Politics from below the equator
Not to be outdone in politicized neutrality … at least when it comes to the DC sports scene, the new Argentine in town gave some very suspicious answers when asked where his local loyalties lie.
In behind-the-scenes video currently showing on NBA.com/Wizards, Oberto is asked to choose between the following:
- Redskins or Ravens
- Virginia or Maryland
- Georgetown or Chinatown
His answers: Both, Both, Georgetown
Methinks the foreign guy might be getting set up for some boos, at least with a non-commitment to the Skins. And picking the homogeneous area of G-Town over where his home arena lies? Well, let’s just chalk it up to our buddy Fabricio not knowing better.
As far as Oberto’s current approval rating, this young American semi-bro holds his own personal town hall meeting to give the Oberto signing his backing.
Back to the People’s Republic
About 30 years ago the Bullets made a trip to China, becoming the first NBA team to do so. At the time, they were coming off two consecutive trips to the NBA Finals, coming up short in the latter year, but winning it all in the first.
Why this trip is a great idea:
- Promote the team in “this economy” … which could mean a very nice luxury tax off-setting boost, especially if the Wizards are good.
- Perhaps going to China after one of the worst seasons in franchise history (when it was previously done after two of the best) will swing karma in the Wizards’ direction.
- Only two current players are going on the trip (Caron Butler and Randy Foye), so concerns about travel and what’s sure to be a whirlwind media campaign should be limited … unless you’re the guy who types in all caps and complains that the trip is “A WASTE OF TIME” on Wizards Insider.
- Gheorghe Muresan, quite possibly the greatest white Wizards/Bullets player in the last 25 years, will be making the trip, continuing his excellent representation of the team.
“Gilbert Arenas is to Friendster what Shaq is to Facebook.” –Sam Taggart, Sports Networker
Only if Gerald Wallace was responsible for falling on Friendster and effing it up too.
“Chase Daniel: Basically looked like Colt Brennan circa preseason ‘08, but with less doucheface.” –Chris Mottram, Mr. Irrelevant
I hate segways with a passion.
That is all …