Mark Hasiuk (right) with a Newfie
Remember the Vancouver Grizzlies? They came into the league in 1995, played in a half-empty hockey arena for six years, sucked and moved to Memphis, where they still suck. Well, it’s your loss NBA. The people of Vancouver, or at least one columnist there, doesn’t want your blackieball anyway. Vancouver Courier scribe Mark Hasiuk subtly calls the league “a ghetto gutter” the the good people of British Columbia (at least the ones who still have both feet) are better off without.
Last week, in an interview with ESPN’s Bill Simmons, NBA commissioner David Stern made the following admission: “I wish we hadn’t had the Vancouver experience,” he said. “Great city, and we disappointed them and we disappointed ourselves.”
When he says “wish we hadn’t had the Vancouver experience,” does Stern mean that he wishes the NBA wouldn’t have given up on the Grizzlies after only six years, or that he never tried to shoehorn a franchise into a city that doesn’t really care about basketball in the first place? After all, St. Louis is a big market with an appetite for hoops that has been without a team for over 40 years now. Could Stern have really meant that?
Stern, of course, was referring to the Vancouver Grizzlies basketball franchise, which floundered at GM Place for six seasons before limping off to Memphis in 2001. He regrets not investing more NBA dollars selling basketball to Vancouver sports fans, who are more familiar with slapshots and bodychecks than slamdunks and bounce passes.
Oh yes, advertising dollarydoos. That is what he should have done. Just a guess, but any city that needs to be educated on a sport doesn’t deserve a team in that sport’s highest league. See Bettman, Gary, Dumbshit sunbelt experiment that destroyed the NHL.
Whatever. The Grizzlies sucked. They drafted terrible players, hired terrible coaches and compiled a dreadful 101-359 win/loss record in front of sparse crowds. No amount of advertising could disguise the team’s poor performance, which was a key factor in the Grizzlies exodus.
But something else soured local basketball fans, whether they knew or not.
The NBA is America at its worst.
When will David Stern close Gitmo? THE PEOPLE DEMAND AN ANSWER! *Hurls shoe at Secaucus, NJ.*
I mean of all the things that could possibly represent America at its worst (Elisabeth Hasselbeck, “Saved by zero,” MTV, the entire state of Oklahoma,) this guy chooses the NBA? Maybe he has a really good and thoughtful answer that won’t make him sound like a condescending racist jizzrag?
The once proud league, which peaked 20 years ago during the Bird/Magic/Jordan era, has morphed into a reality TV show, where money and image trump teamwork and athletic achievement. Players like Allen Iverson–perhaps the greatest basketball talent of his generation–spend more energy producing sneaker commercials than winning basketball games. NBA players wear saggy shorts, roll in posses and cuss on camera. Television ratings have dropped steadily since 1996. Basketball icons such as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and the late Red Auerbach have denounced today’s players, calling them “thugs” and “bums.”
How’d this happen? Who’s to blame?
Because there’s a direct relationship between winning championships and doing commercials. The reason Magic, Bird and Jordan were so successful is because they stayed away from endorsements with an intensity that bordered on monasticism. If only Allen Iverson hadn’t shot that commercial with Jadakiss in 2001, he would have at least 7 rings.
Basketball traditionalists (older white guys) blame the overwhelming influence of hip hop culture in the NBA. But they’re wrong.
Streets is talking. And when they talk, they talk to Mark Hasiuk.
Hip hop, a cultural movement spawned in 1970s New York, has been dead for years.
It sold its soul to corporate sleaze merchants, who repackage black music for a white suburban consumer base.
Thanks for the jewels, KRS (sidenote: why does every rapper who tries to make this point have an 80% white fanbase?) but what does this have to do with the NBA?
Nope, the remnants of hip hop–flamboyant chauvinism, jailhouse lingo, black ink tattoos–didn’t kill the NBA. It was New York lawyers like Stern, who cashed in on the athletic ability of young black men while ignoring the social realities of basketball in America.
The greedy Jew lawyers, yes. I knew it was them. Even when it was the bears, I knew it was them.
According to a New York Times report, more than 70 per cent of black American children are born out of wedlock.
Most of them to David Stern.
Most NBA players hail from poor neighbourhoods–and despite token college careers–graduate from broken public school systems. They are often ill-equipped to handle multi-million-dollar contracts, or the expectations of a community desperate for positive male role models.
And . . . .
To be fair, the NBA, like other professional sports leagues, is a business. And it’s not responsible for the endemic problems of black America. But considering basketball’s influence on black popular culture, the NBA has a responsibility to produce a “positive” product, not the ghetto garbage we see today.
So, the NBA has a responsibility to produce something “positive” for DA YOOF. Okay, but what should they do? You lamented players like Iverson who come from these broken situations, but then suggest that they’re a problem for the NBA. So the league needs to do something for poor black kids without strong male role models, but these people are also destroying the NBA? What exactly should they do, since “giving talented basketball players that come from broken homes well-paying jobs and financial security” seems to be a bad idea in your book?
Nothing in the upcoming paragraph is ironic.
the greed of Stern and his gang of crafty owners (ubiquitous Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban currently faces insider trading charges) may ultimately rescue the NBA from the gutter.
Mark Cuban was the best example you could find as an owner who is part of Stern’s crafty Jewgang? The one owner who has done everything in his authority to piss off Stern?
In effort to boost sagging ticket sales and television revenue, the NBA enacted several decrees aimed at polishing its image. The league has issued a “business casual” dress code targeting jewelry, indoor sunglasses and other “thug culture” artifacts. It’s established an entry-level age limit of 19 years old, and players are issued “sensitivity” training if they step out of line.
The league enacts new rules to accomplish a goal that according to Hasiuk, have brought the league closer to accomplishing it. How ironic indeed. Corey Hart (sacre bleu, un Quebecois!) founded the thug culture of sunglasses. Why did David Stern ever let the Toronto Huskies sign him, as a small forward, to a contract in 1948? And have these brave new blatant PR moves done to make people like Mark Hasiuk less scared of the negros codes of honour and valour worked?
So that’s what we’re missing, now that the Grizzlies are gone.
Ummm . . . yes, they worked swimmingly, I guess.
This week, hype surrounding Trevor Linden’s jersey retirement reached embarrassing levels of idolatry.
Trevor Linden, for those not familiar with hockey, is a white athlete who’s not quite as scrappy as David Eckstein, but definitely scrappier than Ed McCaffrey.
Linden was a slightly above average player in a town devoid of hockey superstars. But as his jersey was hoisted to the rafters Wednesday night, I couldn’t help feel proud that someone like Linden–and his limited statistical success–garnered such public adoration from his adopted city.
So, city with one sports team has a higher opinion of ex-player for that team than the rest of the world? How charming and completely unexpected. Not sure what this has to do with what was his original point, that the NBA has been overrun by HALF BREED MUSLIN (© Wonkette) gangsterthugs, with the hippin and the hoppin and the bippin and the boppin.
Stern can keep his basketball franchise. His NBA cabal doesn’t belong around here.
Yes, that is what it has to do with it. Don’t come back to Vancouver until there are more scrappy white guys in business casual dress without shoe deals. This is what will save the NBA, forever.