Tag Archives: NBA

Silver Formalizes NBA as Arm of Dem. Party

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has essentially formalized the National Basketball Association as an arm of the Democratic Party by pulling the 2017 NBA All-Star Game from Charlotte, where it had been previously scheduled for several years, and is now shopping it around to other cities (gay-friendly cities, no doubt).

The reason, North Carolina’s “restroom law.” The law makes it clear that “transgender” people, homosexual people and others sexually confused folks will not be given special rights but rather have to follow the laws that the vast majority of us have to follow.

This did not make Silver and his fellow alternative sexuality activists happy. Silver and others apparently feel that homosexuals and “transgenders” make up a significant portion of the “NBA community” and would be inconvenienced in Charlotte during the game festivities. That’s his priority, folks, not basketball.

That the law actually changes nothing from what has taken place before, and the NBA has been playing games there for decades, is ignored by Silver & Co., who prefer to claim that the state is initiating some kind of Inquisition-style environment. I guess in the Silverized NBA homosexual activity and transgenders are considered commonplace in the league.

The NBA, and its redheaded stepdaughter, the WNBA, are being rapidly politicized – and it’s only liberal, Democrat-friendly politics that are welcomed by these self-professed “tolerant” and “diverse” cultural commissars. The WNBA, long with an open lesbian cohort, is even more political – often resembling a Women’s Studies Center on a college campus. The WNBA’s current political bone is mandatory Black Lies Matter support. Its players seem to think that its handful of fans are paying to hear their thoughts rather than watch them play. Who knows, perhaps they are right.

But as an NBA fan, I know most basketball fans are paying to see the players play, not lecture us politically.

Sadly, as I’ve noted before, liberals will politicize everything; sports included. Unless they are stopped.

So I’m taking a stand. I will henceforth boycott the NBA. No more NBA Network – and  I watch a lot of games – I even watched most of the Summer League games. No more broadcast NBA. No more Comcast Sports Washington Wizards games. No more Yahoo! Sports Fantasy Basketball – I  won my league last year and I’ve been doing it for more than 10 years.

Until the NBA gets back to what it is supposed to do, playing basketball, I’m cutting it off, Commissioner Silver. It can no longer claim me as a fan or a viewer. But I’m sure that Adam Silver’s gay and transgender buddies will make up for the loss of my eyes. After all, that’s who he thinks are the important people for the NBA.

I guess I’ll be watching more baseball and more hockey (I’ve given up on the NFL and most college football). I will still watch college basketball.

Adam’s Appalling Plan

I caught NBA Commissioner Adam Silver’s Summer League press conference on Tuesday night. Of the three or so big issues he addressed, he went after the scheduled 2017 NBA  All-Star game in Charlotte, N.C. He said that the NBA had yet to make a decision on whether to change the venue. He didn’t mention why they would change venues concerning a long-scheduled commitment but everyone knows it’s because of the “North Carolina Restroom Law.” Silver doesn’t like the law, preferring to grant sexually confused men special rights to use whatever restroom they wish to use – everyone else be damned. When Adam doesn’t like something he expects changes to be made.

Silver, long suspected to be gay, is using the NBA to promote homosexuality and, along the same line, getting it increasingly involved in political issues. In response to a question about the growing political stances (all liberal) that players, teams and the league have taken lately, Silver proudly approved and wanted more. For him everything is political. He’s a deep believer in the left-wing cant that “The personal is the political.”

That is the mentality that dominated the Soviet Union, Red China and other liberal-run countries. Everything was seen through a political lens, especially things like sports. No aspect of daily life could be considered a safe refuge from politics and it eventually led to a society where you were judged (and eventually condemned) on your politics.

That’s the world the liberals and Democrats want to institute. They must be resisted.

On a similar track, another Yahoo! Sports hack writer, Ben Rohrbach, “reported” on four Minneapolis cops walking off a part-time security gig at a WNBA game when members of the Minnesota Lynx wore Black Lives Matter t-shirts.

Rohrbach castigated the officers for their action. He applauded the gals for their racism however. In the writer’s mind, some opinions are acceptable or even commendable while others (the cops’) are to be condemned.

Don’t say you weren’t warned.

The NBA Does Politics

I like Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors a lot. I’ve ridden him on fantasy teams for years. He is unusually talented. I also like Chris Paul a lot as well. I’ve seen interviews with him wherein he seems like a very down-to-Earth person — unlike 98% of his narcissistic NBA compatriots. I’ve also liked Joakim Noah, though he seems a bit eccentric at times. He is a hard working player who is very humble. So it was with heavy heart that I ran across this bit of absurdity and saw the  “anti-gun violence” PSAs they delivered during the Christmas Day NBA marathon.

C’mon guys, think. Your good intentions, or “Good Thoughts” as Rona Barrett used to cluck, will have no bearing on the thugs committing murder and mayhem.

In fact, how many of your fellow NBA players openly advocate the “Thug Life”? The “gangstuh” culture? Act like “tough” guys and love to strut around like the cock of the walk?

Why are you in bed with an extreme liberal group interested in confiscating guns and vitiating the Second Amendment?

I realize that the NBA has taken a very liberal and political turn over the last decade. It has upset me greatly. The NBA needs to realize that playing politics rather than basketball gains nothing and alienates many. But it won’t. It thinks being liberal is being cool as it wanders off its basketball path.

You are being used as tools.

Also, your “solutions” don’t address the problems you think you are addressing.

Does anyone not know that guns are dangerous? Does anyone pulling the trigger not know what will happen or what the consequence of that activity can be? Does anyone not understand that shooting someone is considered against the law? Does anyone pulling the trigger give a rodent’s derriere about what these players think about anything other than how to play basketball and what type of shoe they wear? Does a single would-be punk say, “Wow! I was going to be a thug but CP3 would disapprove so I’m going back to math class”?

All of this is an exercise in moral masturbation (perhaps encouraged by an intoxicated naivete), driven by political agendas and misinformation.

Compounding all of this silliness is the rot inside NBA HQ. The putatively basketball organization has a “President of Social Responsibility and Player Programs.” It’s a rather unsavory liberal activist by the name of Kathleen Behrens. When asked if there might be some blowback from people who disagree she dismissed it: “We’re not worried about political implications.” Translation: eff those who disagree with us.

Has anyone noticed this pattern of liberal women being given jobs in major league sports headquarters and then driving those pro sports organizations in a direction away from sports? It’s more of the liberal effort to politicize everything.

Guys, please stop it. I know you mean well, but just play basketball. After your basketball career ends, if you feel strongly about these issues, get into politics, where discussion of these issues is supposed to take place. They aren’t to be debated on the court, gridiron or diamond.

The Enemy Which Dare Not Speak Its Name

Actually the enemy, crazed Muslims, happily says its name, it’s our cultural elite that refuses to acknowledge that we have an enemy, we are at war and the name of the enemy is Islam (AKA Muslims, radical Muslims and similar names).

This is a follow-up to my earlier post, The Missing Muslims.

Watching sports this weekend again led to a mystery — somebody did something in Paris recently but it’s a mystery as to who it was or even what it really was. According to one of the Euroleague basketball commentators, leading up to a moment of silence, something “violent” happened there but the Euroleague was all about peace. What could it have been?

One other sports commentator nit to pick — I believe it was Paul Romanuk while doing the Maple Leafs/Bruins game on NHL Network Saturday night managed to get in a jab at U.S. Republicans. After showing a clip of some player or coach in a locker room repeating himself over and over in answer to questions lobbed at him, Romanuk said (from my memory), “He was repeating himself like a Republican repeats talking points.” Hey, Paulie, when are those Democrat jokes coming? Maybe something like, “The ice is so white that Democrats won’t play on it!”

Arrrrggghh! Hockey is one of the few refuges from political correctness, NHL, don’t let Canadian turds ruin it too.

While I’m at it, let’s go after another enemy – politically correct racism, as practiced in sports.

As NASCAR winds its season up, riddle me this: Why is it that NASCAR is pressured to stop the endless country music playing? Why are there complaints that NASCAR’s audience is too white and it needs to change itself to “attract” minorities? That its events are in “white” areas like the South (I can’t recall any race tracks in inner city Detroit, Philadelphia, Chicago, etc.) or rural majority white states like New Hampshire?

Why does Major League Baseball make a big to-do about its “Urban Youth Academies,” designed to recruit more black athletes to play baseball (rather than, say, basketball and football). Why does MLB have a bizarre obsession with Jackie Robinson? For instance every team, even those not in existence when Robinson played, were required to retire his number 42? Why is it the only number featured onstage at MLB-owned MLB Network? Why do people like Chris Rock publicly whine that there aren’t enough black players in baseball yet they would go into nuclear meltdown if someone said that there aren’t enough white players in the NBA or that the rap music played at NBA arenas might be cut back some in favor of something “white”? (Ask former Atlanta Hawks part-owner Bruce Levenson about that last point.)

Despite claims decades ago that whites would abandon sports when black athletes appeared, no such thing ever happened. Yet we have the reverse now — that blacks won’t go to sports wherein they don’t see “enough” black faces competing. Obviously in NASCAR it’s pretty much impossible to see the skin color of the driver but other sports might be subject to such racism. White people flock to the NBA and NFL. Are black people that racist that they won’t go to baseball or NASCAR because of skin colors? I dunno. I see plenty of black people at baseball games.

No one is suggesting a “white” or “suburb” academy for the NBA, NFL (or, for that matter, MLB). Why? Well, obviously it’s a stupid idea. Yet the idea becomes sacred when flipped on its head.

But why should anyone care? Frankly, I find the obsession with skin color to be tiresome. Like most sports fans, I want to see the best — not the skin color. I would love to never have to write about race ever again but liberals will never let it be.

NBA: Do Something With the D-League

I don’t get what the NBA is doing with the D-League.

Putatively, it’s minor league where unpolished talent can go to “develop” (hence the name, ‘D’ League). There’s also veterans looking for a way back to the NBA. The D-League says well over 30% of current NBA players have had a stop in the D-League.

But no matter how you cut it doesn’t remote resemble the premier minor league, Major League Baseball’s (the NHL’s relationship with the various hockey minor leagues is also well-developed). The NFL has preferred not to have a minor league, depending exclusively on college football for talent.

And one can’t argue that it’s a question of money because the NBA spins much more money than the NHL.

One could argue that there is a question of tradition. Minor league baseball is well over a century old and deeply ingrained in parts of America. For instance, the South didn’t have a professional big league baseball team (Washington D.C. wasn’t really a Southern town) until the 1960s, despite the fact that it produced hundreds/thousands of players. It did, however, have a number of long-standing minor league teams and famous leagues — e.g. the Texas League, the Carolina League.

Minor league hockey shares a similar story throughout Canada. For decades many professional hockey players were often more remembered for the minor league careers than their pro careers. Minor league games in less urban areas of Canada can still draw thousands.

Perhaps some explanation can be found in the fact that both college level baseball and hockey has never really taken off. It’s becoming more popular but is nowhere near the establishment of college basketball and football.

The NBA seems to have a schizo relationship with the 19-team league. Many of the NBA teams own D-League teams or have an exclusive relationship with one. One team, the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, is affiliated with all the other NBA teams. The teams are based in a variety of differently-sized cities.

Some of the teams are run like miniature NBA teams, with professional staff, decent-sized arenas and attempts to bond with their community. Others, notably the Lakers’ D-Fenders and Suns’ Bakersfield Jam play in gyms barely big enough to cover the entourages of the players. Clearly earning a decent gate isn’t on the mind of some teams.

I think the NBA should actually turn the D-League into a real minor league, closer to what Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League do. I’m not expecting multiple levels of teams but a serious effort at one level.

I actually think that with some thought, the NBA could turn the D-League not only into a money maker but it would help both leagues themselves by promoting the brand.

The first thing to note that is many of the teams are in smaller markets. As much as I love my native Texas, the Rockets’ Rio Grande Valley Vipers in Hidalgo, Texas, with an arena holding 5,500 isn’t a serious effort but typical of the D-League efforts. Don’t get me wrong, the franchise is one of the best-run and draws well. It might be a question of getting a better arena in the fairly populous Rio Grande Valley, a popular retirement area. But the McAllen/Harlingen market is just 86 in the U.S.

In fact with the exception of Oklahoma City (44), Los Angeles (2) and some outer suburban locations of big markets (Canton [Cleveland/Akron 19], Frisco/Texas [Dallas 5], Newark, Del. [Philadelphia 4]), the D-League teams are in the lesser markets. The best of the lot is Austin at 40. The rest: Bakersfield (127), Boise (110), Des Moines (72), Erie (149), Ft. Wayne (109), McAllen/Harlingen (86), Portland, Maine (80), Reno (107), Santa Cruz (Monterey/Salinas 125), Sioux Falls, S.D. (111) and Springfield, Mass. (114).

If you are media savvy, looking at possible TV exposure and generating ad revenues, that’s not a prime lot.

Compounding the problem, only three D-League teams play in arenas that hold more than 7,500 fans. Most arenas are in the 4,000-7,000 range with two being nothing more than practice gyms holding 500 or less. These are not serious efforts.

I understand that the gestation of the D-League makes it a little more complicated to simply “create” a bunch of new teams or force current ownership of the non-NBA team-owned franchises to move but the opportunity that is available to upgrade the league should motivate them. NBA ownership would also bring needed ownership/management stability to these teams – many of which have had multiple owners and locations on the last decade.

So what if the NBA required every team to outfit a D-League team? That would generate 30 teams. And what if it placed the teams in better markets. (I think it’s important than the NBA teams own the franchises or, at least maintain majority ownership in the teams. In some markets it might be advantageous to have solid local ownership but ultimately the team needs the final vote.)

Thirty pro teams and four are doubled up in two markets, so in reality there are a lot of decent markets that don’t have a professional basketball team. Many of these basketball-missing markets support a professional team in some other sport, a major college team or, at one time, had an NBA or ABA franchise. Some of these towns, and I’m thinking Pittsburgh and St. Louis especially, have reputations as great sports towns.

Imagine putting a D-League team in Pittsburgh or St. Louis, cities that support other pro sports teams to the tune of tens of thousands of fans on game day. You could attract 10,000 fans a night. Since a D-League team is cheap and the players do not travel first class, there could be some solid money made.

Besides the gate money, putting D-League teams in major markets would help the NBA brand by spreading it around. More fans attending, more coverage in secondary markets would drive TV ratings and revenue and merchandise sales.

And don’t forget to put D-League games onto the various teams’ cable TV networks for additional exposure (and they’d be better that reruns of ‘World Series of Poker’) along with filling the daytime and overnight hours of the NBA Network.

One last point, the NBA has taken to heavily promoting and showing the games of its Summer Leagues (Orlando and Las Vegas). It understand that besides the glamour rookies, it is promoting the players of the future, most of who will be in the D-League (or on their way to a foreign league) immediately after the Summer League ends in another week.

So why not the same effort for the D-League?

Looking at my handy-dandy D-League Prospective Market list there are some enticing locations for teams. Who wouldn’t want to have some of the action on teams in Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Kansas City, Seattle, Tampa-St. Pete, Baltimore, Buffalo, etc.? And there other up and coming cities that could warrant an experiment with a D-League. A D-League team doesn’t carry the baggage or footprint of an NBA. If the team doesn’t draw it can be moved elsewhere.

You could park almost all 30 D-League teams in the top 50 markets. That adds up to impressive demographics.

Cities that have hosted NBA or ABA franchises in the past (and any current professional sports franchises or major college basketball program) [Nielsen DMA]
Baltimore (NBA, NFL, MLB, ABA) [27]
Buffalo (NBA, NFL, NHL) [52]
Cincinnati (NBA, NFL, MLB, college) [35]
Jacksonville (NFL, ABA) [48]
Kansas City (NBA, NFL, MLB) [31]
Louisville (ABA, college) [49]
Norfolk/Virginia Beach/Hampton Road/Newport News/Portsmouth   (ABA) [45]
Omaha (NBA) [74]
Pittsburgh (NFL, MLB, NHL, ABA, college) [23]
Raleigh/Durham/Fayetteville [24], Greensboro [46] (ABA, college)
Rochester (NBA) [78]
St. Louis (NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, ABA) [21]
San Diego (NBA, NFL, MLB, ABA, college) [28]
Seattle (NBA, NFL, MLB) [13]
Syracuse (NBA, college) [85]
Tampa/St. Petersburg (NFL, MLB, NHL, ABA) [14]
Vancouver (NBA, NHL, CFL)
West Palm/Ft. Pierce, Fla. (ABA) [38]

Large cities that currently support a professional sports franchise (and any major college basketball program)
Columbus (NHL, college) [32]
Nashville (NFL, NHL) [29]
San Jose (NHL) [San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose 6]

Others – under 100 Nielsen DMA
Albany/Schenectady/Troy, N.Y. [58]
Albuquerque/Santa Fe, N.M. [47]
Baton Rouge, La. [93]
Birmingham, Ala. [44]
Bristol, Va./Kingsport/Johnson City, Tenn. [97]
Burlington, Vt./Plattsburgh, N.Y. [98]
Cedar Rapids/Dubuque/Waterloo/Iowa City, Iowa [90]
Charleston, S.C. [95]
Charleston/Huntington W.V. (college) [65]
Chattanooga, Tenn. [87]
Colorado Springs/Pueblo, Colo. [89]
Columbia, S.C. [77]
Davenport, Iowa/Rock Island /Moline, Ill. [100]
Dayton, Ohio [64]
El Paso, Texas/Las Cruces, N.M.  [91]
Flint/Saginaw/Bay City, Mich. [68]
Fort Myers/Naples, Fla. [62]
Fresno/Visalia, Calif. [55]
Grand Rapids/Kalamazoo/Battle Creek, Mich. [39]
Green Bay/Appleton, Wisc. [70]
Greenville/New Bern/Washington, N.C. [99]
Greenville/Spartanburg/Anderson, S.C./Asheville, N.C. [37]
Harrisburg/Lancaster/Lebanon/York, Pa. [43]
Hartford/New Haven, Ct. (college) [30]
Honolulu [69]
Huntsville/Decatur/Florence, Ala. [79]
Jackson, Miss. (college) [94]
Knoxville, Tenn. (college) [61]
Las Vegas (college) [42]
Lexington, Ky. (college) [63]
Little Rock, Ark. [56]
Madison, Wisc. [83]
Mobile, Ala./Pensacola, Fla. [59]
Paducah, Ky./Cape Girardeau Mo. [81]
Providence/New Bedford, R.I. [53]
Richmond, Va. (college) [57]
Roanoke/Lynchburg, Va. (ABA) [66]
Savannah, Ga. [92]
Shreveport, La. [82]
South Bend/Elkhart, Ind. [96]
Spokane, Wash. (college) [73]
Springfield, Mo. [75]
Tacoma, Wash. [Seattle 13]
Toledo, Ohio [76]
Tucson, Ariz. (college) [71]
Tulsa, Okla. [60]
Waco/Temple/Brian, Texas [88]
Wichita/Hutchinson, Kan. [67]
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Pa. [54]

That’s my pitch for the moment.