Thursday, April 14, 2005

age requirement in nba?

in yet another case of "nikki and 'insert guy's name here' disagreeing about something dealing with sports", i am debating with this cat about jermaine o'neal's comments during his interview on sportscenter yesterday (or was it the day before?)

basically, o'neal said that the act of putting an age requirement on the nba was racist because while other leagues allow high school graduates to enter their ranks, the nba is the only one considering an age requirement. he thinks the fact that the league is predominantly black has something to do with it.

the guy i'm debating with is basically coming from the standpoint of "those guys are making millions of dollars, so why is one of them saying anything about racism?!?"

you know, cuz being a black multi-millionaire means never experiencing racism ever again. if i had rolled my eyes any further, i'd have given myself whiplash.

as an nba fan, i have noticed the level of play deteriorate in that it has become a game dominated by a bunch of young guys who are not nearly as fundamentally sound as those from previous eras. remember when the league was full of seasoned brothas? i remember that time, too. a guy like shaq would have been duking it out in the paint with karl malone and akeem olajawon. in fact, the paint was crowded with big bodies, and i'm talking about the big bodies of grown ass men who not only knew how to play, but also understood the significant part strategy played in how a game was won or lost.

i'm not seeing that now. i think the moment i realized how much the professional game had changed was during the nba championship last year. on one end, we've got a team with two really talented guys, one of whom was a young cat who had no problem with letting his ego lose a game for his team. the other one a dominating force in the paint who stayed injured and didn't possess the competitive spirit necessary for him to stay in shape and play to his best ability. watching the lakers was frustrating to me. they had all the talent and despite the coach's strategy, the players did whatever da hell they wanted to do.

and on the other end was a team full of guys, none of whom was a star or felt it was "his" team. all brown had to do was get the brothas to believe in his game plan. they did, and the rest is history.

no amount of talent can make up for the lack of an effective strategy or humility needed to just play to win, even if a brotha don't score any points.

okay, i just started rambling, so let me rein myself in. the point i am trying to make is that the nba has changed, and it's not necessarily for the better, and alot of it has to do with the influx of high school players into the league.

all that said, i feel if a brotha is old enough to die for his country, he can play in the nba. in a utopian society, the pursuit of an education could be prioritized over the pursuit of money. however, here in reality the socioeconomic inequality existing in america and perpetuated by the glorification of material gain over personal growth has created the scenario of teenagers reaching for the money.

and while as a fan i'm not happy about it, i'm not gonna stop that show. it's their right.