Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Musers and Hardline Bury . . . Actually, Avoid the Lede

This entry won't be entirely fair. I think both shows missed a big point today, but it's not their job to anticipate what I think the point is about any given topic. So I concede, in advance, that this critique will be somewhat arbitrary.

Both shows devoted a segment to the NBA's suspension of Gilbert Arenas for pulling a gun in the Washington Bullets' locker room. One of his teammates did the same. On the Musers, Devin Harris (I think) was quoted as estimating that around 70% of the NBA players have guns (unclear whether they regularly carried them). The Musers noted that this did not seem to be a big problem in other sports.

Both shows asked the question, "why are all these NBA guys carrying guns?" Both shows kinda half-heartedly wondered whether it was for protection (the Hardline rejected this more vigorously than did the Musers), and there were a couple of suggestions that players wanted to "keep it real." But they professed to be, for the most part, baffled. 

Really? I would have thought that the answer virtually screams itself: they carry guns because the thug-life inner-city hoops street gang culture – and, I'm guessing, actual street gang influence -- has infiltrated the NBA.  Starts in high school basketball, graduates to college, and on to the NBA.   So I thought both shows missed a chance to say something interesting about the NBA.

I myself don't have any evidence of actual gang influence on NBA players. But there's a reason Arenas was indefinitely suspended, and that is that David Stern is terrified that the league has acquired the reputation as the pro sports adjunct to what is, in effect, organized crime.  Player posses loaded with suspicious characters; players bristling with firearms; Paul Pierce and Derrick Rose flashing gang signs.  

Surprised the Musers and Hardline seemed so perplexed about where the NBA gun culture comes from.

1 comment:

T4 In Rockwall said...

I agree that the hood rap portion of neighborhoods has flooded the NBA. Also, I seem to notice more in the last couple of years that an NBA'ers arms are 70% covered in tattoos. Some have went to the neck (Kenyon Martin), which is even more Idiacracy. Look at J.R. Smith of the Nuggets; he looks like a tiger with all of his tats. It is really discouraging to see all of the ink being displayed, like something outta prison. I'm not racist by any means because on the same Nuggets team is Chris Andersen and he looks ridiculous, even with his hair style more normal than ever lately.

Whew, I sound like I follow the Nuggets, but just started with one player and found a lot of examples on that one team. You see the pressure for players coming into the NBA though; look at them as rookies and 2-3 years down the road, they're making their mommas so unproud.