Jun 3, 2009

King James, Here Come The Judge, and Terrorism on Our Own Soil

It's hard for me to congratulate somebody after you just lose to them. I mean, I'm a winner. That's not being a poor sport or anything like that. Somebody beat you up, you're not going to congratulate them on beating you up. I'm a competitor. That's what I do. It don't make sense to me to go up and shake somebody's hand.
LeBron James after losing to the Orlando Magic

Why are people making so much out of the fact that LeBron James walked off the court without shaking hands and left the arena without speaking to the media after losing to Orlando? Why is David Stern reaching out to LeBron to even discuss this? I don't get it? Who came up with this idea that shaking someone's hand after losing to them demonstrates good sportsmanship?

LeBron is human and his reaction to losing the series was a perfectly understandable human response. After winning the MVP award, leading his team to the best record in the league, blowing through the first two rounds of the playoffs, and being one of the featured subjects in those ubiquitously cool Nike puppet commercials, I suspect that King James was embarrassed more than anything else. He was also probably angry that his teammates left him hangin'. The last thing you want to do is go up and shake someone's hand while the basketball's world is watching after you and your team just went out the way that they did. If he had gone up to shake hands it would have been as fake as a 3 dollar bill. But many people it seems would have preferred that kind of fake behavior over the real deal.

For me shaking your opponents hand after a lose like that is the basketball equivalent of turning the other cheek. It's like congratulating someone for kickin' your ass. This makes no sense whatsoever. That's not sportsmanship, that's stupidity. The soul of basketball lies in the streets and LBJ's response was a street response. Perhaps because people want to see LBJ as a saint and not as a real person they were surprised at his response, but it's really the only response if being real is anywhere on your agenda.

It's one thing to teach children to be "good sports" but we are talking about grown men whose livelihood depends on their performance. It's real in the field. If you're not mad after losing in such a high stakes environment then you probably shouldn't be in the NBA. I feel the same way about this so-called good sportsmanship as I do about the idea that athletes are role models. This is all some bogus attempt at controlling people and making them act in ways that are not real. I appreciate the real. If you beat me, don't expect a handshake. And if you lose to me I won't be expecting your handshake either.

A few more thoughts...

Judge Sonia Sotomayor

Judge Sonia Sotomayor is being vilified for her honesty about the fact that race and gender have an influence on her decisions. Samuel Alito said the same thing during his confirmation hearings in speaking about his empathy for immigrants as someone from an immigrant background himself. Why it is ok for "Scalito" to say that, but Judge Sotomayor says it and she gets compared to David Duke? Can you say double standard?

Judge Sotomayor has more judicial experience now than any of those currently sitting on the court had when they were nominated. She has impeccable credentials, but the haters are still trying to dismiss her as simply a recipient of affirmative action. It's funny, some people are still hung up on this idea of preferential treatment and what they mistakenly call reverse discrimination. Real "affirmative action" is something like a recovered alcohol who blows off most his life prior to age 40, yet this recovered alcoholic has a grandfather who was a rich congressman and a father who was also a rich congressman, along with being an ambassador, head of the CIA, Vice President, and President. Though the recovered alcoholic has failed at virtually everything he attempted to do beforehand, he can use his family name to get elected governor of a large state and then in turn get appointed to the presidency by the Supreme Court. You want to talk about affirmative action, that's real affirmative action for you right there.

The Judge has had to work for everything that she has received. She is the epitome of the American Dream. People need to stop hatin'. It's not a good look. Besides, for once, the haters don't have the numbers to block her anyway.

And finally...

The late Dr. George Tiller

What kind of lowlife sociopath walks into a church and murders someone while claiming that they are in favor of protecting life? For all those people who mistakenly thought that 9/11 was the first time that we experienced "terrorism of our own soil," do your homework. This nation was founded on the type of acts that if anyone else had engaged in them would most certainly be classified as terrorism. The murder of Dr. George Tiller was a terrorist act, make no mistake about it. Yet the "war on terror" will not be employed to go after the anti-government militia and pro-life movements in this country. No, those terrorists will be dismissed as lone gunmen or other such nonsense, as opposed to being pursued like the real threats to society that they are. I am hopeful that the Obama administration will help the public to understand that not all terrorists live in caves, wear long beards, and pray five times a day as the media and the previous administration would have you think. There are terrorists in our midst. And no, they don't all read the Holy Koran and engage in jihad, many of them prefer reading the Holy Bible and watching Fox News.


Donta said...

"King" James didn't fly home with his team or "complementary players" as he calls them nor did he answer questions from the media after his loss, is he not the team leader? Why is Mo Williams speaking for the Cavs? When he won all those games and won the MVP he was damn near tap dancing in blackface. But I guess thats okay because he's "human" right? Also, Dwight Howard is SUPPOSED to be his man yet he cant give his man a pound and say go get that ring since I cant this year. That is bullshit, don't ever compare this guy to MJ or Magic or ANY NBA great because they would have taken their losses like men. If he can win like a man he should be able to lose like one too.

Arto said...

When you lead, you lead in adversity as well as the good times. I can appreciate Lebron being upset, and at the same time he has a responsibility to lead whether he is winning or losing. It is a sport not life or death. We have to set a standard that our young men can follow.

Rodney J. Woodruff said...

I am late to the game.

The point here is that this a game between competitors who have agreed to see who is best. The very nature of the game is that the opponent (not enemy) is going to bring their best game so that you can feel as confident about winning or losing. If you win, it is because you were better that day and the opposite if you lose.

You shake hands when you lose to say "Thanks for playing and showing up. Thanks for practicing hard and showing me where I am deficient."

As a loser, you look your opponent in the eye while shaking hands and say "You may have gotten me this time, but I saw what you did and will work even harder to win next time."

The point is that sport is the test for the backyard one on no one buzzer beater shots you have made. However, the only way to see if the practice pays off is to have someone agree to be your competitor (guinea pig). So, as much as they are your opponent, the other team is also a willing participant in your quest to be the best.

The handshake, win or lose, is one of the many ways that you repay them.

Neil said...

I really enjoy your thoughts, and I agree with a vast majority of them. However, I find a significant contrast in what Alito, and Sotomayor said. Alito was elucidating how his blue collar background helped him work harder. Obviously, a person's background determines largely what path his or her life will take. The path to the highest court in the land cannot be an easy one. I would love to read a book about Sotomayor's ascent to the supreme court, as she will no doubt be confirmed. However, the adjective that she used was "better". Not just "better" than other Americans, "better than a white male who hasn't lived that life." Why white, why male? How is that comment not racist? She is not racist, but the comment was. Since my knowledge on this subject is very limited, I will end with a quote by the Anti Defamation League, "Racism is the belief that a particular race is superior or inferior to another, that a person’s social and moral traits are predetermined by his or her inborn biological characteristics."