by Ben Small
Do you cringe when you see this picture?
If you're a basketball fan anywhere but Miami, you certainly do. You shake your head, vow to either blacklist Miami games -- voyerism on a one-time basis excepted -- or root for Miami's opponents. Or... you may realize the Jordan-Bird-Barkley-Magic era is over, look at this image, and give up on NBA Basketball altogether.
I did, a long time ago.
Yes, there are others it's trendy to hate. These guys come to mind:
But hopefully, their days are numbered, and they're somewhat regional phenomena, anyway.
Yeah, I hear the applause. But not so fast. This one's gonna pay through the nose, and apparently takes his parenting duties seriously. Folks still follow this guy in droves, the media loves him, and he'll soon be back on his winning ways. Besides, it looks as if he protected his betrayed wife from domestic abuse charges. He'll weather the storm.
No. The guy I've nominated will be with us for years. We'll mock and grumble about the crown tat on his arm. Yes, the self-proclaimed King, who sold his soul and betrayed his constituents and did so in an hour-long ridiculous television self-glorification program entitled The Decision., well...
Such an embarrassment, the NBA should fine the guy. Ego gone wild. Damaging to the image of the league. Too much a reminder: NBA basketball is all-about-Me.
What does my nominee have other than massive talent and a thick bank roll?
He's certainly not gifted in gray matter. Otherwise my nominee would never have listened to whatever collection of idiots ever told him The Decision was...well...a wise decision. Was Mike Tyson an advisor? Don King, maybe?
Wiser heads, some of the NBA's all-time greats, are appalled. More appalling still, is the leak that the deal was done well before The Decision played. So my nominee used that lag before showtime to play Cleveland, indeed, the entire Midwest and even New York, for fools.
How stupid can one be? Look at the diamond in his ear. There's a twin in the other one. Big baubles, sparkling like strobes during The Decision. Smart image in a tough economy, eh? And just before the trial of Charles Taylor, the Blood Diamond guy.
Again, the NBA should fine my nominee. The First Amendment only applies to government actions.
You may disagree and nominate somebody else for this award. That's okay. Just please don't announce your decision in an hour-long ESPN television program.
NOTE: No names here. I can't bear to write them.