Sunday, June 28, 2009

Jemele Hill Somehow Writes Column Without Accusing Anyone of Being Racist or Being Racist Herself; It Still Blows

How the hell is she still getting published by ESPN? I thought her contract expired last fall and was not renewed by the suits at the World Wide Leader. Yet here she is, bumblefucking her way through an NBA column. The shocking thing about her is that when she appears on 1st and 10, she actually sounds mildly competent. But that's probably just because she's usually matched up with characters like Skip Bayless and that other dude with the square-shaped head. Anyways, like the title says, I'm completely blown away that this column contains neither ridiculous and baseless accusations of racism, nor obvious racism on the part of Jemele herself. What I'm not blown away by is the fact that this is undeniably atrocious and self-contradictory writing about a lame subject. Which subject? Well, I'll let Jemele set the scene for you herself.

I wish the current NBA looked more like this NBA.

And this NBA.

Hey, let's go all the way and make it look like this. That incident was totally awesome and good for the league, no?

I miss seeing players getting thrown under tables (Wes Unseld versus Bill Laimbeer). I miss seeing players putting other players in choke holds (Manute Bol versus Sedale Threatt). I miss left hooks (Xavier McDaniel versus Charles Oakley).

So what you're saying is that you miss fighting.

I love today's NBA, and I do appreciate today's players. The game has never been more athletic, with 6-foot-11 guys who can dribble as though they're 6-1 and LeBron James, who must have been a defensive end in a former life.

What? Worst compliment for a great player I've ever read. That Albert Pujols is really something- he must have been a guy who was really strong and good at sports in a former life.

Playoff ratings are up, and the Lakers and Celtics are strong.

Thank God! What would we do without them? I mean, can you imagine an NBA in which neither of those teams competes for a title? When's the last time that happened, like three seasons ago? Those were dark, dark days for the league.

Fucking kill me if the Celtics and Lakers meet in the finals again next year. I hope both those metaphorical bandwagons catch fire and collide with each other head-on, killing the millions of clueless assholes riding each.

It's a shame Dwight Howard received a one-game suspension for throwing an elbow during the Magic's first-round series with Philadelphia, when all Howard did was just create a little more air near Samuel Dalembert's ear. Predictably, the NBA acted as if Howard had hit Dalembert with a tire iron.

If this were the 1980s, NBA commissioner David Stern probably would have called Howard and chastised him for a weak elbow. Consider that in 1987, Robert Parish was suspended one game for triple-slapping Laimbeer in Game 5 of the Pistons-Celtics Eastern Conference finals. When Laimbeer and Larry Bird got into a fight in Game 4, they only received ejections.

Great point! So, that said, here's what you need to know about the Howard/Dalembert thing: if the refs actually see the elbow, Howard gets tossed from that game and then in all reasonable likelihood does not get suspended because he would have already missed time for it. But since the refs missed the call, Howard got suspended instead. He was going to miss a game (or most of a game) either way, just like Laimbeer and Bird did. He just ended up missing one down the road instead of the rest of the game in which he threw the elbow. So in other words: not much has changed.

There are a lot of people to blame for the new, wussy NBA, but mostly I blame Michael Jordan and Ron Artest.

If Jordan and Phil Jackson had not incessantly whined about the "Jordan Rules" -- which ushered in the superstar officiating system that put great defenses at a disadvantage -- maybe a player in the current era could execute a playoff foul without fear of a firing squad.

I don't know, ask Kenyon Martin or Rajon Rondo about that one.

Of course, the Knicks and Heat teams of the 1990s didn't help. The hysteria from Artest and Stephen Jackson's brawl with Pistons fans at The Palace of Auburn Hills only encouraged the NBA to catapult its product further into softness.

What they should have done was keep everything the same, deny that there were any problems, and watch attendance and interest dwindle away.

Now don't get me wrong- I think the reaction to that fight (as well as the Nuggets/Knicks "brawl" in 2006) is ridiculous when viewed in light of the fact that hockey and baseball players fight constantly. Hell, in both those sports, there are confrontations between players and fans (usually verbal, although occasionally physical) a couple times a season. Good grief, a player/fan confrontation which allegedly got physical went down at a baseball game less than 48 hours ago. The brawl at Auburn Hills was awful, but still received disproportionate scorn from the media and public. In fact, I don't know how Jemele missed this golden opportunity, but I think it's worth considering the possibility that the race of the players involved is what led to that scorn.

But all that aside, let's focus on the real issue here: Jemele is upset that the league's reaction to that brawl involved cracking down on fighting. When, if they didn't react, the league was probably going to take a sizable financial hit.

I'm not condoning fighting or lawlessness.

Yes. Yes you are. Earlier you said you missed players putting other players in choke holds and throwing left hooks. And if the Rambis clothesline play is not lawlessness, and what ensues afterwards is not fighting, then what the fuck is? Look at Howard's elbow on Dalembert. FUCKING LOOK AT IT. That's not "physical play," or "hand checking." That's essentially throwing a punch. That's lawless, and an invitation for a fight. Period. I'm all for the NBA loosening up on things that actually fall into the "physical play" category, like hard fouls on guys who are trying to dunk (While challenging for the ball. This means no clotheslines or head slaps, I'm looking at you, Rondo), or big guys beating each other up a little bit in the post while getting position. I'm not, however, all for guys being allowed to throw punches.

I just wish the NBA had the attitude and edginess it used to have. It gave us real rivalries and genuine hatred instead of weak battle raps.

I would gladly pay Shaq to say something awful about Jemele in a freestyle.

We saw Magic and Isiah's friendship disintegrate because the Pistons and Lakers continued to challenge each other for the NBA title. Today, the two best players in the NBA are having a bromance in a puppet commercial.

You... you... you got that that was fictional, right? That's not actually Kobe and LeBron. They don't actually live in the same apartment. So I know it's hard to fully comprehend, but just because a shoe company portrays them as doing so in order to sell more shoes doesn't actually mean they're friends. Got it? Ah, shit, nevermind. Just play with this piece of aluminum foil for a while.

Players in previous decades had to earn their reputations at the offensive and defensive ends, but today marginal players have inflated reputations because the NBA is where coddling happens.

See what she did there? With the whole twist on the NBA's slogan thing? Also, if you think mediocre players are overrated in today's game because they don't get fouled hard enough (or deliver enough hard fouls), you're a fucking numbskull.

On to the conclusion of the column, which is really more bizarre than dumb:

Other wishes I want @Kazaam to grant:
• An Anna Kournikova-Sergei Fedorov makeup. These two were far more intriguing and interesting when they were together than apart. Kournikova's hottest years -- no pun intended -- were from 1998 to 2004, both on the court and off. The bulk of that time she was with Fedorov, who was never the same player post-Kournikova. When they first hooked up, there was the drama that Fedorov might have pulled an R. Kelly. This time around, it would be a sweet reunion of star-crossed lovers.

Who. Gives. A. Shit. Where is this coming from? Why are we reading about the failed relationship of a washed-up has been and a washed-up never was, neither of whom (aside from a brief blip of success for Federov for the Capitals during their playoff run a couple months ago) have done anything relevant in years? So confusing. Is Jemele trying to reach out to her Russian readers? I guess that's a pretty big demographic, but this still makes zero sense. I also like how she notes that Federov was never the same on the ice after this breakup... which coincidentally happened during his mid-30s. Hmmm. I'm not a scienticianologist, but I have a funny feeling that there might be another reason Federov's athletic skills were declining right around that time period. Just a hunch.

• That players' girlfriends, at the professional or college level, should never be interviewed during live broadcasts. I don't care whether a player is dating a woman who looks like Megan Fox, is a nuclear physicist by day, a police officer at night and can kick a 48-yard field goal. She's a girlfriend, which means she likely has an expiration date.

But it's absolutely critical that a random medium-profile athlete couple gets back together. No expiration date on that kind of romance!


Jarrett said...

That players' girlfriends, at the professional or college level, should never be interviewed during live broadcasts. I don't care whether a player is dating a woman who looks like Megan Fox, is a nuclear physicist by day, a police officer at night and can kick a 48-yard field goal. She's a girlfriend, which means she likely has an expiration date.

Maybe I just don't pay enough attention, but has this ever happened? I don't like it when the camera cuts to them, but an interview? Or does this just happen in the NBA?

cs said...

A disappointng lack of race. Maybe it was a condition of ESPN renewing her contract.

On the other hand, you have Bill Simmons writing a 38,000 word thesis about the Clippers being cursed..... by Native Americans. It'll take a massive Dave Roberts' steal to break that curse. Maybe they can bring him in during halftime, set up 1st and 2nd base on the court and have him simulate the steal, like some sort of magical curse-breaking ritual.

Bengoodfella said...

Jarrett, I am not sure a player's girlfriend/wife has ever been interviewed in the NBA or anyone else. They will show a player's lover on television but that is about it. Do you reasonably expect JemeHill to know what she is talking about? That's a lot to ask.

Only Dave Roberts can break the curse. Maybe if the Clippers just started using Ubuntu everything would turn around as well...or they could just sign every good available free agent, that seems to work to break curses as well.

Tonus said...

I'm going to assume that Larry B was linking to the Kermit Washington punch, but I can't confirm it because he fucked up the link even worse than Jemele Hill fucked up that article. I'm going to assume that he was so traumatized by Jemele's outpouring of stupid that his HTML skills went out the window for a moment.

Larry B said...

Wow, that is one of the worst bungled links of all time. And your guess is 100% correct. Gotta fix that.

Jeff said...

If Jordan and Phil Jackson had not incessantly whined about the "Jordan Rules" - They complained about Jordan getting smacked around without fouls being called, and it causing the Bulls to lose. Quit your whining, whiners! You should let the other team hit you.

Also - Magic and Isiah's relationship did not disintegrate because of the 88 and 89 finals. That's a stupid thing to say.

I just thought long and hard and I think the only time I can recall a players girlfriend being interviewed is when Pete Sampras was dating the teacher from Billy Madison. Jemele's ruined my day...what a waste of time. Totally worthy of a column mention 6 years later.

Larry B said...

That Veronica Vaughn...

Biggus Rickus said...

During the College World Series from a couple years ago they interviewed a Georgia player's wife. She was a former Miss Nevada and uberhot, but still, not really necessary.

Andy said...

personally, I would have linked the Indiana/Detroit melee.

Martin said...

Can we please make sure that it's the Laker Bandwagon and the Red Sox bandwagon that crash and explode in flames? As a Laker fan I'd like to take down the other uber-obnoxious group of bandwagoners, and not the Celtic poser bandwagoneers.