The Blog Squad

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

The NBA’s Rare Air

I can’t watch the NBA anymore. Not because the product is entirely bad. It’s because I’m so disgusted by the attitudes of players like Stephon Marbury that I can’t invest my time or money anymore.

The guy is due to make $21.9 million this season. That’s a lifetime of money for you, me and a couple dozen of our friends. The problem is, he hasn’t played yet for the New York Knicks and has been deactivated indefinitely.

Does he care? He doesn’t show it.

It’s the same Stephon Marbury who has destroyed every team he’s been on. It’s the same guy who quit on the Knicks a few times last year and pouts when he doesn’t get his way. When he was starting at the point, Marbury led the Knicks to a pair of all-time worse records and then shrugged his shoulders.

Now New York is unsure what to do with him. Nobody will trade for a veteran point guard who has lost a step and a few inches on his vertical, especially one who is guaranteed $21.9 million. So a trade is out of the question. The Knicks hope they can convince him that a buyout of his contract will be best for all involved. It will allow Marbury freedom to play for another team while New York saves a few bucks and rids itself of this pariah.

My guess is that Marbury will not do that and try to collect all $21.9 million while not playing a single minute of the season.

How can I relate to that?

To be fair, the NBA is not entirely filled with players like Marbury, but there are quite a few and enough that I’m turned off by the air up there. Unlike the NFL, NBA players sign guaranteed contracts.

I feel fortunate that I can earn a competitive salary at a job I truly love. That sense of good luck pushes me to work harder and improve to become a better professional. I could never get away with Marbury’s attitude.

There’s a lot to admire about some NBA players. They are truly some of the most gifted athletes on the planet. They simply take my breath away with what they can do to defy gravity, and for a moment, I join them in space. But when they return to Earth and jolt me back to reality, I am reminded that we have nothing in common.

At 38, I might be too old for the NBA. And I might not be hip-hop enough, although I still enjoy old-school rap.

Every time I want to give the NBA another chance, I remember Latrell Sprewell, who was insulted after being offered a 3-year, $21 million contract extension at age 34. He famously said, “I have a family to feed.” He declined the extension and had the worse season of his career. He never signed another contract and has since experienced financial ruin.

The NBA? No thanks. I don’t have time. I need to work for a living. I need to feed my family.

OUT AT HOME: Whoever becomes our next president, I hope that person can truly bring the changes we desperately need.

VIDEO OF THE WEEK: This is funny. Beware of mascots.


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