Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Air To The Throne? or How I Learned to Stop Hatin' & Pay Sports Blogs No Mind

As I write this blog entry I wonder, "What's my motivation?" I mean, all that I've written and released here thus far has been pretty simple; a document of my life as it happens, trips down memory lane, & observations of whatever strikes me as interesting, but as of late, what I've read & stumbled across online is far different from my musings & rather disturbing. It hasn't been all disappointing. Surprisingly, thru Facebook, I've not only kept up with old friends but have had some enlightening political discourse that has lead me, & I hope others, to new discoveries. Believe me when I say, I'm not one of those people that expect the internet, television, radio, and every other form of media to function more informatively. I understand the business of entertainment because I'm in it, so I'm not surprised when Tony Romo breaking up with Jessica Simpson is discussed more on sports radio here in Dallas than what is happening in the NBA Summer League, MLB All-Star Game, or even the MLS or Premier League Soccer for that matter, but when this same mentality pervades every medium, it feels like things are getting dangerous.
I still remember the "Costas Now" feature on the phenomena that is affecting America right now as we speak, the death of newspapers and the rise of the blogger. As a blogger I appreciate the arena to share my perspective, but I understand that it's my opinion & I don't present it as anything other than that. Now, when I search for info about the NBA off-season, the top story is about Nike confiscating tape of Lebron James getting dunked on at one of his summer camps by a college student. It's not that this isn't a worthy topic to report, but what makes this story suffer is lack of information and an overt bias throughout the story. The main points presented were that A) it's a sad state we're in when corporate sponsorship controls so much of an athlete's life/career, & B) this apparently provides fuel for the discussion of who's the heir to the MJ's throne. The only problem with both of these points is the only way to support these points is thru speculation.
The entire Nike campaign for King James has been to differentiate him from Air Jordan. Where MJ had "I Wanna Be Like Mike," (Gatorade) Lebron has "You Shouldn't Want to Be Me...You Should Wanna Be Better Than Me," so before making Nike out to be an overly controlling entity trying to ensure James' "legend," perhaps one should wait and see whether or not it wasn't a means to utilize the footage within their marketing strategy. Doesn't the whole situation fall within the story of Lebron's slogan, to elevate one's game to surpass him. Also, I'm sorry, but one single dunk over someone doesn't make you a better player than them, nor does it elevate another pro player to a higher status since said situation didn't or hasn't happen to them.
The fundamental flaw in Skeet's column about this situation is that makes a claim that this will tarnish Lebron's legacy & strikes a comparison to Jordan while painting a picture in which MJ would never let this happen. For if Jordan would have ever been beaten @ his own camp, he and/or Charles Oakley (???) would strike fear and intimidation in all who may have witnessed the act to never speak of it again. Other than it being wrong that all these hypothetical situations are being presented, the problem with that picture is it already has happened, without his proposed results. Video footage is online of MJ losing a game of one-on-one @ one of his camps in 2003. Like a true champion, his response to how does it feel to lose 3-2 @ his own camp, "In life & in the game...you win, you lose, you get crossed over, you get dunked on...it all happens." Damon Wayans made more of the situation during the Q&A following Jordan's loss, but he is a comedian, & it was all in fun. Judging by the responses from many readers of the Skeet's column, & Kobe's comment of "You're not dunking on me at my Summer Camp," I think that many people have lost that ability to see things that way.

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