Sanity Injection

Injecting a dose of sanity into your day’s news and current events.

Posts Tagged ‘NBA’

PC police suspend LA sports announcers

Posted by sanityinjection on November 29, 2009

Two sports broadcasters who cover the terminally awful Los Angeles Clippers basketball team were recently suspended for comments they made about a member of the visiting Memphis Grizzlies team who is from Iran.

I started reading the story and was waiting to find out exactly what offensive thing they had said about Grizzlies’ center Hamed Haddadi. I was expecting to read that they had joked about him being a terrorist or made some derogatory remark about Islam. Imagine my astonishment, then, when I got to the end of the story and found out that what had earned the duo a one-game suspension and the opportunity to profusely apologize to Haddadi (through a translator, since Haddadi speaks little English) was precisely this:

  • They mispronounced the word “Iranian.”
  • They expressed surprise that any Iranian nationals play in the NBA.
  • They jokingly compared Haddadi’s looks to the character “Borat”.
  • They complimented Haddadi’s basketball moves.

Seriously? That’s offensive and discriminatory? The only thing that could possibly be offensive is the Borat reference, and that’s pretty much par for the course as far as jokes made at the expense of visiting players. The “Borat” character isn’t Iranian or even Muslim.

Apparently all it took was one person with too much time on their hands who complained to the network to shift the PC police into hyperdrive and send these two announcers into full hand-wringing mode. To his credit, Haddadi, when thoroughly informed as to what had been said about him, didn’t see it as a big deal at all. (In his country, ethnic/religious discrimination generally involves beatings and torture, so you’ll forgive him for his failure to be outraged by a couple of dumb TV comments.) Nor did the Grizzlies organization find the matter worthy of a formal complaint. But hey, it’s Los Angeles, the third most enlightened city in California, so naturally the horse must be beaten to death.

I would have thought this matter would have been eclipsed  by the shocking revelation that somebody actually watches Clippers games on TV all the way until the end, and by the further importance of seeking mental health counseling for that individual rather than taking seriously any complaints from that quarter.

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Missing the point of Celtics-Lakers Game 2

Posted by sanityinjection on June 9, 2008

Reading the various sports columns today analyzing the Boston Celtics’ Game 2 win over the LA Lakers in the NBA Finals, it strikes me that most of them are missing the point. So far the columns I’ve read fall into one of the following categories: 1) Paul Pierce had a great game, 2) The heartwarming story of Leon Powe, 3) Rajon Rondo had a great game, 4) The Lakers really poured it on at the end and nearly pulled off the win.

Without denying any of the above, what is missing from all this genius analysis is something that should have been obvious to anyone who actually watched the game or even listened to the TV commentators covering it. The main point of Game 2 was this: The Lakers’ total, inexplicable failure to play anything resembling defense. For most of the game, the Celtics were practically scoring at will. On drive after drive, the Lakers made no attempt to obstruct the Celtics’ shots, and when they did, it was usually with a clumsy foul. The Celtics, on the other hand, played very good defense for three quarters, then went to sleep early.

Given how close the game was at the very end, the conclusion is clear: Had the Lakers played even marginally better defense, by just attempting to contest shots, they would have won this game on the road and the series would be tied 1-1 heading back to LA. Somebody needs to point this out to Lakers’ coach Phil Jackson, who is whining that the officials wouldn’t call fouls on the Celtics. Phil, your team didn’t need to hit more foul shots to win the game (both teams scored over 100 points in the game, considered high scoring in the playoffs.) They just needed to do what high school and college teams are taught to do every day – defend the hoop. The Lakers have no one to blame for this loss except themselves – and the Celtics should consider themselves lucky to have escaped with a win.

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