By now, I'm sure you've read or heard about Josh Howard's "The Star Spangled Banner's going on right now and I don't celebrate that shit. I'm black." controversy. I haven't mentioned it thus far because a) it's pretty obvious stupid, even for this site, b) it edges into commentary on race relations, which I generally tend to shy away from, and c) this is America, and one of the founding principles of American life is each person's right to be as big of an idiot as he or she chooses to be. And without that principle, this site might not even exist. You know?

And besides, let's face it: This incident will follow the typical outrage-to-obscurity cycle that these situations always seem to adhere to. To wit:

Phase 1: Intense anger. Commentaries. Editorials. Blog posts about what it all means. Angry e-mails. Etc.

Phase 2: Loud grumbling.

Phase 3: Quiet grumbling.

Phase 4: Random serenades from boo birds that decrease in intensity throughout the upcoming season.

Phase 5: General forgetfulness, epitomized by even astute NBA fans saying, "Remember when Josh said that thing about the National Anthem? What was that again?"

Phase 6: People like me bring the situation up in Worst Evers-style articles and blog posts, or it gets rehashed after some other athlete says something inflammatory about the Anthem, or America, or the President, or whatever.

Sure, there are people who will always and forever hold that single thoughtless statement against Josh, but most people will eventually get over it, especially if he plays well. (Conversely, if he doesn't play well, the remark will be used as Exhibit B in The Case of Where Josh Howard Went Wrong...with his pot smoking admission being Exhibit A.)

Now, the wise and rational thing for the Mavericks organization to do would be to have Josh apologize, issue a few statements, and wait patiently for Phase 5. But if we've learned anything about Mark Cuban, he is rarely wise or rational. In fact, he's a bit of an idiot. (Or maybe more than a bit.) So, naturally, he responded to the strong anti-Josh Howard sentiment to be expected in Phase 1 of the outrage-to-obscurity cycle by posting some of the most vitriolic e-mails he had received about the situation on his blog. Oh, and he included the peoples' e-mail addresses too.

This is, of course, akin to a pre-schooler trying to get out of trouble for eating paste by pointing at the kid across the classroom who's beating someone up for their lunch money. "You think what Josh said was stupid and hateful? Look at what these people are saying!" But he took it a step further by posting e-mail addresses, pushing the people who had contacted him privately into the public spotlight in order to punish them. Great idea, Mark. Hey, why not post Josh's e-mail address while you're at it. Then people will be able to respond to him directly, just like anybody who reads your blog can now respond to the people who contacted you.

Mind you, the posting of those e-mails was preceded by the following statement: "Josh realizes his comments were wrong, he understands why people are upset. He knows he has made a mistake, has apologized and will work with us . Beyond that, its a private issue." A private issue, huh? So why draw even more attention to it with this blog post? And does Mark really retain the right to declare something private when he's attempting to very publically humilate others?

Who knows. Maybe, just maybe, it's not a question of Josh Howard's personal stupidity. Maybe it's a question of the Mavericks' organizational stupidity.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...
I sometimes can't believe some of the trash people post on blogs or chat rooms or comment sections in the local newspaper online.

It's frightening to know that there are so many spiteful hate-mongers out there who actually CARE what somebody says into a camera phone when they don't think anyone is looking.

I liken this to the post a few days back about how Jason Williams ran his fat mouth in 2001... are we really THAT shocked and outraged when a young man who hasn't seen the world outside the blinders of basketball in the USA comes out and says something stupid?

It's like when somebody in the room farts, and it's loud, and everybody notices. It's not a big deal until somebody says something about it, and to do so makes YOU the ass, not the person who let one slip. Just ignore it- and maybe hold your breath. It will be soon forgotten.

Anonymous Wormboy said...
Cuban's idiocy never surprises me, and this is part of the package, I suppose.

But what really shocked me was how extremely racist some of the comments were. OK, I guess Howard was the one who brought race up, but does that demand insulting racial slurs? I mean, who fires off a bigoted email when some athlete sticks his foot in his mouth? It made me almost sympathize with Cuban's response. ALMOST.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
It's just a song.

Blogger daktx2 said...
I have to disagree with you there. I think Mark Cuban was making a point. Josh Howard was saying something stupid in a place that he assumed would be private. The people who sent Mark Cuban those emails were doing the same thing, and they ended up looking as idiotic as Josh Howard did.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
anonymous -- Honestly, I don't care about what Josh said. I may disagree with his opinion, but he has a right to it. However, we are living in the YouTube Age. After what happened to Kobe last summer, he should know better than to make inflammatory comments into a cell phone camera.

wormboy -- Agreed. But then, the lowest common denominator tend to overreact to things with extreme prejudice. I've often thought about publishing a "Worst E-mails Sent to Basketbawful" post. People have threatened to kill me, hoped horrible diseases and accidents on me, openly wished I would end up in prison and get raped, etc. Usually for mocking Kobe, I might add. (Kobe lovers hate me for some reason.) And I'm sure Cuban has gotten the same types of things over various subjects. In this case, he's just using it to detract from what Josh said.

daktx2 -- Oh, I agree he was trying to make a point. I just think that doing so is both childish and vengeful. Particularly in the respect that he included their personal contact information. Sure, his blog email may be public, but I'm sure he has a primary email address he uses for important matters. How would he feel if somebody he emailed with that address got pissed about something he said and posted it for anyone to see?

Plus, it just feels like "excuse" behavior. The "Oh yeah, but look at what HE did" type of thing.

Blogger Wade Word said...
It is always interesting to see the hate, bigotry, and xenophobia that comes out in the name of patriotism.
Especially hilarious to see the "love it or leave it" argument is still in rotation. And I never knew that so many people like to reference species of the genus Procyon as an insult.

Anonymous AK Dave said...
@ wade world-

You've never been to Louisiana, my friend!

Anonymous Anonymous said...
my question is
what's Obama have to do with what Josh Howard said?

Anonymous Buck Nasty (Nick F.) said...
"Oh, and he included the peoples' e-mail addresses to." It should be
"too" and I'm not sure but I think it should also be people's because it isnt necessarily multiple types of people, just the people posessive. Don't ask me why I did this, I just had too (self parody).

Blogger bradw said...
Cuban is a tool, and I have a hard time liking the Mavs as long as he is the face of the franchise. Have you read 07 seconds or less bawful? I think you would really like it.

Anonymous Joe said...
I used to really enjoy Cuban's blog until he caved to Stern and stopped posting his insights about the NBA, refs, being an owner, etc. I agree that his posting people's email addresses was childish and vengeful. Cuban's saying it's a "private matter" is a cop out and extremely hypocritical.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Awesome. He removed the post with a sad post explaining his thought process.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I really did not care about what Josh Howard said. It's easy for white America to treat him like a terrorist, but they have no idea what a different experience it is for a minority.

I don't agree with his statements, but I do see where he was coming from.

I like what Cuban did. You see, the reason that people like Josh Howard say things like that is due to the ignorance and undercurrent of racism that continues to be prevalent in America.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I think all rational, thinking people should just leave this topic alone. Everyone involved in it is either stupid (Howard), an Asshole (Cuban), or ignorant hate-tanks (the vast majority of those e-mailers). It's like the Special-Ed kids in school, let them stay in their little area and act like idiots, while the rest of us carry on with our lives.

Blogger Haran said...
Honestly, I was actually amused and glad that he had the guts to leave their email address in-place.

Not many people would do that.

If you're sending stupid hate-mail to someone you don't even know, then there is no expectation on the receiving party's part to keep that private.

There's no need to 'protect the guilty' here.

Anonymous Jeremy said...
I think you need to distinguish between "stupidity" and "harshness." Posting the e-mails with addresses wasn't an accident. Cuban was trying to make a point. I suppose it worked.

Anonymous bobgarz said...
I didn't mind what Cuban did. It was kind of funny in an ironic, and he made his point clear. people are only angry at josh howard because what he did was captured on youtube, when people show ignorance and racism everyday, just that it hasn't been posted on a public forum, which Cuban did.

I do think he does act like a bit of an idiot at times, but it does make it fun and a little more interesting. The GM front of the NBA has generally been boring, and that adds some sort of flavor.

In terms of business though, his blog is pretty good.

Blogger m. Alana said...
Mark Cuban, childish and vengeful? NO.

I agree with his sentiment, if not his execution. Posting people's emails, even those of pure assholes - definite violation of blogging etiquette. Much as racists deserve to be shamed (yes, I am intolerant of your intolerance!), this is definite Not Cool on Cuban's part.

Blogger m. Alana said...
Forgot to say, I'd read the blog post while it was still up - or at least got the gist of it.

Anonymous andra said...
we should be able to distinguish between private and public business, and what Cuban did was mix them.

But there will always be an exception if it's Cuban.

Blogger KneeJerkNBA said...
I would describe Howard and Cuban's behavior the same way- childish.

Anonymous Pistonsgirl4life said...
"I've often thought about publishing a "Worst E-mails Sent to Basketbawful" post. People have threatened to kill me, hoped horrible diseases and accidents on me, openly wished I would end up in prison and get raped, etc. Usually for mocking Kobe, I might add. (Kobe lovers hate me for some reason.)"

3 Things...

1) I would totally bookmark that post. It'd be hilarious.

2) Someone above had it right, at the point you're spewing hatred over the Internets because of something a BASKETBALL PLAYER ( I mean jeeze, he's a BASKETBALL PLAYER, if he were say SOMEONE IMPORTANT LIKE AN ELECTED OFFICIAL... sorry for the yelling but this is so stupid imho and it's very frustrating)... anyways... you've lost all right to privacy at this point. We've come a long way past "it's okay to hate if you don't do it openly"... I agree that Cuban is just abusing those emails to protect his guy but really so what? No harm no foul except to people who'd harm and foul... big deal.

3) The first time I followed a Henry Abbott link to this place I liked you BECAUSE you took Kobe to task for being the jerkstore he is.... Basically I don't find it suprising that people who LIKE Kobe are also kinda stupid... (oh yeah, I said it.)

Anonymous caseta said...
anytime you feel like criticizing cuban, just think about this: who'd you rather have as an owner of your team: cuban or someone like reinsdoft (cheap), sterling (cheap), glen taylor (clearly doesn't care, if he did, he'd have fired mchale 100 years ago), whoever-is-running-the-hawks (really, what a mess), sarver (destroyed a beautiful team), bennett (well, i guess if you're from OKC you'd like him), heisley (i think he's still the grizzlies owner) ?

then there are a few other owners who either don't have the money (herb kohl) or have the money but waste them (dolan).

cuban is clearly one of the owners you'd like for your team. he has the money and he cares. he's well liked by the players and his team was successful. whether you think he is a jerk or not, that doesn't make him a bad owner. in fact i think the fans and the league would be better off if there were more owners like him instead of the ones who are into it just for the money and couldn't care less about wins or championships.

Blogger Reid Sassman said...
off-topic: I love the blog, but why is the Word of the Day link broken like 75% of the time?

Anonymous Wormboy said...
@ caseta: Well put. Cuban may be a nut, but I'll admit that I prefer him over the alternative. My favorite part is that he challenges the league's fascist control of policy and information.

He's still a nutjob, though. :)

Anonymous joe said...
I meant to add, why does he stick his tongue out so much? I went through that phase when I was about 11 or 12.

Also, I'd like to have Cuban as an owner of my team. That doesn't change the fact that he's a hypocrite for saying the Mavs' response to Howard was "a private matter" and then posting people's email addresses.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
i see know problem with cuban exposing bigots and racists for what they are...if you hate black people don't hide behind e-mails you hope the public wont see....good for cuban, bad for bigots.

Blogger Shiv said...
@ Joe:

Jordan stuck his tongue out a lot too...

Anonymous joe said...
LOL @ shiv. Good point. I think that there's a difference though between Jordan who did it as a reflex / without knowing he was doing it (my 5 year old son does the same thing when he is concentrating) and Cuban who does it on purpose knowing he is being photographed.

It is reason like this that Mark Cuban will be blocked out from being able to buy the Cubs.