LJs stupid arm thing
His post-three-pointer arm thing was just one reason I hated LJ.

I didn't always hate Larry Johnson. I started out as a huge fan.

LJ had an amazing college career, leading UNLV to the 1990 NCAA title by downing Christian Laettner's Duke Dookie squad in the championship game. The next year, UNLV finished the regular season with a perfect record (27-0) and looked like a mortal lock to repeat as NCAA champs...until the Dookies knocked them off in the Final Four.

Still, Johnson earned all sorts of awards and honors -- First Team All-American, Big West Conference Player of the Year, the John R. Wooden Award, and the Naismith College Player of the Year award to name a few -- and ended up being selected first overall in the 1991 NBA Draft by the Charlotte Hornets.

LJ was an instant success, averaging 19.2 PPG and 11.0 RPG, finishing with three Rookie of the Month awards (December, February, and March), and being named NBA Rookie of the Year. He also took second place (to Cedric Ceballos) in the 1992 Slam Dunk Contest.

Johnson was a laughing, likeable, larger than life personality. Sort of like a more easy-going Charles Barkley. He seemed to genuinely love the game and played with serious intensity without taking himself too seriously, as evidenced by his classic "Grandmama" commercials:


Still, LJ's talent wasn't enough to turn the expansion Hornets around, and Charlotte finished the 1991-92 season with a record of 31-51 (meaning Johnson was only 0.8 PPG away from joining the 20-10-50 club). Mind you, when that season opened, Larry's fellow starters included Johnny Newman, J.R. Reid, Kendall Gill and Rex Chapman. And, by season's end, the starting five was LJ, Gill, Newman, Kenny Gattison and Muggsy Bogues.

Not exactly an All-Star team. It was barely an All-Mediocre team.

However, losing has its benefits, and the Hornets ended up with the second pick in the 1992 NBA draft. They used it to select Alonzo Mourning.

After adding 'Zo, Charlotte jumped to 44 wins and a first round "upset" of the Boston Celtics. I put the quotes there because Larry Bird had retired, Kevin McHale was playing on half a leg (although he almost won Game 2 single-handedly with a turn-back-the-clock 30-point, 10-rebound, 0-assist performance), Robert Parish was well over 100 years old, and Reggie Lewis collapsed during Game 1 (the only game Boston won) and never played in another professional basketball game. (Sadly, Reggie had a heart condition and died a few months later.)

That series was immortalized by this shot:


High drama! And, sure, the Hornets were rather easily dispatched by the Knicks in the Eastern Conference Semis, but many people still had them pegged as The Team of the Future. Unfortunately, although nobody could have possibly known it at the time, Zo's game-winner was the apex of the Johnson-Mourning era in Charlotte.

Things started to take a turn for the worse as early as the next October when LJ signed a 12-year contract worth $84 million. At the time, it was the most lucrative contract in NBA history. Said Hornets owner George Shinn: "He's the leader of this team, and he will always be the leader of this team."

Unfortunately for Shinn and the Hornets, their leader injured his back two months later and went on to miss 31 games. Meanwhile, Mourning missed 22 games himself, and Charlotte's final win total of 41 wasn't enough to make the playoffs.

Trouble was brewing, folks. Mourning was jealous of Johnson's role as "team leader," and he was even more jealous of LJ's big-money contract. Mind you, there relationship had gotten off to a rocky start from the beginning. According to ESPN's Jeff Merron: "Johnson and Mourning, Charlotte Hornets teammates from 1992 to 1995, never got along. Johnson taunted Mourning in 1992, showing him his NBA Rookie of the Year leather coat, and saying, 'Hey, young fellow, if you play real hard you might get one of these jackets.' All the Hornets who heard the quip laughed -- except Mourning."

Their relationship apparently never recovered from that incident (among others). To make matters worse, Larry never really regained his hyper-athletic form after his back injury and started to transform from "dominant inside player" to "long-distance jump shooter." The season after his back injury, he went from 21 three-point attempts to 210.

Meanwhile, it was clear that Mourning had displaced Johnson as the team's best player. Not surprisingly, he wanted to be treated and, more importantly, paid like it. According to some sources, Mourning -- who was due to become a free agent after the 1994-95 season -- rejected a contract offer worth $100 million over 11 years.

Team president Spencer Stolpen told the Charlotte Observer: "I think people understand we have to do everything within reason to re-sign Alonzo Mourning. Would those season ticketholders accept a 50 percent increase? I don't know. Would those fans clamor for us to re-sign a player if that meant the team couldn't make a profit, it meant we'd eventually go out of business? Would fans clamor for us to sign a player if, in light of that player's contract, we couldn't sign anyone else for more than the minimum? Those are distinct possibilities."

Of course, such considerations hadn't been made when Johnson was re-upping for insane amounts of cash. But that was then. And this was now.

It's worth noting at this point that Mourning's agent was David Falk, so it should be no surprise that the Hornets weren't able to re-sign Alonzo, who was ultimately traded to the Miami Heat for Glen Rice, Matt Geiger, Khalid Reeves and a draft pick.

Just like that, the Johnson and Mourning era ended. LJ lasted only one more season with the Hornets before getting shipped to New York for Anthony Mason and (ha!) Brad Lohaus. Johnson's trade was the culmination of a brutal nine-month period in which Charlotte traded away 'Zo, Kobe Bryant (who had been selected in the 1996 draft, claimed he would never play in Charlotte, and was thus sent to L.A. for Vlade Divac) and LJ. Those moves -- combined with Johnson's original killer contract and back injury -- essentially destroyed the franchise. (Although, in all fairness, they did manage back-to-back 50-win seasons after the Johnson trade.)

Even worse, all the feuding, greed, and mismanagement -- in addition to rape allegations against Shinn and Shinn's insistence that the city fund an expensive new arena -- torpedoed the team's popularity. With the city's bubbling love turned into bitter hate, the Hornets relocated to New Orleans after the 2001-02 season.

Anyway, Johnson went on to become a very highly paid role player for the Knicks, and his tenure in New York is best known for his fight with Mourning (during which Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy was rather infamously dragged around on 'Zo's leg)...


...and his freaking four-point bullshit play against the Pacers:


What has gotten somewhat lost to history was the incident during the 1999 NBA Finals when Johnson called the Knicks a bunch of "rebellious slaves." This drew the ire of Bill Walton, who called Johnson's comments "a disgrace." Actually, here's the full transcript of Walton's outrage (following LJ's 2-for-8 performance in a Game 4 loss):

"Larry Johnson, who spent the last 48 hours railing against the world, what a pathetic performance by this sad human being. This is a disgrace to the game of basketball and to the NBA. He played like a disgrace tonight, he deserved it."

Classic Walton.

You just knew LJ wasn't going to let that go. And he didn't. Despite the best efforts of the Knicks' PR staff, Johnson proceeded to go on a verbal rampage:

"You know what, I respect Bill. For the longest, Bill has been killing me on TV and my family, but when he sees me, you know, he's shuckin' and fussin' and going on. Don't come at me like that. If I'm on fire, don't spit on me. If you're on fire, I don't spit on you. That's respect.

"If [the Spurs] beat us, I know y'all are going to make it the last run. I'm going to be cute with my slaves quotes, which is 100 percent true, a 100 percent true.

"Y'all know it. Damn Bill Walton. Tell him to trace his history and see how many slaves his ancestors had. Y'all trace y'all history and see how many slaves y'all ancestors had. Come on, now. That's a touchy subject. But why does the truth always hurt?"

It didn't stop there.

Referring to Spurs point guard Avery Johnson: "Ave, man, we're from the same plantation. You tell Bill Walton that. We from Massa Johnson's plantation. I love Ave, all the negativity he's been through. Good brother, hell of a dude on an off the court."

It still didn't stop.

"No one man can rise above the masses of the condition of his people. Understand that. So I am privileged and honored by the situation that I'm in, no question.

"Here's the NBA, full of blacks, great opportunities, they made beautiful strides. But what's the sense of that ... when I go back to my neighborhood and see the same thing? I'm the only one who came out of my neighborhood. Everybody ended up dead, in jail, on drugs, selling drugs. So I'm supposed to be honored and happy or whatever by my success. Yes, I am. But I can't deny the fact of what has happened to us over years and years and years and we're still at the bottom of the totem pole."

And that was it. That was the point at which I could no longer take Larry Johnson. He had fallen from NCAA golden boy and potential NBA superstar/co-savior to the guy whose greed (in part) helped blow up the league's salary scale and derailed (along with an equally culpable Mourning) a potentially all-time forward/center due. Worse yet, he ended up in one of the most reviled fights in Association history and followed that up with one of the most ridiculous race-inspired rants ever spouted by a pro baller.

http://www.nytimes.com/2001/10/11/sports/pro-basketball-knicks-johnson-retires-preferring-to-fade-away.html?scp=14&sq=larry+johnson&st=nyt

By the time he finally faded away -- back problems and his declining skills forced an early retirement -- there was virtually nothing left of of the smiling, happy man child who was going to change the NBA. He didn't even want a fond farewell from the Knicks.

Johnson's agent, George Bass, said: "The Knicks offered all of that -- a halftime ceremony and everything else -- but Larry said, 'I appreciate that, but I'm going to pass. Ihope he'll change and we can do that some time, but as it stands now, he'd just rather move on."

Of course, despite retiring, Johnson wanted a buyout and ended up receiving the entire $25.85 million that remained on his contract.

Labels: , , ,

57 Comments:
Blogger Ben said...
"Although, in all fairness, they did manage back-to-back 50-win seasons after the Johnson trade."

Whoa whoa whoa... GLEN RICE baby !! GLEN RICE !! Give the man some love.

Anonymous Asad said...
I remember that game, in the post game interview LJ was talking about how Allah had given him the will to make a 4 point play. There was also a super hot PR lady standing behind him. My roomates kept yelling at LJ to get out of the shot so we could get a better look at her.

LJ had some sort of serious back surgery when he was with the hornets and he could never dunk the same way again.

Anonymous JJ said...
LJ was pretty obnoxious, but "Grandmama" will always have a special place in my heart. So, for me, it's very hard to hate him. I was just shocked and disappointed at how quickly he fell from grace and faded away. I didn't know back then how much injuries could impact a player.

Reading this post reminds me of how, when I was young, I couldn't understand why Charlotte broke up LJ / Mourning combo. I thought the management was retarded or something. Of course, I was naive and didn't realize that these players had egos and chemistry (and money) issues. I thought NBA players just wanted to be in good teams and win championships. =(

Blogger Michael Hsu said...
Makes you wonder what if David Robinson was younger with Tim Duncan. Hard to imagine how they lost a game averaging 22ish boards and 6ish blocks a game between the two.

Doubt we will ever see the two towers again as the game has shifted away from the post to off the dribble and perimeter play.

Blogger Wormboy said...
Well, LJ certainly wasn't a model citizen or anything. That said, you can't blame him for awarding himself a preposterous contract (12 freakin years!?!?!) or a freakish back injury. If I recall, the back injury crushed a nerve; one of his legs was somewhat atrophied and without full feeling for the rest of his career. Hard to call a guy a lamer for something like that. The contract is just management idiocy (you don't give Duncan or Nash a contract like that, much less a young hotshot), and the injury was a freak, though maybe better conditioning might have prevented it, I don't know.

Plus, you can't blame Mourning on LJ. I have a lot of respect for Zo because he won a championship with a kidney transplant, and I have a kidney transplant. For that reason Zo and Sean Elliott are models for all of us who have had to deal with that burden (Elliott won his with kidneys failing, had the transplant afterwards, and came back to play pro ball). But we have Zo being a dumbass egomaniac in Charlotte, at times a pugnacious twit in Miami v1, gacking it up in Jersey before forcing his way out, and totally ramming Toronto up the ass by refusing to play there. In my book, if you refuse to play your contract is void and you should be fined out the yin yang--put that in your new CBA, Stern.

So, when you consider that, LJ is a pretty typical moderate pro athlete idiot, not worthy of special loathing. His main sin is being over-rated due to early performance and one shot late in his career. Frankly, LJ doesn't offend me nearly as much as somebody like Iverson, who was gifted with an indestructible body but was a locker room cancer.

Blogger Czernobog said...
Hehehe, "fortunately for those guys, they are both awful fighters." Indeed, they looked like professional fighters do AFTER they've taken that big punch that almost knocked them out.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Sorry, 'Zo is a much bigger ahole. Hates grandmama because he teased him about his jacket? Gimme a break. He wanted to get paid, which is fair enough as long as you earn it. The Nets and the Raptors want their money back after he used his medical condition to threaten his way into a buyout. He then plays just fine for the Heat and even wins a championship. Puke.

Blogger BadDave said...
Just to point out: the lack of text inches dedicated to LJ getting the bad call against the Pacers speaks volumes about Bawful's specific hatred of LJ. And I have to share that - after a dozen years have passed, I still can't talk about it coherently.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I think the thing we can all take away from this is... Zo isn't a hothead. But he is sensitive to teasing and criticism from teammates.

If grown-up, all-star Zo doesn't want to play for NJ b/c K-Mart teased him about being sick then what's rookie Zo thinking? He probably hoped LJ would get hurt even though he left anyways.

Blogger kazam92 said...
Zo talked about this in great detail in his autobiography. He kind of acknowledges he was distant from everyone early in his career, including the fans. And he acknowledges declining the contract because he actually had the idea of signing with the Knicks to be with his pal Patrick Ewing (as a PF). But when he was on the cusp, he got a phone call from Ewing who told him not to so he could be the face of a franchise. He also felt disrespected by Shinn (I can't exactly remember why), which prompted the trade for Rice and co.

I haven't read the autobiography in a while, but this stuck out for me. And of course how much he regrets the fight, but that's sort of a given.

Blogger sixtyeight said...
Here (=italy) I don't remember the media being much interested in the whole plantation thing, but I remember clearly how much they talked about the back injury and, maybe to a lesser extent, the Zo-LJ feud. Early in his career I liked LJ, dind't care much about the persona or anything, just liked sorta undersized guys fighting down low...now that sounds a bit dirty. Well, like many I lost interest in LJ after the injury and consequential change in playing style. Still can't hate the guy, maybe because I missed most of the annoying stuff, he just faded away like JJ said.

@wormboy: a family friend (that recently passed away for unrelated causes,rip old man) played rugby his whole life, had to stop for a few years while under hemodialysis, but after the transplant he resumed playing, at well over 50 and kept playing for 10+ years. Those old timers were playing REAL rugby, some nasty full contact shit and he enjoyed every second of it. I always wondered if he was a hero or an idiot, but I couldn't help respecting the guy...

Blogger Wormboy said...
@sixtyeight: Probably a little bit of both. :) Kudos to your family friend for continuing to live life to its fullest.

To clarify: I can't say I much like Zo, but I do respect what it took physically for him to win that title. Once you have a transplant, they'd don't let you touch NSAIDs, much less the massive doses most pro athletes are taking to get through the season. At that age it must have been very tough for Zo to get through the season without significant anti-inflammatory help. And it should be noted that Zo's contribution, though secondary to Shaq's, was a key factor in pushing Miami over the top. Role player? Sure. But an important one.

That still doesn't excuse Zo's bailing on the Nets and Raptors.

@Anonymous: I'd forgotten the K-Mart thing. Yeah, there's some major dickery for you. I've gone through kidney failure and it's no party. Mocking somebody over kidney failure makes the mockery of Villanueva's alopecia fade to insignificance.

Blogger kazam92 said...
I can't really defend Toronto. What Zo did there was wrong (although yes I loved the subsequent result). I don't perceive what he did to NJ, but at that point, he was still at a great risk playing basketball (his doctor told him while a Net, he could drop dead ala Reggie Lewis at any moment playing ball). He anticipated helping Olympic teammate Jason Kidd contend, but the Nets ended up being a bottom dweller so why try to continue your career with little gains?

Sorry to derail this. I know it's about LJ. Had no idea about his racially charged rant either.

Anonymous RipTheJacker said...
LJ was my first favorite basketball player when I was a kid. He was a BEAST in Charlotte, but after the back surgery he wasn't the same player. No explosiveness. His style of ball was pure strength. He was really fun to watch. Imo, had he been able to carry out his career without any back injuries, he would have been in the HOF.

So no, I don't hate Larry at all. :(

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I think you hate White-Power Bawful, not Larry Johnson and Zeke.

Seriously, look at what you're complaining about: it's black players talking candidly about race. Sure, LJ was too quick to jump to Godwin-style rhetoric, and yeah, Bird was better than 'just a good guy', but plenty of other players have said stupider, more offensive things.

Zeke's comments about stereotypes are pretty dead on, by the way, and if you paid attention to the commentary, you'd have noticed that 'hustle guys' are almost all white. 'Smart players' are usually white or light, and it's complete BS.

Anonymous The Other Chris said...
I can't really defend Toronto. What Zo did there was wrong

I also partially blame the spineless Toronto management. You don't want to play here? OK, cool, we're going to suspend you and not give you a dime. Come to us when you're ready to take a buyout of 20 cents on the dollar, asshole.

But of course that's "not the way things work in the NBA"... throws up in mouth.

Anonymous AK Dave said...
LJ's slave rant, like Isiah's race-based comments, contain some pretty solid nuggets of truth.

On the one hand, its clearly absurd for a multi-millionaire and celebrity to ever compare himself and his millionaire/celebrity teammates to slaves. In fact, its pretty disrespectful to the memory of real American slaves and what they went through in their lives.

But on the other hand, I think I can understand at least a little bit how he might have felt. Even in the NBA, he was surrounded by predominantly white coaches, trainers, administrators, ball-boys, reporters, agents, fans- many of whom wanted a piece of him and his fame and fortune in one way or another. He had to feel a little bit like a skin diver in a shark tank at times- especially at press conferences after a bad game. And he was right when he said that his personal success in athletics didn't change the living conditions of many poor people in America.

I'm not defending his comments (again: pro athletes =/= slaves), but I think when you look past the anger it seems as if they guy was just venting some deeply-seeded frustration that a lot of successful black athletes in America were (and likely still are) dealing with, and while his timing and delivery were poor, I don't think the underlying concerns were entirely unjustified.

Another great piece, Basketbawful. And like Kazam92, I never even knew about this rant. I was following NBA at the time, but this was still a couple years before internet news and blogging really took hold so somehow I missed it.

Anonymous AK Dave said...
PS- Fuck the 4-point play.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Forty Million Dollar Slaves: The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of the Black Athlete by William C. Rhoden is a pretty good book, by the way. If I remember correctly, he talks about that whole LJ thing as well.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I honestly don't think LJ's rant is thaaaat ridiculous. Because the dude was venting in response to Bill Walton, who is something of a polarizing commentator with a track record of spouting spiteful nonsensical bullshit. If I was in LJ's position and was dissed by Walton? I would try and attack his credibility, which I presume is what LJ was doing. Not that I know the first and last word, but Bill Walton has the capacity to piss me off without calling me out personally.

Anonymous The Other Chris said...
Also, what AK Dave and Anonymous said. This part in particular:

"Here's the NBA, full of blacks, great opportunities, they made beautiful strides. But what's the sense of that ... when I go back to my neighborhood and see the same thing? I'm the only one who came out of my neighborhood. Everybody ended up dead, in jail, on drugs, selling drugs. So I'm supposed to be honored and happy or whatever by my success. Yes, I am. But I can't deny the fact of what has happened to us over years and years and years and we're still at the bottom of the totem pole."

Is.. completely accurate. Look at statistics on the wealth divide between blacks and whites in the US, incarceration rates for young black men, employment prospects for young black men, single parenthood in the black community.. it's fucking depressing.

The War on Drugs has, basically, been a War on Black People. Thanks Reagan!

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Ya know Bawful, I like your writing. I really do. However, some of the social commentaries you incorporate are downright lackadaisical and borderline bigoted. I'm not saying oversensitivity to perceived racial discrimination should be the norm, but a little bit of awareness of the world around you would be a start.

Walton calls LJ a "disgrace" and a "sad, pathetic human being" because he referred to the Knicks as 'rebellious slaves' (context unknown) and LJ reacts angrily to this and somehow he's an asshole for doing so? C'mon now. As AK Dave and Other Chris have already said, LJ was referring to actual issues, albeit in a ham-handed way, but why are you putting Walton on a pedestal? I ignored the supposed racist undertones of his comments about how not coming to the rescue of Arvydas Sabonis against Rasheed Wallace was the "biggest failure of his life", but it's starting to seem more plausible.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
so bawful´s most hated players are all guys who beat the celtics, couldn´t beat the celtics, said something about a celtic or a former celtic...

basically, bawful hates everyone who isn´t/ wasn´t a celtic.

when did this site turn into celticsblog?

Blogger Lord Kerrance said...
@Courageous Anonymous Commenter:

It's not Celticsblog, it's Bawful's blog. And it's HIS least favourite players. If he was doing a list of Objectively The Worst Players Of All Time, then you'd have an argument. But is it really that ridiculous that a list of his least favourite players include a lot of players that interacted with his favourite team? Please feel free to start a blog and list your least favourite Celtics. I will be sure to slag you anonymously.

Oh, and there's only been two entries, so it might be a tad early to be talking about "all" the guys here.

Blogger Japes said...
Man I LOVED grandmama! He was totally robbed in that dunking contest. That 360 windmill was one of the best dunks I've ever seen live. Sadly after his back injury, he became a long range shooter who couldn't shoot. :(

Then the subsequent incidents as a Knick just made you truly dislike the guy. I'm not an Indiana fan by any means but that 4 point play was one of the worst calls ever. I also remember game 4 against the Spurs that year when the refs couldn't last a minute without whistling the spurs for a foul. Not surprisingly, the Knicks won that game to avoid a sweep.

Kinda odd but all these "players I hate posts" brings back a lot of fond NBA memories.

Anonymous spinetingler said...
"en did this site turn into celticsblog?"

When it reached perfection.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
@ Anonymous
Uhmm, this is part 2 of the series, a bit early to call it a pattern, don't you think?

I for one do enjoy this series. Keep it coming sir.

Blogger Wormboy said...
Hmm, the discussion here was very thought-provoking. Kudos to posters!

I realize that Matt is posting players *HE* hates, not players the rest of us hate. He's justified in his personal attitudes. And I was with him on Isaiah, who really is a dick.

But I've got to admit that the rants of Zeke or LJ, while preposterously incoherent and random, both have a serious grain of truth. These dudes had a legitimate gripe, and it spilled out in pressure situations where the speaker is not at his best wrt organizing his thoughts and feelings. Therefore it might be a poor reflection on the speaker (Zeke or LJ), but it both cases a nuanced view of their content leads us to understand what they were getting at. The racism was bad. Better now, but still there. Everybody loves Grant Hill or Shane Battier, the "nice" and "white-ish" Duke players. "Blacker" players get less love. It exists.

In this context, I've got to agree that this smells a bit like people who go after the Celtics get on Matt's shit list. I can't really see that LJ's behavior makers him particularly hateful. Did his career collapse a bit? Yeah, but through what sounds like a fairly nasty injury. Does his later fame have a flimsy basis? Yeah, but that's more based on bad officiating and a frenzied commentariat that favors a big market (NYC). The LJ arm thing is quite stupid, but we all know of a lot of players who feed the crowd frenzy.

So I'm going to go out there and say that the LJ race rant, while not particularly elegant, should be considered neutral since it has a strong basis in reality. His "team cancer" rep from Charlotte may be more Mourning than LJ (with ample evidence from later in Zo's career), and the rest of LJ's creer isn't particularly douchey. So, while I was never an LJ fan, I'm going to strongly dissent on him being on hate lists. I just don't see that the guy deserved it.

And no, I don't think Matt is being racist. But he may have fallen prey to the prevailing narrative of our time. Mea culpa, so have I. I favor the Nashs, Duncans, Grant Hills and Battiers over tatted up guys with attitude. And I've used the language: "hustle" vs. "gifts." It shames me, but I'm still learning to better myself at age 45, and I'm guilty as the next guy of parroting what I hear commentators say, including phraseology. So, we all improve ourselves, right?

Blogger Wormboy said...
And PS I love this blog, whether or not I agree with ET, Matt or whomever on a specific post. You guys are wonderful, and please keep 'em coming!

Blogger Michael Hsu said...
I can't wait or the Kobe post!

Blogger kazam92 said...
What Wormboy said. Bawful, from what I know, roots for 4 teams (which is an unheard of concept for me but hey), Suns, Celtics, Pacers, and Bulls.

I despise everything Celtics (except the Shimmy), but I love this blog

Anonymous jay_uno said...
(i´m the anon who mad that celticsblog remark further up)
i know this is mr bawfuls blog, i read and enjoy it since day one, but lately his posts, particularly this players i hate series, are full of blatantly biased celtics/pacers homerism.. and i´m not talking about him picking two players who both talked about extremely sensitive subjects.
i have this page bookmarked for one reason: it covers the league from its bawful site, not from an espn-highlightreel-view, but from an absolutely hilarious perspective.

thats whats missing in these posts, in my humble opinion

Anonymous jay_uno said...
ps:

coming up: antoine "4-point-shot" walker

Blogger Cortez said...
"And no, I don't think Matt is being racist."

Yes, let's not go overboard. I think Matt is just viewing these comments through is own personal, subjective, experiences.

Besides that, people seems to throw the word "racist" around a bit too freely. we seem to forget that a racist, by definition, think a particular group of humans is superior, usually mentally, to other humans due to genetics and is therefore entitled to rule over or receive special standing over the inferior group.

Nothing said here is has been racist.

And if anyone is wondering why it seems blacks dominate basketball, it's because basketball is easy to organize and play without vast sums of money and it is, for a variety of disparate reasons, a part of inner-city and/or black social culture.

...plus you have met the right "white" guys because, I assure you, there are some that will hang with the best of them in any athletic event.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
What if black guys are more athletic and white dudes hustle and use cleverness to compensate?
Not to say that idea always applies - Chris Paul is as clever as they get. But, if we are talking generally, what if that is true?
What's worse, is what if that is true - and the truth is too incorrect to speak aloud?

Blogger Czernobog said...
@Wormboy. LJ WAS gifted. We can all agree on that, surely? And are you going to argue that words like "hustle" or "savvy" aren't
ever used in reference to black athletes?

That's not to say that the media is entirely without bias, but his rant was still childish.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Jerome Williams and Dennis Rodman are largely considered hustle players. No one would doubt the effort put for A.I. or KG, but they aren't "hustle players" because they are skilled players and franchise players. The "hustle player" moniker sticks almost exclusively refers to persons with a low offensive repertoire. Lacking athleticism makes the "hustle" even more apparent to viewers b/c this slow-footed or ground-planted player will be burned for every mistake they make against superior speed and strength. So... racism isn't the reason why people like Scalabrine and Madsen. If most fans are white and unathletic (not to offend anyone), why wouldn't they like to see someone like themselves suceeding amongst 6-7, 220lb, genetic lottery winners? It's the same reason people like Earl Boykins and JJ Barea: They're "regular-person-sized."


Sincerely,

A 6-3 Black Guy

Blogger Wormboy said...
@Czernoblog: Yes, I thought I made clear that he was an exceptional talent diminished by a freak injury.

Of course "hustle" and "savvy" are applied to black guys. Just much more frequently to white guys.

Me: "But I've got to admit that the rants of Zeke or LJ, while preposterously incoherent and random, both have a serious grain of truth."

So yeah, childish with a grain of truth. I don't think you have issue with a single thing I said there.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
i don´t get when people say hustle is a "white" basketball skill, the greatest hustle-player of all-time gave his hof speech some weeks ago, and he is black.

also see: wallace, ben

btw i´m a 6´5 white dude

Blogger Wormboy said...
Anonymous, you are remarking on the reality, with which I think we all agree. We're talking about language usage amongst broadcasters and journalists.

Anonymous Stockton said...
F####...
Ok...
My 2 cents (of euro)

Hustle and savvy are applied mainly to non-athletic or un-talented guys.
Why? Because they need the extra step to match the guys who are either athletic freaks or a natural born talent. And this is applied to every sport.
Hustle is used by guys who must make the extra effort. Nobody gives a f### if Jordan wouldn't dive for a loose ball. He would score 40, so who CARES? Savvy is used by guys who must outsmart their opponents. Examples of savvy: of course, the man Stockton, the great Nash, and the master Divac, who COULD score on O'Neal based on footwork other than physical contact.

Anonymous Joe said...
As a guy who graduated high school from a Vegas suburb in 1991, I thought I'd chime in.

I absolutely loved LJ when he was at UNLV and in his first years in the League. He was maybe 6'6" but he was built like a tank and could jump out of the gym.

I remember debating who was better, LJ or Pippen, during my freshman year of college with a guy who was from Chicago. I thought LJ was clearly better. Unfortunately, as noted, his back injury killed his athleticism.

That Hornets team could have been something. LJ and Zo were great players. Kendall Gill and Mugsy were actually pretty good back then too. Oh well.

I have to admit that LJ post-back injury seemed like a different person and that's too bad.

Blogger kazam92 said...
Unrelated to LJ, but Bosh faced Skip Baseless today on 1st take.

http://www.sportsgrid.com/media/chris-bosh-skip-bayless-debate-video/

Anonymous Anonymous said...
ANything to say about Sarah Palin and your old college roommate???

Blogger Wormboy said...
Re; Bosh and Skip Bayless: Ratings whoring. No more, no less. It is utterly meaningless.

Blogger kazam92 said...
Skip Bayless is Ratings Whoring personified.


And I guess Dirk wasn't the first "Maverick" to f*** the Heat huh? AMIRITE FELLAS?????

Blogger Kcan said...
Glen rice for 3!!!

Anonymous Adrià said...
If I were Chris Bosh I would rather don't go to a TV Show where a guy is going to defend why he was calling me whatever.

It's worthless trying to say something to someone who is being read by a lot of people that think he's right. Nobody reads Chris Bosh. On TV he is never going to win this battle unless he doesn't make it a battle, but he did, playing the family card...

By the way, I don't know if calling the NBA Players by funny names should be done by an ESPN guy like Skip. We are talking about the largest sports broadcasting company, and after all, the players give them something to write about, so maybe they should stick with their names and forget about saying stupid shit. We are in a blog by mr. McHale, but call in ESPN "Anderson Varegina" and every woman would want to beat the shit out of whoever brought it up there.

But now I was talking about what I think it should be, I won't waste more of your time.

Anonymous Matt said...
Is anyone else pissed off at the fact that Gilbert and Sarver, two of the shittiest owners in the league, are able to essentially put the brakes on all the negotiations just cause they want to cover their asses for all the crappy decisions over the years?

Blogger kazam92 said...
Matt - Funny thing is that someone pointed out that Steve Nash quietly agreed with a Bill Simmons Tweetrant that included Sarver's incompetence a few hours ago.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
i know this is old news, but, without any real basketball news, this is friggin awesome:


http://espn.go.com/espn/thelife/videogames/blog/_/name/thegamer/id/6874034/the-15-legends-nba-2k12?readmore=fullstory


can´t wait

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Basketbawful--why the unfulfilled promise of regular posts for the next few weeks? The anticipation and letdown is killing me.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Ron Artest has successfully changed his name to Metta World Peace. The world rejoices.

Blogger Dan B. said...
Anon -- Things come up. We're all real people who have lives outside of writing for this comedy blog. Patience, my friend.

To help pass the time until Bawful can get the next post up, you HAVE to watch this superb video: What The Hell Did Crazy Dennis Rodman Say In The Bleeped-Out Portion Of This Interview That So Terrified The Interviewer?

Blogger vavakakal kakal said...
bookmark web

Anonymous Jersey case said...
Something has to taken care of dude...

Blogger KHayes666 said...
I was 6 years old when Zo hit the game winner that ended Kevin McHale's career and I still remember my father ranting and raving saying it never would have happened if Reggie Lewis played.

LJ had a back injury he never recovered from, Zo suffered kidney failure and Lewis died of a heart attack....just goes to show how healthy doesn't always guarantee a pain free life.

I do think there is some poetic justice to the 4 point LJ shot. The Knicks "rigged" the draft in 95 to get Ewing, they had their own personal referee (Knick Bavetta) and they still haven't won a championship in coming up on 40 years.

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