Don’t worry…It was my culture

4 08 2008

If you go back to the brawl, that’s a culture issue right there. Somebody was disrespecting me, so he’s got to understand where I’m coming from. People that know me know that Ron Artest never changed.

–Ron Artest

Really? That brawl in 2004 was about culture? Not about the fact that you have a horrible temper and set off one of the darkest, saddest events in NBA history? That’s a pretty interesting stance on the issue

For those of you that might have missed out (somehow), here is a quick link here. This brawl eventually led to assault charges for a number of players, the video being played on repeat for millions of people around the world to see and finally a number of philosophical changes on the part of the NBA in an attempt to mitigate the effects of the evening. While there was much discussion about the role of the fans in this, given that the fan did throw a beer at Ron Artest.  While no one will condone fans acting like that, it is not the first time and definitely not the last that objects have been thrown onto the playing surface.  There are many old hockey fighting collections where fans will be taunting a player in the penalty box and he will jump up on to the glass and take a swing, but that was always the end of it.  No melee would ensue and ultimately play would continue on as normal.  Why actions like that are tolerated in hockey but not in basketball is subject to a very different debate.  Whatever those reasons may be, we all saw just how different things went in Detroit.

The reason I bring this up is because Ron Artest was just traded to Houston and Yao Ming is obviously a little concerned about the dynamic of his team with this latest roster addition.  Yao expressed concern, albeit in the wrong format by discussing it in the press, but it could have been defused rather quickly.  But Artest turned it into a big deal, by claiming the events of the Brawl in the Palace were the result of his culture and not showing any remorse for the largest black eye the sport has ever seen.  Are you kidding me?

The lack of compunction is something I will never understand.  That night was an absolute disaster for the game of basketball and it set the NBA back a very long way.  To the point that they are so image conscious that they have mandated dress code, not just on the court, but on the bench and after games for press conferences.  Most decisions made on an executive level now have to take into consideration the effect on their image.  And yet, Ron Artest is unwilling to show any remorse for that night.

Don’t worry though, Artest promptly explained that Yao would understand him soon enough and they would be great teammates.  If I were Yao Ming, I would be very concerned.


Oklahoma City Wind?

30 07 2008

It wasn’t bad enough that the NBA and Seattle couldn’t keep their young, but promising team in town.  In the only show of backbone that they had, they forced the new owners to leave the Supersonics logo and name behind when they ran with their tail behind their legs.  Well the people of Seattle will be able to take solace in the fact that the Oklahoma City basketball franchise could have the worst team name in professional sports history.

The Associated Press reported that straight from the Federal Patent Office the team names that the NBA filed patents for were…Barons, Bison, Energy, Marshalls, Thunder and Wind.

I will hand it to them, the Oklahoma City Barons is a pretty cool name and I would have to imagine the one that they are most likely to choose.  But if they don’t, just imagine the possibilities.

I was inspired by these names to do some exploring on some of the worst team names in professional sports. And I have to say that of the four major professional sports in the United States (MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL) there are very few that even begin to compare to the Oklahoma City Wind, Thunder or Energy.

But I guess only time will tell