Tuesday, July 8, 2008

7/8 - Some Links, Some News

I hope everyone had a great July 4th weekend (lord knows I did). Tell me, is there anything better than spending a sunny day by a pool, kicking back with a couple cold ones while grilling massive quantities of meat? I don't think so. I'll get back into the 2008-2009 season previews tomorrow, but for now here is another set of links for you.

-Sports is a business. With the amount of money that is generated by each team through sponsorships, advertising, ticket and merchandise sales, that's the only way it can be viewed by the bigwigs that invest money and run these franchises. But things are getting ridiculous - take a look at this picture and tell me this isn't going too far. The US National basketball team is sponsored by Nike, as is every player on the team, except for Dwight Howard. Now if you look at the picture, a couple of interesting things stand out. First of all, Coach K is sitting down, which is unusual because normally in team pictures, coaches stand at the end of the line. He is also sitting (a bit awkwardly in my opinion) so that his left foot conveniently blocks Howard's (adidas?) shoe from the picture.

There's more. Although Howard is actually listed as taller than Chris Bosh, Bosh's hair actually makes him taller in the picture than Howard. The rest of the team is lined up by height. If you look closely, everyone on the team other than Howard has their hands behind their back, but Howard is at the end holding a ball, which means that his arm is free to hang down and block the Nike logo on his shorts. Coincidence? Maybe.

-To be honest, I've always kind of liked Rick Reilly ... when he writes his human interest pieces. He has a knack for finding stories and writing them in a way that makes you feel that in some corners of the ever-more-commercial sports world, there are still places where you play the game for the love of the game, and that there are still people who do things for all the right reasons. But the man is not funny. If you haven't read it yet, take a look at his most recent article for ESPN.com where he provides a "how-to" list for athletes looking to go broke in response to a Toronto Star article which said 60% of NBA players go bankrupt five years after their career is done. Tell me if you get a laugh out of that, or if is the type of column ESPN should expect from their $17 million man.

I'm not the only one that didn't find much humor in this article - just take a peak at The Odds and Sods or Fire Joe Morgan. But to be honest, what bothered me the most were the racist and stereotypical undertones to the article, especially pertaining to NBA players (UPDATE: The Big Lead has a similar post up, and they always have interesting dialogue in the comments section there). In the article itself, he trashed athletes from other sports (for example - Roger Clemens, Evander Holyfield, Mike Tyson, Marion Jones, Jack Clark) more than players from the NBA, but the title on ESPN.com's home page was "Let's face it: You will never be a top-50 NBA player. But you can spend money like one. Just follow this sound advice." Is that just because it is easiest to pick out NBA players as the type of young stars that get rich quick and blow it all? Is it because NBA stars are so young when they get their first contracts? Is it racist for me to even look at it in this light?

I don't know, but if you want a really good read about the real problems facing professional athletes with regards to their spending, check out this article by Brian Cuban (Mark Cuban's brother). He has a really interesting quote from a sports agent in there.

-Speaking of Sports Agent's, the Sports Agents Blog had an interesting insight on the Darrell Arthur NBA Draft debacle, putting the blame squarely on his agent's shoulders for not getting the information out that Arthur's health was fine.

-UPDATE: ESPN is reporting that the lawyer of Brandon Jennings has announced that he will go to play in Europe regardless of what his SAT scores come back as. Brandon Jennings has to wait until July 11th at the earliest until he hears back about his SAT test scores. But there are a lot of other recruits and coaches keeping an eye on what Jennings decides to do.

-Another article about Keith Brumbaugh and how he tried to straighten his life (and his reputation) out before the NBA draft. He wasn't picked, but he did land a contract with a European team.

That's all for now.

1 comment:

OddsandSods said...

I agree with you about the racial overtones. I wish that I had mentioned it more in my original post.