NBA Playoff Race War Semiotics: Part 1
While you’d never guess it from our fetishization of all things African-American, we at FreeDarko have some ethnic affiliations of our own to toot. In fact, the essential character of this blog often comes down to the conflict between several Jews and the Recluse’s Oriental frequencies. Never was this more evident than when we attempted to dissect these playoffs, which are nothing if not another episode in the long-forgotten beef between our peoples. Things got so unruly that lines were drawn, lots were cast, and we knew what we had to do: determine once and for all which teams belonged to whom. At the Recluse’s request, we begin with the East.
(Note: I have included some soothing image of racial harmony in case anyone starts getting crazy ideas.)
Bethlehem Shoals: Detroit is a city that was once ruled by Jewish mobsters; the Pistons are a team whose brightest memories came at the hand of a certain dictatorial Levantine. Not surprisingly, both entities hit the skids as soon as they passed the reins to people of another texture. By virtue of this double-barreled dependence on the civic and professional powers of my people, I have no choice but to pronounce this playoff entrant totally Jew. P.S. We get an astounding number of hits off of search engine queries for "Darko Jewish," which I think settles this once and for all.
Brown Recluse, Esq.: I can’t argue with my Hebrew homie on this one. Even though Detroit’s precision and selfless, team-first attitude would please Asian Uncle Tom Gedde Watanabe and the rest of those dudes from Gung Ho, we’ve known that we’re not welcome in the Motor City ever since a Detroit court let Vincent Chin’s killers walk back in ’82. Not forgotten, motherfuckers.
BS: I bet u all are thinking I'm going to say that Skiles is stingy with his minutes, his accolades, and revels in guilt-drenched effort. Here's the catch: he refuses to anoint a star, or let this team get shiny like a sea of them. We are not some Protestant, driven by the dignity of the grind, schmoes. Let me hit you with two words: EXCEPTIONALISM. We hustle because we're special, and call each sun cause we can always do better (than you). Maybe we're in thrall to super-egos, but it's a springboard to our radiant birthright. I don't see Skiles chosing no one for nothing.
BR: Cubans may be the “yews of the Caribbean” (see below), but West Indians have a lot in common with their Eastern counterparts: hard workers, committed to education, and loath to break the rules. Also, Japanese people love reggae. It doesn’t hurt that the League’s most prominent Jamaican, Ben Gordon, and his head coach are both short, just like most Asians.
BS: They were supposed to be nothing, and while they didn't quite take over the world, they've sure laid down a statement this season. Sounds familiar. Chris Bosh could be a sticking point, since he's tall and was drafted super-high. However, compared to his partners in 2003-ness, he's on the outside looking in. Oh, and what’s that I hear, wearing #18 and champagning for the wisdom of the ages? ANTHONY PARKER, fresh off El Al.
BR: All right, here’s where the selfless, team-first attitude does make a team Asian. The Raptors have succeeded by sacrificing personal rewards for the benefit of the group. While there are no Asians on the roster, they do feature players from Italy, Spain, and Slovenia, reflecting the international character of the city, which includes a large Chinese population. Plus, Chris Bosh has chinky eyes.
BS: I don't think a single Asian has ever set foot in the state of Miami, which is different than the rest of the state, which is essentially one big conduit into Disneyworld. Also, part of the characteristic Jewish hustle is not embracing hard work when it's not absolutely necessary. That's why Asians are chumps, and why Shaq is the largest member of the tribe in recorded history. Bonus points for semi-Jew SVG, who laid the groundwork and was then steamrolled by glossy arch-fiend Riley.
BR: Shaq-fu aside, I’ll have to concede that there’s not too much Asian about the Heat or the city of Miami. As The New York Times reported last March, Asians tend to go for “small, shapely buttocks,” so a lot of Miami’s appeal is lost on us. And since most Asians already live in Southern California, where there is warm weather and a Disney theme park, there’s really no reason to ever go to Florida.
BS: I've compared LeBron to Old Testament theology, which was kind of fun. And "Chosen One" is, I don't know, dangerously close to my people's favorite sobriquet. I would also argue that a lot of what he does is as inexorably and freshly true as Sinai, and that the game is forever altered thus. Which, pardon my diletantitude, is kind of the premise behind the tradition of commentary. So finally it emerges: I stay a LeBron believer because in some way, my imaginary picture of my religious heritage depends on it. I only come to Judiasm through the lens of King James.
BR: Confucius say, “He who wishes to secure the good of others has already secured his own.” What that means for the Cavs is that, in order to advance in the playoffs, they need to share the damn ball. LeBron hasn’t played with a true point guard the entire time he’s been in Cleveland, and for the past couple seasons, he’s been embracing his Jordan legacy in lieu of his Magic one. It’s time that the Cavs realize that the future belongs to Asia, as being greedy and/or waiting for the Messiah to save them isn’t going to work any longer.
New Jersey Nets
BS: Goodbye Columbus. The Father of Silverbird. And, soon, the Zion-like return to Brooklyn. All the cheese in China couldn't wrest the Nets from my cheap, ethical grasp.
BR: Once the Nets move to Brooklyn, this one is over, but since they're still in New Jersey, let me drop some science on you. First, New Jersey is the third most Asian state in the Union after only Hawaii and California. Secondly, its nickname is the Garden State, and a lot of gardeners are Asian. Finally, Atlantic City is in New Jersey, and Asians like to gamble. As for the team itself, the following players all have vaguely Asian qualities (in descending order of Asianness): Jason Collins, Richard Jefferson, Josh Boone, Vince Carter, Eddie House, and Antoine Wright.
BS: This one's simple: Arenas is the league's only Cuban. Cubans refer to themselves as "the yews of the Caribbean." This could not be any simpler.
BR: Let’s face facts: Arenas is only half-Cuban and seems only dimly aware of his Spanish heritage. He is, however, from Southern California and a video game and car aficionado, which would scream Asian if Asians weren’t too quiet and polite to scream. Speaking of quiet and polite, Antawn Jamison, with his respectful manner and commitment to education, is about as Asian as a 6’9” black man can get. Also, Caron Butler just seems Korean to me for some reason.
BS: I'm going to have to concede this one. First, when a team's only notable person is a physically imposing fundamentalist Christian, there's precious little wiggle room for my wiggly race. And, if you'll allow me to step outside of basketball for a second, I've always sharply contrasted Miami, i.e. Hymietown II, with the rest of Florida—Orlando being the only point of reference I have for the "other" FL. Really, all I've got for this one is that Hedo looks a lot like Silverbird, but that's some eye-of-the-goy lump exoticization. It's poor planning that's to blame for the Magic's exclusion from this post, but on some level, I probably didn't want to confront their likeness anyhow.
BR: It is impossible to think of Orlando without thinking also of Disneyworld. Asians love cartoons, and they love cute shit, in general, so the Magic are a no-brainer Asian squad. In fact, the first Disney park built outside of the United States was built in Japan, and there's also one in Hong Kong. As for the players: Dwight Howard is a braces-wearing goodie-goodie, Jameer Nelson is short, and Trevor Ariza could easily be the name of a Filipino.