Association, Heal Thyself

Greetings FDers. TAN here. Many moons ago, back when the Knicks as a contender was but a myth, I made a couple small scratches in the redwood here. Then I disappeared. Now in the offseason, with the pressure of the playoffs and scrutiny of the draft fading away, I plan to step up for easy free throws a little more frequently. As an NBA determinist, I always find the offseason riper anyways.

So let's ease in with some lighthearted notes on improving the NBA. If we don't know what to make of 'Shard getting max money, or The Beard and Marbury, at least we can agree that the Association could use some work. Here are some suggestions:

Kobe for Lebron: I know, I know. Please don't click away. It's silly... but also kind of perfect. Forget contracts. Forget salaries. Forget free will. David Stern should just hold a press conference and say, "Time Out." And when he places fingers to palm, every NBA law and rule is theretofore suspended. Then he puts Kobe on the Cavs, and LeBron on the Lakers. Like a fantasy league. Or a board game. One where David Stern stands over some simulacrum of the country, and reaches into California and grabs Kobe by the head, then streeeetches over to Cleveland with his other arm and grabs LeBron (in my mind I see LeBron kicking and yelling and generally being a ham, and Kobe looking poised, waiting to see where he lands exactly). Then "Time In!" Stern's the one commissioner who could pull this off. First, having the gumption to usurp the league's constitution, and then second, a powerful enough ego to actually rescale the country and its contents such that he can reach into two states at once and grab people out by the head.

Of course, once people realize what has transpired while they were frozen via a cosmic time out call, there will be complaints. Poor precedent and such. George Karl's harelip will seethe. Mark Cuban's blog will collapse upon itself. But this too shall pass. The news cycle will continue, and no one will care. Like black teenagers and Jackie Robinson. It'll be like someone breaking into your house and taking your basic Nokia phone and swapping it for an iPhone. You're like, "Hey, you can't break into my home and steal my Nokia cellphone, I'm going to ca— oooh an iPhone! The players will be happy, the teams will be happy, the NBA will be happy. Everyone's happy, except Mrs. Bryant, who now cops Baby Jamz at Walmart instead of Prada on Rodeo Drive.

But it all works in the end because LeBron wants to be the billion-dollar man. Everything LA would want from Kobe, they can get from LeBron. That's where he belongs. The grand stage is the only appropriate venue. Plus, LeBron should be in the Western Conference. He needs to clash with the titans. The Lakers are also a better team than the Cavs. LeBron and Odom could actually become Jordan and Pippen. Andrew Bynum could develop if suckling from Lebronadonna's bountiful teat, versus Kobe, who had a nipplectomy as soon as he came in the league.

Kobe probably thinks he'd hate the small town, but he just needs a little nudging. His demand for a trade is an obvious cry for help, and a concession to his failure as a one-man army. His resume is unimpeachable, but he's not the greatest. And never can be at this point. So now he's looking at the man in the mirror, and he's ready to make that change. Anything he says about teammates is camouflage. Cause we all know, when you talk about other people badly, you're really talking about yourself. More importantly, Kobe's no idiot. He's a cold, calculated thinker, and he knows his position. He knows he would lay waste to the Eastern Conference, and ego and achievement would trump big city vanity. Cleveland is where he can learn the one skill that has eluded him: Redemption. Kobe is a big fish in need a small pond.

The Racial All Star Game: All Star weekend is boring. We need to spice it up. But how? The NBA should embrace what god has given them: Racism! Stern wants to play it down, but he can't stop the engines that propel the most racialized sports league in the world. This is constantly documented here on Mt. Darko: Hip Hop, The Assimilated Duncan, Don Nelson's Jungle Fever. Shit, I clutch my purse just watching Stephen Jackson on television. And I feel no shame in that ...aside from the fact that I have a purse.

So forget rookies/sophomores. Or better yet, let's nix the real player, old man and a vijay-jay activities. Let's go: Team Whitey vs. The Darkies. Or maybe add a Team Mixed and Team Other as well. Play a Final Four. Watch out NCAA, here comes Race Madness! Peep the 5-on-5:

Team White: Nash, Hinrich, AK, Dirk, Okur

not bad for caucasians, right?

Team Black: Iverson, Kobe, LeBron, Garnett, Duncan

black people win again!

Team Halfsies: Kidd, Bibby, Battier(?), Gooden, and Boozer

the mixed breeds have to get bigger.

Team Other: Yao Ming ... well, whatever. How about we do "Team Other" in the comments.

So some of the details have to be fine tuned a little more, but the first step is the most important. Why pussyfoot? Embrace who you are, NBAACP! I love this game!

While we're doing race stuff, it's time to annex the WNBA. Not the league and players, but the name. WNBA now stands for: White National Basketball Association. A development league with only white players. Which by my estimate would place the caliber of play somewhere between WNBA and NBA. I guess we could call it the WhNBA.

All of this plays as a race joke, yes, but every championship team needs some quality Token Caucasians on it. And when you need them, it'd be nice to have a WDL. You can also send black players there for the summer to assimilate their game. Work on J's, free throws, and poor defense. When Jordan raised the stakes, it was a product of game assimilation. When he first came into the league he was an uncouth savage with the basketball. Then he got some cuff-links and an 18-footer. LeBron needs to do the same thing. So do many other negroes in the league. Send them off to Caucasian Camp! A complete basketball player is a mix of black and white.

And since race is an issue that really grinds my gears, one more note: can we chill with the white MVPs? I don't want to hate on Nash or Dirk, but this is some serious affirmative action going on when caucasians take three mvp's in a row. And seriously, does defense matter in the determining of a valuable player? No offense, but there's not a caucasian in the league who can play defense.

(And don't talk to me about AK, he can't defend the ball, and he's not really human. He's Drago reincarnated. Don't argue against this. I will break you. )

All these white mvp's should get an asterisk. It sends a bad message to the children.

and on that note, I'm out .... thus spach TANathustra


At 7/13/2007 2:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Darkofan: Re: Racial Allstar games.

The frank exchanges on race in Freedarko are generally appreciated.

However, the remark in the piece about somebody "winning again" may go too far, to illustrate -- how about another team of the darkest blacks- Diap; Mike Finley; etc. , that "loses".

At 7/13/2007 2:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Kobe-for-Lebron bit is one of my favorite things I've read on this site. Brilliant.

Team Other: Yao, JJ Barea (Mexican), Jordan Farmar (Jewish), Ben Gordon (British), Sam Cassell (alien),

At 7/13/2007 3:02 PM, Blogger Brickowski said...

Good stuff TAN. Something tells me that the WhNBA would suddenly start pulling back all those viewers who left to watch poker, UFC, NASCAR and all of those other new sports that only saw ratings go up as the percentage of white NBAers went down.

At 7/13/2007 3:05 PM, Blogger MC Welk said...

Thanks for the link to the labiararians via your own blog. Was it the Amy TAN joke that lured you, or some other "other"?

At 7/13/2007 3:18 PM, Blogger Brickowski said...

Hey, none of that here. FreeDarko supports Guybrarians.

At 7/13/2007 3:45 PM, Blogger Doug said...

any idea what dorm room those be-condomed young lasses hang around?

and, err, yes. quite. basketball talk. couldn't the other team also include Greg Oden, who clearly is part ent?

At 7/13/2007 3:48 PM, Blogger goathair said...

I snorted at "Team Halfsies."

Hinrich is a good defender.

At 7/13/2007 4:11 PM, Blogger Ty Keenan said...

RE: Caucasian Camp. Is there a Black Camp hosted by d-league black players, or is the idea that the white guys are beyond help?

I think we need to have a national draft for Ben Gordon. I still feel uncomfortable every time someone says he's British when he grew up in Mount Vernon.

At 7/13/2007 4:15 PM, Blogger Josh said...

on the Kobe tip, has any read MVP: A Novel by James Boice?

holy shit, it's like Free Darko meets Bret Easton Ellis. I've got half a mind to think Boice IS Shoals.

At 7/13/2007 4:31 PM, Blogger JTExperience said...

Team Whitey should be

And be coached by Don Nelson. They would be really, really fast.
Dang, no Americans on the whole thing. hm. Sub in Hinrich and Luke Walton.

At 7/13/2007 4:40 PM, Blogger JTExperience said...

What about Team Fugly?

Chris Quinn
Joakim Noah
Chris Kaman


At 7/13/2007 4:48 PM, Blogger E said...

I'd like to see Team Republican vs. Team Democrat. Spencer Hawes and Etan Thomas fighting over low post position like it was a seat on the Supreme Court. And I can't wait for the day when Team Jew can actually field a starting lineup.

At 7/13/2007 6:22 PM, Blogger Ben Q. Rock said...

Think Dolph Schayes can be coaxed out of retirement to play some three-on-five with Danny and Farmar?

At 7/13/2007 6:41 PM, Blogger Pichi Campana Aguanta said...

I have nothing to add but applause, TAN. Genius all the way around.

At 7/13/2007 7:23 PM, Blogger Ty Keenan said...

E: "If you will it, it is no dream."

At 7/13/2007 8:09 PM, Blogger Not My Padre said...

What about a Latino team?

Agent Zero, Carmelo, Barbosa, Ginobili, Nocioni, Luis Scola, Anderson Varejao, Carlos Delfino, Carlos Arroyo, and Nene.

That could be a good team.

At 7/13/2007 9:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"LeBron and Odom could actually become Jordan and Pippen."

Sad how one sentence can ruin a decent article. TAN, not your best work, I hope.

At 7/13/2007 11:20 PM, Blogger stopmikelupica said...

Not My Padre beat me to it, but yeah: Team South America (are Brazilians Latinos? I mean, they are obviously not Hispanic, but they are a part of Latin America... how does that work?). And ten props for correctly adding Gilbert Arenas and Carmelo Anthony. It may be a little light on good big men (maybe we can annex Tim Duncan from the islands, or add Yao and Yi and make it Asian+ Latinos), but it would be hard for the brothas to beat.

And I was just thinking about Larry Bird's comments ("I hate it when they had white guys guarding me") the other day, as the basis of a future post....

Now when is TAN going to right about the Knicks again so I have someone else other than Brown Recluse to argue with on this site?!?

At 7/14/2007 12:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Am I the only person who thinks Pietrus could provide the Cleveland organization with everything they wanted from Larry Hughes (and failed to get after the FAT contract)? And for the MLE no less?

I hear Dallas wants him badly... he would battle Stackhouse and Terry for SG minutes, and basically make Devean George a 3/4.

At 7/14/2007 12:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pietrus will probably end up somewhere besides Dallas for more money.

If Dallas ends up with Steve Francis AND Chris Webber, they will be the most hated team in the NBA since Payton and Malone were in Lakerland.

wv: xighuuuo - The noise T. makes when he has diarrhea.

At 7/14/2007 12:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is Deron Williams a member of team halfsies?

On team blackies, isn't Iverson a perfect sixth man? Shouldn't Baron (or CP3) really be the starter?

On the Cracker team, I'd take KaPOW Gasol as the center.

At 7/14/2007 12:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

read a book, or giant insane negroes will attack you!

At 7/14/2007 4:45 AM, Blogger Ty Keenan said...

I'm not sure Pietrus gives Cleveland anything they don't already have in spades. Solid defender, no handle, can hit a corner three but not regularly, decent enough rebounder (but nothing special), pretty good finisher. I'm not sure that's worth the MLE on a team that already has some bad contracts.

At 7/14/2007 6:33 AM, Blogger aeneas said...

everybody could have made those jokes if he was forced to try to be funny on topics racism and nba... far below the usual fd level and way too shallow

At 7/14/2007 9:44 AM, Anonymous Oil Can Boyd said...

aeneas: Agreed. I don't come here to read Snakes on a Plane.

At 7/14/2007 10:00 AM, Blogger Freddie said...

Heinrich is one of the top 12 defenders in the association.

At 7/14/2007 10:41 AM, Blogger Nate said...

Jordan Farmar has to get some burn off the bench for the halfsies...

At 7/14/2007 11:16 AM, Blogger Not My Padre said...

Stop Mike Lupica, I think Brazilians would count as "Latinos" as Portuguese is a Latin language. But so are French and Romanian, and nobody considers them Latino. I think Portuguese counts, but I am not sure.

At 7/14/2007 1:12 PM, Anonymous padraig said...

not my padre/sml: Wull, as I see it Portuguese and its' speakers have got be considered as Latin cos both Portugal and Brazil are closely related, both geographically and to a varying degree culturally, with their respective neighbors on either side of the Atlantic Ocean. Whereas the French, for example, speak a similar language but have a totally separate and distinct culture; this gets really tricky when you try to put Catalans like Pau and soon-to-be JC Navarro (and Our Future Savior, the Great Ricky Rubio) on the Hispanic team. So in that sense I'd put Nene, Barbosa and Co on the Hispanic team. But if you're looking at it from a pure racial standpoint, I mean, Nene is indisputably black and, Varejao's nearly white and Barbosa is somewhere in between. And then if you toss the Argentines in Manu and Nocioni are even whiter than my pale ass. So, yeah...I'm sure TAN's speculating was all in good fun but if you actually set out to think it through everything gets complicated super-fast. With that mind, here are a couple of teams I'd like to see just for fun:

Team Africa-Deng, Diop, Sene, DJ Mbenga, Pops Mensah-Bonsu, Okafor, Ike Diogu, Cheikh Samb, Mutumbo
This team is CRAAAAZY. No guards, and Deng is the only guy who can do anything besides dunk without turning the ball over in grotesque fashion. On the other hand can you imagine the impossibly terrifying prospect of trying to go the rim on those guys? As a bonus, combined they're probably fluent in 24,893 languages.

Team Random: Yao, Biedrins (Latvia), Petteri Koponen (Finland), Franscico Elson (Surinam/Dutch), Zaza Pachulia (Georgia), Mehmet Okur, Farmar, Pat Burke (Ireland), Thabo Sefolosha (Switzerland/South African dad) *spiritual predecessors-Divac, Kukoc, Marciulionis
Forget the avalanche of Lithuanians, Serbs, Croatians and Russians. The Spaniards and Argentines regularly knock around the US team. Even the Greeks, Italians and French (well, guys from French Caribbean islands, really) have been churning out players for a while. This is the team for dudes from places with little or no basketball tradition or who are the only guy EVER from their country to make the NBA. I realize including Yao is stretching it a little, but he makes it due to the overwhelming lack of Asians (sorry, Yuta Tabuse). Even with Yao this team sucks but Team Random isn't about winning, its' about spiritual catharsis. Make it happen, Stern.

At 7/14/2007 4:00 PM, Anonymous Cyanide said...

I see Team Africa totally putting up more blocks than points. Brilliant.

At 7/14/2007 4:09 PM, Blogger Ty Keenan said...

At the risk of making things more serious than they've been in this thread, could the fact that there are no African guards or wings have something to do with fetishist talent scouts only seeing the Negro's ability to play basketball in terms of his size? There are a ton of holes in this theory, most notably that playing guard or wing requires more skill and most of these guys didn't play basketball until a very late stage. There's also the whole soccer thing.

Can someone with better knowledge of disciplinary history say if the Artest/Jackson suspensions are longer than usual for cases like these?

At 7/14/2007 4:49 PM, Blogger PeteJayhawk said...

So now Angola and Macau are Latin countries?

Your lack of knowledge re: things Brazilian is startling.

At 7/14/2007 5:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Writing about racially segregated Dream Teams clothed in the magic bulletproof vest of actual negritude isn't shooting fish in a barrel, it's dynamiting them after you poison them first. What's next, televangelists sure are stupid and pop music sucks? Moving targets, please!

At 7/14/2007 6:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

this whole thread and no mention of mike miller ... sad

At 7/14/2007 6:22 PM, Anonymous padraig said...

ty keenan: I'd wager that there are a couple reasons for the lack of African guards/wings, one of which you mentioned, namely that there's not much of an infrastructure in place for guys to learn skills. I'd guess that that drives scouts towards looking only at size and athleticism, given that a long,skinny, raw 7 ft dude who can jump is a much better bet than a freakishly athletic PG with no ball skills. It also seems like most NBA teams don't scout Africa as well or as thoroughly as they do Europe, South America or even Asia. The other thing is that I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of African guards/wings who do get 'found' wind up Europe and struggle to get the PT to get noticed by NBA scouts w/the reluctance of most Euro coaches to put developing young guys, especially raw ones, ahead of winning. Also, it just seems easier in general for foreign bigs to gain NBA attention than foreign guards.

PeteJayhawk: I think you were kidding, but just to be clear I wasn't making any blanket suggestions, as Brazil is in no way comparable to Angola or Macao. Brazil, unlike the latter two, is surrounded by countries that speak a similar language and have a Hispanic culture, as well as having a fairly large ethnically white Portuguese population which both Angola and Macau lack. So I feel fairly comfortable claiming that Brazil is a Latin country while Angola and Macau are not, not that there's any hard and fast rules about such things.

It would be cool to see a Macanese player in the NBA, or better yet, a Filipino, given how the Phillipines seem to be one of the very few places on Earth where basketball reigns supreme over all sports.

At 7/14/2007 6:45 PM, Blogger Ty Keenan said...

Padraig or anyone: Can you think of any "skilled" Africans other than Ajou (and it turned out he wasn't as good as everyone thought) and Luol Deng? I'm having trouble. I guess it shouldn't be shocking that both came from the same relatively well-off family, so they had the chance to develop skills. Come to think of it, I don't really know much about any African players; background other than the Dengs and Mutombo; I think The Air Up There has unfairly made me assume the big guys all come from less advanced communities.

At 7/14/2007 6:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not sure Pietrus gives Cleveland anything they don't already have in spades.

No offense, but given the context, that's some kind of Freudian slip.

At 7/14/2007 7:00 PM, Blogger Ty Keenan said...

Oh man. That is pretty bad. Apologies. That's why you should always read over your posts, even when it's late and you've been out.

At 7/14/2007 7:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lol, no problem, I just think it's funny how something innocent can seem so twisted under certain circumstances.

At 7/14/2007 10:43 PM, Anonymous Tampa Bay Mike said...

Doesn't Duncan belong on the halfsies? His dad looks white to me.

At 7/15/2007 12:05 AM, Blogger EL MIZ said...

in the post game interview of knicks/warriors, renaldo balkman, in response to clyde frazier's question "where's the party tonight" balkmania responded with "i'm gonna go get lifted with greene."

i tivoed it and replayed it 5 times and im convinced thats what renaldo said. the balkmania legend grows!

At 7/15/2007 12:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I miss Shoals.

At 7/15/2007 1:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike Miller, WNBA MVP.
40pts a game, 15reb, 5asts, .5stls, .3blks. And no games of for "that time of the month."

At 7/15/2007 1:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

OFF not of.

At 7/15/2007 11:27 AM, Blogger Brickowski said...

Duncan's dad was from the West Indies.

At 7/15/2007 2:20 PM, Anonymous The Gong said...

does his dad have 50 bentleys?

At 7/15/2007 2:54 PM, Blogger PeteJayhawk said...


I was indeed kidding. Still, I tend to think of Brazilian, indeed most of South American, culture as distinct. When I think Latin America I think central America, but perhaps this is just in my own mind as opposed to what is generally recognized.

I maintain that Mozambique is Latin as all fuck.

(ha, kidding again.)

At 7/15/2007 10:10 PM, Blogger Chuck said...

This idea is a great one, and crying out for the real-life manifestation of Dave Chappelle's racial draft. Anyone who doesn't fit neatly into Team Black or Team White is eligible to be selected. Wouldn't this be a great one hour on TNT in January, the week between the conference championships and the Super Bowl?

Don Nelson: With the first pick in the NBA racial draft, Team Black selects ... Tiger Woods!

Ernie Johnson: Wha? ... To play basketball?

Bill Walton: Oohhhhhhhh Nooooooo! That's HORRIBLE mistake! Jerry Garcia is turning in his grave! John Wooden NEVER would have passed up to chance the great UCLA Bruin Jordan Farmar!

John Wooden: Yes I would have. With the second pick, Team White selects Henry Bibby.

EJ: John, don't you mean Mike?

Wooden: No, Henry.

EJ: Can I get the doctors to make the neck tumor grow back so I don't have to do this anymore?

Hey, don't get squeamish now 'cause we're trotting out cancer jokes. You were expecting taste in this thread?

At 7/16/2007 10:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

David Lee on the white team perhaps?

At 7/16/2007 3:57 PM, Blogger Leee said...

"pure racial standpoint" = "amount of melanin a brother has"?

At 7/16/2007 7:07 PM, Blogger Justin said...

David Lee is half Jewish. Others or halfsies I guess. Carmelo is half Puerto Rican. Nene and Barbosa can go on Others. Hortford is like full hispanic I think (right?) so he's on Others. Walton is half I think too -- half Asian, half Walton? And start Chris Paul at point guard over Iverson. All all-star teams need a passing point guard, not a low percentage shooter.

Hey, Survivor did this; why can't the NBA?

At 7/18/2007 11:49 PM, Blogger Danis said...

You could have a New Zealand team: Sean Marks at centre then....

At 7/19/2007 4:07 AM, Anonymous swee said...

re: the Racial All-Star Game and related - thought it was funny at first but honestly i think it went overboard. ideally satire should have a purpose, not just to make yourself feel clever

At 4/13/2009 4:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...




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