We're all stuck here for a while

First, there was this:

"Hopefully, he's not fighting anymore and going after a guy in the stands."
Then, there was this:

"I understand what Yao said, but I'm still ghetto. That's not going to change. I'm never going to change my culture. Yao has played with a lot of black players, but I don't think he's ever played with a black player that really represents his culture as much as I represent my culture.

I was a little worried about something like this:

Fortunately, last night, there was this:

I spoke to Yao and I told him I can't wait to play with him....I was a little bit disturbed, mainly because [of] the brawl comments. That's four years removed from now, maybe four or five years removed … I wanted [Yao] to know I was a little bit frustrated, but I understand where he's coming from. But I cannot wait to be a part of that team.

As FreeDarko's resident Asian, I breathed a deep sigh of relief when I read that. There have been some tense moments between Asian-Americans and African-Americans throughout our history, but this is an encouraging sign that Yao and Ron Ron can come to some sort of mutual understanding. To help with the healing, I offer this brief photo essay.

No more of this:

More of this:

Incidentally, there's a pretty simple solution to Paul Pierce's "I'm the best in the league" or Jordan's "handicap me a decade and I'd dominate Kobe" noise we've been hearing this summer:

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At 8/01/2008 12:14 PM, Blogger The Hypnotoad said...

This is one of those things that the media is going to push and prod on all the players until someone says something dumb and it escalates even more. My bet is Ron's gone after next season when they lose in the second or first round. Have they even extended his contract?

At 8/01/2008 1:37 PM, Blogger Etchasketchist said...

You forgot this:


At 8/01/2008 3:36 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

About the other team in this deal. . .


At 8/01/2008 4:03 PM, Blogger jawaan oldham said...

Goodness, Shoals, was that sarcasm?

As far as the Ron/Yao business, it's over. Ron-Ron may be crazy, but he's not stupid, and he knows that Yao wasn't pulling that comment entirely out of his ass. While the chances of them being best friends are questionable, they're not going to be at each other's throats. Ron would have to stand on a chair to reach in any case.

At 8/01/2008 4:37 PM, Blogger Dr. Lawyer IndianChief said...

thats funny, i've always thought of artest as being stupid, but not crazy.

At 8/01/2008 5:38 PM, Blogger jawaan oldham said...

Maybe he's a little of both, but I definitely submit that he's a little nuts, and I'm not basing that assessment as largely on Auburn Hills as one might think. It's something you can see in his eyes, they have that jittery, slightly unfocused look that usually means "all right . . . back up . . ."

At 8/01/2008 7:02 PM, Blogger salt_bagel said...

So what's the overlap between "ghetto" and "crazy" then? It strikes me that there's a little "crazy" in "ghetto," but a very specific type. Can you be ghetto without being crazy? Is that a racist question? Can you believe you're ghetto but just be crazy instead? Is Ron's crazy different or more expansive than the crazy that we usually see with ghetto? And do people who identify with ghetto lay claim to a certain brand of crazy, deserving to be excused for it because others don't understand?

At 8/01/2008 7:46 PM, Blogger R. Lobstah said...

Is anyone bothered by the reading into Artest's comments that...

A) none of the other black players in the NBA are keeping it real?

B) that Ghetto is another way of saying, "If disrespected I will act in a way that compromises everything my people (whatever that person considers their people, in this case the team) are working towards, the investment made in that effort both in sweat and money, and in all that I represent outside of that moment?

C) that none of his apologies were sincere.

D) that being black means being misunderstood, aggressive and self involved?

Those are not my observations regarding Ghetto, or black culture but a reading into what it is Artest thinks genuine Ghetto and black culture is all about. I think it feeds into a stereo-type and if black culture were about these things I would view it as an enemy culture. I would have to agree that stupid is one of Artest's traits, and I wouldn't take his observations of any culture to be particularly nuanced or consistent.

At 8/02/2008 1:10 AM, Blogger SeanBS said...

To be fair, Kenneth Eng isn't indicative of any Asian-American trend. He's a special kind of crazy, even more than Artest is.

At 8/02/2008 2:08 AM, Blogger stopmikelupica said...

Artest's comments can be shortened to as such: "I f*cking represent".

You can make all the necessary arguments - what does it mean to "represent"; isn't that really bringing down black culture, etc. - but it isn't a new argument. It's the same argument the black community has been having within itself for a while, mainly between the "educated" elite portion of the community, and the poverty-stricken portion. Those in the poverty, in the ghetto, like where Artest comes from (the largest PJs in America), would argue that there is value in the code of the street. I personally would agree there is some, but it's debateable. Those who argue against the whole "I represent" culture of the street would base their arguments on criminal behavior, the self-destruction of the community, and then need to find a better way.

My point isn't to choose sides in that argument; it's to point out that what Artest said isn't really that odd a statement. We've all heard it in various other contexts, mostly from the hip-hop community. Perhaps nobody in the NBA truly represents that element of hip-hop - the street element - more than Ron Artest, the baller/rapper from the QB projects, the neighborhood that has produced more rappers per capita than any other in the world....

At 8/02/2008 11:54 AM, Blogger salt_bagel said...

My opinion is that the code of the street helps and hurts in different ways, but it's there for a reason, and you could imagine the ghetto being worse without it. But that merit doesn't require you to carry it everywhere you go. It's the code of the street, and it's made to function in that context. To say that switching to a different register is some sort of sell out is kind of myopic. Although I can also see that it could be burned into your brain so hard that you can't lose it. Coming back around, is it okay to say that there's more than one right way to represent? I want to believe that there's some use in the way Artest does it, and without people like him, it would leave a blind spot.

Fuck, I make it sound so academic, when I know that's the last thing it's supposed to be.

At 8/02/2008 2:36 PM, Blogger FunWithLogic said...

Ghetto is just another word for nothing left to lose.

It's very possible that Artest would not be the kind of player he is without this infinite intensity. He is not one to remain within certain conventional bounds and if you take that away, he might become more of an average player with very little fire. I wish that my hometown Kings could have done more with him.

Also, isn't it good that Yao might be taken out of his element a little bit? Doesn't it seem to be his element/psychological disposition that keeps him from utilizing his physical skills to a greater (or different) extent on the floor? If Artest can upstart a bunch of scrubs in Sacto into a playoff team, just think what he can do with a team that tends to underperform (at least when it counts).

At 8/02/2008 5:25 PM, Blogger Colonel D. Williams (Ret.) said...

I love the Branded to Kill #3 Yakuza reference. I remember that film when I was stationed in Japan.

But who would be the #3 yakuza in the NBA? I can't think of anyone who has that Peter Sellers stumbling towards greatness quality.


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