If you’re in possession of the ball, one of the first fundamentals of basketball is to establish, and not move, your pivot foot, for if you do, you are in violation. You can move your other foot at will and not be punished. You can kick it, swing it, lung it, slide it, bend it, and damn near do the River Dance with it and you’ll still be alright.
The National Basketball Association had their season interrupted by the coronavirus for a few months. When most of us thought the season was lost, the smart guys in the front offices figured out a way to complete the season and successfully cajoled the players to agree to come back and play at a Disney resort in Florida to close out the season.
I know a lot of those guys didn’t want to live in a bubble for three months but they made the sacrifice and restarted the season in a manner I didn’t think possible. At first I was kinda not liking it, but my love for the sport and the genius way the league made the games entertaining was growing on me day by day. And then I got the notification from the Washington Post.
It was about 4:20pm yesterday when the phone and Apple Watch started freaking out. I tried to ignore it but I snuck a peek and read the Milwaukee Bucks stayed in the locker and refused to come out for warm ups for the game against the Orlando Magic. I knew that that was the moment the bubble was popped.
Earlier in the day I told someone how much I enjoyed having NBA games on everyday again but I couldn’t help but to think that everyday in that bubble has got to be another day of added frustration for the players and I hope nothing sets any of them off where they’d do something stupid. Well, the latest video evidence of a police shooting of an unarmed black man has set them off.
I knew right away the rest of the games for the night were cancelled and quietly hoped it wouldn’t be a one night stand with games resuming the next day. The longer those players stayed in the locker room the more I knew how serious they were. And then the WNBA cancelled their games along with a few baseball teams. Naomi Osaka put down her tennis racket and Kenny The Jet Smith removed his lavaliere microphone and walked off the set.
‘This ain’t a protest. This is a boycott.’LeBron James
Meanwhile, over at the Republican National Convention, it was business as usual. Unlike the Democratic National Convention which was partially prerecorded, the RNC is live in real time. What a horrible week of events to have a convention. Yet, ignoring another police shooting or a hurricane washing ashore, VP Pence held firm on his pivot foot saying, ‘The violence must stop. We will have law and order. You won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America.’
I respect the NBA for taking their billionaire owners to task to try to influence their billionaire friends to start taking police violence seriously, but it’s obvious that’s harder to do than restarting the season because the current government administration has their pivot foot planted firmly on the neck of law and order.
I’m left to believe that when the law and order crowd saw the video of that young man being shot in the back 7-times with his young children in the car looking on, they cheered and applauded like the cop just hit a step-back game winning 3-pointer from 35-feet away from the basket.
Contrast that with the New York Mets player Dominic Smith in a TV interview bawling out with a face soaked in tears explaining why he couldn’t play baseball that night. He was fucked up with emotion like so many others.
I don’t watch political conventions. I believe they’re designed to help the undecided make up their mind. Unless the RNC does a quick pivot, I expect to see the Republicans lose a lot of undecided votes. I honestly, and maybe foolishly, believe there are more decent humane Americans than not.
I’m okay with the NBA boycotting the rest of the season but if the networks are willing to give me a game in lieu of another night of the RNC, I’d have all my TVs on to watch.