Friday, February 16, 2007

Rus's related note

Rus mentioned at the end of his Amaechi/Hardaway post athletes and honesty. This is something I have been thinking about for a week now since Tyrus Thomas was fined $10,000 by the Bulls for being honest, saying he was only participating in the dunk contest for the money. So here we have two examples of NBA (or former NBA) players being honest and being punished. As fans/media/team owners/league commissioners, what do we want: honesty or cliches?

Most people would say they hate it when players give the cliche answers. This blog's name is a mock tribute to these cliches. I love it when a player tells the truth, or a media member asks the tough question that can't be answered with 'we're gonna take it one game at a time' or any of the other meaningless responses.

Unfortunately, this doesn't happen very often because players get waxed when they do it. It's a classic no-win situation. Or is it?

Maybe it isn't so much a question of being honest or being evasive, but rather a question of timing. Most of the time, go with honesty, but be smart enough to filter yourself when necessary.

Of course, this requires the rest of us to have a similar sense of timing. Hardaway is being ripped by the general public and banned by the NBA, as he should be. But I don't understand the fine levied against Thomas. It's very simple: if I wasn't getting paid, I wouldn't go to work, either. Why is this worthy of a fine?

Having said that, I am admittedly having trouble distinguishing that situation from what happened to Nikolai Davydenko in Sydney a few weeks ago (he's the men's tennis world number three, in case you didn't know--I didn't either) when he said no one cared about the Medibank International tournament and was also fined ten grand--a fine I agreed with. Do I feel this way because the dunk contest is an exhibition and the Medibank is a real tourney? Or does Davydenko's comment show a little more disrespect to the fan?

Forget it. It's a no-win situation after all.


rus said...

You mentioned fans/ media/ owners/ commissioners, but you left out a group that has as much if not more to say about it: sponsors of the leauge, team, and individual athlete. As were seeing from the Hardaway fallout, if you say too much you run the risk of problems in pocketbook. Now that's an extreme case with proper consequences coming to Hardaway, but overall money is a driving factor.
From another angle, every athlete thinks they are going to win whatever game they are about to play, but usually they throw out the cliches that no one believes anymore. It's because they're afraid it's going to turn out like Gilbert Areanas last week, saying that he's gonna put 50 on Portland and scoring 9 and the team loses. He got ripped to no end. The spectre of the bulletin board is scary in deed.
But it's Chad Johnson who is the most fun athlete, because he'll say crazy things and have a good time with it all. I think that's what more fans are looking for. It's more fun to be a fan of "Ocho-Cinco" than Peyton Manning. Peyton didn't even really appear to enjoy the Super Bowl win.

Chris said...

Good point. I guess that is the defining factor for me. I don't want to hear about their politics or moral opinions. But I like a player who says what he feels about the game and the competition. I've got no problem with Arenas. Say what you want and be ready to back it up. But if they shut you down, congrats to them. But avoid the 'guaranteed win'--it's now cliche. In fact, I'm going to add that to the intro blurb right now.
Arenas, C Johnson, Tyrus Thomas, Charles Barkley and Brett Hull: good. Hardaway, Davydenko, John Rocker: bad.

PJ said...

I propose that a player has one chance in a lifetime to use the "Guaranteed Win" statement and it can only be in the playoffs. Mark Messier guaranteed one win and two weeks later he was being awarded the Stanley Cup. Anyone who uses it in a regular season game is automatically taken out by a spare player on the other team and there can be no retaliation. And if they're right, they are celebrated, and if they're wrong, they are still seen as gutsy enough to believe in their team that much.

rus said...

Well, one of the greatest ones I remember was when Jimmy Johnson garauntees that the Cowboys would beat either the Redskins or the 49ers during their first Super Bowl run. He said put it in 10 inch letters. That was awesome. Especially when they backed it up.

Chris said...

JJ (I think it was against the Niners in the '92 NFC championship) and Messier were the two originals that made it bold and great, but since then the copycats have cliched it to death through overuse, especially in the regular season as PJ mentioned.