But don’t we pay them to be jerks?

Nuggets Knicks hard foulOn the bright side, at least the Nuggets / Knicks brawl last night has us talking about something other than where Allen Iverson might be traded to.

I’m sure you have probably noticed that the NBA has been diseased for awhile now.

The NBA is infected with an increasing number of people who are so repugnant that most of us would hate to have to deal with their egos and selfishness in our personal, everyday lives, but because we don’t have to, and because their physical gifts help our beloved teams, these goons are instead adored.

To be sure, there still are some classy people in the NBA who are both good players and good men, but like a cancer growing in an otherwise healthy body, the good players who aren’t also good people are weakening the league, and it is beginning to succumb.

I feel for David Stern on this one; it is a hard nut to crack.

Most businesses don’t want to hire arrogant, self-centered jerks and then lean on them to be nice, they would rather just hire nice people. Unfortunately for professional sports, they have to hire these donkeys, and then hire coaches who not only know the game, but who might also know ways to keep these “heroes” from poisoning their own teams.

But just as the cold tablet that makes our sniffles go away for a time does nothing to cure the actual virus making us sick, the symptomatic treatments the NBA has been applying, such as dress codes and cracking down on poor sportsmanship, is not curing the problem.

A Neanderthal with a tie is still a Neanderthal.

These players are not gentlemen. They are not sportsmen. They are not role models. They are in some cases the lesser element of society who we’ve made rich, pampered, and egotistical because they have athletic gifts.

It takes a different skill set to be a good person than it does to be a good player, and much more work goes into being a good player than a good person.

Choirboy Steve Nash is verbally abusive to a rookie reporter, but he is okay in our book because he can pass. Dirk Nowitzki slaps towels to the floor out of the hands of ball boys and treats them like worms, but we cheer him because he is a 7 footer that can shoot 3 pointers. And if Carmelo Anthony can lead Team U.S.A. to an Olympic Gold Medal, how many of us Americans are willing to overlook the fact that after the brawling had subsided, Carmelo Anthony broke away to sucker punch Mandy Collins in the face? Hmm… Hey, Melo, what happened to “B MORE?!”

As fans, we’ve decided not see what jerks our favorite players are. So long as they play well for us, we’re fine with that. On the other hand, we have also reserved the right be appalled when we can’t help but see what jerks they are. Until then, we will cheer them, pay to see them, and pay to own their jerseys and sneakers, and beat up total strangers in blogs defending them. That being the case, why should they change?

The NBA is rotting from the inside out. We are all witnesses
— and accomplices.

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