Who’s Playing Along with the NBA? On LeBron James, Michael Jordan, Kawhi Leonard & The Rules on Color

I look Arab.  Don't I?  Draft me!

I look Arab. Don’t I? Draft me!

I woke up this morning to a slew of Facebook posts by black people saying how ridiculous it was to have ever spoken of LeBron James as being anywhere near the greatness of Michael Jordan— after last night’s 4-1 San Antonio Spurs blow-out win over LeBron James’ Miami Heat team in the NBA Finals. These posts were given thousands of thumbs-ups — by other black people. White folks wouldn’t go to much trouble to disagree with that. But, white folks were spending their basketball-trash-talking minutes this morning fawning all over the greatness of the most international team (and, arguably the most explicitly anti-black team) in the NBA and, of course, the greatness of their beloved Great White Father, “Pop.” That latter title of the Spurs’ coach always sets to mind for me Adolf Hitler’s name for Nazi Germany as the “Fatherland.” But, I’ve digressed. What I’m going to do in this article is point out: 1) why so many black people show love to Jordan but throw glare on James, and; 2) why so many black people REALLY delighted in seeing the Spurs demolish the Heat.

WHY SO MANY BLACK PEOPLE SHOW LOVE TO MICHAEL JORDAN BUT THROW GLARE ON LEBRON JAMES
No, the facts do not bear out that MJ and LBJ are widely separated by performance.

From the outstanding article on Black Men on Sports (BOSS), BOSS Sports | Vigalantee: LeBron, Show Black Pride Openly And You’ve Got MJ Beat:

“Michael Jordan’s team did not clear .500 in the regular season until his fourth season in the league, 1987-1988, when Scottie Pippen and Horace Grant came aboard and Doug Collins was coach….”

The Cav’s went to the playoffs [James’] 3rd season in the league and that was coming straight out of H.S. while Jordan came into the league after 2 years of college ball. James left Cleveland for Miami and has reached the Finals in all three years, winning twice. Through 10 years, Jordan holds a 3-2 edge in championships and Finals MVPs. James has a 4-3 edge in Finals appearances and regular-season MVPs. The numbers for these two all-time greats are through Jordan’s age-31 year and James’ age-28 year. “

Like most beliefs that do not reconcile with the facts, this one about Jordan far out-performing James is based upon bias. In this case, it is a bias caused by white folks to further their system of domination.

A lot of black people dislike LeBron James, essentially, because a lot of white folks dislike him: kinda the way black people disliked Malcolm X in his day because, they were told was an adequate reason, The Minister advocated “violence” ( self-defense).
In LBJ’s case, somehow it’s related to “how The Decision was done.” That was a product created by the white folks who control marketing. LBJ had every right to profit from it though all the money he made from it went to charity. James also had/has every right to be vocal about his confidence. When white men do it, it’s called “leadership.” When black men do it, it’s called “cockiness” (not surprisingly). Think about the word, “cocky.” Minister Malcolm was not a well-behaved Negro and neither is King James of America. I understand that we don’t like those of us whom our dominators don’t like because those rebels make us nervous. But, we gotta deal with that nervousness in a more constructive way. The rebels are right and the dominators are wrong.

WHY SO MANY BLACK PEOPLE REALLY DELIGHTED IN SEEING THE SPURS DEMOLISH THE HEAT

Black people hate blackness, of course. We hate seeing it like a vain 50-yr-old hates looking into mirrors. We prefer to see ourselves as something different, something better, we believe, than we actually are. Most black people prefer to see ourselves as the mulattoes that have replaced us in mass media. This is often discussed as regards black women and hair weaves. But, witness it now in black men: A friend of mine told me this morning that she was watching game 5 last night in a lounge. My friend told me, “at a table next to mine were several young black men who talked about The Spurs having a black man from this country and that…how this one was mixed with this and that….they high-fived when the Spurs scored and one yelled for them to whoop them ‘black mutha fuckas asses'”

Hasn’t anyone noticed how the NBA has had, for the last 5-10 years, a much higher percentage of lighter-skinned black players than exists in the general population or that existed before that time? Professional sports have now become like any other job. Lighter skin can qualify you when ability alone cannot. This change in policy by the racists was quite deliberate and explained very well in a piece on Aljazeera, entitled, Far from Sterling: Rebranding racism in sports, written during the 2nd round of this year’s NBA play-offs:

“The National Basketball Association (NBA) has evolved into a global commodity. With fans all over the world, its top athletes are as recognisable as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Although a worldwide brand today, the NBA’s struggle has long been selling a “Black game” to a white audience stateside, and non-Blacks on the international front.

‘Less black and more professional’

Today 76 percent of NBA players are Black. Before the influx of international talent in the 1990s, the proportion of Black players was even higher. NBA owners, all of whom were white until 2002, set off to do the impossible: convert a predominantly Black NBA into a non-Black league.

First, league owners sought to transform the league’s image. Hip-hop culture was ubiquitous in the NBA, manifested by the music played at stadiums to the style of dress worn by its biggest stars. The corn-rowed Allen Iverson, who commonly wore baseball caps and medallions at press conference, replaced the suit-and-tie professionalism of Michael Jordan.

The shift was far more than merely aesthetic. Jordan personified the apolitical sensibility and trans-racial marketability NBA owners coveted. Jordan was said to ‘transcend race’, while Iverson’s slang resonated more with street kids than corporate sponsors. While Jordan faded away from race and politics, claiming: ‘Republicans buy sneakers, too’, Iverson represented the very culture and community NBA owners sought to clip.”

To “transcend race” means to not talk about racism (the domination of black people). That can include not talking much AT ALL and looking down when not looking at some task on the court. It’s not his fault and I’m not demeaning the Spur small-forward, Kawhi Leonard’s, talent. But, of course, his behavior and speech fit the latter specs. The same can be said of The Oklahoma City Thunder’s Reggie Jackson. Let me reiterate that I am NOT blaming Mr. Leonard or Mr. Jackson. They are being severely victimized and it shows. Victims are not to blame for their victimization. Period.

To be “more professional and less black” as referenced in the Aljazeera piece, means to as much as possible, literally and phenotypically be less black. The international list of black NBA players fits this bill more than it does not. But, it also includes many born right here in these 50 united states in North America. An Arab in Dubai watching an NBA game might think that Danny Green, Tim Duncan, Stephen Curry, or Blake Griffin are Arabs. And, a lot of black people would like to escape their black self-perception by seeing themselves in such players.

In other words, a lot of the dislike that black people have for the Miami Heat, as currently constituted, and much of the fondness we have for the Spurs is not because of the way the latter play team ball but is just plain colorism born of being dominated by non-black folk.

—————————————————
Increasingly, it’s becoming clear that Grandma’s house isn’t the place for our little ones to be when we cannot watch them if Grandma is going to have that TV on. Or, is going to buy white dolls given with hugs and kisses. Or, is going to fawn all over people with lighter-eyes, straighter hair, and/or lighter skin. Or, is going to have a picture of white Jesus or Fard Muhammad on her wall. ETCETERA.”’

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7 Responses to “Who’s Playing Along with the NBA? On LeBron James, Michael Jordan, Kawhi Leonard & The Rules on Color”

  1. I’m definitely looking forward to it.

  2. CREE-EIGHT Says:

    Indeed. Something is VERY off, Kushite Price. I’m going to post a piece about this sometime in the next 24 hours.

  3. As you now know, our former hero, who grew up in the very region that he deserted this evening, is no longer a Cleveland Cavalier.

    This was announced with a several day, narcissistic, self-promotional build-up culminating with a national TV special of his “decision” unlike anything ever “witnessed” in the history of sports and probably the history of entertainment.

    Clearly, this is bitterly disappointing to all of us.

    The good news is that the ownership team and the rest of the hard-working, loyal, and driven staff over here at your hometown Cavaliers have not betrayed you nor NEVER will betray you.

    There is so much more to tell you about the events of the recent past and our more than exciting future. Over the next several days and weeks, we will be communicating much of that to you.

    You simply don’t deserve this kind of cowardly betrayal.

    You have given so much and deserve so much more.

    In the meantime, I want to make one statement to you tonight:

    “I PERSONALLY GUARANTEE THAT THE CLEVELAND CAVALIERS WILL WIN AN NBA CHAMPIONSHIP BEFORE THE SELF-TITLED FORMER ‘KING’ WINS ONE”

    You can take it to the bank.

    If you thought we were motivated before tonight to bring the hardware to Cleveland, I can tell you that this shameful display of selfishness and betrayal by one of our very own has shifted our “motivation” to previously unknown and previously never experienced levels.

    Some people think they should go to heaven but NOT have to die to get there.

    Sorry, but that’s simply not how it works.

    This shocking act of disloyalty from our home grown “chosen one” sends the exact opposite lesson of what we would want our children to learn. And “who” we would want them to grow-up to become.

    But the good news is that this heartless and callous action can only serve as the antidote to the so-called “curse” on Cleveland, Ohio.

    The self-declared former “King” will be taking the “curse” with him down south. And until he does “right” by Cleveland and Ohio, James (and the town where he plays) will unfortunately own this dreaded spell and bad karma.

    Just watch.

    Sleep well, Cleveland.

    Tomorrow is a new and much brighter day….

    I PROMISE you that our energy, focus, capital, knowledge and experience will be directed at one thing and one thing only:

    DELIVERING YOU the championship you have long deserved and is long overdue….

    Dan Gilbert
    Cleveland Cavaliers owner

    All is forgiven?? That seems a bit odd to me. Those are very harsh words. Something seems a bit off to me Cree. I’m sure you’ll have a post about this soon enough. It’s all a bit hard to digest at the moment. The media is going with the “going back home” storyline. It’s mostly been positive. But something still doesn’t feel right to me. Only time will tell. The plot thickens…….

  4. CREE-EIGHT Says:

    ⇑ ⇑ HA! PERFECT pic. 🙂

  5. You’re welcome Cree. I understand where you’re coming from. No worries,I got your back! I know it can get pretty HOT out there!lol

  6. CREE-EIGHT Says:

    KP, you made my morning. I had no internet for the 24-hrs preceding this comment or you’d have heard form me sooner. I reckon a lot of people think I’m on some LeBron/NBA/SPurs tangent that is way out of proportion to the problems before us. But, to me, there is nothing in our time that demonstrates the force of dominance and the correct and incorrect spirits as a response than this Spurs-Heat-NBA drama. I means so much to me–to my grandchildren that are not here yet–that when I yelled out, “Does anybody else smell that?” You yelled back, “Yes! It’s burning over here, too! Let’s find some water.”

  7. You make some great points Cree. I think Lebron has really worked his butt off to get where he is tight now. He will definitely be in the Hall of Fame with the other greats. As much as the haters will hate to admit it. I think his numbers speak for themselves when compared to guys like Kobe and Jordan.

    You said:
    ” lot of black people dislike LeBron James because a lot of white folks dislike him: kinda the way black people disliked Malcolm X in his day because, they were told was an adequate reason, The Minister advocated “violence” ( self-defense).
    In LBJ’s case, somehow it’s related to “how The Decision was done.” That was a product created by the white folks who control marketing. And, LBJ had every right to profit from it. Yet, all the money LBJ made from it went to charity. James also had/has every right to be vocal about his confidence. When white men do it, it’s called “leadership.” When black men do it, it’s called “cockiness” (not surprisingly).”
    This is very true. How many times have we seen that. There is a clear double standard when it come to white folks. The black man is never given the same respect in regards to attitude and demeanor. And you’re correct in your Malcolm example. To many of just repeat whatever white folks say and do. It’s like we can’t think for ourselves. We see what they see. If they see The Heat as thugs–then WE see the same thing.
    You go on:
    “Black people hate blackness, of course. We hate seeing it like a vain 50-yr-old hates looking into mirrors. We prefer to see ourselves as something different, something better, we believe, than we actually are. Most black people prefer to see ourselves as the mulattoes that have replaced us in mass media. This is often discuss it as regards black women and weaves. But, witness it now in black men: A friend of mine told me this morning that she was watching game 5 last night in a lounge. My friend told me, “at a table next to mine were several young black men who talked about The Spurs having a black man from this country and that…how this one was mixed with this and that….they high-fived when the Spurs scored and one yelled for them to Black people hate blackness, of course. We hate seeing it like a vain 50-yr-old hates looking into mirrors. We prefer to see ourselves as something different, something better, we believe, than we actually are. Most black people prefer to see ourselves as the mulattoes that have replaced us in mass media. This is often discuss it as regards black women and weaves. But, witness it now in black men: A friend of mine told me this morning that she was watching game 5 last night in a lounge. My friend told me, “at a table next to mine were several young black men who talked about The Spurs having a black man from this country and that…how this one was mixed with this and that….they high-fived when the Spurs scored and one yelled for them to whoop them ‘black mutha fuckas asses’
    Whoop them ‘black mutha fuckas asses?? WTF??! This is insane!! This reeks of self hatred! Wanting to see biracial people in place of black people is very scary,Cree. This shows how bad our mental state truly is. It is apparent to me that many of us still suffer from Negrophobia. We hate ourselves so much we will gladly root against those that look like us.
    And lastly:
    “To “transcend race” means to not talk about racism (the domination of black people). That can include not talking much AT ALL and looking down when not looking at some task on the court. It’s not his fault and I’m not demeaning the Spur small-forward, Kawhi Leonard’s, talent. But, of course, his behavior and speech fit the latter specs. The same can be said of The Oklahoma City Thunder’s Reggie Jackson. Let me reiterate that I am NOT blaming Mr. Leonard or Mr. Jackson. They are being severely victimized and it shows. Victims are not to blame for their victimization. Period.”

    Transcending race is what MJ,Duncan,Kobe and Tiger Woods has perfected. This is model that the NBA,NFL and baseball would like ALL black men to follow. Even before Jordan you had athletes like Jackie Robinson who played it safe. Although Robinson was the first black athletes to play baseball so the climate was VERY different back then. The racism was much more overt.He had to play it safe so that other black athletes like Ali and Jim Brown could come along later and speak their minds. But I think athletes like Lebron and even Anderson Silva will never get the same love as others. The black man must back down and cower in the face of the white man. To be fully accepted you can’t be seen as brash,too opinionated,too black,race conscious,love black women,embrace Afrocentricity or want to empower your people. If you do any of those things it could be the end of your career……or worse. Many of then know this already. They are just million dollar slaves. Just ask Donald Sterling. But I take my hat off to Lebron. The Heat has made the finals four straight years in a row. And won two of them. That’s not too bad. Nothing to be ashamed of in my opinion.

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