PennStateHoops.com Discussion Forum

John Amaechi on Kobe Bryant's outburst


#1

Meech nails this one right out of the park in this NY Times article.


#2

It’s a nice article.

I think 100k is excessive (and offensive in itself) and does nothing for either side of this, the offended nor the offender. I’ll leave it at that.


#3

[quote=“Craftsy21, post:2, topic:2326”]It’s a nice article.

I think 100k is excessive (and offensive in itself) and does nothing for either side of this, the offended nor the offender. I’ll leave it at that. [/quote]

If someone making $100,000 per year were fined a similar proportion, it would be about $400.


#4
[quote="Craftsy21, post:2, topic:2326"]It's a nice article.

I think 100k is excessive (and offensive in itself) and does nothing for either side of this, the offended nor the offender. I’ll leave it at that.[/quote]

If someone making $100,000 per year were fined a similar proportion, it would be about $400.

It’s not excessive and/or offensive in proportion to one’s salary. It’s both those things all on it’s own.


#5
[quote="Craftsy21, post:2, topic:2326"]It's a nice article.

I think 100k is excessive (and offensive in itself) and does nothing for either side of this, the offended nor the offender. I’ll leave it at that.[/quote]

If someone making $100,000 per year were fined a similar proportion, it would be about $400.

Even less I think. Kobe makes $24.8 million per year, or $300k per game, not counting playoffs. So, 1/3 of a day’s work, or about $133 on a salary of $100,000. And they probably take it out pre tax, which saves the team a bit of money(no payroll tax), so Kobe’s cost only about 55-60% of that. Still, buys a nice car, the 100k anyway.


#6

It’s a well written article, as expected from Meech.

But is this what the world has come to, that any time someone says anything inappropriate, this kind of response is necessary?


#7

[quote=“Tom, post:6, topic:2326”]It’s a well written article, as expected from Meech.

But is this what the world has come to, that any time someone says anything inappropriate, this kind of response is necessary?[/quote]

So I gather your assessment of JA13’s writing is a stylistic one based on his vocabulary and syntax, and that the substance of his argument had no effect on you?


#8

[quote=“Tom, post:6, topic:2326”]It’s a well written article, as expected from Meech.

But is this what the world has come to, that any time someone says anything inappropriate, this kind of response is necessary?[/quote]

I was going to say that what Kobe did was totally lame, but that opens a whole other can of worms.

I’ve caught myself sometimes using the word “gay” like I just used the word “lame”. The “f-word”, though, is on a par with the “n-word” and the “c-word” for women. I think it’s a different level of hurt for the people to whom those words are directed.


#9

I proudly display John’s book “Man In The Middle” on my sports bookshelf at home. And when anyone asks, I tell them about it, to which they will say “there was a gay guy who played in the NBA?” More of a naive response than anything you can consider what Kobe spewed, but a response of disbelief nonetheless, to which I find troublesome.

I’m proud of John and for all he has done for “his people”. For they represent so many people who have ever had to deal with this sort of bigotry and arrogance.

It’s been a dozen or so years since I last worked the NBA circuit and I don’t miss it one bit. And I go back to All-Star Weekend in 1997 in Cleveland as one of those reasons for my decision to walk away from covering the league. The year before, I was doing a story on Terrell Brandon, making his first All-Star appearance (he was a good kid who I really liked, but that has nothing to do with the point I’m making). It was during that day of interviews with the Cavs that I had a brief encounter, my first and only, with John Amaechi in the hallways of Gund Arena. Yes, we shared the Penn State connection, but I got a real sense of how gentlemanly and wise he was compared to other NBA players.

Spin forward a year later in that same Gund Arena hallway, and an interview we had set up for a teenage star in the making who was making his first All-Star appearance, albeit in the rookie game and slam dunk contest.

It was a weekend celebration of 50 years of NBA basketball in which the 50 greatest players gathered at Gund Arena. I was incredibly fortunate to get to stay in the same hotel as these 50 greats. Imagine having the elevator open up and walking in on George Mikan, Julius Erving and Moses Malone. Then sitting at a table next to Bob Cousy, Bill Russell and John Havlicek while eating breakfast. The word surreal comes to mind.

Anyway, while the 50 greatest were coming together for a photo shoot on the Gund Arena floor, we had to drop everything and cut our time short with this incredible scene to go do this “extremely important” interview with this rookie in the very same hallway and spot that I met Amaechi a year earlier.

While we waited and waited, I was missing all the festivities with the true men who had made the league what it was over the course of those first 50 years. Finally, this rookie walks in and sits down. Now I don’t expect a 19 year old kid to be as wise or as cordial as the Erving’s or Cousy’s or Russell’s of the world. Far from it. But he just seemed so downright arrogant. Yes, he was a highly talented player on the court. But in just my one brief encounter with this soon to be superstar of the sport, I got a sour taste and feel and just thought that if this is what the league will now turn into, I don’t really want any part of it. Of course, that was my first of several encounters with Kobe Bryant, and while I will not call him a bad person, he isn’t that, he just always seemed to be arrogant and above everyone else.

I never got that feeling with Magic or Michael, and certainly not with Charles Barkley (though I’m sure he’s uttered a few things that he’s had to apologize for:-) or guys like Karl Malone or Shaquille O’Neal, all members of the “50 Greatest” who I had the pleasure to see together that day in Cleveland.

It was just a very interesting juxtaposition that day inside Gund Arena, and one that still hangs with me 14 years later.


#10
[quote="Tom, post:6, topic:2326"]It's a well written article, as expected from Meech.

But is this what the world has come to, that any time someone says anything inappropriate, this kind of response is necessary?[/quote]

So I gather your assessment of JA13’s writing is a stylistic one based on his vocabulary and syntax, and that the substance of his argument had no effect on you?

Whatever happened to “sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me”?

Serious though, I just don’t like how on guard society seems to be these days, for any human attribute in which “society” deems lessor than “normal”. Kobe is an idiot for saying what he said, especially knowing his celebrity status is constantly being watched and listened to, but this response seems overkill. The word used is also one of those double-standard words (like the N* word) that seems to be OK for some to use, but not for others.


#11
[quote="Tom, post:6, topic:2326"]It's a well written article, as expected from Meech.

But is this what the world has come to, that any time someone says anything inappropriate, this kind of response is necessary?[/quote]

So I gather your assessment of JA13’s writing is a stylistic one based on his vocabulary and syntax, and that the substance of his argument had no effect on you?

Whatever happened to “sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me”?

Serious though, I just don’t like how on guard society seems to be these days, for any human attribute in which “society” deems lessor than “normal”. Kobe is an idiot for saying what he said, especially knowing his celebrity status is constantly being watched and listened to, but this response seems overkill. The word used is also one of those double-standard words (like the N* word) that seems to be OK for some to use, but not for others.

I kind of agree. IMO, it happens cause many people value group rights over individual rights. So, what Kobe said wasn’t so much a verbal assault on an individual, but a verbal assault against a group, one its members consider unique and deserving of special treatment. Would Meech have been upset if he had called the ref, “a fat, blind, stupid piece of s***?” So, who does he care about, the guy, or himself and his group?


#12
[quote="Tom, post:6, topic:2326"]It's a well written article, as expected from Meech.

But is this what the world has come to, that any time someone says anything inappropriate, this kind of response is necessary?[/quote]

So I gather your assessment of JA13’s writing is a stylistic one based on his vocabulary and syntax, and that the substance of his argument had no effect on you?

Whatever happened to “sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me”?

Serious though, I just don’t like how on guard society seems to be these days, for any human attribute in which “society” deems lessor than “normal”. Kobe is an idiot for saying what he said, especially knowing his celebrity status is constantly being watched and listened to, but this response seems overkill. The word used is also one of those double-standard words (like the N* word) that seems to be OK for some to use, but not for others.

I kind of agree. IMO, it happens cause many people value group rights over individual rights. So, what Kobe said wasn’t so much a verbal assault on an individual, but a verbal assault against a group, one its members consider unique and deserving of special treatment. Would Meech have been upset if he had called the ref, “a fat, blind, stupid piece of s***?” So, who does he care about, the guy, or himself and his group?

Kid…etal…On one hand I understand your comments…THEN I think how they apply to the work place. Kobe is the highest paid employee and “the face” of a very large very public business (LA Lakers.) Image if another company’s CEO (face of the company) of a large public US business used the same word in front of a TV camera. What would happen?? Slap on the wrist…NOT hardly!!


#13
[quote="Tom, post:6, topic:2326"]It's a well written article, as expected from Meech.

But is this what the world has come to, that any time someone says anything inappropriate, this kind of response is necessary?[/quote]

So I gather your assessment of JA13’s writing is a stylistic one based on his vocabulary and syntax, and that the substance of his argument had no effect on you?

Whatever happened to “sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me”?

Serious though, I just don’t like how on guard society seems to be these days, for any human attribute in which “society” deems lessor than “normal”. Kobe is an idiot for saying what he said, especially knowing his celebrity status is constantly being watched and listened to, but this response seems overkill. The word used is also one of those double-standard words (like the N* word) that seems to be OK for some to use, but not for others.

I kind of agree. IMO, it happens cause many people value group rights over individual rights. So, what Kobe said wasn’t so much a verbal assault on an individual, but a verbal assault against a group, one its members consider unique and deserving of special treatment. Would Meech have been upset if he had called the ref, “a fat, blind, stupid piece of s***?” So, who does he care about, the guy, or himself and his group?

Kid…etal…On one hand I understand your comments…THEN I think how they apply to the work place. Kobe is the highest paid employee and “the face” of a very large very public business (LA Lakers.) Image if another company’s CEO (face of the company) of a large public US business used the same word in front of a TV camera. What would happen?? Slap on the wrist…NOT hardly!!

Well, a comment like that by a CEO could threaten an organization, and should be fired. They have standards of behavior, and that clearly crosses the line. But the 100k fine, and Meech’s article have more to do with group dynamics and rights than individual rights. Look at this part…

I challenge you to freeze-frame Bryant’s face in that moment of conflict with the referee Bennie Adams. Really examine the loathing and utter contempt, and realize this is something with which almost every lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender person is familiar. That is the sentiment people face in middle and high schools, in places of worship, work and even in their own homes across the United States.

…he’s advocating for himself and his group. He doesn’t care about Bennie Adams. For him, it’s bigger than that. It’s a societal issue. Individual rights don’t matter. The group(and you can pick any which one) is all that matters. It’s sort of semi-collectivist. Groups with an agenda. Groups as victims. Why doesn’t the 100k go to Bennie Adams? Wasn’t he the one supposedly abused? My bet is they’ll send it to a GLBT(is that the proper acronym?) center first, in a peace offering. Guilt. The hell with Bennie, the group deserves it.


#14

Is it really wanting “special treatment” when you don’t want hurtful slurs uttered against your “group”? If he calls the ref an “a$$hole” or a “son of a bitch”, he isn’t using a slur that demeans a group of people. Using the word that Kobe did is pretty much trying to put down the ref by comparing him to a group of people that Kobe would obviously consider “lesser”, otherwise why use the word. It was clearly an insult. As John touched upon, it’s the equivalent of someone using the “n” word. How do you think Kobe would take that?

Do you really think that this is the first time that Kobe has used this word? I certainly don’t. I’ve played sports all my life, and I’ve certainly called other players or an official an “ahole” or a “prick” or something along those lines, but it’s never even occurred to me to call an official by the word that Kobe used. In fact, I’m sure that I’ve never called anyone that word. Just as I’ve never called anyone the “n” word, or a “jew”, or a derogatory name for Italians or Polish, etc. I think it’s just something that’s sort of a subconscious thing. If you use those words, then they might come out when angry. If you don’t, then you probably won’t ever blurt them out. Though I’m purely guessing, I think that a lot of those slurs were much more prevalent 20 or 40 or 60 years ago, however today I almost never hear someone being called a Pollack or the “n” word. But I still hear words like gay or the word that Kobe used the other night a fair amount. My hope is that some day, those words are also weeded out of most people’s vocabulary. And I don’t think John’s “group” wanting this is in any way wanting “special treatment”, they just want to be treated like everyone else.


#15

I gotta side with Frats. My last name in very clearly “ethic” to a certain country. Many years ago it would have been regularly treated with ethnic slurs. Not any more.
So…sure John A. was talking about a “group.” So, hopefully, someday “group slurs” will disappear.


#16

No he wasn’t. You obviously missed the whole point of the Amaechi article, which was that anytime the F-word is used, it’s the entire LGBT (the correct acronym) community that pays the price.

As far as where the money goes, it’s the Players Association that decides that (fine monies are split equally between the NBA and the Players Association to give to the charities of their choice but the NBPA must approve the NBA’s charity choices).


#17
[quote="kidcoyote, post:13, topic:2326"]...he's advocating for himself and his group. He doesn't care about Bennie Adams. For him, it's bigger than that. It's a societal issue. Individual rights don't matter. The group(and you can pick any which one) is all that matters. It's sort of semi-collectivist. Groups with an agenda. Groups as victims. [b]Why doesn't the 100k go to Bennie Adams? Wasn't he the one supposedly abused?[/b] My bet is they'll send it to a GLBT(is that the proper acronym?) center first, in a peace offering. Guilt. The hell with Bennie, the group deserves it.[/quote]

No he wasn’t. You obviously missed the whole point of the Amaechi article, which was that anytime the F-word is used, it’s the entire LGBT (the correct acronym) community that pays the price.

As far as where the money goes, it’s the Players Association that decides that (fine monies are split equally between the NBA and the Players Association to give to the charities of their choice but the NBPA must approve the NBA’s charity choices).

Huh? That was my point. I don’t believe in group rights, or group injuries. If there was any harm at all, it was to the individual, not any group. And if the ref isn’t getting compensation, what was the damage? Just a bad behavior fine? Okay, but no group injury. IMO, the individual comes first to determine harm, not the group.


#18
[quote="kidcoyote, post:13, topic:2326"]...he's advocating for himself and his group. He doesn't care about Bennie Adams. For him, it's bigger than that. It's a societal issue. Individual rights don't matter. The group(and you can pick any which one) is all that matters. It's sort of semi-collectivist. Groups with an agenda. Groups as victims. [b]Why doesn't the 100k go to Bennie Adams? Wasn't he the one supposedly abused?[/b] My bet is they'll send it to a GLBT(is that the proper acronym?) center first, in a peace offering. Guilt. The hell with Bennie, the group deserves it.[/quote]

No he wasn’t. You obviously missed the whole point of the Amaechi article, which was that anytime the F-word is used, it’s the entire LGBT (the correct acronym) community that pays the price.

As far as where the money goes, it’s the Players Association that decides that (fine monies are split equally between the NBA and the Players Association to give to the charities of their choice but the NBPA must approve the NBA’s charity choices).

Huh? That was my point. I don’t believe in group rights, or group injuries. If there was any harm at all, it was to the individual, not any group. And if the ref isn’t getting compensation, what was the damage? Just a bad behavior fine? Okay, but no group injury. IMO, the individual comes first to determine harm, not the group.

If someone talks badly about Talor Battle, will Talor be the only one that’s hurt by it? Or will you also be offended?

Words can certainly hurt those for whom they weren’t directly intended. If I was out on the street and directed an “n”-bomb at someone, I’d certainly expect that every black person within earshot would be offended (as they well should be). And I’d even be quite offended, and I’m not black.


#19

Kobe’s not being fined for hurting the ref’s feelings. He’s being fined for calling out a group of people as being less than human.

It would be great if the wise advice of “but names will never hurt me” also meant that dehumanizing others had no other consequence. But it does. We demonize the Taliban (or whomever we are warring with) and then we don’t even blink at tens of thousands of war time civilian casualties (who are also “not like us” just by virtue of distance and culture). That’s the extreme end of it, but the continuum ranges through hate crimes and schoolyard bullying.

NitIllini, I really love your story. It has to be incredibly hard to be in your late teens or early 20s and emerge intact from the experience of instant adulation and money. I am sure I would not have been able to do so.

I wanted to be a sportswriter when I was that age, and I was lucky enough to get to see what that would be like when I worked at the lowly Daily Local News in West Chester, PA. I was a part-timer there, and the part-timers got to fill in when the beat writers vacationed. I got to cover the Phillies and the 76ers for a few weeks each over the course of my time at the DLN.

The Phillies had Rose, Carlton and Schmidt, and baseball was the sport that I had dreamed of being a beat writer for. So there I was, 23 years old and covering a team with three sure-thing Hall of Famers in the sport of my dreams.

And it was miserable. Pete Rose and Bo Diaz were the only people on the team that you would even call considerate (and they were especially so). I don’t know if there was a causal relationship (either way), but the same was true for the beat writers that followed the team. A real social hierarchy that you didn’t dare try to break through. Jayson Stark and Harry Kalas being the exception there – just good guys not caught up in their status.

Across the street it was a different story. Julius Erving’s 76ers were like going to a great business conference or seminar. Nearly everyone in that locker room seemed to take their cue from Erving. Professionally cordial and respectful (even though I happened to see quite a few losses to lesser teams, just a coincidence). The team, like the Phillies, full of people from all over the country and from a range of circumstances, like Andrew Toney and Moses Malone, all professional, even if they didn’t like what they had to talk about. The writers were all nice guys, too. Maybe taking their own cue from Phil Jasner, already the dean of that corps and just a nice guy.

I didn’t (and don’t) find pro basketball that entertaining, so I switched from sports to news. I had no trouble adjusting to the fact that politicians (even the ones I admired) were all loathsome narcissists. :slight_smile: It wasn’t the same thing.


#20

[quote=“tjb, post:19, topic:2326”]Kobe’s not being fined for hurting the ref’s feelings. He’s being fined for calling out a group of people as being less than human.

It would be great if the wise advice of “but names will never hurt me” also meant that dehumanizing others had no other consequence. But it does. We demonize the Taliban (or whomever we are warring with) and then we don’t even blink at tens of thousands of war time civilian casualties (who are also “not like us” just by virtue of distance and culture). That’s the extreme end of it, but the continuum ranges through hate crimes and schoolyard bullying.

NitIllini, I really love your story. It has to be incredibly hard to be in your late teens or early 20s and emerge intact from the experience of instant adulation and money. I am sure I would not have been able to do so.

I wanted to be a sportswriter when I was that age, and I was lucky enough to get to see what that would be like when I worked at the lowly Daily Local News in West Chester, PA. I was a part-timer there, and the part-timers got to fill in when the beat writers vacationed. I got to cover the Phillies and the 76ers for a few weeks each over the course of my time at the DLN.

The Phillies had Rose, Carlton and Schmidt, and baseball was the sport that I had dreamed of being a beat writer for. So there I was, 23 years old and covering a team with three sure-thing Hall of Famers in the sport of my dreams.

And it was miserable. Pete Rose and Bo Diaz were the only people on the team that you would even call considerate (and they were especially so). I don’t know if there was a causal relationship (either way), but the same was true for the beat writers that followed the team. A real social hierarchy that you didn’t dare try to break through. Jayson Stark and Harry Kalas being the exception there – just good guys not caught up in their status.

Across the street it was a different story. Julius Erving’s 76ers were like going to a great business conference or seminar. Nearly everyone in that locker room seemed to take their cue from Erving. Professionally cordial and respectful (even though I happened to see quite a few losses to lesser teams, just a coincidence). The team, like the Phillies, full of people from all over the country and from a range of circumstances, like Andrew Toney and Moses Malone, all professional, even if they didn’t like what they had to talk about. The writers were all nice guys, too. Maybe taking their own cue from Phil Jasner, already the dean of that corps and just a nice guy.

I didn’t (and don’t) find pro basketball that entertaining, so I switched from sports to news. I had no trouble adjusting to the fact that politicians (even the ones I admired) were all loathsome narcissists. :slight_smile: It wasn’t the same thing.[/quote]

Tim…thanks for sharing your story.

I knew the 76ers organization very well, but mostly post-Erving, and always liked their operation. Iverson was a bit of a tool in his younger days, but even he showed me respect and I’ve always liked him and respected him for that. But Mo Cheeks, Hersey Hawkins, Charles Barkley, Rick Mahorn and even through the dark ages of Shawn Bradley and Clarence Weatherspoon…they all treated me well. Also, having a family connection helped, but I saw how they treated others around me.

Can’t speak on the Phillies, but I can only imagine.

It does make you cynical about most pro athletes though and pro sports in general. A lot of them feel they should be treated like royalty just because they can clock a baseball at 90-plus or dribble through heavy traffic. I recently were handed tickets to a Spurs/Hawks game and took my family. Good seats, but I found it incredibly difficult to sit there and watch that game against one great team who one can really learn the game by watching play and one entertaining team. The more I sat there though, the more bored I got with the whole thing. It’s almost like I’ve seen too much to have any kind of warm, fuzzy feel toward the NBA game anymore and some of these players (Kobe included - back on topic:-).

In defense of Kobe back in 1997, he was 19 and did have a ton thrown his way at such a young age. But everyone makes their bed, and Kobe could have decided to go to Duke for a year or so to become a little more mature in handling himself with situations like the one I presented. Was he ready for the NBA, talent-wise back then, absolutely. But these kids are rarely ready to handle all that comes with being an NBA superstar at that young age. And that’s why I would hope that the NBA would raise the age limit on teenagers playing their sport.

They need the discipline that comes with being coached in college. Once they hit the NBA, the coach is nothing more than a facilitator and baby sitter for 12 overpaid egos. And the young players, unless they are counseled well by their parents or taken in by a wily veteran on the team, will have a hard time adjusting to off the court issues.