More than folks realize was riding on the NBA championship series. In class society, everything, and I mean everything, counts.
LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosch tried to break precedent, and the ruling class was not having it. So they sicced everything on the Big Three: their PR apparatus (big business media), envious sportswriters, former players, the NBA and sore owners. The message: Only the bosses, the rich, the power structure and management should decide people’s fate.
If folks think I exaggerate, look at what Coach Carlisle said in his interview. He said he won for the game. What he should have said is that he won for the order of things.
According to the “powers that be,” players/labor/working folks should never be able to make their own decisions. Of course, let’s be clear: LeBron, Wade and Bosch are not regular folks, at least not athletically or salary-wise.
But no matter how odd it sounds, they are hired hands, and it is always frowned upon when hired hands take initiative. While they are not qualified to be called workers, someone else pays their salaries and they answer to whole slew of folks.
They are not independent of the bosses. They tried to be the BOSS when they, not management, orchestrated their move to Miami; and for that they had to pay.
And of course, adding fuel to that fire was the fact that these three bold guys were Black. Imagine that: Three Black guys decided to take their fate into their own hands.
This was a dangerous idea. It cannot be allowed to stand. People may get ideas. Self-determination, breaking with tradition, changing the way things are is bad for business.
People may start thinking that they should have ”real” universal health care like the folks in Dirk Nowitzki’s beloved Germany. Folks may start thinking they don’t have to send their kids to fight the rich folks’ wars of aggression and thievery.
Thus, almost automatically the big business media took the lead in making sure that us regular folks knew this was bad and should not be emulated. And just about everybody else got in on the act, including the labor-hating governor of Ohio, who should be ashamed of himself for trying to keep workers from getting their fair share.
The fix was in. The Heat were never going to win the NBA championship. The Heat couldn’t celebrate, which everyone does, without it being criticized. Terry talks crap and does the jet, Stephenson does the three sign; nothing said. Two teammates walking down the corridor can’t have a private conversation without it being made into something. Nowitzki calls them ignorant and childish; nothing said.
Even the referees got into the act. When was the last championship series in which avowed and acknowledged superstars in the league didn’t get the benefit of the doubt on foul calls? When was the last time superstars barely got foul calls at all when they drove to the hoop?
I can hear folks making fun, but there exists these days videotape, which can make the case better than I can. Two of the announcers could barely conceal their contempt. All because some jocks tried to decide their own fate and they can’t.
Even had they won it, the hate would have not subsided.
But let’s face it: Hating is easier. Being jealous of folks for doing something you can’t do or don’t have the guts to do is easier than facing the reality. People should have celebrated that three jocks decided to determine their own fate. A more conscious populace would have seen this for what it was, no more no less, and gone on cheering for their teams.
I understand that LeBron went about things the wrong way, and initially the Heat showed some premature arrogance. But let’s talk arrogance: What was more arrogant than the Big Banks messing up their money and then getting us to bail them out? What’s more arrogant than GE making $14 billion in profit and paying no income taxes? (Two-thirds of Fortune 500 companies don’t pay income taxes either.)
And folks still don’t seem to be angry at flag-waving U.S. corporations that take their factories overseas and leave the American working class hanging. Or how about sending our sons and daughters to war, resulting in them losing their lives, limbs or minds, and not having a good explanation for why they are being sacrificed?
Now those are things that should be hated and hated on. People must begin to focus on the real problems in U.S. society, the things that harm our neighbors and ourselves. LeBron James hasn’t foreclosed on anyone’s home. He hasn’t passed out pink slips. He’s not bombing Libya or Pakistan or Yemen and pretending that the innocent people that die don’t matter. He didn’t do what the police did in Miami on Memorial Day weekend — shoot a Black man in cold blood.
What’s causing a lot of folks undue pain sure isn’t three basketball players on South Beach.
Mel Reeves welcomes reader responses to firstname.lastname@example.org.