THAT’S the message. It will be painted on the NBA court and in other prominent locations in the Florida bubble during the NBA restart.
America is currently in a quagmire. In addition to its seeming failure to contain a pandemic, it is struggling with social unrest and systemic racism.
So it’s laudable that the NBA is doing its part and has partnered with its players in getting this fundamental message across.
But I am not a big fan of the plan to allow players to wear messages on the back of their jerseys in lieu of their names.
Picture the TV commentator saying something like this...
“Courage on the inbound...passes the ball to Respect Us...quick cut by I Am A Man on the wing, drops the ball to Power to the People... Power with a monstrous slam over his hapless defender I can’t breathe... What a play....”
Well, it’s not exactly like that and I was being facetious, but I think you get the point.
FANS. For practical reasons, I am not in favor of this because of the potential to cause some confusion.
Yes, the commentators will indeed be mentioning the players’ real names, but there will be some sequences where the camera pans to some players without the ball and the fans on TV won’t be able to recognize them.
I am a die-hard NBA fan, and I can’t even recognize ALL of the players just by their faces. What about the casual fans who will no doubt tune in to this restart?
Obviously all eyes in the sporting world will be on the NBA bubble with other team sports relegated to the sidelines because of the pandemic.
The NBA’s innovative resumption of the season will no doubt be reeling in new fans unfamiliar to the sport. You think every kid out there will recognize Bam Adebayo because of his goatee? Didn’t think so.
In this day and age where there are several platforms available to everyone—players are their own brands now.
They have social media accounts with millions of followers hanging on to every tweet or post, followers liking pictures posted, buying merchandise being marketed just to show support for their idols.
Ergo, there are myriad ways that will prove to be better and more efficient than wearing messages instead of their names on the jerseys.
So I think this is just too piddling and unnecessary.
LEBRON. To prove my point, another player who doesn’t believe in it because it “doesn’t resonate” with his mission is none other than the greatest player of this era—Lebron James.
Kind of a letdown, isn’t it? The biggest star in the NBA, the straw that stirs the drink doesn’t want any part of it.
But when I read between the lines, his reasoning is kind of specious. He says he had some ideas in mind but wasn’t consulted about it. He says he doesn’t mind but decided against it.
Well, if this thing was going to work, you had to have Lebron on it. He won’t admit it but the prima donna that he is— he’s moping because his input wasn’t solicited.
LAST ROUND. It’s on my baby boy, Rodan Benjamin Jericho Navarro Quijano, who recently turned 10. Cheers!