A mere five years ago it was virtually unheard of for a millionaire professional basketball star to sit out a league game because the poor little guy was just too tired to pull on his shorts, endorse his latest pay check, and go out on the court at actually play. Today that is the norm, when on virtually a daily basis multi-millionaire BALL PLAYERS – super-rich young adults wealthy beyond their wildest dreams for playing a kid’s game in front of mesmerized fans – stay home or sit on the bench drinking coffee and rubbing their faces while their less-talented, lessor paid teammates insult their adoring fans who paid outlandish sums of money for even the worst seats in the palaces of billionaires, as broadcast money pours through owners’ coffers.
Hey, LeBron, Stephen, Blake, tell the waitress on her feet for ten-hour shifts dependent on tips to buy shoes for her kids, tell the farmworker bending over picking strawberries or
lettuce hour after hour to keep a roof over his family’s heads, tell the inner city cop on the beat who puts his life on the line every hour of every day of every week, just how tiring it is to fly from San Antonio to Philadelphia in a luxury jet and then have to run up and down the court for two hours, for only $100,000 an hour. Go ahead, tell them, I dare you!
This tends to validate something that has been apparent to me for years and years – basketball players as a generality, are insufferable wusses when compared to athletes in other sports. Where is there a player like Lou Gehrig or Cal Ripkin in basketball? Gehrig, who rode across the eastern half of the US from city to city on 1930s-era trains, never missed a single game for almost fourteen consecutive years, playing through bad weather, nagging injuries, and that misunderstood modern-day bugaboo fatigue, barely earning as much as $250 per game. Cal Ripkin eclipsed that record, adding more than two additional seasons of never, ever missing a single game, despite transcontinental flights, an expanded yearly schedule, added playoff rounds and modern medicine now diagnosing previously unknown injuries, eventually for a per-game salary amounting to 20% of what Klay Thompson receives today. Among NFL players, it’s the norm for linemen and others to undergo one, two, three DOZEN surgeries over a career, in order to PLAY, and not to make them more comfortable as they sit on their asses as others take their places on the court, as the interest on their bank accounts and investments accrues as the game clock ticks by.
25-, 30-year-old professional athletes in the prime of life, in the prime of health, constantly monitored and aided by training and medical personal, provided scientifically developed nutritious diets, and coddled beyond belief in all additional aspects of their lives, are just too exhausted from earning a living by, yes I’ll say it again, PLAYING A KID’S GAME for MILLIONS OF DOLLARS, to actually play the game, time after time over their one-half year seasons, collectively are among the most despicable people in today’s society. And yet, we sacrifice to pay to see their games, to buy apparel emblazoned with their names, and we celebrate THEIR successes, and weep at their failures.
They do not deserve it.
NBA players sit around and goof off instead of playing, while guys like the NHL’s Boston Bruins’s center Gregory Campbell continued to play in a June, 2013 game after suffering a broken fibula after a puck struck his right leg. So did Denver Bronco’s safety David Bruton, Jr. refuse to leave a 2016 game against Pittsburgh after he suffered a similarly fractured fibula in a collision late in the game’s first quarter.
As to exploitative NBA players, let them show up and play, every day, every game, every season, then maybe they will then deserve a small share of our lives, or our adulation, of our hard earned oh-so limited funds. NBA wuss superstars, try listening to James Harden
and Chris Bosh. Possible 2016-2017 MVP James Harden does not subscribe to the current “too tired to play” epidemic, and in fact has spoken out about it, “I’ll rest when I’m done” he’s quoted as saying, referring to when the season is over as being THE time to rest: “I enjoy the grind. I enjoy how hard it is. I think that makes you tougher. That makes you who you are.”
Bosh, the onetime star with Toronto and Miami whose serious health issues have derailed his great career at a far too young age and who thus, at what should be the prime time of his career, knows all too well what it means to not be ABLE to play, has told the NBA elite, in an article so aptly titled “Sidelined Chris Bosh: It’s hard to see why guys would take time off”: “If you can play, … go out there and play.”
In a recent memo, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver warned league owners that the issue will be a topic of conversation at the upcoming Board of Governors’ meeting, and he
“warned of ’significant penalties’ for teams that don’t abide by the league’s standing rules for providing ’notice to the league office, their opponent, and the media immediately upon a determination that a player will not participate in a game due to rest.’”
But therein lies so much of the problem – the league accepting this DISGUSTING practice and having a method of operation to follow in order to cheat the league’s fans out of seeing stars DO THEIR JOB AND PLAY. No, the only policy the league should have is to use its powers, primarily as always focusing on the power of the purse, to do everything possible to discourage and eliminate this practice to the greatest extent possible.