For years they have paid outrageous ticket prices to stuff the bank accounts of owners and players, some of whom view them as slightly above the evolutionary scale of the common sea slug.
Until the recession hit and those owners were forced to bite the fiscal bullet, they were nightly hammered at the concession stand by prices that would rival handing over their first-born male child, which in many cases would be much cheaper.
Their emotions are toyed with on a daily basis by some franchises who believe being competitive trickles down to a fervent hope they’re never compared to NBC’s handling of the Jay Leno-Conan O’Brien fiasco.
Which in this specific case would have to mean the New Jersey Nets.
“They”, of course, are the fans. Yes, this means you. The over charged, over stimulated, often victims of under achieving franchises without whom the NBA would be the CBA. Or the WNBA. I can never seem to separate the two.
But while you may have the (phantom) power to change the course of mighty (or so the advertising tell us) franchises with the single (season) economically sound purchase of a game (over produced assault to the senses to the point of often forgetting it’s a basketball game) ticket, you have failed miserably at the one (volunteer) job you have been given (allowed to have as a pacifier).
Voting and creating the All-Star team. A position almost every single NBA player has proof you are ill qualified to handle.
Especially one willing to publicly take the fans, and the NBA, to task.
Boston Celtics guard Ray Allen had the audacity (bravery) to speak up and chastise you fans for the biased (you paid for it) manner in which you have little (or none if you happen to have knocked down your third canyonesque cup of beer) concern for naming real All-Stars to the game. Instead you band of hero-worshippers (sometimes suckers who in one shape or form pay every single penny these players make) always focus on the same players (guys with the best PR machines in the business who haven’t been nailed yet on a gun charge), making for what is becoming a seasonal (yet profitable) bore for the players.
He would like to see NBA Commissioner David (Teflon Don) Stern change the voting procedure to one where the media (the people players always hate until they can be convinced to be proxies for player demands) and the fans (otherwise known as those meal tickets sitting in the seats) share in the process on a 50/50 (hoping the State or Florida won’t be involved in the final count) scale. Thus creating a more equitable and entertaining All-Star game.
This, of course, will happen right around the time we find the actual list where Wilt Chamberlain wrote down the names, addresses and various body part sizes of the 20,000 women he allegedly bedded in his lifetime.
While on face value Allen’s comments would seem a verbal slap in the (being gouged on ticket prices) puss of every loyal (heavily invested in every one of the 19 jersey styles created by every team simply to suck up another purchase or two) fan, let us examine the facts.
Not only does he have a point, but judging by the results this season you, the fan, have failed miserably.
Kevin Garnett, who hasn’t played a second in weeks and likely won’t for another week or so, will be starting the All-Star game thanks to the wisdom of fans who apparently believe he really is superhuman. Or helped by the fact hoops fans in Boston know how to stuff ballot boxes better than anyone.
Chris Bosh, statistically the second best forward in the East who has missed one game this season, wound up second behind Garnett and 10th best in the overall All-Star voting.
This apparently reveals the bulk of voting fans still find it hard to believe anything but hockey, beer chugging competitions and donut eating contests are held in Canada.
Out west, Monta Ellis from Golden State, a young stud who in more than a few games this season has done everything save doing balloon tricks, didn’t even make the top 10 cut in voting for all Western guards. Sure, I can see why he would be trailing Kobe Bryant, Tracy McGrady and Steve Nash. But he can’t get more attention than Manu Ginobili, who’s not even the best guard on his own team? Tony Parker is the best at that position in San Antonio, and he wound up 9th in the guard ballot count behind Ginobili?
You folks in San Antonio haven’t learned to stuff ballot boxes properly? Not thrilled with the direction of “Desperate Housewives”?
The question is a simple one.
Should you, the fan, the one coughing up the cash and hero worship on a nightly basis, be allowed to see only the players you want to see in the All-Star Game despite what these guys have actually done in a season?
Or should you merely be a part of the process, whereby your bias (and some would say Oliver Stone-esque corruption behind the scenes) is balanced by those in the media who truly see these players night in and night out and are not (usually) clouded by such banalities as windmill dunks (if they do indeed still exist) and seeing their puppet characters nightly on a (some would scream biased) cable network?
The evidence for this season is in on whether Ray Allen is correct.
Are these voting hoops faithful truly knowledgeable about the game, or the kind who toss around anonymous babble on radio talk shows and still play NBA SEGA in Mom’s basement?