“You must really like the Suns,” my friend suggested, pointing to my purple T-shirt emblazoned with “PHOENIX BASKETBALL” across the chest. It was an innocent mistake; one people make all the time when I wear my Diana Taurasi Phoenix Mercury shirt. The orange spherical logo is placed aside, so that the big letters are all you see unless you look closely. I cherish that shirt. Later in the day I hooped on the Wilbur courts, doing my best to warmly welcome frosh with an L. The shirt feels like it belongs in a pickup game.
Trump’s groundbreaking meeting with North Korea was canceled because “hostile” behavior on their part. Trump explained that this missed opportunity “is a tremendous setback for North Korea.” In related news, the NFL announced their new national anthem policy which, believe it or not, they claim to have thought about carefully. They have decided that players are not allowed to express themselves or their views in any way that does not include standing for the entire national anthem. (They do get the choice to wait in the tunnel off the field.) This new policy is a disgrace to the NFL for a number of reasons, some of which I’ll discuss here.
Who are the best coaches in the league? The typical fan might rattle off a list like: Gregg Popovich, Steve Kerr, Rick Carlisle, Brad Stevens, maybe Erik Spoelstra. It’s not often that you hear of a black coach celebrated for his success. Raptors coach Dwane Casey had a great season this past year, and likely will win coach of the year. But, his team got bounced from the playoffs early on. Already, critics are calling for him to be fired while uplifting white coaches like Brad Stevens.
Not like this. Not like this. This wasn’t how it was supposed to happen. Sure, I thought they might not win the Finals. I knew, deep down, that this team was fatally flawed in a way Golden State would be able to exploit. But I was so sure it would take the Warriors. I was so determined that they’d at least make the conference finals. Instead, they lost to the Jazz. Not like this.
Overall, the NBA has a reputation of being relatively open-minded when it comes to sexuality and gender differences. Jason Collins became the first openly gay athlete in major pro American sports when the Brooklyn Nets signed up midseason a few years ago. Since then, though, the NBA hasn’t done much.
I have more to say about Russell Westbrook. If you missed my column last week, do me a favor and check it out. Today, I want to talk about Russ’ far-reaching impact beyond his explosive on-court performances.
I prefer to save this space for discussing issues vital to society. I seek to illuminate intersections of sports and race and politics to demonstrate larger themes present in our country and our world. For these reasons, I am going to use all of my remaining words to highlight one of the greatest scandals perpetrated by the media, ever. Yes, I am talking about the utter lack of coverage of Russell Westbrook’s 2017-2018 season. In case you haven’t noticed, Russ has just averaged a triple-double for an entire season. The only thing more remarkable than this fact is that it is he has done it for the second year in a row. Here is the list of all NBA players, besides Russell Westbrook, who have ever averaged a triple-double for a full season: Oscar Robertson. Here is the list of all NBA players, besides Russell Westbrook, who have averaged a triple-double for multiple seasons, either consecutively or not:
I recently rewatched Allen Iverson’s infamous “we talkin’ bout practice” rant. It reminded me of how the NBA today still feels the repercussions of one of its most original players of all time. One way his impact is felt in particular is through the NBA’s relationship (when I say NBA I’m referring to its administration,…