Thursday, February 22, 2007

Sin City and the NBA [J. Mark English]

Jason Whitlock writes a scathing report about the NBA and its interaction with Las Vegas this past weekend. Here are some highlights:

NBA All-Star Weekend in Vegas was an unmitigated failure, and any thoughts of taking the extravaganza to New Orleans in 2008 are total lunacy....

...Word of all the criminal activity that transpired during All-Star Weekend has been slowly leaking out on Las Vegas radio shows and TV newscasts and on Internet blogs the past 24 hours...

...All weekend, people, especially cab drivers, gossiped about brawls and shootings. You didn't know what to believe because the local newspaper was filled with stories about what a raging success All-Star Weekend was. The city is desperately trying to attract an NBA franchise, and, I guess, there was no reason to let a few bloody bodies get in the way of a cozy relationship with Stern...

...But there were multiple brawls, at least two shootings, more than 350 arrests and a lot of terror in Vegas over the weekend.

And the police might want to talk to NFL player Pacman Jones about a nasty shooting spree at a Vegas strip club. Jones and the rapper Nelly were allegedly at Minxx Gentlemen's Club Monday morning shortly before (or during) the shooting....

...Vegas police were simply overwhelmed along The Strip. They were there solely for decoration and to discourage major crimes. Beyond that, they minded their own business.

I was there. Walking The Strip this weekend must be what it feels like to walk the yard at a maximum security prison. You couldn't relax. You avoided eye contact. The heavy police presence only reminded you of the danger.

...David Stern seriously needs to consider moving the event out of the country for the next couple of years in hopes that young, hip-hop hoodlums would find another event to terrorize. Taking the game to Canada won't do it. The game needs to be moved overseas, someplace where the Bloods and Crips and hookers and hoes can't get to it without a passport and plane ticket...

....The NBA's image cannot survive bedlam in the French Quarter. And I'm not sure it can survive the embarrassment of a New Orleans standoff between its fans and the National Guard, either.

Comments -

My goodness. If Jason Whitlock were not an African American, you may already hear the cries of racism. But he was there, and (due to the PC world we live in) only a man like Whitlock could get away with this revelation about what really went on in Vegas.

Where is the national coverage of this fiasco? This is really a black eye on the NBA. I mean can you imagine how this would go down in the "Big Uneasy" next year? How many people have to potentially die before something is done about this?

Of course, maybe we're looking at this the wrong way. The NBA has two teams in New York, and you don't hear about stories like this. You have the NBA in numerous other cities, and you don't hear stories like this, linked to the NBA.

The NFL has more problem stories then the NBA does by far. The Bengals alone have more problem children then the NBA does.

In MLB you have half the league cheating and using steroids, including its best players.

Maybe all this mayhem happened because the game was in Sin City. After all, in Vegas prostitution is legal, gambling is legal, and anything you want to do you can get away with...with the caveat that it stays in Vegas.

Professional sports, outside of those like not mix well with Vegas. Maybe this is the conclusion we should draw.

There is no reason to believe that New Orleans could not be a good host city next year. If they can handle a Super Bowl, why not the NBA All Star game?

Maybe Mr. Whitlock is just looking to stir the pot. Generate discussion. Do anything to get readers.

Or maybe the NBA is an out of control child.

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