I’m unable to come to grips with the reality the real winners of the NBA Playoffs is heartless, murderous capitalism. The owners greed is well documented and to be expected. To them, the players are overpriced cattle and while they’ll feign concern over the wellness of the game and it’s players, stressing the measures they have taken to make the bubble in a Covid hotspot to make the environment safe from the debilitating disease, you and I both know they aren’t going anywhere near the building or Florida for that matter. They’ll be in their homes far away from any concern.
On the opposite side, the players appear more than happy to sign their death warrant. It is either a lie they are being fed that they’ll be safe, or they are not above the corporate greed that is taking place. Perhaps the players believe they are young and healthy, or feel they are the protagonist of reality and nothing can harm them. Either way, they should be ashamed of themselves. They sold their fellow worker out. Rather than the NBAPA using their immense resources to fight for the players salaries they have decided to work hand and hand with the owners to convert an old Summer League arena into a “bubble” with lax regulations in order to play a game while society crumbles all around us. To make matters worse, the NBA will pay cringeworthy lip-service to Black Lives Matter as they provide a distraction from the protests they say to support.
It is clear the players who want to go along with this the most are hellbent on protecting the gains they’ve made during the “player empowerment” era. LeBron and Chris Paul made a lot of money turning the CBA into their own playground usually reserved for the owners. Now they are in the club and don’t want to return to being with the rift raft. If the season does not resume the CBA will be ripped up and player empowerment will become undone. While I believe this’ll be a good thing, as their empowerment is merely a means to playing wherever one chooses and not about helping your lesser fortunate fellow man, you can see why this idea would scare LeBron.
If anything positive occurred during all of this, the crisis has completely pulled the veil from the “progressive” NBA to show it was all a facade. Even the symbolic gestures are pre-approved corporate boardroom junk not one player should take part in. It is a beyond neutered gesture when it’s been established protests built off solely raising awareness are ineffective.
People like Greg Popovich or LeBron earn brownie points for running down Donald Trump, rightfully accusing him of racism and dividing the nation. But they don’t care about the issues that produced a Donald Trump in the first place. Rising wealth inequality. The dismantling of the American Dream. Couples are unable to have kids, and people are dying in the streets from no health insurance. When Trump is defeated by Joe Biden in November, the championship team will visit the genocidal maniac president because they prefer one who is kind with his words and not uncouth. Does anyone care Biden is a segregationist?
Even Adam Silver echoed Trump’s cruel belief “we’ll just have to live with it” as he forces the players into the meat grinders, surely to eventual death.
Will we care?
No sir. The first player to die from this will not be for a couple of years. By then we’ll have forgotten about this era as we have returned to normalcy. That, or NBA fans will say “he knew what he was getting into” and turn away.
The NBA is just a cabal of evil billionaires pandering to their increasingly liberal fan base, and to a world where an athlete or two can rise to their financial status.
What is even the point covering basketball at this point? You know players are still catching the Coronavirus and we haven’t even entered the bubble yet. Denver Nuggets star Nikola Jokic, Pacers guard Malcolm Brogdon are the most recent players to become infected. With no cure, or knowledge of its long term effects and if you can come down with this virus after previously having it, how can we not expect this disease to be transmitted the moment these sweaty bodies start banging off one another?
How is it going to look if Brad Wanamaker is suddenly the Celtics starting point guard because Kemba Walker caught the virus? Or when Dwight Howard is the new Lakers starting center because Anthony Davis is infected? Why should we even expect this playoffs to come to a definitive conclusion? The XFL tried to have their contact driven sport without fans and had to stop after one slate of games. The PGA tour returned as it is not a contact driven sport, and does not need fan attendance. But golfers and caddies still fall prey to the virus. Brooks Koepka withdraw from the Travelers Championship after his caddie tested positive for Covid-19.
This is a cynical cash grab on the part of Disney. Their media conglomerate is silencing any dissonance and have manufactured a landscape where if you do not what the players to resume the season you are an evil dimwit.
Well, I may be both of those things. But at least I care about humanity. The blood will be on their hands. But I doubt they care.
The death tolls await us.