Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Nets Move Away from Their New Jersey Americans Image (ETS Daily Exclusive)

This story is now two weeks old, but as I was at the center of the controversy, I figured I would wait for my anger to subside before commenting on it. I was in attendance at the 1/28 Washington Wizards @ Nets game sporting my Gilbert Arenas Jersey sitting behind the basket for FREEEEEEEEEE, when I spotted the most disgusting act by a Net all season. I wasn’t watching T-Will sleep through shoot around, Bobby Simmons suck the team out of millions a year without ever playing a game, or admiring CD-R lay court side on his stomach while kicking his feat like a horny school girl. No, in fact the game hadn’t even started yet. The disgusting act I am talking about; a ball-less practice dunk by Yi Jianlian during the national anthem. Anyone whose watched a Nets game knows watching Yi play is painful, his D is abysmal, he almost always has the ball stolen from him after rebounds and he walks around with a smug sense of entitlement, crying for fouls as if he somehow earned the level of respect Kobe has. However this act takes the cake, it was disrespectful to the country, to the anthem, to the fans and to the choir brought into sing the anthem. I’m aware that it wasn’t the anthem of his native country, but the least Yi could do is sit quietly and respectfully. I took action as soon as I got home emailing the NBA and the New Jersey Nets. Surprisingly I got a personalized apology from both and was more or less pacified by that. However after talking to some Nets fan my rage was renewed as I received some pretty asinine responses as to why Yi’s actions were ok. I won’t insult your intelligence by posting all the answer. The one that enraged me the most was that because athletes such as Josh Howard has purposely disrespected the country it was ok for anyone to do it on accident and moreover was most likely unaware of our cultural norms.

How is it acceptable? I have no idea. Yi had played in nearly 130 NBA games at this point in the season, and thus had stood (or in his case dunked) through 130 national anthems. During that period of time Yi had ample opportunity to learn what appropriate action during an NBA game was. Furthermore Yi comes from the totalitarian China, a government who tries to regulate every aspect of life, from how many children you have to what search engine you use. If Yi had done such a thing during the Chinese anthem, or worse yet an American had tried such a thing they likely would be reported missing the following morning. Yi should thank his lucky stars, being on a 4-48 team is a small price to pay for the right to speak your mind or disrespect the country. Now back to the Bobby Simmons argument, I could surely argue how being clueless about the consequences of your actions is worse than being purposefully disrespectful. However for that I will leave you with a link in the comments section, as more important to our discussion is the fact that Yi is not all that clueless. In fact even before Yi signed with an NBA team he displayed tell-tale signs of racism. After being drafted 6th overall in the 2007 NBA draft by the Milwaukee Bucks, YI demanded a trade, before even stepping on the court. According to Yi Milwaukee didn’t have a large enough Chinese population and thus wasn’t worthy of watching him play. After milking that angle for all it was worth Yi and his manager got Chinese officials involved and demanded that Yi get substantial playing time, because a gold medal for China in the 2008 Olympics was more important than the long term success of the Bucks. Such an arrogant, self-centered view of the game is exactly why Yi’s disrespectful dunk wasn’t just a clash of cultures, but likely Yi showing his pure hatred for Americans who aren’t good enough to watch him play. The New Jersey Nets have come a long way from their 1967-1968 ABA debut as the New Jersey Americans, in which they actually represented America and which they actually made it to the playoffs (but were forced to forfeit due to unfit playing conditions).


Larry "The Birdman" Arenas said...

Larry "The Birdman" Arenas said...

"The Pez-Dispenser" said...

birdman you can't be linking to the competition, i'll consider this strike 1

ETS Daily said...


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