Forbes' Michael Ozanian: NBA is Full of 'Thugs'
Inevitably, whenever the NBA has a high profile player get involved in legal trouble, the casual fans in the media react as if there's an epidemic of bad behavior in the league.
The Gilbert Arenas situation is simply the latest example of a league gone wrong.
Of course, it's all complete bullshit. The NBA has the toughest suspensions of a pro sports league for on-court fighting. They have a dress code for players on the bench who are not in uniform while other leagues do not. They constantly fight attacks or accusations of image problems despite the fact that serious incidents involving NBA players are relatively few in number.
But the facts don't matter to writers like Forbes' Michael Ozanian — the storyline that the NBA is too "urban" is just too easy for a lazy writer to pass up:
Many NBA players carry guns and the league is full of thugs. But most fans and sponsors don't care, and for those that do care the NBA has done a wonderful job keeping its dirty laundry out of the press. But this fiasco will be hard for Stern to explain, especially if he goes to testify before congress on how wholesome his league is.
So two teammates are involved in an incident that has conflicting reports of what actually went down everywhere, and that's enough for sweeping accusations of thuggery?
And I don't think I need to explain the racial connotations of the word 'thug.' At this point, if writers use it, they know what it implies to many people.