The reason, according to Mr. Whitlock, that the NBA has not been as warmly received by viewers as it would like.
No one wants to watch Delonte West or Larry Hughes play basketball. It's uncomfortable and disconcerting. You don't want your kids to see it. You don't want your kids to think they should decorate their neck, arms, hands, chest and legs in paint. You don't want to waste time explaining to your kids that some millionaire athletes have so little genuine self-confidence that they find it necessary to cover themselves in tattoos as a way to mask their insecurities.
The players' looks scare an audience that can't relate to them.
You just want to watch basketball and feel like you're watching people you can relate to a little bit, people you somewhat respect.
This years playoffs.
A rousing ratings success thanks to the abundance of foreign players and non-threatening Negros on the Lakers, Spurs, Pistons and Celtics.
Part of the reason more people are watching these playoffs is because the average fan isn't constantly repulsed by the appearance of most of the players on the court. Most of the key players left in the playoffs don't look like recent prison parolees.
Mr. Whitlock's point seems to be that it is better for the league, and the business of the league if the players present a cleaner image. Better business means more money for the league. More money for the players. We get that.
But, in his bashing of the appearance of the players, he is stereotyping and grandstanding.
By diminishing the notion that much of the ratings upswing (if it is great, we didn't check the numbers) is due to the resurgence of the Lakers and Celts and propagating the notion that player appearance is anything more than a tertiary or minimal factor; Mr. Whitlock is simply attempting to turn attention towards...............himself.
Shock and a contrived contrarian view have become Mr. Whitlock's calling card.
The 'chicken little' antics that Mr. Whitlock engages in reek of self serving hypocrisy and self promotion.
Being the Negro that calls out the other Negroes and demands they change who they are and change their culture certainly must be an exhilerating position. To be the right thinking Negro must be stressful.
How could one argue with the right thinking Negro who postulates the position that increased viewership is due to the absence of ink and perceived thuggish appearance (although, Rasheed Wallace might take issue with not being single out here)?
Well, perhaps the best argument against this theory is....from the right thinking Negro's comments on last seasons Finals:
"Why don't the Spurs connect? Why were these finals a TV ratings disaster and a challenge to watch?" Mr. Whitlock writes. "Because sports fans aren't stupid. They can sniff an impostor even when we in the media try to convince them otherwise." He adds, "It's difficult to stake a dynasty claim when you've just completed the worst NBA finals series in history."
We at NOIS are sports fans.
And WE sniff an imposter.
And we sniff something else!
The 'unthreatening' Spurs and Pistons were in the conference finals last year, too. Along with the least threatening team in the league....the JAZZ! How could this year's NBA final four possibly be less threatening than last year?
Nope, it couldn't be that the ratings are due to better play this year!
Someone get some air freshener. Mr. Whitlock seems to have fouled the air.