NBA: Stay In Your Lane

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As much as I enjoy being a fan, it is humorous to me how quickly we lose sight of athletes, coaches & owners as people and teams as business organizations.  Strip away the fame and fortune and we’d find we are far more alike than we are different.  Which is the underlying reason why the asinine behavior of Dallas Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban induces a tremendous amount of head shaking.  It is hard to imagine the owner of Ford discussing an employee at Chrysler….an employee, not fellow owner….especially in a negative light. 

So when Cuban took it upon himself to provide his assessment of who was and wasn’t a superstar on the OKC Thunder roster, he walked right into exactly what he deserved.  Only an “idiot” would concern himself with the next lane when his lane is full of one roadblock after the next!  Thanks in large part to the superstar duo of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, Cuban got a jump start on the summer and can now do what he should have been doing in the first place….assessing how many superstars are needed for the Mavericks to get further than the first round of playoffs next season. 

As much as I like Shaq, a “wow” is all I could muster after hearing his response to ESPN’s Dan Le Betard’s response to Shaq’s response on the leadership qualities, or lack thereof, of Houston’s James Harden.  Whoa….was that like a scene out of baseball’s “Who’s On First?” or what?  The condensed version of events goes like this….Shaq declared Harden was not a leader to which Dan did the same to Shaq.  One good turn deserves another!

Out of the gate, Shaq was swerving in and out of his lane like a racecar driver intent on taking his profession to a downtown city street.  His rant was so erratic I began to wonder if he was running for office….specifically for president, specifically for the GOP, specifically as a business mogul, etc etc….

One of the unwritten rules of a response is to have it directly relate to the topic.  Rants, by their very nature, tend to veer off course.  Dan never questioned Shaq’s excellence…if for no other reason than it being a moot point…..he questioned the leadership of a player who, amongst other things, routinely showed up for work out of shape.  For Shaq to convince himself that heart matters more than physical fitness in a career that requires being the best physical specimen one can be, is ludicrous.

I have zero doubt that Shaq is THAT guy…the one all the other guys like to laugh, joke and hang out with…let us not be confused—there’s a huge difference in “Wanting To Be Around” vs “Wanting To Be Like”…..

“We The North” Toronto Raptors fan base couldn’t have asked for a better super fan than music superstar Drake. As a super fan of one particular collegiate team, I am never upset about a fan’s passion.  To.A.Point. A consistent “game face”, complete with standing with hands on hips, & heckling virtually every opponent passerby is out of a fan’s lane…even the “super” variety.  Yes, you paid a mint for premium seats.  However, those seated behind you paid their version of a mint & nobody factored in seeing more of your back than the coach’s. Remove the hit records, fortune and fame and you are the Charlotte Hornets fan decked out in the purple shirt and Karate Kid-esque headband spending a whole lot of time thinking he’s getting in the head of Dwayne Wade…when actually he was getting on the nerves of fellow fans—including those with premium seats also known as, the couch!

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