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THE WHEEL SPEAKS ON 2013 – Greatless?
 

THE WHEEL SPEAKS ON 2013 – Greatless?

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THE WHEEL SPEAKS ON 2013 – Greatless?

THE WHEEL SPEAKS ON 2013 – Greatless?

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    THE WHEEL SPEAKS ON 2013 – Greatless? THE WHEEL SPEAKS ON 2013 – Greatless? Document Transcript

    •   1     THE  WHEEL  SPEAKS  ON  2013  –  Greatless?   Many  of  us  are  enamored  with  what  constitutes  or  certifies  a  professional  athlete  as   great  or  especially  to  be  considered  the  greatest  ever  or  a  legend.    You  hear  stories   of  the  great  ones  like  a  Muhammad  Ali  and  his  generosity,  which  was  at  times  a   detriment  because  he  cared  for  so  many  people.    I’ve  heard  unbelievably  stories   about  people  like  Bill  Russell  Jim  Brown  Lew  Alcindor  (Kareem  Abdul  Jabbar)  who   at  the  height  of  their  greatness  put  themselves  in  the  forefront  of  civil  rights  and  the   struggle  of  African  American  people.       I  never  heard  anyone  say  that  they  love  Michael  Jordan  or  speak  of  how  great  of  a   person  he  is  or  has  been  or  represented  to  them.  He  represents  himself  well  which   isn't  a  problem  but  it's  only  beneficial  to  of  course  the  Jordan  brand.  But  there's   absolutely  one  thing  for  sure  whenever  anyone  speaks  of  hands  down  who  was   arguably  the  best  it  seems  like  everyone  mentions  the  same  name  consistently.   Nike’s  “Air  Jordan”  marketing  strategy  was  based  on  getting  black  inner-­‐city  kids  to   worship  Jordan  and  his  shoes.  Allen  Iverson,  LeBron  James,  Dwyane  Wade,  Paul   Pierce,  the  Fab  Five,  etc.,  made  Michael  Jordan  a  billionaire  (and  look  at  Iverson   now).                
    •   2   Sometimes  being  the  best  means  to  walk  or  talk  and  communicate  in  a  language  that   many  won't  appreciate.  Accolades  will  shower  those  during  their  reign  of  greatness   but  through  the  years  the  praises  suddenly  have  worthless  value.  And  time  has  a   way  of  not  only  reversing  what  we  may  have  perceive  to  be  greatness  it  also  will   sometimes  expose  people  for  who  they  truly  are  &  what  they  won't  represent.  As   the  years  pass  and  LeBron  James  matures  I  find  myself  becoming  more  of  a  fan  more   so  what  he  tries  to  represent  image  wise  in  this  social  media  dominated  society.   Imagine  Michael  Jordan  dealing  with  half  of  this  today?  Right  exactly  people  better   start  appreciating  this  young  man  for  carrying  a  torch  that  right  now  know  one  will   be  able  to  do  better  when  he's  gone.     I  watch  Open  Court  -­‐  Keys  To  Life  on  the  NBA  Channel  the  other  night  the  panel   consist  of  Steve  Kerr-­‐Brent  Barry-­‐Steve  Smith-­‐Shaquille  O’Neal-­‐Reggie  Miller-­‐Chris   Webber  and  moderated  by  Ernie  Johnson.  Shaquille  O’Neal  spoke  about  the  word   annuity,  a  word  often  discuss  even  in  everyday  society  and  the  reality  of  it  especially   when  the  accelerating  pedal  of  life  has  come  into  the  eye  opening  years  of  our  time   we  have  to  open  our  eyes  and  many  times  sadly  a  little  to  late  (definition  provided).   annuity  |əˈn(y)oōitē|   noun  (  pl.  -­‐ties)   a  fixed  sum  of  money  paid  to  someone  each  year,  typically  for  the  rest  of  their  life.   Professional  athletes  people  and  it’s  sad  to  listen  to  some  of  the  players  now   especially  when  they  speak  of  how  people  infringe  upon  them  during  their  entire   careers,  and  especially  how  different  some  are  now  that  they  can’t  help  them   anymore.  They  speak  of  how  family  members  can  be  the  biggest  burdens  due  to   their  inability  to  deal  realistically  with  there  own  lives  and  obligations.       Reggie  Miller  use  a  quote  by  the  former  legendary  coach  of  his  alma  mater  UCLA  the   late  great  Wizard  Of  Westwood  John  Wooden.     “Be  more  concerned  with  your  character  than  your  reputation,  because  your  character   is  what  you  really  are,  while  your  reputation  is  merely  what  others  think  you  are”   People  tend  to  because  of  our  human  instincts  be  judgmental  of  others  and  society   today  actually  magnifies  and  encourages  this  type  of  behavior  through  various   social  media  networks  embedding  it  within  our  culture  as  a  form  of  normalcy  or   acceptable.     Greed  and  money  seems  to  be  the  emphasis  of  everything  even  on  a  parochial  level   even  as  early  as  AAU  which  many  can  testify  about  having  either  experience  or  seen   it  on  a  first  hand  level  but  before  social  media.  Imagine  the  demons  that  tried  to  prey   on  young  players  of  this  generation  especially  like  Lebron  James  coming  up  in  high   school?  I  can  remember  even  years  ago  when  my  nephew  played  AAU  and   eventually  high  school  ball  with  Stephon  Marbury  how  everybody  came  at  him   everywhere  when  he  was  a  kid.  I  was  literally  amaze  that  it  took  him  so  many  years   before  he  had  his  temporary  mental  breakdown  that  was  captured  on  cyberspace   when  he  was  being  push  out  of  the  league  all  because  of  what,  money  of  course  that   Knicks  didn’t  want  to  pay  him.    
    •   3     And  now  we  fast  forward  to  todays  athlete  and  especially  the  infamous  decision  a   few  years  ago  that  Lebron  James  made  to  leave  the  Cleveland  franchise  where  the   owner  publicly  demonized  him  for  what?  He  was  demonized  for  literally  taking   control  of  his  own  destiny  and  empowering  those  in  his  life  who  he  trust  taking  a   vested  interest  in  his  brand  name.  And  since  he’s  totally  rewritten  the  rules  and  the   power  scope  for  the  at  least  astute  athlete  has  since  change  ever  since  and  although   the  player  has  evolve  being  more  aware  as  a  self  entity  and  brand  we’ve  as  a  society   still  don’t  seem  to  get  it  at  all.  Many  having  resentment  for  cunning  businessmen   such  as  a  Floyd  Mayweather  because  of  his  brashness  maybe  or  the  way  he  flaunts   what  is  his  best  commodity  his  arrogance.  In  a  sport  that  years  ago  ostracized  an   independent  thinking  champion  and  businessman  like  Larry  Holmes  because  he  was   a  threat,  and  the  threat  was  his  mission.  Which  was  to  eliminate  the  middleman  and   Mayweather  did  exactly  that  but  look  a  little  to  damn  defiant  doing  so  and   eventually  they’ll  look  to  have  vengeance  for  what  he  did  which  was  to  show   especially  African  Americans  that  we  can  rule  anything  with  the  correct  people   surrounding  you,  and  as  long  as  Floyd  has  family  who  has  been  through  the  storm  of   the  hypocrisy  of  what  the  fight  game  is  really  built  on  he’ll  never  loose.  Believe  it  or   not  Floyd’s  strength  is  having  a  father  and  uncle  who  have  both  weathered  the   storm  and  survive  and  prepared  him  years  before  anyone  even  envision  he  could   become  who  he  has  but  it’s  not  a  damn  surprise  to  anyone  name  Mayweather  at  all.     NFL  study  finds  6.86-­‐year  average  career  for  players  and  67  percent  being  of  African   American  descent,  NBA  career  length  of  4.869  seasons  with  a  little  more  than  78   percent  of  the  player  being  of  African  American  descent.  There  are  two  important   concerns  that  must  be  considered  when  looking  at  an  NFL  contract.  First,  almost   none  of  an  NFL  contract  is  actually  binding  to  the  team.  A  player  is  not  guaranteed   the  money  he  is  promised  when  signing  the  deal.  Only  the  money  for  the  season   being  played  is  guaranteed.  The  only  part  that  the  franchise  is  always  on  the  hook   for  is  the  signing  bonus.  Thus,  contract  negotiations  are  often  put  on  hold  simply  on   the  basis  that  a  signing  bonus  be  increased  for  the  peace  of  mind  of  the  player.  The   rest  of  the  contract  is  completely  subject  to  player  performance  and  injury   avoidance.  NBA  contracts  in  comparison  to  the  NFL  two  totally  different  beast  for   me  through  this  scenario  for  a  second  as  I  refer  to  this  column  written  by  Austin   Porter  for  Bleacher  Report  in  2012  as  a  credible  reference.       Take,  for  example,  the  contract  signed  by  Tennessee  Titans  running  back  Chris   Johnson.  Johnson  inked  a  controversial  four-­‐year  extension,  averaging  $13.4  million   to  go  with  a  $10  million  signing  bonus.  Pro  Football  Talk  breaks  down  the  incentives   required  for  Johnson  to  receive  full  payment  for  each  year.  Things  such  as  rushing   yardage  and  workout  attendance  dictate  whether  he  gets  full  compensation.  Simply   put,  if  Johnson  were  to  suffer  a  career-­‐ending  injury  or  get  cut,  he  would  only   receive  his  $10  million  bonus  along  with  his  2012  salary  of  $8  million.  That's  $18   million  of  a  projected  six-­‐year,  $56  million  deal.  Or  18  percent.      
    •   4   In  the  NBA,  almost  all  money  is  guaranteed.  Grant  Hill  received  a  seven-­‐year,  $93   million  contract  from  the  Orlando  Magic.  Despite  playing  only  47  games  in  his  first   four  years  of  the  deal,  Hill  eventually  saw  all  of  the  cash.   In  America's  most  popular  sport,  contracts  yield  far  less  than  one  would  expect  from   these  lucrative  signings.     The  2011  NBA  lockout  changed  the  scope  forever  though  in  particularly  largely   responsible  for  the  breakdown  sadly  was  player  representative  Derek  Fisher  at  that   time  both  he  and  Billy  Hunter.  The  17  years  executive  director  of  the  NBA  players   association  was  secretly  sold  out  it  was  said  by  Fisher.  Hunter  was  responsible  for   the  lucrative  contracts  that  became  associated  with  even  2nd  and  3rd  tier  personnel   on  NBA  rosters  and  all  contracts  were  in  guaranteed  a  language  that  still  brings  a   bitter  taste  to  the  mouth  of  NBA  ownership  when  it’s  heard.       The  lockout  ended  in  November  2011  with  players’  receiving  a  50-­‐50  split  of   basketball-­‐related  income,  after  they  were  guaranteed  57  percent  in  the  previous   deal  that  Hunter  negotiated.     NBA  ownership  knew  they  had  to  take  a  look  at  the  example  that  NFL  ownership   had  establish  you’ll  never  find  a  scenario  that  will  ever  take  place  in  the  NFL  will  one   player  could  hold  an  entire  league  hostage  which  happens  repeatedly  every  few   years  in  the  NBA  because  of  free  agency  owners  won’t  have  that.     And  although  there  will  be  those  who  might  criticize  athletes  in  particularly  those   who  have  become  rich  through  endorsements  or  a  brand  especially  some  I’ve  even   mention  in  this  article  we  should  never  be  naïve  to  the  point  to  where  we  don’t   really  see  what  the  big  picture  actually  is.    Someplace  and  somewhere  money  is  and   will  be  always  recoupable  and  don’t  assume  for  a  minute  the  piper  won’t  be  paid   somewhere.  We  hear  of  incredible  stories  over  and  over  again  about  athletes  who   loose  money  or  go  bankrupt  and  we’ll  never  stop  hearing  these  stories.  And  we’ll   hear  of  the  athletes  who  sets  the  standard  and  changes  the  face  of  a  generation  and   what  an  athlete  is  perceived  to  be  as  Michael  Jordan  did  years  ago  but  it  comes  at  a   price.    And  that  price  for  those  meticulous  about  their  business  is  to  play  in  the   comfortable  confides  of  their  home  field  because  the  business  field  is  not  level.   I  have  a  great  respect  for  people  like  Floyd  Mayweather  or  a  Lebron  James  and  even   Sean  Carter  now  who  has  moved  into  another  genre,  which  is  sports  management   because  absolutely  nothing  has  changed  on  the  playing  field  at  all.  It’s  just  that  those   ethnicity  wise  of  darker  pigmentation  have  found  the  blueprint  and  now  all  of  a   sudden  it’s  a  big  problem.                    
    •   5   We  could  only  wish  down  the  line  someone  will  step  up  and  hopefully  do  something   that  might  benefit  their  culture  or  race  by  standing  for  more  than  just  running  faster   or  jumping  higher.  But  always  be  mindful  that  being  rich  does  have  it’s  privileges   but  being  black  makes  it  a  very  limited  one  still  in  some  circles  where  a  few  million   quite  truthfully  might  not  be  considered  $h@t  at  all.     So  black  athlete  be  smart  and  be  safe  because  some  thing  aren’t  controlled  by  faith   at  all.  So  what  should  the  African  American  athlete  truthfully  aspire  for?     Greatless……makes  one  wonder  if  there’s  really  incentive  to  even  bring  a  collective   people  up  at  all  sometimes.     Respectfully,   THE  WHEEL  SPEAKS  ON  2013   (The  Way  Humanity/Hudson  Expects  Everyone  to  Live)