Amaechi doesn’t soft-pedal the NBA’s homophobia, but he believes it’s more “a convention of a particular brand of masculinity than a genuine prejudice.” A team bus ride past a billboard reading “SOMEONE YOU KNOW IS GAY,” for example, launches a “cacophony of shock and horror.” Rather than rant about his teammates, Amaechi points out the locker room’s sexual ironies. “They checked out each other’s cocks. They primped in front of the mirror. ¦ They tried on each other’s $10,000 suits and shoes. ¦ And I’m the gay one. Hah!”
The most interesting revelation in Man in the Middle has nothing to do with homosexuality. The profoundly isolated Amaechi says he finds common cause with other players on at least one matter: seeing sports as a means to an end. He writes that the pros play the game for a lot of reasons”money, fame, groupies, self-esteem”but that very few NBA players love basketball. “The fan sitting at home ¦ wants us to love the game like he does,” he writes. “If he knew why we really play the game, for the most part, he might not love the game. He might not even watch it.” The average fan, gay or straight, will probably find that contention more troubling than a former player’s homosexuality.
Possibly. Though Tyrus Thomas and Latrell Sprewell have probably done their share to let the world know that playing for the love of the game is an antiquated concept for some modern ballers.
Celebrating his first weekend on the ESPN payroll, True Hoop’s Henry Abbott is not only doing a tremendous job stalking the great and near-great in Vegas, but he links to a Marc Stein report claiming Dwight Howard wanted the rims raised to 12 feet for his Dunk Contest attempts (the league said “fuck no”). I can neither confirm nor deny that Nate Robinson made a similiar request — to lower the net to 6 feet.
After watching a hacktastic crew of Rat Pack impersonators stumble through the opening of tonight’s TNT telecast (are those boos we’re hearing in the background?), I can only respond with words I never thought I’d find myself typing : bring back Big & Rich!
Clint Holmes, huh. Nice to see David Stern and the Maloof Brothers left no stone unturned in their attempts to book entertainers who if not totally in touch with the NBA aesthetic, are amongst the most popular contemporary acts…who couldn’t get arrested anywhere else in America.
I don’t wanna say that Bill Laimbeer looks to be in less than tip-top playing condition. But I can only assume the guy that played David Puddy on “Seinfeld” had better things to do this Saturday night than compete alongside Chauncey Billups and Swin Cash.