“Collusion, Coercion & Subversion”…
(A Conscious Effort To Subjugate Jeremy Lin’s NBA Career)
By Phil Cicchi/old & in the way
I have been following the NBA since Bill Russell’s rookie year in 1957 after he lead USF to consecutive NCAA championships in 1955 and 1956. That is a grand total of 58 years. I was thirteen years old in 1957 having been born in ’44. In all this time I have never seen anyone in the NBA treated as poorly and marginalized as much as Jeremy Lin. There may have been others who were mistreated like Jeremy but I was either too young or too unaware to have perceived it. But I don’t think so. I can’t think of anyone else who has been put through the gamut of biases to which Jeremy has been subjected. It has become clear since Linsanity began that the NBA power structure does not want Jeremy Lin to be a star player in spite of the fact that he is intelligent enough and talented enough to be a star player if he is utilized properly in the right system and is allowed to play point guard and run the offense. The rationalizations used to shackle him are redundant and have followed the same power points as though scripted regardless of who the coach and team has been. He lacks toughness, he can’t defend, he lacks point guard skills, he can’t run an offense, he is inconsistent. The only exception to this was Mike D’Antoni for the brief six week period of Linsanity in New York in 2012. The truth is that he is very tough both mentally and physically, he is a very good defender and he is consistently capable of running an offense and making his teammates better players through the utilization of good ball movement, good player movement, creating mismatches and attacking the basket. With proper spacing and teammates who know where to be on the floor he is particularly good at aggressively attacking the basket and can score at will unless he is fouled. And here in lies another bias he faces. No matter how hard, blatant or obvious the fouls against him may be he rarely gets a foul call on the defender. He averages a ridiculously low number of free throws attempts per game in spite of the frequent number of times he is fouled in general but in particular when he is driving through the lane and attacking the basket aggressively. Even when he is virtually assaulted and knocked to the floor he still does not always get the foul call. This is, of course, unacceptable but nevertheless the kind of treatment he routinely gets from NBA referees.
The blatant and obvious biases against him reached a pinnacle Friday night in the San Antonio game when Byron Scott refused to give him any playing time at all choosing instead to use both Jordan Clarkson and Ron Price ahead of him. This was Jeremy’s first post Linsanity DNP-CD. Pre-Linsanity this occurred too frequently to be comprehended but now it is even less justifiable. For sure in the particular case of Coach Scott he is highly biased. He is so biased in favor of African-Americans and against non blacks that it is fair to say without the slightest bit of hyperbole that he is a black Archie Bunker. He is very much a black Archie Bunker. For those of you too young to know him Archie Bunker was the fictional racist main character in the very popular 1970’s television sit-com, “All In The Family.” But before Scott there was the not so brilliant Keith Smart with the Golden State Warriors, the pedestrian Mike Woodson with the New York Knicks and the dim-witted Kevin McHale of the Houston Rockets all of whom treated Jeremy with the same disdain and lack of respect with which he has been treated by Byron Scott. Scott though is apparently even more rigid, inflexible, narrow-minded and ignorant than these coaches who preceded him. Byron Scott lacks adequate intelligence. He runs an obsolete and antiquated offensive system that shuns the modern game of shoot first, aggressive point guards in favor of less assertive pass first point guards. Of course, Jeremy could excel even in this latter type of system if he were allowed to and if his teammates were capable of moving without the ball and being in the proper place with proper spacing. They are not and this is mostly the result of coaching and not execution as the execution of such a system is not difficult with the proper coaching.
It must be clear to most NBA fans who are not biased that none of the straw men players who have been used to justify Jeremy’s subjugation…namely, Patrick Beverley, Ron Price and most recently Jordan Clarkson to say nothing of Acie Law and others at Golden State and Samuel Dalembert in Houston whom the Rockets preferred when they released Jeremy on December 25, 2011…have been Jeremy’s equal in skill level, on court performance or ability to positively effect the outcome of games. Nevertheless, they were all moved ahead of him on the depth charts and rosters of these teams. In my view it is not irrelevant that most of them have been African-Americans. But what precisely is that relevance in plain language? There are several theories that have been presented by various writers. But three make the most sense to me so let me concentrate on them to the exclusion of others that I think are less probable. So the three are racism, marketability and the third I shall call social manipulation which is related to racism but separate and somewhat distinct.
Racism is well understood by most people. Briefly let me interject my own view which is that racial categories are largely artificial and an imperial construct used for social manipulation and control. Genetically all humans are very close to one another and virtually identical. Apparent physical differences can be explained by geography, topography, climate and culture. A simple example is skin color. The closer people are to the equator the darker their skin color will be because they will produce more melanin which controls skin color and protects them from the sun’s stronger rays. Thus Africans have darker colored complexions because they are close to the equator and it is very hot. People in northern Europe are more fair skinned and blonde because the climate is much colder and their bodies will produce less melanin as they require less protection from the sun’s rays. In fact genetically speaking there are often more differences between individuals in the same racial category as there are between individuals in different racial categories. Nevertheless whether racial categories are real or not they do exist. What is important here isn’t what I think but what people like Scott, McHale, Woodson and others within the NBA establishment think. To them racial categories are probably very real and this effects their perceptions most often in a detrimental way. In regards to their assessments of Jeremy Lin’s basketball skills in a very detrimental way. I have often heard the Lakers’ radio broadcasters, John Ireland and Mychal Thompson, marvel at the foot speed of players like John Wall, Ty Lawson and Damian Lillard. They have said that they would like to see a foot race between these three while dribbling a basketball to determine who is the fastest NBA point guard. At other times I have heard them say about Jeremy when he steals the ball and drives the length of the court for an easy lay-up that he is faster moving down the court with the ball than the players chasing him who aren’t dribbling a ball. And some if not most of these players chasing him are actually black! How about that? But when they mention the ball-dribbling foot race among the fastest NBA point guards they never include Jeremy in the discussion. Why not? The eye test is sufficient for them with Jeremy? They don’t need to include him in the discussion? This is a clear case of racism and a very strong bias against Jeremy. They are buying into the fiction of racial superiority whether they are aware of it or would ever admit it. In their ignorant minds blacks run faster and jump higher than others. This is, of course, nonsense. I have seen pictures of Jeremy and Nick Young jumping to give each other high five hip bumps and guess who is higher off the ground? You have one guess and the correct answer is not Nick Young. Jeremy has as much or more spring in his legs as his African-American teammates. This same kind of racial bias haunts Jeremy on a daily basis and has since his very first day in the NBA. So this kind of racism is easy to perceive if not quite as easy to comprehend. At least we can see where it comes from and in rather concrete terms how it is constructed.
Then there is marketability. The pattern of the star player mold has been well established by former players and trend setters like Michael Jordan especially, Larry Bird and a much younger Kobe Bryant. The NBA is first and foremost a profit driven and very successful business venture. The NBA wants the golden goose to continue to lay very golden eggs for its owners and upper echelon management people like Adam Silver. The established star player mold illustrated by Jordan, Bird, Bryant and others is a sure thing and a sure money maker. The NBA has made billions of dollars by marketing these black and white basketball heroes to the rest of the world. China is certainly a very big part of the rest of the world. But the NBA wants a very sure thing. While I think there is plenty of room in professional basketball for “black” heroes and “white” heroes as well as “yellow” ones, the NBA is apparently not quite as sure as I am. To the billionaires who control the NBA Jeremy represents more of a risk than the traditional black and white cash cows. Thus this, too, works against Jeremy and adds to the conscious effort to subjugate his career and purposely limit his success. So we have racism and we have billionaires who do not want to do anything to decrease the league’s profitability although my view is that Jeremy could only increase it and not decrease it. But once again what I think doesn’t matter as much as what the rich and powerful owners think.
Thirdly there is the factor of social control and manipulation. This is related to racism but distinct enough to have its own category. It is clear to most intelligent people I think that America is controlled by white supremacists. The power structure in America is composed mostly of white men. Any other cultural sub-group will accordingly be disadvantaged. This very naturally causes a lot of conflict and resentment and is a potential fire bomb. I think one way that African-Americans are controlled and manipulated by this white power structure is through the utilization of cultural and economic crumbs and bones. Creating a few hundred rich NBA mostly black basketball players doesn’t help most
African-Americans at all but it is a distraction and it is a part of a conscious effort to keep all the poor and disadvantaged blacks from spending enough time thinking about their plight to do anything about it. It seems to me that African-Americans are deliberately advantaged in sports and entertainment for the precise purpose of keeping this cultural fire bomb from exploding in very violent ways. Concede sports and entertainment to them in an effort to appease them for every other way in which they are compromised by the white power structure. This is also conscious and not an accidental and unintended consequence. Thus I think it is the view of the rich NBA owners that Jeremy also threatens this cultural safety valve. One Chinese-American hero today but how many tomorrow? And the more Asian-American heroes tomorrow the fewer and fewer black ones I think is the ruling class fear. Again they want a sure thing and don’t like anything that risks their position and power. Asian-Americans are already being appeased in other ways so it isn’t necessary for the power elite to let them enter the professional basketball arena, too, to maintain their power and control is what I postulate the thought process to be for the rich and powerful white men who control this society with a heavy hand and a very big stick. So this also works against Jeremy and is part of the bias that holds him back and keeps him from realizing his full potential as a professional basketball player in the NBA.
As far as yesterday’s first post Linsanity DNP-CD is concerned there is also the added factor that the Los Angeles Lakers seem to be deliberately tanking games this season in an effort to retain their top-5 draft pick in 2015. Put all of these factors together and Jeremy is trying to play basketball in a straight jacket while everyone else is taking PED’s at least figuratively if not literally. Will Jeremy ever be allowed to compete on equal terms on a level playing field? That is the question and the answer continues to be blowing in the wind along with Jeremy’s nebulous professional basketball future. My heart is for Jeremy but my brain wonders if he will ever prevail, if he will ever be allowed to compete fairly and equally. We can only hope that it may in time be so. Los Angeles is a lost cause clearly. He needs to find another team and the sooner the better. Now playing point guard for your…fill in the blank with your dream team of choice…number 17, Mr. Jeremy Lin. That’s what I want to hear. Boston? Golden State with a new and improved coaching staff? San Antonio? I don’t know but I do know he needs to get the hell out of Dodge and pronto, Tonto! (Jay Silverheels, a victim of extremely racist casting in the middle of the last century and Native American sidekick of “The Lone Ranger” fame. But don’t think that Tonto was his role of choice. It was virtually all he could get.) And now Jeremy, too, treated just like Jay Silverheels seventy years later. What kind of progress is this!? The sad truth is that the collusion, coercion and subversion continue unabated and virtually out of control. For power-crazed billionaires including those who own basketball teams subjugating the lives of others for profit is I’m afraid a way of life.