Monday, 26th August 2019

The Plight of the Modern NBA Fan

Posted on 07. Dec, 2011 by FSM Staff in Uncategorized

The Plight of the Modern NBA Fan

The NBA lockout is finally over folks. As hot dog vendors and professional basketball players gear up for a shortened 66 game NBA season, the common fan has been lost in the shuffle.

When news broke that a tentative labor agreement was reached, the feeling was bittersweet. I was happy I would get to see Blake Griffin do his thing, but also upset at the owners and players for putting us fans through this mess. Both parties had their hiss-fit over millions and billions all the while knowing we would be there with open arms when they finally came to their senses.

And that’s just the problem. The fans are never willing to lockout out the NBA. Our love of basketball trumps our poor treatment. We will sit there and take it month after month because we just want to see some hoop. The players know this and the owners do too. Why wouldn’t they take their sweet time?

I would love to lead a movement that calls on sports fans to boycott the NBA for these upcoming 66 games. If they don’t want to play the first half of the season, we shouldn’t be so eager to watch the second half. But there will be no revolution for me, especially in the midst of a recession. This country needs every job we can get right now from the parking lot attendant to the half-time show entertainment. Also, I’ve been itching to watch Blake Griffin’s high flying antics again. Did I mention I like Blake Griffin?

So it’s with great frustration that the loyal NBA fans around the world must usher in the abridged 2011-12 season. In a few years we will put all the negative feelings behind us and the outrage will subside – until this mess happens all over again.

A Letter to the NBPA and NBA Owners

Posted on 12. Jul, 2011 by FSM Staff in Highlight, NBA

A Letter to the NBPA and NBA Owners

Dear NBPA & NBA Owners,

I am writing to inform you that I am also engaging in a lockout. My situation is far direr than that of the NBA players and owners. For nearly 20 years I have been investing my time and money in the NBA, and I have yet to see any returns on my investment. Roughly 10% of my pathetic $35,000 annual salary goes to tickets, merchandise, memorabilia, parking, beer, and nachos. I used to have no problem spreading my money around to the NBA, but the players have made me see the light. Why would should I keep making someone else rich if they don’t want to share their profits with me? Even if the 2011-12 NBA season goes on as scheduled, I still plan to employ a lockout until the following fan demands are met:

-The NBA owners must do as much as possible to cover up news reports of players behaving badly. Perhaps the media outlets in North Korea can be used as a model. Andrew Bynum will still be allowed to “make it rain” by throwing his cash up in the air, the hard working fans just don’t need to see it or know about it because it makes us feel bad. Also, players should not be allowed to show off the ridiculous material possessions they have purchased with fan money on MTV Cribs.

-The NBA players must admit that what they do for a living is not important – at all. They throw a little ball through a metal ring. If the NBA were to end forever, the world would go on without missing a beat.

-The NBA players and NBA owners must share their wealth with the cotton candy guy at your local stadium. You know the guy I’m talking about – he’s worked there for 10 years and drives home every night in his Datsun with the primer paint job. He is also still enthusiastic about selling cotton candy for some reason.

-Offering contracts like Eric Dampier’s $60 million deal should be punishable by jail time, or possibly the death penalty.

-Fans will get back 1% of every dollar they spend on the NBA as a show of appreciation for making NBA players and owners filthy stinkin’ rich.

-NBA players will admit that their life is not as hard as they claim. Traveling from town to town on a private jet and playing sports is not a tough life. Having money, women, and weed available at all times is actually fun and can lead to good times, even if you are married.

-At least one NBA player has to come out of the closet as being gay and that player must be accepted by everyone. We know players and owners are greedy, but we’re not so sure they are good, empathetic people.

Once these demands are met, I may consider watching the NBA again. Actually, I would even settle if you meet me half way – it’s called a compromise in case you are unfamiliar with the term. Until then, it will be nothing but Major League Soccer for me because I think I make more money than most of those guys and I harbor no resentment towards any of them whatsoever.

Goodbye Tractor

Posted on 11. May, 2011 by FSM Staff in General Sports, NBA

Goodbye Tractor

It is with great sadness that FreeSportsMag is reporting on the death of former NBA player Robert “Tractor” Traylor. Traylor’s body was discovered earlier today at his apartment in Puerto Rico where he was recently living while playing for the Bayamon Cowboys. It is believed that the 34 year-old Traylor passed away as a result of a heart attack.

Many remember Tractor Taylor during his college days playing for Michigan. He also played for seven seasons in the NBA with the Milwaukee Bucks, Cleveland Cavaliers, and the Charlotte/New Orleans Hornets. Those who knew him described him as a gentle giant that cared for others.

Click here to learn more about Robert Traylor. R.I.P. Tractor.

DONE-leavy in Los Angeles?

Posted on 03. Jan, 2010 by stavkav in NBA

DONE-leavy in Los Angeles?

Just when I think I have myself all figured out, life knocks me on my arse and shows me just how ignorant I truly am. The most recent knockdown occurred on April 10th, when I was fortunate enough to get free tickets to the L.A. Clippers versus the Sacramento Kings contest at Staples Center. On this night, the basketball gods were kind enough to reach down to the 8th row behind the Clipper bench and replace one fan’s hate with wisdom.

In the previous five years, there has been no greater Mike Dunleavy basher than yours truly (well maybe the Sports Guy Bill Simmons). As an avid Los Angeles Clippers fan, many of Coach Dunleavy’s decisions have caused me to experience panic attacks, curse profusely in front of family, and abuse alcohol. Dunleavy’s coaching against the Phoenix Suns in the 2006 NBA Playoffs was especially bad for my physical and mental health. I never want to hear the name Daniel Ewing again.

A good Dunleavy bashing always starts with a little bit of history. Before a tirade begins, the listener must be told that the only reason Mike Dunleavy took the L.A. Lakers to the finals in 1991 was because Magic Johnson and James Worthy were on that team. The listener must then be made aware of the monumental meltdown/choke-job that occurred in the 2000 Western Conference Finals where the Portland Trailblazers, coached by Dunleavy, gave up a double digit lead to Shaq, Kobe, and the rest of the L.A. Lakers during the final minutes of game 7. Damon Stoudamire never wants to hear the name Mike Dunleavy again.

After the history portion of the bash is complete, any number of Dunleavy short-comings or current Clipper woes can be discussed at length using as many expletives as necessary. When concluding the tirade, it is crucial to mention the only way to make everything right is for owner Donald Sterling to fire Mike Dunleavy.

I was prepared to use the Dunleavy-bashing formula described above on April 10th at Staples Center. My hate for the man was turned up to 11 and I was ready to talk with whatever fan was willing to listen. But that didn’t end up being necessary because a drunken fan sitting a few rows away from me spoke up for the entire Clipper nation. The rumblings started in the first half. A few well-timed “Fire Dunleavy” shouts left most of us in the section by the Clipper bench chuckling. The beer must have been flowing at halftime because this fan really picked it up a notch during the second half. The shouts turned in to chants and his cronies even started getting in on the action. The chants then became louder and more frequent and the Clipper bench started to take notice.

Ricky Davis was the first to nonchalantly look back in an attempt to get a glimpse of the heckler. He also tried to hide a smile once he spotted him. I noticed others get sucked in to the drama as well. Assistant coach and former player Rory White casually glanced up during a time out as did announcer Mike Smith. This heckler was relentless and there is no doubt in my mind that Mike Dunleavy could hear every word. After a while, it just started to get uncomfortable in my section, especially as the “Fire Dunleavy” chant started to spread.

That’s when a very strange thing happened to me. I started to feel bad for the man who had been tormenting me for the last 5 years; I started to feel bad for Mike Dunleavy. I don’t know how or why this happened (that’s why I attributed the epiphany to the basketball gods earlier in this article), but somehow it happened. I started to think of all the positive things coach Dunleavy has done for the Clippers like leading them to the best record in franchise history and convincing owner Donald Sterling to finally spend money. I thought of some of the bigger names he was able to help bring to the Clippers like Sam Cassell, Baron Davis, and Marcus Camby. I realized that, besides Elgin Baylor and Eric Piatkowski, Mike Dunleavy is the only other form of continuity the Clippers have had in recent years. So, I finally cut the guy some slack.

I could finally admit that I was mad at myself and not Mike Dunleavy. In psychology, it is referred to as projection. I was angry with myself and projected that anger on to coach Dunleavy. I was mad at myself for having hope and believing the Clippers could ever be more than just L.A.’s b-team. I tasted a little bit of success in 2006 and thought it would be enough to change the history of a franchise overnight. I wanted immediate results and I started to get unruly. I think a big portion of the Clipper nation felt or currently feels this same way.

Los Angeles Clippers fans are usually patient, easy-going, and kind, not bitter and angry. This fan is going back to basics.

Who knows what the future holds for coach Mike Dunleavy? Based on his performance in the last three years, one would naturally assume that he may not be coaching the Los Angeles Clippers next season. However, knowing how the fiscally minded Donald Sterling likes to work, it also just as likely that Dunleavy will be the coach of the Clippers for the next few years instead of being bought out of a contract where he has over $10 million still coming his way.

A Momentary Lapse of Reason

Posted on 03. Jan, 2010 by stavkav in General Sports, NBA

A Momentary Lapse of Reason

Professional basketball fans in Los Angeles usually fall in to one of two groups. The first group is comprised of mellow people who have no problems going with the flow. These people never have high expectations and can have an equally good time going to a club or staying home to watch television. The second group is comprised of quite a different breed. This group is ultra confident and always wants to have a good time. In fact, their confidence can resemble arrogance and they may even seem to have a sense of entitlement. Some members of this group might enjoy a quiet night at home, but the majority are out and about, being seen and living the L.A. life up. If you live in southern California you know where I’m going with this. If you don’t call Los Angeles home, then pick which group you identify most with. Group number one means you are a Clippers fan. Group number two means you root for the Lakers.

While there are many more differences between Clippers and Lakers fans than the few mentioned above, one glaring similarity exists: both want to enjoy themselves and are not looking for any trouble. This holds a bit truer for Clippers fans as there is more drama associated with winning titles and tensions can be a bit higher over in Laker land.

Excessive winning can make a fan impatient. Laker fans have been known to get quite vocal at times. But their rants and shouts from the stands are usually comical in nature and rarely do they cross the line. Occasionally, the crowd will unite after a blown call to chant bullsh*t, bullsh*t in unison, but that is about as bad as it gets. So it is surprising to hear about the unruly behavior of the L.A. fans this past Christmas day during the game against the visiting Cleveland Cavaliers. The game was physical and the referees swallowed their whistles for the most part. The lack of foul calls frustrated the Lakers and ultimately led to Kobe Bryant, Derek Fisher, and Lamar Odom getting technical fouls in protest. Odom persisted and was ejected from the game which prompted an atypical reaction from the crowd on hand at Staples Center. They shared the frustration of the Laker players and expressed this feeling by littering the court with foam hands that were passed out as part of a Nike promotion earlier that night.

“I’ve never seen an L.A. crowd react like this before,” said Lakers coach Phil Jackson after the incident. “I like their enthusiasm. I don’t like their demonstrative manner.”

Though the reaction from the L.A. fans at Staples Center was atypical, it was definitely not excusable. Amid the harmless foam signs that were twirling on to the court, a few water bottles found their way on as well. You will get no argument here that getting hit with foam is harmless. A full water bottle however, that is another story entirely. King James would agree:

“The only thing that you hope doesn’t happen is one of the players getting hit or a referee getting hit, especially by a full water bottle…when that came on the court, it was coming pretty fast. You don’t want that to happen because it could definitely hurt somebody. Luckily no one got hurt, and that’s a good thing.”

It is easy to see how a fan could have a momentary lapse of reason during a game of this magnitude. Kobe versus Lebron aside, there was also the storyline of Shaquille O’Neal making yet another glorious return to L.A. with yet another contender. In the heat of the moment, any fan might feel the urge to fling some foam.

“If you want to throw something, at least throw something that isn’t going to hurt,” Kobe tried to explain after the game. “So I guess that (foam) was the best situation.”