Relax, Woj

Photo Credit: Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images

Photo Credit: Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images

BY HAROLD BAYLESS

In terms of transactions in the NBA, there is only one reporter working that I look to for the latest information — Adrian Wojnarowski.

After reading his column today, he remains one of, if not the best, news reporter for all things NBA in my dreary eyes. I haven’t heard, seen or read anyone better at getting the news first.

However, his opinion has now lost all credibility with me and I will no longer waste more than a second to read anything with his byline unless it is a news report.

Before you read any further, please read his column.

Obviously he makes a completely valid point that it is unfair to criticize Knight for making the ‘right’ play. However, no one was actually criticizing him. Anyone who has played the game, or knows the game, knows getting dunked on comes with the territory in respect to playing proper defense.

Basketball is a game — an activity one chooses to partake in during their leisure time. Many human beings choose said activities based on personal enjoyment, happiness, fun, etc. they get from participating.

It just so happens trash-talk, and razzing, is part of the fun in the basketball community — along with countless other things.

So for Adrian to read a bunch of tweets, from parody Twitter accounts no less, and react the way he did (writing a column painting the basketball community a “backward culture”) is a complete overreaction. That isn’t my biggest issue with his column though.

My biggest problem was his transparent tactic of trying to turn Knight into a real victim of some sort (ironic, right?) who deserved everyone’s compassion, all the while taking a shot at Jordan.

Right off the bat, he wants readers to realize Knight is a gym-rat who can’t get enough of the game. Then he writes that Lawrence Frank had to confiscate Knight’s ‘sneakers’ to drive home the point that they didn’t want their player pushing himself so hard coming off an injury – that even against doctor’s orders, he’s such a gym-rat and basketball junkie they couldn’t keep him off the court unless they took his shoes.

What a cute fucking anecdote, Adrian.

Call me a cynic, but it is my firm belief Knight owned/owns more than one pair of shoes. If for some reason he didn’t, I’d guess the NBA lotto pick could scrounge up the scratch to purchase another if he was so dead-set on practicing. I’d also be willing to wager an NBA player wouldn’t have to ‘sneak’ into any gym to practice should they want to. I’m sure he could’ve found a place besides the Pistons practice facility if he was so hellbent on getting in some work.

Now that Adrian has established his gym-rat, do-gooder, hero who always does the right thing, he proceeds with his irrational overreaction.

He says because so many fans (again, he also refers to a Twitter parody account as a prominent figure) of the game had fun with the spectacular highlight, the message is sent to everyone everywhere that it’s no longer accepted to play defense and contest someone going in for a dunk — that if you’re a player coming up, you should ‘run and hide’ if you see a player driving or flying towards the hoop because it’s a backwards culture now.

Adrian, any basketball player who saw the play last night and subsequently partook in a couple of laughs via social media commentary of the play didn’t come to the conclusion you did. Even Knight himself had fun with it as evidenced by his tweet.

Following some more self-righteousness, Woj all of a sudden rakes Jordan’s game, relative to his contract, over the coals to prove his point on what should be celebrated and what shouldn’t be. He says Jordan could become a folk hero after this, probably to skew his reader’s perspective on what transpired. In reality, I’d be surprised if most fans who saw it even remember it in two weeks, after two weeks full of highlights every night.  No one who enjoyed harping on the play called Jordan an all-star, or a hall of famer, or ‘achiever in the sport’ after the play either.

It was an awesome play made by a phenomenal athlete, and because of Knight’s involvement in the play, it made it even more spectacular.

Adrian delivers his final blow by citing the height and weight disparity between the two players for the second time before this gem, ‘Knight understood the right thing is seldom ever the most popular.’

Did he? Did you guys have a heart-to-heart after the game? A philosophical discussion on the parallels of right and wrong in real life and on the basketball court?

I suspect they didn’t talk last night, but Woj just wanted to throw that last bit of speculation on Knight’s sentiments to strengthen his pile of shit commentary.

Woj says the culture of the sport has never been so backward because a bunch of fans razzed a dude who got dunked on.

He’s right. It’s a lot worse and more backward now then when blacks weren’t allowed to play. Or even in the 70s and 80s when players high on uppers threw haymakers at other players who were airborne so as to deliver a ‘hard foul’.

Because some fucking legend photoshopped Simba at Knight’s feet while he was laying on his back after getting yolk’d on by DJ, basketball needs an immediate culture change.

Great call, Adrian.

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