Dan LeBastard Does Tim the Hard-a-way

Tim, shhhhhh!Tim, Shhhhhhh!

Finally, last question, how do you feel about a gay teammate?” That was Dan LeBatard’s question that concluded LeBastard’s 790 The Ticket radio interview with former NBA star Tim Hardaway while Hardaway was in Las Vegas puttin’ in work, ironically, for the NBA. Now, “South Park Tim-uh,” is a Texas fella with probably a little more than a little Garrison Hearst – “I don’t want no faggots on my team” – graham cracker in him, said what pretty much every country fella would’a said:

“Whoooo! Uhhhh, first of all, I wouldn’t want him on my team and ummmm, second of all, if he was on my team I would, you know, really distance myself from him ’cause uh, uh, I don’t think that’s right and you know I-I-I, it’s it’s it’s, I don’t think, ummm, y’know, he shouldn’t be in the locker room while we in the locker room and it’s just a whole lotta other things….”

And for me, it all suddenly made sense. In a span of a two minute question and answer, all of ESPN’s hard marketing work for John Ameachi’s “tell-it-all from the gay side” book, “Man in the Middle” (middle of….. what?) finally paid off.

ESPN publicists had to be behind the “leaked” information that a gay former NBA player was coming out in a book available for sale on that holiday made by the Hallmark Greeting Card Company, Valentine’s Day. ESPN was behind the pumping up of the topic of gay athletes in locker rooms; every on-air talent was asked to give their “expert” opinion on the matter. The only person I didn’t hear from was Peter Gammons, probably because he was too busy with one of his vintage Les Pauls writing his rock opera answer – finally – to the 1972 Who album, “Tommy” (was the original title, “Tim-uh”? “).

The only ESPN columnists who failed to chime in on the gay athlete matter were Scoop Jackson and Bill Simmons; I heard Jackson was reading Tim McVeigh’s private notes and was buying up all the cow manure in Texas to configure a fertilizer bomb to blow up the Internet in a last-ditch effort to remove bad press about him from the tubes that pass information from computer to computer and I heard Simmons was too busy counting his money, errrr, trying to come up with a new Yankees joke for spring training.

Once South Park Tim-uh uttered the unconscionable, out the window and out of view flew incendiary articles on Amaechi and homosexuality from ESPN.com Page 2 writers Chris Broussard (whose true impact on sports journalism can be elucidated by this: at this moment Broussard is providing his expert analysis – seriously – of the Dick Bavetta-Charles Barkley pre-NBA All-Star game race on the Mike and Mike morning radio show) and LZ Granderson – those bastions of all that is black culture. Out the window went all previous trite, pollyanna, milquetoast statements from all the alleged ESPN on-air talent.

And in flew Texas Tim-uh (he’s actually from Chicago) into his present 15 minutes of infamy.

I was one of the misguided people who initially thought LeBatard was one of the good-guy journalists; one of the few who look at both sides of a sports issue and are willing to fly in the face of popular opinion and defend athletes, and rip management, and a pliant sporting press. But as I witnessed the Amaechi events unfold, questions about LeBatard’s true intentions arose. In a conversation late last evening with the brilliant Michael Tillery – dude’s journalism fingerprints are everywhere, but somehow he’s nearly unknown – my suspicions of LeBastard were confirmed. Tillery sent me the following from an interview he performed with the legendary Miami rapper and former integral part of the Miami Hurricane’s football success, Luther Campbell (2 Live Crew):

Tillery: How’s the University of Miami looking this year? What’s your affiliation with that top ten program?

LC: These days I have absolutely no affiliation. After all the championships we won, there started to be a lot of jealous writers. They wanted to know why Luther Campbell is on the sidelines. Why I was talking to kids. They came up with their own reasons. Saying that I was paying people. All of that stuff was lies. I kind of disassociated myself from the university.

You had writers like Dan LeBatard (Miami Herald, ESPN). Through his lies about me paying the players, he became a big sports writer. He was a regular beat writer. When he broke the story about me after doing all kinds of so-called investigating it made him a hero. A lot of writers across the country depend on stories like this to elevate themselves in the field. In the process they ruin a lot of innocent folk’s lives. That ain’t right.

Tillery intimated that Campbell had a whole lot more to say about the LeBastard incident, but he respected Luther’s want to keep the information private; I can only imagine.

So that’s how LeBastard, the son of exiled, neoconservative, rabid anti-Castro Cubans, forced his way into the public’s eye – off the backs of Luther Campbell and Miami Hurricane (read, black) football players. For me, that tidbit sealed the LeBatard deal. Dan LeBastard can pontificate all he wants. He can wail until the moon, or his face, turns blue that athletes and coaches get raw deals from the press; act the part of jock-friendly reporter if he wants.

What is painfully obvious, other than Hardaway’s statements, is that I don’t believe Tim even knew about the Amaechi book. Hardaway, like many, many athletes do not, contrary to popular belief, keep up with current sports or news affairs. They’re way too busy finding ways to maintain the public relevancy they enjoyed as professional athletes.

NBA players don’t give a Dan LeBastard about the news of Amaechi “coming out.” I’m willing to wager anything that if you asked 25 NBA players from the Western Conference which teams at this moment occupied the final three playoff positions in the Eastern Conference barely five would know the answer, and vice versa; maybe not that many. You think it’s sad that a vast majority of college students can’t name the present U.S. Cabinet members? Ask professional athletes if you really want to cry. The sole concerns of the NBA players, past and present in Las Vegas were, what’s in my goody bag, who’s throwing the dopest parties, where is everybody gambling, and where can I meet my favorite non-athlete entertainer. That’s it, that’s all, no more, no less.

If you go back and listen again to the LeBatard’s Hardaway interview, think about the phrasing of LeBastard’s question: he didn’t preface the question with, “So Tim, have you been keeping up with all the press about John Amaechi revealing that he’s gay?” He didn’t even say, “Tim, John Amaechi’s book, “Man in the Middle” was just released and in it he tells the world that he is gay. How would you have felt if you knew you were playing with a gay teammate?” LeBatard simply asked, “How do you feel about a gay teammate?” There was no reference point for Hardaway and I firmly believe that LeBatard knew he was about to get the answer he so sought. Remember, Hardaway, at the time of the interview, was in Las Vegas representing the NBA. Does anyone believe that if he knew of the ESPN-generated publicity surrounding Amaechi’s book that he would have answered LeBatard’s question the same way?

Hell no.

The lack of context for the “gay teammate” question makes LeBatard complicit in setting up Tim Hardaway for ESPN and for the furtherance of his own career. It makes ESPN complicit in pressing ethical boundaries to ensure sales of an ESPN-published book. It makes all black people, as extensions of Hardaway’s bias, open to undue questions of prejudice, bigotry, and yes, racism, by a parasitical press and an unthinking public.

Finally, it makes Dan LeBatard, like far too many others in his field – another flimsy, go with the prevailing breeze, screw you in a heartbeat, sports journalist. And the primary name – and face – in a cautionary tale for all sports figures.

Other posts pertinent to this one:

 Reactions from Around the NBA to the News of John Amaechi’s Coming Out

Saying the Unsaid: A Post-Letter to Jeff Perlman (a peripheral John Amaechi joint)

Tim Hardaway and the Language of Hate; Chris Broussard is LZ’s Good Buddy (as long as LZ Doesn’t Check out his Johnson in the Shower, That Is)


34 Responses to “Dan LeBastard Does Tim the Hard-a-way”

  1. This may be the biggest piece of bullshit written about the whole Hardaway gay bashing comments written.

    You have to put the gayness question into context? Why? Hardaway was in Vegas representing the fucking NBA why would you assume that he didn’t know about the Amechi book? Hardaway used to work for ESPN and most likely still has friends within the organization. If there was some sort of ESPN push to get this story out and get this reaction then if anything you’d have to assume Hardaway was in on it not vice versa.

    Using Luther Campbell’s thoughts about Lebatard to draw the conclusions that you did either smacks of incredible stupidity or further knowledge of the subject that you did not put within this post. I would think if you had the proof, or an analysis rebuking the conclusions Lebatard came to on his Luther Campbell story you would post it. In fact it sounds like you haven’t read the story in question. Am I to believe you take one side of the story and then form an opinion on it? Most of your previous posts would indicate otherwise.

    If it came to light that Lebatard did falsify information in his big story break as a reporter then he should be raked over the coals and branded for what he is. Until you actually have proof all you have is an ill informed opinion that will influence only the shallow and stupid.

  2. Wow. Can a black person ever do anything wrong that’s not a white person’s fault? Seriously, this is borderline delusional, and you’re better than that.

  3. Merwin –
    Why shouldn’t the gayness question be put into context?! Context is EVERYTHING in a conversation – or with the written word. I didn’t and don’t defend Hardaway’s comments in any form or fashion, I am saying that if you listen to the interview it has all the earmarks of a classic ambush question. If you listen to it in CONTEXT with the remainder of the interview.

    Hardaway worked for ESPN for what – a minute? And that doesn’t mean he’s up on the news. And you think Tim would suffer all this crap – for what???!!! He’s not getting a check from ESPN and he just lost his checks from the NBA. Now if you believe he’s getting paid to ruin the NBA, then just let me know.

    Next, yes I have read LeBatard’s bashing of Campbell and the Miami program. And I did post the refutation in the snippet from the Campbell interview, The REAL question is, have you read the interview???? How do you say I’m taking one side of a story when I’ve read both sides and YOU haven’t ?! And I didn’t say he falsified info – he didn’t have to. All LeBatard had to do is stretch the truth, make it conform to a popular viewpoint – which he did – and bingo! you have a big break story. That happens every single day in the news – or didn’t you know?

    I won’t call you shallow and stupid as you did potential readers of this article, however, I will say you are incredibly naive if you think LeBatard is some sort of goody-two shoes angel of sportswriting…. and I didn’t even get into his knee-jerk extremely biased reportage of Nick Saban’s leaving the Dolphins —- does Osaban bin Lying ring a bell???

  4. Marin- Wow can’t anyone object to ESPN without someone like you thinking I’m talking about race?!!!

  5. You want to have it both ways. You want ESPN pinned as the manufacturer for a giant publicity blitz about Amaechi. But, you also want Hardaway “ambushed” by a topic he knew nothing about.

    “Marin- Wow can’t anyone object to ESPN without someone like you thinking I’m talking about race?!!!”

    You write:
    “It makes ESPN complicit in pressing ethical boundaries to ensure sales of an ESPN-published book. It makes all black people, as extensions of Hardaway’s bias, open to undue questions of prejudice, bigotry, and yes, racism, by a parasitical press and an unthinking public.”

    Aren’t you talking about race?

  6. Is that the main thrust of the article? NO. It’s a sidebar. If Tim Legler made the comments I might write, “and by extension all hetero athletes…” Don’t start cherry pickin’ Traj. I think you full well know the main thrust of the article – and I also think you know exactly what the sidebar is about….

  7. Are any of you implying that DWil cosigned Hardaway’s comments?

    He didn’t.

    He merely states that LeBatard, being a true ESPN representative, had ulterior motives in the way he posed the question to Hardaway for ESPN’s financial gain.

    ESPN is trying to sell a book. They have asked everyone who is anyone to elicit a Hardaway similarity.

    Dan was their vehicle.

    Regarding his use of my interview with Luke to explain Dan as a snake in the grass journalist, refer to the state of Miami’s program. It’s true that Dan had his opportunistic hand in the U’s top 3 disband.


    We all want to break a national story, but if we are sincerely true to the game, we hope that it’s positive.

    I know I do. Anyone out there want to give me a story that is going to do some good for sports as well as society, you know where to find me 😉

    Luke could have helped some of the players stay out of trouble..and worst..the morgue.

    30% of the U’s players come from Luke’s Pop Warner program, so why prohibit his influence?

    As far as Hardaway, he said some dumb shit, but being a colleague of Dan’s–since some of you are adamant that he was this serious ESPN employee–I thought Dan was disingenious in using a “getaway” question that was Tyson bolo loaded.

    Is ESPN accountable? If not, why?

  8. Sidebar? Your post begins with an image of an enslaved African! Marin’s not wrong for writing the comment above.

    To contextualize the Hardaway comment by taking on Le Batard is to explain, if not to excuse, Hardaway’s bigotry. Would you try to explain John Rocker’s bigotry by challenging the reporter who set him off?

    The bigger problem is that your post if full of unsubstantiated speculation and assertions. Yet, a tendency toward speculation seems to be part of your problem with Le Batard.

    Again, you’re trying to have it both ways.

  9. The caption included in the picture is “Tim, Shhhhhh!

    Is it the imagery that confounds you or the words associated?

  10. I guess both the imagery and the caption confound me, especially after DWil says race only plays a peripheral role in the post.

  11. It’s used to provoke thought, which seems to be a lost art in sports journalism. It’s all about copycat frat boy kick people in the corner logic.

    There’s nothing creative about that.

    Is ESPN at all accountable? That’s the question I would like answered?

  12. Hey! Where did everybody go?

    My crooked masking taped glasses are sweaty and my buck teeth are grinding causing my dog to howl incessantly.

  13. TheLastPoet Says:

    I’d be happy to answer your question, Mr Tillery, but its the same answer I’ve been giving since this alleged “scandal” broke out – and the same answer D-Nice has already given above: Were Hardaway’s comments stupid, ignorant, unnecessary, childish, unfortunate, sad, intolerant, and so on? Yes, of course they were. Do his comments adversely affect people’s thoughts about Black people, gay people, straight people, athletes, mass media, and so on? Yes, of course they do. Each of these oft-intersecting groups can be affected in some way by what Mr Hardaway said. Is Mr Hardaway ultimately responsible for the words coming out of his mouth? Yes, of course he is. However, the bumbling nature of his response certainly suggests that he did not have prior knowledge of the question, at least; just as the “tyson bolo” style question itself certainly suggests an ulterior motive. So finally, is ESPN somehow accountable in all of this? Yes, of course they are. All publicity is good for the CREAM, and there isn’t any American corporation anywhere in the world that cares about anything more than the CREAM. In this case the CREAM centered on an ex baller who wrote a book about being gay. Not really much of a story there, and so not much CREAM. But what if the clever folks over in marketing can tie this guy’s sexuality into the mainstream (mis)perception of “manly” jock culture and rampant ghetto homophobia? Wait, is that the ghost of Joseph Pulitzer? Has anybody seen the Sunday Times? Because now we may have a best seller on our hands! Cuban’s right, all gay and lesbian athletes should come storming out of the closet and head straight to ESPN. Apprarently, it’s good for business, although it remains bad for gay people both Black and white, bad for athletes, and bad for Black men (Black women get a pass from media and culture here, I think) because everybody gets painted in these kinds of broad stereotypical strokes that only benefit the man with the CREAM in his pocket. I mean, look here, we are STILL talking about it – even after D said he’d “purged” himself. (I don’t mean to imply that talking about LGBT issues is somehow unworthy of our time, only that talking about it within the context – ooops, funny how that word “context’ crops up everywhere – of making CREAM for ESPN does seem rather stale.)

    Anyway, it’s sad to see cats continually coming on here trying to isolate and trivialize certain notions of race with which they have a peculiar problem (worse yet are cats who accuse others of seeing through lenses colored black when what they are really seeing is the blackness of the veil of their own ignorance) when, truth be told, ALL these issues are in play in this case, LGBT, Blacks, heteros, jocks, the media, as well as other issues. None of them can be reduced and folded into the others, but neither are they mutually exclusive, and I haven’t read Mr Wilson or Mr Tillery here as suggesting otherwise. One purpose of this blog is to talk about ALL of these issues and more as they exist in the public sphere, is it not? Asking questions, raising objections and offering alternative viewpoints are all a part of intelligent dialogue designed to help clarify a person’s perspective. It’s all good. But why show up JUST to play devil’s advocate? Some of y’all are clearly getting kicks out of sniping at people. It’s ridiculous. If y’all can’t swim, get the fuck out the pool.

  14. Do you all need a towel?

  15. Minus the effort to clear out the pool (why the aggression, man? I want no part of your shallow waters), I agree with much of what LP said above. I do think the profit motive ultimately stirred up much of what was said about Amaechi, gay men, and homophobia in sports. But that analysis only goes so far. As LP pointed out, it doesn’t dismiss the necessity of continuing a conversation about queer issues.

    Here’s the thing about the Le Batard post: I think reporters SHOULD ask difficult, extemporaneous questions. Call an audible every once in a while. If we’re curious about what players think, we should respect reporters who catch them unprepared, unscripted, and without the usual storehouse of cliches. Even if Le Batard is paid by Bristol, I don’t understand why it’s a problem to ask that question.

  16. TheLastPoet Says:

    Here’s the thing about water: the flood takes you in, the ebb takes you out, even in “shallow” waters.

    Here’s what’s wrong with asking that question: actually, you’ve already pointed out the problem while responding to something I said. When there is an unspoken profit motive spurring the guy to ask the question, therein lies the problem. Either you know this, and thus your question is disingenuous, or you don’t know this, in which case, well the Ashanti say it best, I think: “By the time the fool has learned the game, the players have dispersed.”

  17. Thanks for the response. That makes sense to me. Le Batard’s profit motive compromises his impartiality (though I don’t think reporters are ever or should ever be impartial) and honesty.

    But, I don’t think that makes the question disingenuous. It might make Le Batard a profit-hungry, socially irresponsible dickhead, but the question still has potential for goodness. I mean, if Hardaway changes his perspective or young fans start talking in a positive way about LGBTQ issues, then Le Batard’s question worked wonders.

    And that’s my problem with the analysis of ESPN’s profit motive. Sure, they cooked up the story and made the news. But the resulting discussion could still benefit queer people. I fear that acknowledging ESPN’s profit motive becomes an end to itself.

    I hope that doesn’t sound like cherry picking or semantic gaming.

  18. who does this benefit? it doesnt matter!

    who asked the question? it doesnt matter!

    why did they ask the question? it doesnt matter!

    what color is either person? it doesnt matter!

    the question itself and the response is what matters. to some dispicable. to others acceptable. whatever you may think, the responder answered a question when probed. unless he was joking this is how he feels. we are left to interpret that. im not sure what else there is here.

  19. My first response was brief because I had to run out for a while. But, I would like to address some of the comments and the article, which I don’t agree with, but is, as always, deftly written.

    “Asking questions, raising objections and offering alternative viewpoints are all a part of intelligent dialogue designed to help clarify a person’s perspective. It’s all good. But why show up JUST to play devil’s advocate?”

    It’s not just to play devil’s advocate. I don’t agree with many of the points DWil makes, and I try to offer my alternative viewpoints and await his responses. I haven’t been that good at checking back after I post my two quick sentences, but I will stay in the damn pool until I want.

    As for context, yes, it’s important. But there are certain topics that should be well-known enough that there is no context needed. If Dan had said, “Tim Hardaway, John Amaechi, a former journeyman center/power forward for the Jazz, Magic and Rockets, recently announced he was homosexual in a book, Man in the Middle, published by ESPN. How would you feel about a gay teammate?” how does that make a difference?

    Furthermore, there was an article which I can’t find the link to at the moment that said Dan almost forgot to ask the question, and a producer told him to.

    That aside, this is a perfectly logical question to ask. It’s the type of question, given the Brit’s announcement, that any beat writer to high school newspaper should be asking.

    As for profit motive, it’s there, but I don’t think it’s a big issue for this topic. If we follow that line of reasoning, ESPN makes most of their money televising athletic events (the NBA included) so should their journalists never be allowed to ask about leagues that make the network money? Of course not.

  20. “As for context, yes, it’s important. But there are certain topics that should be well-known enough that there is no context needed. If Dan had said, “Tim Hardaway, John Amaechi, a former journeyman center/power forward for the Jazz, Magic and Rockets, recently announced he was homosexual in a book, Man in the Middle, published by ESPN. How would you feel about a gay teammate?” how does that make a difference”

    Are you serious?

    Firstly, Hardaway might have answered differently because he might have been cool with Amaechi. Secondly, reporters influence answers simply by the words we use. It was a getaway question that obviously had the desired effect.

    Why would Dan ask that particular question of Tim Hardaway if he didn’t have ulterior motives?

  21. Tim failed for the baited question. Who is excusing Hardaway? Nobody here.

    Does it make a difference if the producer asked the question?


    Everyone involved is accountable.

  22. Dwill:

    I don’t think Lebatard is some bastion of integrity (his reaction towards Sabin leaving was hypocritical) but I also am not naive enough to blindly believe your point of view just because you say its true. When it comes to the Luther Campbell/Miami scandal I don’t have the requisite background knowledge to take one side or the other (I’ll look it up but any link that you feel would be enlightening would be appreciated). My point was that you offered nothing in the way to substantiate your claims other than comments made by Campbell who would no doubt be pissed off by the whole thing considering his stature in Florida as a self made millionaire and a charitable citizen. So for me to just blindly except your point that Lebatard made his career off the backs of black athletes with nothing else besides comments from Campbell seems foolish.

    About Hardaway, your implication that because he is a former NBA player we should cut him some slack for being uninformed about the world going on around him is offensive. Why should we accept that former athletes are not bright and phrase questions towards them in a manner that will make them look the best that they always can? Asking a player if he would accept a gay teammate should be a question that the player knows is loaded no matter what the context.

  23. “So for me to just blindly except your point that Lebatard made his career off the backs of black athletes with nothing else besides comments from Campbell seems foolish.”

    It might seem foolish to you but you want me to believe only LeBatard’s words? So, I present the words from the person LeBatard attacked and suddenly it’s not enough to reports from the other side – what do you want Campbell’s IRS statements?! Additionally, The entire point of of my discussing the Miami incident is to illustrate that LeBatard is not the athlete-friendly people think he is – jeez, I spend many paragraphs elucidating that point and you pick out one or two sentences and act like they are the main point. This is why it’s so difficult for me to understand what some commentors are talking about? Without understanding the CONTEXT in which something is written or said, communication is meaningless.

    About Hardaway, where did I imply that we should cut him some slack for his ignorance, prejudice, and bigotry?! I wrote this:

    “You think it’s sad that a vast majority of college students can’t name the present U.S. Cabinet members? Ask professional athletes if you really want to cry.”

    If you read the paragraph that contains those two sentences, you’ll find that I’m lamenting the myopic way NBA players and too many everyday people view the world around them. How this gets turned around to imply that I’m excusing Hardaway is beyond me.

    Finally, I actually agree that an athlete SHOULD know that Lebatard was asking, in the manner in which the question was asked – without any previous contextual information – was a loaded question. But “Tim-uh” fell for the “okey-doke.” And that’s his problem. And that he’s getting shitted on for his answer is his problem. I gather you failed to take the time to read my post Tim Hardaway and the Language of Hate…” to further understand my sentiments toward Hardaway.

    ESPN-LeBatard really didn’t need to seek out someone like Hardaway
    for this type of statement – and I wrote that in this post! All one needed to do was to read Chris Broussard’s column on ESPN.com’s Page 2 for basically the same info…. or read the post on the “…Language of Hate.”

    However, the fact remains that ESPN had a book written by a relatively obscure English ex-NBA player who is telling the world he’s gay and this is what it’s like to play professional sports in the U.S. and be gay. Is it a big deal – not really. There are too many statements or quotes – like the one I used by Garrison Hearst – by athletes in all major sports leagues that let the average fan know that to be a homosexual in the “macho” sports world is a rough way to go.

    So, how does ESPN sell the book? They need to create a buzz about the book – well I describe the process in the post.

    Maybe if you go back and read the post and think about everything I write, maybe you’ll understand it better. And if you’re really interested, just type in John Amaechi in the “Search” bar on this blog – and read everything I’ve written about John Amaechi as subject matter. You may find that this post is the culmination of all that come before it.

  24. “Why would Dan ask that particular question of Tim Hardaway if he didn’t have ulterior motives?”

    Because Tim Hardaway used to play in the NBA, and he would be a better source on how a gay teammate would be received in the locker room than some fat newspaper hack. It’s reporting 101. And, for some reason, I don’t think Hardaway’s cool with Amaechi.

    If he had asked it like I posed, I would imagine there would be more outrage for the plugging. But it doesn’t matter if Tim knew about the book or not because the question was about larger issues than the book. To say that ESPN reporters cannot ask the bigger issue questions because one arm of the corporation is publishing one man’s dealings with being homosexual is ludicrous.

    By the way, Hardaway is entitled to his opinion no matter how hateful and ignorant I think it is.

  25. So are you proclaiming ESPN to be some sort of social outreach mechanism?

    A simple “John Amaechi recently stated that he is gay. Since he played during your time in the NBA, how do you feel about the prospect that there were gay players when you played?” would have sufficed.

    No one is saying that reporters can’t ask bigger issue questions. I do it all the time.

    ESPN does not care about the bigger issue, they care about money.

    Don’t front. I’m sure they wouldn’t behind close doors.

  26. And what would the response have been? Do you really think that this was some devious trick by the mastermind Dan over the poor, ignorant Tim Hardaway? Why is it too much to ask for Tim Hardaway to do some research about what’s going on and what types of questions might be asked? As a public figure doing a public interview, that’s his responsibility. For crying out loud, the guy is representing the NBA at the time, it might behoove him to pick up a newspaper.

    Context is definitely important, but like I said before, sometimes you don’t have to set it up because it should already be known.

    I honestly don’t give a fuck about Dan, I just found it funny that Dwil was somehow able to tie some corporate/racial conspiracy to this issue.

    Of course ESPN is out for money, but so are all of us or we wouldn’t be working. But to think that it’s this vast scheming organism that’s trying to sacrifice a black player to help the sales of another black player’s book is silly, and you know this.

    And another thing, it’s talk radio. The whole journalistic ethics things kind of go out the window because they (and most sports writers in general) become entertainment.

  27. Since when is truth conspiracy – dude you sound like FOX News, not reality. and ain’t nobody said a thing about sacrificing a black player for X,Y.or Z purpose. And I also never anything about some mastermind trick by LeBastard on Hardaway. Damn, is is too difficult to understand that Disney-ESPN doesn’t give a fuck about anything but profits? They don’t care what they have to do or who they run over to make their shareholders happy at the end of the quarter.

    All this, “Of course ESPN is out for money, but so are all of us or we wouldn’t be working,” is just shit. That’s a b.s. mindset; when I was young I was told never take a job you don’t love – even if it’s just love for a moment. So I personally don’t knwo what the fuck you’re talking about. And perhaps if you looked a “work” that way, you’d find there are actually a lot of people who work for the love of what they do first; they know money comes and goes but the quality of the work they do in the job they love is their measure of employment success, not the size of the paycheck.

    Yes it is too much to ask most athletes – most anyone, for that matter – to pick up a newspaper and research questions an all that. Especially when most radio personalities NEVER give someone they interview a full set of the questions they’re going to ask. They may provide an outline, but that’s it – period…. but who really gives a fuck about that.

    Besides, I’m not defending Tim-uh’s statements, so you might as well stop crying about what he did or didn’t do to prep for his interview.


  28. Look, nobody’s defending Hardaway’s statements or his lack of preparation, though only a few entertainers have enough pull to be privy to the exact questions an interviewer is asking – it wouldn’t be much on an interview if it was contrived like that….

    CONTEXT IS EVERYTHING. The quicker that is internalized the sooner it is known that there is a context or many contexts for every thought or action taken by a human….

    I never claimed a racial conspiracy. It’s funny as shit that white people flip the fuck out at the mere mention of race.

    Like Tragic Gugliotta quoted:

    “It makes ESPN complicit in pressing ethical boundaries to ensure sales of an ESPN-published book. It makes all black people, as extensions of Hardaway’s bias, open to undue questions of prejudice, bigotry, and yes, racism, by a parasitical press and an unthinking public.”

    I blame this shit on Hardaway! He provided the opening for the undue questions. I didn’t say a damn thing about a racial conspiracy. What ESPN has done with the marketing of the Amaechi book isn’t a conspiracy, it’s ESPN’s modus operandi. Just because you don’t notice that they employ variations on a theme to whatever it is they want to push (see the NASCAR coverage for a perfect example of “Man in the Middle”-like marketing of stock car racing) doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

    Working and being “out for the money” are more often than not, two very different things. People work because they must. And if gettin’ a paycheck for whatever work one performs is being “out for the money” then your statement means nothing relative to my article. Also, yes ESPN did sacrifice Hardaway to help Amaechi’s book sales – what you think Tim-uh’s statements hurt the book sales?! It didn’t matter who the person was, it could have been Shawn Bradley – ESPN would have sacrificed him just like they did Hardaway.

    “And another thing, it’s talk radio. The whole journalistic ethics things kind of go out the window because they (and most sports writers in general) become entertainment.”

    That’s a sorry-ass statement, not by you but as a condemnation of the state of sports journalism. That statement is part of the reason I got into journalism, part of the reason I left, and part of the reason I’m back in the game; the shit needs to change and the more responsible journalists there are out there the better the field will become.

  29. “I never claimed a racial conspiracy. It’s funny as shit that white people flip the fuck out at the mere mention of race.”

    Not even close to white my friend, but it’s interesting how you automatically assume that anyone who “flips the fuck out at the mere mention of race” is white.

    I just disagree with your assertion as to how much back story he should have provided Hardy. Even if he should have, do you really think it was part of a well-oiled machine or just a sloppy journalist? I think you give ESPN far too much credit.

    And I go back to a question I posed earlier, what do you think Hardaway’s response would have been to “Tim Hardaway, John Amaechi, a former journeyman center/power forward for the Jazz, Magic and Rockets, recently announced he was homosexual in a book, Man in the Middle, published by ESPN. How would you feel about a gay teammate?” Dan didn’t goad him into saying what he did, and he did try and give him an out but Timmy just went further over the edge.

  30. Actually, I think I’ve come around. He should have said, for full disclosure the book is being published by ESPN. But I still contend that it wouldn’t have made a difference to the response.

  31. Anyone know this book: Grant Farred, “Phantom Calls: Race and the Globalization of the NBA.” I’m trying to hook up a library copy. Maybe I’ll review it on my site. If anyone knows anything, get at me.

  32. TheLastPoet Says:


    I’m glad to see you still swimming in the pool, Holmes. My point was that commenters here (myself included) have to stop sniping at each other, stop acting like we’re the Incredible Hulk or Johnny Blaze or some shit – or Noam Chomsky, for you more intellectual commenters – and saying whatever we want to others behind the safety of our keyboards and moniters without respecting other people’s thoughts. (Delusional? Ludicrous? C’mon, Marin, I know YOU’RE better than that.) Educated and/or street smart adults should be able to express themselves without resorting to put-downs and name-calling. Otherwise, ad hominem only leads to a quarrel, i.e., cats stop talking and start fighting. That’s how it is around my way, at least. Surely we can all show how smart we are without calling each other names – and again, I’m obviously including myself in this assessment. Harsh words cloud one’s judgment as well as one’s argument. It’s a lesson some of us learn the hard-a-way (pun intended, of course).

    Now regarding your last comment, I’ll say only this: full disclosure would have altered Hardaway’s response, I think. If we can assume that Hardaway is not a TOTAL idiot, and given his lengthy career in the NBA as well as his successful transition to the business world after hoops, I think we can safely make such an assumption, then full disclosure from LeBatard/ESPN would have perhaps subtly encouraged Hardaway to engage in a little self-censorship. That is to say without speaking, “Hey, Timmy, this question is ultimately coming from cats with more CREAM than you, cats who can make or break you, so answer accordingly…” Game recognize game, and surely Hardaway is smart enough to recognize such subliminal messages. Then, with his reply sufficiently altered, the listening public is right back where Tragic Johnson rightly said we didn’t want to be: i.e., athletes delivering sound bites and cliches instead of answering questions honestly. In other words, Hardaway’s bigotry and homophobia would have remained concealed and either Tragic is right to say that we would not now be having this discussion that stands to highlight and perhaps benefit LGBTQ issues, or I am right to say that we wouldn’t now be having this discussion that stands to benefit the CREAM for the world wide leader. As far as that goes, Marin, there ain’t no overestimating them, indeed one does not become the acknowledged “world wide leader” by being “sloppy.”

  33. Of course they didn’t become the world wide leader by being sloppy, but to attribute the company’s success and drive to every individual that works for it seems to be a stretch.

    Your second graf is dead on, and if I’m reading it correctly, says that Dan was right to ask the question.

  34. TheLastPoet Says:

    Yea, that second paragraph was a lil dense, as usual – shid, no one ever accused me of actually being able to write anything beyond proverbs and pithy aphorisms! Anyway, I’m saying that I think LeBetard was right to ask the question, but only if he fully disclosed its nature and the reasons behind his asking. Having done so, I think Hardaway would have altered his response into something more “politically correct.” Then Hardaway would have gone on thinking his cave man thoughts in private, LGBTQ issues would not be front and center in the NBA, ESPN would not have found the nemiesis they needed to stand opposed to Mr Amaechi (or better yet, ESPN would have found another cave man to unwittingly do their bidding), and you and I wouldn’t be having this discussion.

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