My late father and I didn’t get along very well. We had very little in common. He was perplexed that he raised a little lefty but between my growing up in the Bay Area and my mother’s quiet liberalism it was inevitable. Basketball was our safe subject. He played college basketball back in its pre-World War II neolithic era, he was a 6’1″ center, which was always something that I had a hard time wrapping my head around. I doubt that he could have dunked but he was too graceful to be a white goon.
He coached our church’s youth hoops team and was surprisingly tender with the kids who couldn’t play very well. I always envied those kids because he was hard on me but that’s how his generation of 1st generation Americans were as parents. As much as we disagreed about everything else under the sun, we agreed about basketball with a shared love of unselfish team play. He thought that Dean Smith was the greatest coach ever and I never pointed out that Dean was a hemophiliac liberal. As I said, basketball was our safe subject. We disagreed about George McGovern but agreed about Bill Walton except for the Deadhead stuff. That gave my dad the US Blues…
That brings me to this week’s “honoree,” GOP Minnesota State Representative Pat Garofalo. He’s in that category of malakas who I’d never heard of before and will never think of again. He’s also a member of that discrete and insular class of people who tweeted their way to malakatude. He subsequently apologized but here’s the offending tweet:
Let’s be honest, 70% of teams in NBA could fold tomorrow + nobody would notice a difference w/ possible exception of increase in streetcrime
— Rep. Pat Garofalo (@PatGarofalo) March 9, 2014
It’s true that if the Minnesota Timberwolves folded nobody would give a rat’s ass. It’s a team best known for Kevins Garnett and Love but not for having them at the same time or winning a bloody thing. Garofalo’s mind set is so 2000 though. It was the era when NBA-phobes said the league wouldn’t bounce back from the loss of Michael Jordan and that all the current stars were gangsta rap thugs like Allen (The Answer) Iverson. Actually, Iverson may have acted like a rap star off-court, but he was one of the most electrifying players ever and a guy who dragged a mediocre Sixers team to the finals in 2001. They lost to the Lakers with Shaq and the greatest athlete ever named for beef…
The NBA faced similar racist attitudes in the late 1970’s and early ’80’s when the finals were relegated to late night tape delay; even when Dr. J, faced off against Magic and Kareem. Major star power but the stars were African-American, and Middle America wasn’t quite ready for them. The Bird-Magic rivalry changed everything but proto-teabagger fans had a relapse after Michael made his last game winner in the 1998 finals and beat the Utah Misnomers and Karl Mail Fraud Malone. The good news is that the bad old days of the NBA being seen as “too black” are receding even though the regular season is still too damn long. End of hoops rant.
Time to circle back to Pat Garofalo who like many Gopers is nostalgic for the old days when Minnesota was even whiter than it is today. I do have to give him credit,unlike many tweeting malakas he actually issued an apology:
To those NBA players and others who are unfairly categorized by my comments, please accept my apologies. http://t.co/xiGaEc47Qo
— Rep. Pat Garofalo (@PatGarofalo) March 10, 2014
The link is to Garofalo’s classic non-apology apology wherein he concedes that not all NBA players are criminals but I’ve decided to go easy on him since he’s a pissant from Farmington, Minnesota. This piece also gave me an excuse to post something that came to me courtesy of my very Greek friend Christin: