Kareem Calls the Shots in Sports: Golden State Warriors Are the New NBA Dynasty, Fox Sports Bizarre "Mistake," the Cleveland Browns Are Immoral
Four recent sports stories that caught my eye.
NBA Champions Golden State Warriors Prove They Are a Dynasty
When Game 6 of the NBA Finals was over and the Golden State Warriors became this year’s Champions, I sent this tweet: “An NBA championship is never just won, it is earned through the pain of endless practice, inevitable losses, and unexpected injuries. Only the strongest prevail. Today a new Golden light shines over the NBA world. Congratulations, Champs. Well deserved.”
I didn’t say that just because, after so many years of the Celtics-Lakers rivalry, my default setting is joy when the Celtics lose. I said it because the NBA Finals is when every player has to dig deeper than they ever had to before. And that always produces the kind of elevated athleticism that inspires all of us. No one could watch Stephen Curry put in 43 points and not celebrate that a human being is capable of that level of play.
More important than Curry was the magnificent effort from the entire team. USA Today wrote, “Of the six teams Stephen Curry has led to the NBA Finals, this was probably the most vulnerable, the least talented and certainly the one that was hardest to read.” Even if that were true, that’s what makes sports so exciting. A team can rise beyond anyone’s expectations—even their own—to achieve greatness.
They made it possible for him to shine, but he’s more a bright moon reflecting the light from the team’s sun. Four NBA titles in eight years. That is a dynasty.
I’m just getting started. Before I rip into the Cleveland Browns and Fox Sports, I’m going to ask you to help support this newsletter by subscribing, sharing, liking, sharing.
The Cleveland Browns’ Lack of Moral Compass Confirms Unapologetic Misogyny
Sometimes when it comes to sports teams making really stupid choices, I think I’ve seen it all. I can’t possibly be surprised. Then along comes the Browns’ decision to trade six draft picks and guarantee $230 million to Deshaun Watson, who’s been accused of sexual misconduct by two dozen women. The New York Times conducted an investigation and HBO covered the allegations on Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.
Clearly, the Browns figured these accusations were merely an inconvenience and would fade away with time, which isn’t just a cynical and immoral stance, it’s evil. No player in any sport is above the law, but this sort of criminal behavior is especially heinous and a direct insult to women fans who are clearly not important to the organization. Men should feel just as insulted that the Browns think men would put up with this kind of dismissal of our loved ones for the sake of a football game. Sports should reflect—not infect—our values.
This last year several NFL teams seem to be on a self-destructive bender of bad behavior. Best way to stop it is to stop watching or attending the Browns’ games.
Another Kerfuffle at Fox
June 11 was Pride Day and in celebration, Amy Schneider, a transgender woman who had an amazing 40-game winning streak on Jeopardy!, threw out the first pitch at Oracle Park to kick off the game of San Francisco Giants versus the Los Angeles Dodgers. The game was broadcast on the local Fox station. However, instead of showing Schneider’s pitch, Fox cut to NASCAR driver Kurt Busch throwing an opening pitch—except he did it on Thursday, three days earlier.
Fox explained that this was merely part of a promo of the network’s airing of the NASCAR race at Sonoma Raceway, which would take place on Sunday. Unfortunately, the viewers were left with the impression—even if unintentional—that Busch had tossed the opening ball.
Giants broadcaster Duane Kuiper clarified the next day: “Want to make a correction from what I watched yesterday on the Fox broadcast. The broadcast implied that Kurt Busch threw out the first pitch yesterday, which was not true…It was Amy Schneider from Jeopardy! fame who threw out the first pitch on Pride Day yesterday. I just wanted to make sure she got her due.”
Maybe it was a mistake and not the deliberate pushing of Fox’s conservative agenda that tries to silence anyone they don’t agree with. Maybe it’s different than Fox’s policy to not show the live Jan. 6 hearings on its news channel because the testimony contradicted what their pundits have said. Or their decision to have no commercials during the live broadcast so their viewers wouldn’t switch channels. (Ah, the pursuit of truth.)
Is this one of the best versions of “The Star-Spangled Banner” EVER?
Michael Moore, one of my Substack subscribers, sent this video to me which he saw at his daughter’s graduation. I was reluctant to listen because, as you can imagine, throughout my career I’ve heard a thousand variations of this song. My favorite has always been Marvin Gaye at the 1983 NBA All-Star Game. But this is truly an inspiring version, not just because of the resounding spirit and exquisite voices, but also because of the diversity of singers that represent exactly what the song should be about.
Don’t skip this! Click on it now and be amazed.
Here’s the Marvin Gaye version which I was present for: