Spike drops a bomb

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To paraphrase my good friend Spike Lee: Larry Bird is the most
overrated player in the history of the NBA. His greatness is the
invention of the “White media.” Right on!

The words, spouted from the cinematic equivalent of a
combination of Michael Moore and Paris Hilton, have started to work
their way through most secondary media outlets, such as talk radio,
the Internet and the New York Post, in as much as the primary media
outlets, like network television and every major newspaper in the
country not named the New York Post, steered clear of the story,
for obvious reasons. They did not want to be characterized as the
“white media!”

In any event, for those of you who don’t know him, Spike Lee is
a director who most recently directed the post-September 11 drama
The 25th Hour. And if you aren’t one of the 14 or 15 people that
saw that wholesome flick you might know him as the annoying little
guy that always sits courtside at the New York Knicks games and who
always gets in trouble when he starts to heckle opposing players,
who are, for some reason, a lot bigger than him. Well, all except
Mugsy. Who can forget Mugsy?

But Spike’s point, which is well taken, is that Bird had to work
harder than ballers like Magic and Kareem and the “white media”
jumped all over that. Or, as he put it, “They (the “White media”)
liked Bird because he showed up 12 hours before the game started
and took 20,000 free throws. But Magic and Kareem, they just showed
up and played.” He went on to say something along the lines of
“black people come out of the womb dunking.” To which I ask:
doesn’t that hurt the mother?

This is the point when a person trying to counter Spike’s
argument would have said something along the lines of how Bird has
more championship rings than Elizabeth Taylor has wedding rings or
how he scored more points in his career than the entire LA Clippers
organization combined. But that’s not being said, and the reason is
obvious: Spike is right. Bird was overrated. There I said it.

Or, maybe no one is talking about it because they are afraid
that if they do speak up they are going to get “Limbaugh’d,”
obviously in reference to the talk radio emperor who’s comments on
ESPN about how the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb
was overrated and his status in the NFL as an elite quarterback was
due to the overwhelming urge of the media to see a Black
quarterback succeed. Rush Limbaugh, consequently, resigned his post
at ESPN and was forced to again scrape by on the measly millions he
makes from his radio show. As NFL superstar Ty Law, who himself
makes only $6 million a year, said “a guy’s got to eat.” Not that I
think Limbaugh was all right. I mean McNabb is definitely
overrated, as were John Elway, Pez dispensers and Pogs, but I don’t
think the media propelled McNabb to superstar status. I mean we’re
talking about the “white media.” So I truly hope that Spike is not
pigeon holed into the same spot as Limbaugh was after his remarks.
I hope that a guy like Dan Patrick or Chris Berman doesn’t air a
10-minute tirade on the air about how Lee is a racist, much like
Tom Jackson did after Limbaugh said his peace.

I hope that Larry Bird, the holder of numerous Celtic and NBA
records, one of the purest shooters the game has ever known, the
poster child for the entire Boston franchise and one of the hardest
workers the game has ever known, is now finally able to come to
grips with his status as being the most overrated player in NBA
history. And I hope that someday, in the not-so-distant future,
Bird is able to thank Spike for making this common misconception
known to all.

Preach on, Spike.

NB: The above commentary was completely sarcastic and if anyone
who reads it could not see that Spike Lee is perpetuating the very
racism that countless individuals have worked for hundreds of years
to try to rid the world of then they might be as misguided than
Spike is, and they should probably take a step back to re-evaluate
a lot more than their views on Larry Bird.