Thursday, March 01, 2007

If You're Scared, Go to Church

A few NBA players are scared for their safety during the All Star Weekend to be held in New Orleans in 2008. Tracy McGrady said:

"If I don't feel I'm going to be safe, if I am on that team, I will look into probably not even going.

When they first mentioned to me that the All-Star Game was going to be in New Orleans, that was the first thing I thought about: How much security are they going to have for the players and everybody there?

I don't think it's the right city to have this type of event right now. I know the city is in need of trying to get back on its feet, but safety comes first. I'm sure they're going to do a lot of research and look into this before they make this decision."

Fine, Tracy. Don't go then. You'll probably be out with a back spasm anyway.

Tracy's teammate, Rafer Alston, also chimed in:

"I'm scared right now, only because of the situation down there now. If it's like that now, what happens when you have 500,000 people on their way down there and people who earn a substantial amount of money down there? Right now, it's pretty unsafe. (If) they can assure David Stern and the rest of the league that the players and their families and their friends will be all right down there, then it could be a go.

I was very uncomfortable (in Las Vegas). I didn't leave my hotel until I was headed to an event. I didn't even leave to go to eat. I ate in my hotel. It was the overall atmosphere. The whole feeling didn't feel safe. Then when the weekend cleared, you started to see unbelievable numbers of arrests and things that went on. You think, 'If that happened, what's to happen in New Orleans?'"

Rafer is clearly a Jason Whitlock reader. How would he know what the atmosphere was like if he didn't leave his room?

Even Shaquille O'Neal has expressed similar sentiments.

"I'm not sure if the city of New Orleans is ready for something like that. I would rather see it come to Miami or even New York.

I don't know what New Orleans' situation is, but from watching the Spike Lee (documentary) special and watching the news, it doesn't look like it's ready for something like that."

Fortunately the NBA is steadfastly determined to see the New Orleans weekend through. David Stern says:

"We're looking forward to New Orleans playing host to next year's All-Star events and are equally excited about the Hornets' return to the city next season. The reports we have received about other major events and conventions recently held in New Orleans have been very positive, and we fully expect All-Star 2008 to be a great success."

It's more than ridiculous that these 7 foot tall guys are such fraidy cats. But they're all millionaires. They can afford all the bodyguards they need. I understand that celebrities need to be wary of large crowds, but that caution would have to be exercised in any city, not just New Orleans.

It would be wonderful to accommodate the players' desires to save a few bucks on security, dine wherever they please and have the game in a city with sunshine and palm trees. However, I think it's more important to accommodate the people trying to rebuild New Orleans and deliver the positive economic impact of an NBA All Star Weekend.

New Orleans will certainly be a different situation than Las Vegas. Las Vegas is laid out in such a way that most places you want to get to are on or near the strip. It was bound to be overwhelmed and over congested. New Orleans is distinctive in that the French Quarter is a considerably smaller area than the Las Vegas Strip and most of the traffic will be foot traffic. There are hotels near the Quarter, but not in it. There is dining near the Quarter, but not in it. Generally, you can avoid the certain chaos of the French Quarter if that's what you want to do. The players can easily stay away from the fray, again, if that's what they want to do.

Sure, New Orleans is a little bit dangerous. All large, crowded places are. I was pickpocketed the last time I was there. I don't blame that on New Orleans. I would go back. It's funny that Shaq and Tracy are the ones complaining. I saw them both out partying in New Orleans a few years back during the Essence Festival. Tracy spent a considerable amount of time looking at my ass. Maybe it made him feel safe.


Gangsta D said...

Hmm, perhaps you're the key to a peaceful All-Star Weekend. Maybe you were meant to bring balance to the force:)

nation_of_islam_sportsblog said...


As you know, safety is something that the NofI takes very seriously. We pride ourselves on our ability to hold large events in a safe manner (see the million man march). As such, we are always striving to learn new methods to satisfy the safety requirements that we encounter. We'd request, in support of that endeavor, that you send us a photo of your ass so that we might be able to evaluate it's ability to provide an overall safe feeling to viewers.

Thank you in advance.

The HCIC said...

I'm glad you guys are reading to the end of the article :)

nation_of_islam_sportsblog said...

:I'm glad you guys are reading to the end of the article :)"


We need a that photo to truly get to the END of the article.

Mini Me said...

McGrady needs to shut up.

Gangsta D said...

Yeah, I like to read from beginning to end before I start objectifying:)

If New Orleans can handle Mardi Gras, it should be able to handle All Star Weekend.

Phillip said...

whoa, whoa, whoa...
take it eazy hear guys...
t-mac has a totally viable complaint b/c see he jumped straight from some weird high school in georgia/florida/somewhere south...ah fuck it, he's vince-sanity's cousin so that means he's good so you should just shut up and listen 2 the million-dollar man t-mac-dibiase and stay the fuck out of nawlins; beside, i hear lil wayne will be playing a live concert from his cell-block...

Max said...

Looking at your ass? Wow, someone is full of themselves without seeming to have any grounds to be....

T-mac and shaq partying in new orleans a few years ago? You mean like before Hurricane Katrina turned that city into an even more crime-infested pile of shit? Of course, it was a different story then...are you that dense? Honestly, does someone have to explain the difference to you?

"I think it's more important to accommodate the people trying to rebuild New Orleans and deliver the positive economic impact of an NBA All Star Weekend."

Really? With all the contributions that most of these big, highly-paid atheletes make to charitable organizations, you still have the unmidigated audacity to say they giving even more should be manditory, even at the expense of their safety? Wow, way to rally for more handouts at OTHER people's sure are something