Posts Tagged ‘National Basketball Association’

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Romance is Dead: Price of Love Set at Two-Months Salary

10.27.10

I’ve been to a number of weddings.  All have been wonderful celebrations of love and friendship — good times had by all, absolutely.

That said, and no disrespect to any one, but I’ve never been quite sure that it was for me.  Not the commitment part — the whole ceremony part.  The whole blind tradition of it.

It all starts with the engagement.  You get on one knee.  Why? Because you just do! And you pull out a little box and pull it open to reveal a – gasp! – diamond ring.  Why? Because you just do! (Forget about the Africans and the DeBeers cartel: we want something shiny because that means we’re in love!) And then you have a wedding and you have a Best Man and Groomsmen and she has a Maid of Honor and Bridesmaids — why?

You get the idea.

Now, I know: this is the Judeo-Christian ideal and it’s what I’ve grown up as being the norm.  I’m not even talking about the religious aspect since it’s become way more universal than that; it’s just a cultural standard.  You see this exact script in countless romantic comedies, many times without a hint of religion thrown in.  By the time we’re five years old, I’m sure we already know the formula:

DIAMOND RING = ENDLESS LOVE

To make sure you all don’t hate me: If all of those previous steps toward marriage made you ridiculously, honestly happy, I’m stoked for you, zero snark in my voice fingers.  Honest.  No judgment at all. They just never struck me as being the symbols of love and happiness or the ways to get to the ultimate showing of commitment.  And I hate the society pressure that comes with what’s expected of you as the way to show that you truly love someone.

The kind of pressure that isn’t always overt.  It’s just always right in front of us through those fairy tale rom-coms, sure, but also just in our daily life.  Like, going to Yahoo.com for instance.

Chris Chase:

A quarter-million dollars is a whole lot of money to spend on a ring, but considering how much money [Los Angeles Lakers star Sasha] Vujacic makes a year, he may have gotten off easy. As my mom constantly reminds me, a man is supposed to spend two months salary on a ring.

Thanks for the solid advice, Mom!  Wow.  Seriously, how fucking grotesque that this symbol of love – that’s all it’s supposed to be, a symbol – is expected to be directly proportional to the amount of money you have in your wallet rather than love in your heart. Two months worth of your annual salary.  That’s what it boils down to.  I guess since you can’t quantify love scientifically, the next best way is monetarily.

Since Vujacic is scheduled to make $5.5 million this year with the Lakers, that would equate to buying a ring worth $912,000. Of course, that two-month rule probably doesn’t apply to celebrities, or else Bill Gates would have had to have given his wife a diamond the size of the Rock of Gibraltar.

Instead of taking this example to point out the absurdity in his mom’s advice that shows maybe there should be a different way to gauge just how serious a man is about his proposal than the number of carets in the rock, Chase makes a joke about how the rich can’t afford it, which then assumes that the rest of us can and should abide by this bullshit parameter.

I know that love and marriage are simply what you want them to be and what you bring to the table together.  It’s personal.  It’s between you and your soon-to-be spouse.  At least, that’s how it should be.  What pisses me off is that our society still has way too much interest in focusing on the most worthless, soulless, vapid part of it all: money.

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I Hope the 2010 Miami Heat Go Down in a Fireball of Massively Underperforming Disappointment

09.30.10

The Miami Heat Trio, The Hot Triumverate, The Trifecta of South Beach, The Three Kings.  Whatever new teammates LeBron James, Dwyane (not pronounced dwa-ya-nee like it looks) Wade, and Chris Bosh decide to call themselves, these guys are beyond annoying.

In all fairness, Bosh seems pretty much disinterested in the whole fiasco. And Wade is just glowing with having a solid team around him and because he didn’t have to do anything other than just re-sign with his supportive team.

Really it’s just LeBron. Smug. Resentful. Angry. Cocky LBJ.

He’s even dropping the whole race card, saying that the negativity and backlash from his decision to sign with the Miami Heat and not re-sign with his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers was because he’s black.

What?

Okay, I haven’t heard every single thing that has been said about him because of “The Decision,” so I’m sure there are some racists d-bags out there who will be saying that stuff.  Not to defend them whatsoever, but there are always those people who say that stuff.

The backlash from the majority of people outside of Cleveland is just that LeBron has gone too far with this whole self-branding endeavor, to the point that he just comes across like an asshole. Not that he should just shut up and play ball and entertain us. Nothing like that. Only that we get it already: he’s arguably the best player in the game, talent through the roof, mega-deals with huge sponsors. He’s larger than life.

We didn’t need to see him have his own TV show devoted to his next career choice. As curious as a lot of us were about it, I sure didn’t need the entire ESPN network devoted to all things basketball in the beginning of July.  I mean, my Tigers were still in the division hunt at that point!  Forget basketball!  I mean the whole LeBron decision fiasco was a glorified infomercial.  And unless you’re demonstrating the Magic Bullet,  I have no need for infomercials.

People get tired of oversaturation and they respond with resentment and being overly critical. LeBron made himself this huge event. Now he has to deal with the repercussions.

And I love how now all the talk is about the adversity this super-team will face everywhere they go and how they plan on dealing with it. Oh no! Adversity! From opposing teams’ fans! Who knew! Give me a break. I suppose it’s the only angle of the story that can create any sort of drama about this team because anything they face will be their own doing.

That’s why I can’t stand how standoffish LeBron seems in these interviews. How he’s keeping track of all the haters to use as fuel for his fire next year for the title. Whatever. Did he expect to be loved for this? That people would applaud his switch to not just play for a different team, but to play with two other all-stars because he didn’t want it to be tough to win? He felt that he deserved a title because he’s that good and he thinks he’s entitled to a championship.

Fine.

The one thing he is definitely entitled to in return is the scorn that he’s been getting. I wish he would just say “You know, I get it. I get why you’re all upset. I made the decision for me and me alone and I mean no ill will toward you guys. I’m just being me and doing what’s best for me.”  At least show some humility.  People don’t like their sports heroes to be self-absorbed dicks.

Wouldn’t it be great to see the 2010 Miami Heat go down? I mean, don’t they realize America loves this story?  The David versus the Goliath, the Horatio Alger, the rags to riches tale of the underdog winning that epitomizes the American Dream that you can do anything you want, be anyone you want, if you just work hard and believe.  And while LeBron was in Cleveland, he was Alger.  Everyone (well, not me: I’m a Pistons fan) wanted to see him win a title.

But now, he’s lost all that forever.  Because who do you think people are gonna root for when it’s David vs. the Heat?