Thursday, March 01, 2007

Scared in the NBA

I'm about a week late writing on this but I can't just let it go. This is getting ridiculous. If you listen to these NBA cats you might think post-Katrina New Orleans is being run by Tony Montoya, Nino Brown, Marcellous Wallace, and that Brad Pitt character from Fight Club. Now there are some legitimate concerns about New Orleans hosting NBA all-star weekend next year. But those concerns are economically, politically, and socially linked to the (in)effectiveness of the ongoing recovery effort, not the safety of NBA ballers. New Orleans has never had trouble policing people coming into the city for major events and policing the major tourist areas (CBD, French Quarter, St. Charles Ave, etc). Mardi Gras, Jazzfest, NFL playoff games, Sugar Bowl, these are huge, nationally attended events. Furthermore the Essence Festival (coming back the summer) and the Bayou Classic (back last fall) are black urban showcase events with somewhat similar clientele to that of all star weekend. And I’ve not heard one complaint from visitors feeling unsafe. Now some visitors are shocked when they see certain areas of the city that lie untouched since Katrina, but that’s another issue.

Any safety issues in the city are related to the premise that New Orleans can't seem to figure out how to deal with people already living in certain areas of the city and undertaking certain criminal behaviors. But it was like that pre-Katrina also. And every city has its marginalized areas where most crime occurs. But again I doubt you'll see too many all-star parties in Central City so visitors coming to the city should have few worries.

There are other issues in play, the demonification (I made that word up) of hip-hop culture, race issues, even NBA league issues. But to suggest that New Orleans can’t handle this event because the city is inherently unsafe is ignorant. I mean I could understand if all-star weekend was in hurricane season…….

Yes New Orleans has crime. So does LA, Vegas, NYC, Boston, Miami, etc. Grow up, come visit first before making off- the-cuff judgments and most of all leave Pacman Jones at home next year.


The Underdog said...

I thought demonification was a word...

I coudln't agree with you more on this issue. My last nerve was snapped when I heard Tracey McGrady's comments about passing on the All-Star Game if it was held here. This from a cat with very little formal education and it shows. But it's not just him. Ignorance is bliss when it comes to New Orleans. Fact of the matter is, crime still seems to occur in the places i happened pre-Katrina. I don't think anyone, especially a tourist is anymore likely to fall victim to crime than before Katrina. Random crime does not happen all too much. Most of the serious crimes that happens in NO, probably just like any other major city, is a)black on black, and b) has an assailant and victim that probably knew each other or had some dealings. Of course if your at the worng place at the wrong time bad thing can happen, but again, that's like every major city.

NOPD takes a lot of heat, but they have demonstrated that they can handle major events with the limited resources they have now. Good for them. To the NBA ballers who are scared to come to NO, I say don't come. I don't want you here and you don't need to be here. Let those who truly care about the city and about uplifting people come. You overpaid crybabies can stay home and watch it on TNT.

Anonymous said...

Cool info about the NBA, but I was also thinking of shedding some more light on the WNBA, which doesn’t get much publicity, although it should. Here are some interesting facts about the WNBA:

On February 15, 2005, NBA Commissioner David Stern announced that Donna Orender, who had been serving as the Senior Vice President of the PGA Tour and who had played for several teams in the now-defunct Women's Pro Basketball League, would be Ackerman's successor as of April 2005.

The WNBA awarded its first expansion team in several years to Chicago (later named the Sky) in February 2005. In the off-season, a set of rule changes was approved that made the WNBA more like the NBA.

The 2006 season was the WNBA's tenth; the league became the first team-oriented women's professional sports league to exist for ten consecutive seasons. On the occasion of the tenth anniversary, the WNBA released its All-Decade Team, comprising the ten WNBA players deemed to have contributed, through on-court play and off-court activities, the most to women's basketball during the period of the league's existence.

In December of 2006, the Charlotte Bobcats organization announced it would no longer operate the Charlotte Sting. Soon after, the WNBA announced that the Charlotte Sting would not operate for the upcoming season. A dispersal draft was held January 8, 2007, with all players except for unrestricted free agents Allison Feaster and Tammy Sutton-Brown available for selection. Teams selected in inverse order of their 2006 records, with Chicago receiving the first pick and selecting Monique Currie.

For more info on NBA, NFL, MLS and NASCAR you are welcome to visit my future blog.

Michael S.
USA Sports News