Friday, June 05, 2009

I hate to always view national and world events through sports analogies, but man sometimes it works so well. Take Obama's speech to the Muslim world yesterday. There is plenty of debate on how sincere he was, what his follow up will be, whether he should have been spent even one minute genuflecting the way he did, and whether it was manipulative in nature. And all of these are valid points that the right and the left will argue about for weeks to come. But what cannot be argued is that he set a tone, and sometimes as a leader that's all you have to do. Its akin to what Kevin Garnett would do sometimes.

When he was healthy last year, Garnett would have a menacing look on his face, he would punch his own teammates to pump them up, and he would try to agitate the opposing team by yelling in their ear. Other times when a play was over, and the opposing team would try to shoot a basket anyway, Garnett would jump and take that ball out of the air, so that the opposing team couldn't even get a free practice shot. This behavior would not guarantee a victory and it damn sure wasn't popular with other player and coaches around the NBA. But it set a tone, and it worked last year, because they won the title. We'll see how Obama fares.

Speaking of scowls and all that, during the Lakers blowout victory last night, the commentators kept commenting on Kobe Bryant's "mean" facial expressions and how determined he looked. I have an appreciation for Kobe's drive, his will, his game and all that, but come on man..Unlike Garnett who was able to inspire his teammates and somewhat get in the head of the opposing team by just a look, Kobe cannot do that. He intimidates through his game. That's it. AND, if I was playing against someone, it would bother me more if they kept smiling all the damn time. I'd be more likely to just pull them to the side, and slug them in the stomach. A scowl? I'd laugh and laugh and do my Bobby Knight game face impression (go to the 2:45 minute mark of the video). As an aside, for boxing fans, there was this guy named Dwight Muhammad Qawi who ALWAYS seemed to be smiling whether he was winning or losing the fight. I'm sure that drove his opponents crazy..I digress

If you haven't read my article please do. One of my writing heroes, Tony Kornheiser, said something that I vehemently disagreed with, and I wrote a rebuttal. I have no idea whether he'll ever see my article, but going against someone you look up to is NOT easy at all. So keep that in mind as you read...

All for Love - Bilal

1 comment:

Sab D said...

All the greats ... They understand the value of setting the tone