Bomani Jones is someone who has been the man for a while, and is now getting the recognition he deserves. He’s the only person, next to Ryan Clark from the Pittsburgh Steelers, that’s been on First Take and succeeded in making Skip’s house their house, or, at the very least, made Skip pull out a chair, and ask them if they want a drink of water, a shot of crown, a glass of orange juice, or anything else that's seen as a sign of respect and hospitality. It takes a lot to do that, which we have seen with folks going on the show for years and having Skip eat them alive. Plus, it says a lot when it’s one-on-one, because there are plenty of times when there are two people opposite Skip.
Anyway, back to yesterday’s show. The two of them had a debate about Carmelo Anthony, and Bomani made a point about how Carmelo is an excellent player, a great player, but not someone who should be paid $22 million a year, and someone who may not necessarily be wired to lead a team to a championship. It looks like someone either told Carmelo this, or he heard it himself, because this is what followed.
First off, Carmelo Anthony is my dude. I love the man’s game, and up to this point, always took him as someone who didn’t really let honest critique faze him. Secondly, I had the opportunity to be a part of a presser at the World Basketball Festival last weekend where he was answering questions, and saw how media-savvy he can be. With that said, his response to an honest assessment by Bomani Jones is one of the saddest, jankiest (it’s an altered version of janky), and most sensitive things I’ve ever seen in my life.
At this point, we’ve seen Twitter break plenty a soul, because when you say something, it's out there, and when it's out there, you must own up to it. Musicians, models, athletes, and folks from all walks of life have been slayed on there, when they don’t have the shield of their company, their hangers-on, their PR team, their goons, lackeys, stans, or anyone else to have their back. Athletes have themselves so insulated that anything that isn’t praise is hatred, and that just isn’t a good thing for anyone, especially them.
It’s becoming tiresome to see how well-known folk respond to truthful critique of what they do. When someone is being a blatant hater, that’s one thing, but when the critique is just that; a critique, and the response is the one Carmelo gave, it just lets me know that anything that isn’t a boot-licking, self-assuring, “holier than thou” assessment is constituted as hatred. That’s a dangerous way to take on anything, whether it’s professionally or in real life. These folk are making it harder and harder for people to defend them. In this case, folks who’ve debated this are fans of Carmelo, yet we even know when the rubber hits the road, when the dust settles, after all the smoke is cleared, at the end of the day, and when it’s all said and done, the truth hurts, and a hit dog will holler.
You can’t defend the indefensible; you can’t rationalize the irrational. At this point, these cats gotta stop with all the sensitivity and do something they do in every other aspect of their lives: act like they're grown.
P.S. As a reminder, checkout the livest sports talk (and hopefully on the radio soon) show around, "The Unsportsmanlike Conduct Show" as we are live Wednesday's at 9pm Eastern at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/edthesportsfan! Download our podcasts if you missed the live show as well!