If you've ever read this blog, you'll learn one thing about me...I'm very careful with words. I always have been. It's a trait that I learned from my Dad. You have to be careful about what you say, how you say it, and more importantly...how it can be interpereted.
Case in point. The NBA Playoffs are in full swing right now. Teams are doing whatever they can to win and move toward winning the championship. Sometimes peoples emotions can get the best of them. And sometimes feelings...and words can change things. In the series between the Dallas Mavericks and the Denver Nuggets, the competitive forces spilled off the courts and things got crazy off the court. After getting beat by Denver on a last second shot, the Mavs were distraught. They complained to the refs about the Denver's "rough play" and their tactics. After the game, the Mavericks owner, Mark Cuban, was furious. If you know anything about Cuban, you'll know that he's a man who doesn't hold his tongue. Cuban, a self made billionare, is very competitve. Feeling the frustrations of a tough playoff loss, Cuban said something that he would later regret saying.
As Cuban was walking toward the Mavericks locker room where he was headed to see his players, he came upon some fans. Some of the fans were Maverick fans...and some were Denver Nuggets fans. One of the Nuggets fans that he walked past was the mother of the Nuggets starting power forward Kenyon Martin. Cuban should have just walked past the lady because she didn't say anything to him. But he opened his mouth. According to reports, he said to her..."Your son is a punk! That team is a bunch of thugs!!!"
Then he stormed off.
Hold up!!! Did you just tell that woman that her son is a punk and a thug? Are you kidding me????
I can understand being frustrated but that was out of line. That was ignorant. I have a problem with the whole situation. Here's my take...
In my humble opinion, the word "thug" gives off an extreme negative image. Growing up, a thug was somebody who'd beat you up and take your money...or somebody who'd hide in an alley and steal an old lady's purse. Nowadays, the term "thug" means something totally different. I think "thug" is the new way of saying the N word. Before you start thinking that the last statement was racist, I've heard white, black, and hispanic people use that term in that way. And that is my perception of the word. It's a "cleaner" way of saying the N word (and I'm not gonna talk about the use of the N word b/c that's another subject for another day). Do I think Cuban is racist? I dunno. I doubt it. But I don't know the man.
Secondly, Kenyon's mom had nothing to do with what happened on the court. Why even bring her into it?
Thirdly, that was very cowardly. As a man, you say what you have to say about another man...to his face. Mark Cuban is about 5-9. Kenyon Martin is 6-10. He could probably break that dude in half if he wanted to. He would have never called Keyon Martin a thug or a punk in his face.
Lastly, he crossed the lines. He later apologized and offered to take Martin and his family out to dinner. He even offered his family a suite at the Mavericks Arena. Too little...to late. Let's take it away from the NBA and put it in perspective. What if you were leaving work and your supervisor walked up to your mom, who came to your job to see you, and called you a punk or a thug...or worse? Let's just say that he had better be glad that he didn't say it in front of MY mom. He would have got his ass kicked!