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Nationalize the NBA: That'll Teach 'em


I got an idea. Let’s do away with kings and kingdoms once and for all.  It’s tough enough being a serf now-a-days without having to look across the moat to the castle dwellers and see them bickering amongst themselves like they have any real problem other than finding a few more peasants to fleece.

You know how nobility works. It doesn’t matter your nationality or hometown, when you hang with people, you make damned sure it’s others just like you.  Take pre-twentieth century royalty.  One minute you’ve got a single Queen of England –born to rule the peeps of England – but she marries a Dutch Prince and he becomes king.  Why?  Because he’s got the same elevated status she does. It doesn’t matter that he’s not English, doesn’t even speak English.  Okay, maybe he did speak English, but it wasn’t his first language.  Same goes for just about every royal house in Western Europe after Louis XIV. For centuries they spoke French – even in Russian Courts – because the Sun King’s excesses set the royalty bar. And Louis’ fat cat, blue blood peers wanted to be just like him.

Now I usually write about poverty, and in a way I still am. All you have to do to see a few modern day peasants is drive through an inner city and look at a basketball court.  They’re usually surrounded by chain link fencing, but the real peasant class is behind barbed wire or razor wire as well.  That’s how you know the enclosure isn’t there to keep the balls from going in the street – it’s there to keep the peasants inside – see razor wire’s hell on a basketball and on a peasant.

And if the message of these basketball cages isn’t loud and clear enough, a June 2013, Forbes Magazine article points out that 23 Philadelphia schools are closing due to a $300 million shortfall while the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections prepares to build a $400 million prison. Yeah, you don’t have to be a Count to do that math.  And why put razor wire around the school yards when you can just send the former students to prison?

Did you know that’s where counts came from? Kings needed help keeping their court straight so they extended noble ties out into the community. The often elevated the station of others they “saw fit” with knighthood or other noble title. In the case of the dude who kept the King’s math straight – for taxes, bounty, royal expenditures, and stuff – he became the Count.

Now the peasants all had to believe these upper crusts were the real deal. So the royalty of old said that God gave them their power.  Oh well, stop right there! God and a few swords – don’t forget the guys who got knighted.

So as we stand and stare at the razor wire around the basketball court, which modern day kings need to go? Well, they don’t call it court for nothing.  Let’s start with the National Basketball Association (NBA).

Listen to this sordid tale of royalty picking at each other’s belly button lint in their exalted station while a whole bunch of real basketball players – like the 8-year-old kids from Philly – lose their game.

And let’s face it, not one of these NBA royalty – like the Dutch king on the British throne – even comes from basketball.

Here’s the story: This unapologetic supremist named Donald Sterling owns the Clipper kingdom.  Problem with being a typical, arrogant, “the rules don’t apply to me” philandering, fat cat is that the peasants who watch your royal matches are – in part – the people you hate. And I would wager that they are in totality the people he hates, but he’s too much of a racist to know that they make peasants in his color.

So the other royals – as would happen from time to time when one king decided to annex another’s kingdom – have decided that Sterling needs to abdicate. Who will take over? How about the former king of Microsoft, Steve Ballmer! At least there’s a ball in his name if not in his past. Why should this rich dude own a basketball team? Well, because he’s royalty and rich is one of the rules of the sport.

What the NBA should do is give the Clipper kingdom to the public school children of Philly – or Chicago or some other endangered school district.  The basketball nobility has amassed enough wealth to save those schools.  And I don’t just mean the billion Sterling is suing for because they want to take his throne. By the way, that billion could save all 23 Philadelphia schools two and a half times over!  No, I mean the television stations with the beer and potato chip adds.  I mean the ridiculously expensive clothes made by the indescrbably poor sweatshop peasants around the world.

The basketball kingdoms combined have enough money to finance schools, take down the razor wire, and let the real game be played for the fun of it. Profits from the new NBA would only go to schools after the players get paid. So just like today, kids with tons of basketball talent would still have something to shoot for athletically.

Basketball is for athletes, would-be athletes, and backyard enthusiasts who want to work up a sweat shooting for three points from the foul line.  It’s not for an 80-year-old would-be Henry VIII hate-filled aristocrat, so desperate for one more sexual exploit that he mutters his obscene venom-filled comments into the ear of a woman who sees him for what he really is – a meal ticket who can easily lose his throne by exposing his royal foul lines – the ones he speaks.