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Old 02-13-07, 08:21 PM
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ESPN The Magazine: John Amaechi Busts Out

ESPN The Magazine: John Amaechi Busts Out

By John Amaechi



Editor's note: This article appears in the February 26 issue of ESPN The Magazine.


After my first workout with the Jazz, John Stockton sauntered over and stuck out his hand. "I have a good feeling about you," he said with a smile. "You're gonna have a great career here."


The whole of Salt Lake City seemed excited about my arrival. I wowed 'em in my press conference, inspiring this over-the-top description in the Salt Lake Tribune:



ESPN Books
Amaechi's book will be available in stores Friday.
"Amaechi's musical tastes range from Ella Fitzgerald to Eric Clapton; he designs gardens; he loves to cook and eat foods that are unhealthy, such as cheesecake and donuts; he is a cartoon addict, but also religious about watching the Discovery Channel; he doesn't much like jock talk, but he will jabber for hours about national drug policies, juvenile crime and social problems; he says he 'teeters between being opinionated and arrogant,' yet he attempts to be openminded; he listens to opera before games, and he writes poetry, including this little ditty: 'The Earth is a stone, every crack a niche. To look is to know, to care to be rich.' "


In most Americans, such traits wouldn't be a big deal. But as a basketball player, they made me stand out. And they didn't know the half of it.



* * * * *

From the start, I was told there was one way to play in Utah, one scheme that had "always worked." Well, it worked for Karl Malone because it was designed for him and he was one of the greatest players ever.


I was no Karl Malone. Coach Jerry Sloan had signed me in the summer of 2001 because I was a 30-year-old big man with some nifty low-post moves and a smooth jumper and could score pretty consistently from 15 feet in. I lacked Karl's dominating presence (who doesn't?), but I was capable and eager.


When I brought up the ways the system didn't work for me, Jerry looked like he wanted to shoot holes right through my heart. During one home game, I got slapped with a three-second violation. "Stupid f---ing c--t!" he screamed at me. The notion that he could motivate by name-calling showed how out of touch he was. Perhaps that tactic works with scared schoolkids. We were grown men. "F--- you, Jerry! F--- you!" I screamed right back. Jerry practically hit the Delta Center roof. Yanking me from the game, he pointed a long, bony finger in my face and ordered me out of the arena. I refused, planting myself in the middle of the bench. What was he going to do, have me arrested?


After the game, he suspended me. I'm a thoroughly nonviolent person by both temperament and philosophy, but I couldn't help fantasizing about a Latrell Sprewell moment.


Jerry raged against players who he thought didn't play hard enough. If we lost two or three in a row, he'd stride into practice yelling, "You f---ing a-- holes are trying to get me fired! I'm not losing my job because you guys aren't hustling." During one of these job-insecurity diatribes, Karl looked at me and smirked, "If only we were so lucky." Then he went back to the posture he'd long ago adopted: working diligently while pretending Jerry didn't exist.


The whole "love the game" debate was absurd. I knew for a fact that plenty of guys didn't enjoy the game, because they told me so. Several of my teammates joked that they deserved their fat bank accounts, fancy cars and mansions just for "putting up with Jerry's s---."


I wasn't going to be embarrassed by Jerry Sloan, because basketball had a proper role in my balanced life. I had a sneaking suspicion my basketball philosophy wasn't the bottom line anyway.



* * * * *

The NBA locker room was the most flamboyant place I'd ever been. Guys flaunted their perfect bodies. They bragged about sexual exploits. They primped in front of the mirror, applying cologne and hair gel by the bucketful. They tried on each other's $10,000 suits, admired each other's rings and necklaces. It was an intense camaraderie that felt completely natural to them. Surveying the room, I couldn't help chuckling to myself: And I'm the gay one.

Homosexuality is an obsession among ballplayers, trailing only wealth and women. The guys I played with just didn't like "fags" -- or so they insisted over and over again. But they didn't understand fags enough to truly loathe them. Most were convinced, even as they sat next to me on the plane or threw me the ball in the post, that they had never met one.


Over time, I realized their antigay prejudice was more a convention of a particular brand of masculinity. Homophobia is a ballplayer posture, akin to donning a "game face," wearing flashy jewelry or driving the perfect black Escalade.


One night, as the team bus pulled into a West Coast city, I noticed a huge billboard towering over the road: "SOMEONE YOU KNOW IS GAY." The minute I spotted it, I pulled off my headphones. I wanted to hear what the boys would come up with. Sure enough, a cacophony of shock and horror poured forth.


"If my kid grew up gay, I'd throw him into the street."


"That's disgusting -- two guys together."


The comments deteriorated from there.


On more than one occasion during my playing days in Orlando, I'd gone out of my way to confront teammates who spouted antigay slurs. As a leader on that team, I felt it was my duty to stand up whenever someone went off on a tangent that was detrimental to our cohesion. This time, relegated to Sloan's doghouse, I lacked the credibility to speak up.


Even so, if I had to be in the repressive, Mormon capital of the Western world -- stuck at the end of the bench for a coach who was always cursing me out -- I figured I might as well enjoy myself. A fabulous existence was the best revenge. And I do mean fabulous. With my guaranteed contract, I felt liberated. In Orlando, I'd avoided my crowd because I worried about repercussions for my contract negotiations, my youth basketball center back home in Manchester, England ... my tenuous sense of self.


In Utah I still had plenty to lose. All the same fears -- real and imagined -- persisted, to a somewhat lesser degree. Utah employers are legally free to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, and there was plenty of evidence that my employer, owner Larry Miller, might do just that, having made his antipathy to gay people clear. (That never stopped his NBC affiliate, the source of much of his wealth, from airing the lucrative "Will & Grace." Later, one of Miller's movie theaters banned "Brokeback Mountain." I always wondered why one was acceptable and the other was not.)


But now I was ready to venture out. I made a beeline to the Avenues, the city's "alternative" neighborhood. One day, not long after I arrived in Utah, I was hanging out at Cahoots -- one of those off-color card places that sold everything from erotic magazines to rainbow flags to Mormon Temple shot glasses -- with my friend Nancy. She introduced me to the manager, Ryan, who immediately became my unofficial social ambassador. Ryan, his then-boyfriend, Steve, and I quickly became inseparable.


I never actually announced, "Yep, Ryan, I'm gay." He told me later he wasn't sure until he dropped by and heard the strains of Karen Carpenter coming through my front door -- and then, once inside, found my place filled with fresh-cut flowers. The rainbow towel in the bathroom confirmed his suspicions. Ryan said I must have been the only jock in history to "towel off with multiple colors singing along to 'We've Only Just Begun.'" Through Ryan, I fell in with a great crowd. These guys were highly protective of my privacy and carefully vetted everyone I met. Since I was still reluctant to venture out too far, everyone came to my closet -- literally. It was frustrating only when it was time to say goodbye at 11 p.m., as they headed out to dance the night away. That would have to wait until my contract expired. I made it a rule to avoid public places where I might be identified, even though on some level it made no sense; this was a community that placed a tremendous value on discretion. Everyone, it seemed, had something to lose.



ESPN The Magazine
Click here to subscribe to ESPN The Magazine.
It was the first time I'd lived relatively freely among my gay peers, and I luxuriated in every second. No one cared how tall I was or whether I was in the starting lineup. They knew how to look past sports, wealth and status -- not to mention my stats, which were way down. They didn't care how many boards I was pulling down or about my minutes per game. For all they knew, "MPG" was some new party drug.


Yet they were also the kind of guys who'd been excluded from the inner circle of athletics since they were kids, and though I could hardly claim to epitomize that clique, I could see the thrill in their eyes with their mere proximity to it -- even if they didn't know Malone from Magic.


I snagged them family-room passes, and the guys would hang at halftime and after the game. Ryan spent so much time there that he grew close to the wives and girlfriends of my teammates. There was, however, the occasional raised eyebrow when Ryan screamed, "Nice ass!" as I drove the lane.



* * * * *

Even had an experience unfamiliar to my life in the States: sex. I had a memorable drunken night with an adorable wrestler (what is it with those guys?) from the University of Utah. He showed up at one of my parties and refused to leave. Friends often marveled at the fact that my personal and professional lives remained largely separate for so long. I took steps to stay out of the limelight, but I never went out of the way to cover my trail. When I was in New York during road trips, I'd check out Splash, a big gay club in Chelsea. In LA, I hung out at the Abbey in West Hollywood, a space so visible, the patio is outdoors. I mostly avoided clubs when in my hometowns of Orlando and Salt Lake, and I never did the Internet dating thing, but those were about the only limits I put on myself my last couple of years in the NBA. All it would have taken was a single anonymous cell phone call from inside Splash to Page Six and I would have been toast. I was hiding, but in plain sight.


It was not as difficult to stay out of the papers as one might think. First of all, players don't hang out together as much as they once did. On the road, guys are assigned their own luxury suites, and we do our own thing. We all had a common interest in keeping our personal lives off the front page. Call it the basketball version of "don't ask, don't tell."


Plus, I had another convenient excuse: I'm English. It's an old phenomenon, dating back to the film stars of the '20s, when audiences would ask, Is he gay or is he British? Every time I did something eccentric, like bringing my fabulously flaming friends to games, people would quip, "Oh, he's just English. Leave him alone."


Still, by the end of my second season in Utah, I was practically daring reporters to out me. But it never happened. My sexuality, I felt, had become an open secret, which was fine by me. I'd left enough open to interpretation that suspicions were gaining momentum. Over the years, I'd become increasingly adept at deflecting questions from the press. I practiced gender-neutral pronouns. When a reporter asked about my romantic life, I'd say, "I'm not with anyone at the moment." Or, "The kind of person I'd like to be with in the future is ... " I rehearsed the answers to questions I could only imagine.


On the court I was always known as a solid defender, but now my guard was collapsing. One night before a game, Greg Ostertag, with whom I'd become close, asked me point-blank in the tunnel, "Ya gay, dude?" "Greg, you have nothing to worry about," I said. It was clear Greg couldn't have cared less. Looking back, I wish I'd confided in the gentle big man.


The same goes for Andrei Kirilenko, our talented Eastern European small forward. I called him Malinka, Russian for "little one," and our non-American (or "un-American," as I was sometimes accused of being) backgrounds created an obvious bond.



Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images
Amaechi regrets not confiding in teammates.
Sometime after Christmas of my last Utah season, in 2002, Malinka instant-messaged an invitation to his New Year's Eve party. Then he wrote something that brought tears to my eyes: "Please come, John. You are welcome to bring your partner, if you have one, someone special to you. Who it is makes no difference to me."


I was hosting my own party, so I had to decline his invitation. But I had Ryan deliver Malinka a $500 bottle of Jean Paul Gaultier-dressed champagne. Malinka's generous overture made the season more bearable. It showed that in my own paranoia and overwhelming desire for privacy, I'd failed to give some of my teammates the benefit of the doubt. It was the boorish idiots who gave the rest of us athletes a bad name.



* * * * *

The day I was packing to depart at the end of the season, my building manager said to Ryan, "I wish John had had a better time here. Perhaps if Sloan hadn't known about John's lifestyle."


There it was: I'd been sent packing because Sloan couldn't comprehend me, especially my sexuality. He dealt me unceremoniously to the Houston Rockets in exchange for Glen Rice, a once-terrific scorer who was near the end of his career. Unbeknownst to me, Sloan had used some antigay innuendo. It was confirmed via e-mails from friends who worked in high-level front office jobs with the Jazz.


Suddenly it all made sense. I'm not sure the great Sloan hates all "fags," though I'm pretty confident he's not exactly a gay advocate. No wonder I'd spent the bulk of the season with my ass planted firmly on the bench.


In the end, I asked myself why I'd bothered to hide at all. I'm not sure why I felt the need to stay away from those darkly alluring American nightclubs. I suppose I feared the aggressive sexuality, the love of the glitter of celebrity and gossip.


Perhaps I feared I would enjoy them a little too much, see what I'd been missing all these basketball years, and never want to leave.


Excerpted from "Man in the Middle" (ESPN Books) by John Amaechi with Chris Bull, now available at Amazon.com.


http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/s...spnmag/amaechi
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Old 02-13-07, 09:03 PM
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Old 02-13-07, 11:33 PM
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Am I the only one that notices some similarities between Pop and Sloan? And I don't mean just the fabulous clothes.
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Old 02-14-07, 01:19 AM
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He is wrong about NBC being the source of so much of Larry Miller's wealth. Miller has a monopoly on the car industry in Utah. He owns like 90% of the dealerships out there.

I hope this guy sells a lot of books but there is no comparison in basketball terms to John Amaechi and Jerry Sloan, one is a hall of famer who has been a great player and coach for decades, the other was a complete flop.
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Old 02-14-07, 01:48 AM
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Dude, it would be no party playing for Jerry Sloan regardless of how you get your jollies off the floor.

Sloan hasn't smiled since the mid-90's.
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Old 02-14-07, 04:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elchiv View Post
I hope this guy sells a lot of books but there is no comparison in basketball terms to John Amaechi and Jerry Sloan, one is a hall of famer who has been a great player and coach for decades, the other was a complete flop.
That's true, but we are not talking strictly basketball here. Amaechi basically said that Sloan hated him because he was gay. I don't know it's true or not, but if it is, it's just wrong.

Obviously, for Amaechi, basketball was just part of life, not a way of life. I'm not sure if you can be a successful NBA player with that attitude towards basketball.
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Old 02-14-07, 06:26 AM
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i'm sure pop is a great guy and unlike sloan he wouldn't dislike a player because of his sexual orientation...
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Old 02-14-07, 10:18 AM
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is pop the type of coach to call his players f--king c--ts?
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Old 02-14-07, 10:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drcantgetright View Post
is pop the type of coach to call his players f--king c--ts?
In Slovenian that's pronounced B-no Ud--h.
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Old 02-14-07, 11:11 AM
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Someone needs to tell Jerry Sloan that his style of management went out of fashion in the Middle Ages. Obviously, his success speaks for itself but this is proof positive one can be an out-of-touch a-hole and still be "successful."
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Old 02-14-07, 11:30 AM
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Someone needs to tell Jerry Sloan that his style of management went out of fashion in the Middle Ages. Obviously, his success speaks for itself but this is proof positive one can be an out-of-touch a-hole and still be "successful."
How do you know that the writer isn't stretching the truth to sell books? Personally, I saw Amaechi making comments about Mormons, Miller, and Sloan, all very easy targets. I'm sorry but this guy is no hero, he was a horrible player and if he didn't care about basketball you could tell with his play. In fact, you could call him dishonest for accepting a paycheck knowing he could get away with doing a half a-- job.

I don't really care what these players do in their private life as long as it doesnt spill onto the court like say Stephen Jackson or Kobe. But I hate when players give up which is what so many do and Amaechi pulls this I don't need basketball attitude that annoys the heck out of me.
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Old 02-14-07, 11:53 AM
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I don't really care what these players do in their private life as long as it doesnt spill onto the court like say Stephen Jackson or Kobe. But I hate when players give up which is what so many do and Amaechi pulls this I don't need basketball attitude that annoys the heck out of me.
So you're OK with Stephen Jackson / Kobe, but not OK with Amaechi? Put another way, you're OK with gun issues / fighting with fans / alleged rape but not OK with petulance towards one's job due to perceived hostile work environment / lack of job satisfaction? Just to be clear: I'm not taking sides, but trying to understand what you're saying.

Last edited by Toki9; 02-14-07 at 12:05 PM.
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Old 02-14-07, 12:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elchiv View Post
How do you know that the writer isn't stretching the truth to sell books?
With the quote you cited, I doubt the allegations against Sloan are hyperbole. In public (not behind closed doors), Sloan has verbally assailed Larry Miller, opponents, newspaper reporters, Mark Cuban in addition to physically assaulting a referee. As a player, Sloan went into the stands to confront fans and as coach suggested that players should "knock him [an overzealous fan] on his ass."

Dude has a SERIOUS anger management problem.

Amaechi was probably spot on.
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Old 02-14-07, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Toki9 View Post
So you're OK with Stephen Jackson / Kobe, but not OK with Amaechi? Put another way, you're OK with gun issues / fighting with fans / alleged rape but not OK with petulance towards one's job due to perceived hostile work environment / lack of job satisfaction? Just to be clear: I'm not taking sides, but trying to understand what you're saying.
No. you misunderstood me, I hate the fact that Kobe and SJ personal life spills on to the court and makes them mis games or show up late because they have to testify in court or they get suspended.

My point is that I don't care what Amaechi did in his personal life, but one thing that was clear is that he was an awful basketball player and his article gives a feeling like he didn't care...basketball wasn't that important to him
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Old 02-14-07, 12:31 PM
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I'm straight. I've waited all my life to come out and share my sexuality with the world. congratulate me, I deserve it.
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Old 02-14-07, 12:33 PM
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With the quote you cited, I doubt the allegations against Sloan are hyperbole. In public (not behind closed doors), Sloan has verbally assailed Larry Miller, opponents, newspaper reporters, Mark Cuban in addition to physically assaulting a referee. As a player, Sloan went into the stands to confront fans and as coach suggested that players should "knock him [an overzealous fan] on his ass."

Dude has a SERIOUS anger management problem.

Amaechi was probably spot on.
Sloan is passionate about his work, unlike Ameachi, I'll side with the one who didn't openly admit to doing a half a-- job. It all goes to credibility and honesty.
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Old 02-14-07, 12:35 PM
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Sloan is passionate about his work, unlike Ameachi, I'll side with the one who didn't openly admit to doing a half a-- job. It all goes to credibility and honesty.
And I'll side with one who's reasonable, balanced and not psychotic.

Passion never gives one carte blanche to assault people verbally and physically. Sloan is passionate about basketball, but thuggish in interacting with other people.
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Old 02-14-07, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Menudo Terremoto Williams View Post
And I'll side with one who's reasonable, balanced and not psychotic.

Passion never gives one carte blanche to assault people verbally and physically. Sloan is passionate about basketball, but thuggish in interacting with other people.
The man wants to win, I wish some of the Spurs would show some passion

And he does have a right to blast players when their play on the court is awful. Sloan has been in his job for years because he is good at it...bottom line, the man wins. Why are we praising Ameachi? I still don't know what he has done or what he has suffered to get so much attention. He was not a good basketball player, in fact, I argue that no one in this forum remembered him before he came back out and announced he was gay.

He wants to turn his story into some sort of homophobic the NBA does not accept gay people while the truth of the matter is that if he posted 15 and 8 with an occasional block no one would care who he sleeps with. Sloan benched him because he sucked not because he was gay.
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Old 02-14-07, 02:14 PM
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Sloan is passionate about his work, unlike Ameachi, I'll side with the one who didn't openly admit to doing a half a-- job. It all goes to credibility and honesty.
I agree that it's good to be passionate about one's work--that'd be ideal. But I think the situation described is about a different issue: treatment of one's colleagues/subordinates. You can be plenty passionate about your work without being abusive to those around you.

Also, your environment does have an effect on your performance. Speaking from personal experience, I've had bosses who were abusive and I've had bosses who were not. And having an abusive boss really sucks and does affect one's performance. As a professional, you try to rise above things like that--but as a professional, the boss shouldn't behave in such manner in the first place. NBA is a sport and a great piece of entertainment to its fans. At the same time, it's a working place for all the professionals involved in it. The fact that they're highly paid athletes doesn't mean that they should be okay with abuse. I agree that a professional shouldn't let those things affect their performance--but as human beings, I don't think anyone can really help it.

Having said all that, I don't know if Sloan acutally did behave as portrayed. This is really a "He said"-"He said" kind of situation--so I'm not sure what all this really amounts to apart from being "interesting".

A couple more thoughts. As far as the "credibility" and "honesty" thing goes. 1. Amaechi is being honest about not being really into his work (and that ultimately showed in his performance and thus he was out of the league pretty soon aftewards). Would Sloan be honest about how abusive he is to his players (But you can't really verify that)? 2. I think one of the NBA players said something about how he couldn't trust a teammate who was in the closet. The relevance of being in the closet and executing on the court is a bit lost on me, but I thought it was interesting.

Last edited by Toki9; 02-14-07 at 02:17 PM.
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Old 02-14-07, 02:24 PM
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I think it was LeBron that made the comment about not trusting a teammate and I think that is stupid.

I agree that having a boss that is hard on you is tough, but when you do a half a-- job don't you think your boss is going to get after you. Pop has a history of doing this to players, compare Parker and Beno, one has become a two time all-star and the other rides the bench. That comes with the game and all athletes know that coaches will be all over them when they perform poorly...to much money is at stake to not do so.

If you do a bad job your boss can fire you because you are probably an at-will employee with no contract to protect you, however players sign contracts and are then protected from losing their jopb even if they do a half a-- job.

I agree it would be tough to be a gay man in the NBA or any sport, but when he starts blaming his sexuality on why he didn't perform well in the league and then openly admit to not caring about it, well I think that is a lousy thing to do, especially if I am a season ticket holder who is helping to flip the bill for the 10 million or whatever he got.
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Old 02-14-07, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by elchiv View Post
The man wants to win, I wish some of the Spurs would show some passion

And he does have a right to blast players when their play on the court is awful. Sloan has been in his job for years because he is good at it...bottom line, the man wins. Why are we praising Ameachi? I still don't know what he has done or what he has suffered to get so much attention. He was not a good basketball player, in fact, I argue that no one in this forum remembered him before he came back out and announced he was gay.

He wants to turn his story into some sort of homophobic the NBA does not accept gay people while the truth of the matter is that if he posted 15 and 8 with an occasional block no one would care who he sleeps with. Sloan benched him because he sucked not because he was gay.
I don't think anyone's really "praising Amaechi". I think it's more about whether Sloan's alleged behavior is acceptable--which you seem to find acceptable (Did I misunderstand?)

Yes, Amaechi sucked--and he was washed out relatively quickly (like so many others in the NBA. Remember Jaren Jackson? Big contract followed by world class suckiness in following season. Then there's Mr. Garbage Bag in NY. Actually, there are many such players in NY--but I'm digressing.).

Also, I'm not sure if Amaechi is trying to say that NBA is a particularly homophobic place. Too hard to tell from an excerpt that probably was meant to be sensational in order to promote the book. But he also said some very positive things about Kirilenko and Ostertag, as well as saying that he doesn't really know himself since he never revealed himself--which he seems to regret. Flip side of that is that you can't really say "if he posted 15 and 8 with an occasional block no one would care who he sleeps with." It'd be great if that were true, but no one can really say that.

I do agree that Amaechi sucked as a player--and I think he probably would agree with that.
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  #22  
Old 02-14-07, 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Toki9 View Post
he also said some very positive things about Kirilenko and Ostertag, as well as saying that he doesn't really know himself since he never revealed himself--which he seems to regret. Flip side of that is that you can't really say "if he posted 15 and 8 with an occasional block no one would care who he sleeps with." It'd be great if that were true, but no one can really say that.
Wll of course Ostertag was open-minded he went to KU.

I think performance overtakes everything else. I know sexuality is different, but man did I ever hate Horry before game 5 of the 2005 finals. That one good game was enough to erase 10 years of hatred. Performance matter.
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Old 02-14-07, 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by elchiv View Post
If you do a bad job your boss can fire you because you are probably an at-will employee with no contract to protect you, however players sign contracts and are then protected from losing their jopb even if they do a half a-- job.
Yeah, but firing someone is fundamentally different than being abusive. Besides, I don't think one's contract status is really relevant to how one should be treated at work places. It's a very different issue.

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Originally Posted by elchiv View Post
Wll of course Ostertag was open-minded he went to KU.

I think performance overtakes everything else. I know sexuality is different, but man did I ever hate Horry before game 5 of the 2005 finals. That one good game was enough to erase 10 years of hatred. Performance matter.
1. KU is known for open-mindedness? I never knew that. Kind of ironic given the current controversy about teaching evolution (but I'm digressing again).

2. Yes, performance is important. But I don't think that's true with everyone. Maybe it is. I don't know.
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Old 02-14-07, 02:37 PM
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Absolutely it is relevant if you have a contract that means you must have some kind of performance. When performance is not up to what it was suppossed to be you would be made too.

Imagin if your building a house and you paid for them to build you a lap pool and then the builders only put in a hot tub. What actions would you take?

You rarely see lawsuits because of arbitration clauses in players contracts but one can certainly understand a coach and owner being upset that they invested so much money expecting to see a pool and in return only getting a hot tub.

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1. KU is known for open-mindedness? I never knew that. Kind of ironic given the current controversy about teaching evolution (but I'm digressing again).
That was a joke.
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Old 02-14-07, 02:45 PM
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Absolutely it is relevant if you have a contract that means you must have some kind of performance. When performance is not up to what it was suppossed to be you would be made too.

Imagin if your building a house and you paid for them to build you a lap pool and then the builders only put in a hot tub. What actions would you take?

You rarely see lawsuits because of arbitration clauses in players contracts but one can certainly understand a coach and owner being upset that they invested so much money expecting to see a pool and in return only getting a hot tub.

That was a joke.
Actually, I'd be mad even if there wasn't a guaranteed contract. You are a professional who's suppose to take responsibility for your work.

But, again, it's a separate issue. Just because you're mad with someone doesn't mean you have the right to be abusive. On this point I think we disagree. I don't think any boss has the right to be abusive. It's accepted to various degrees under various settings and circumstances, but I don't believe that makes it right.

Oh, and I clearly didn't get the joke. Sorry. I can be very literal minded and dense at times.

Last edited by Toki9; 02-14-07 at 02:56 PM.
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  #26  
Old 02-14-07, 03:49 PM
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i was very happy to hear about ak47 and his open mind and acceptance. but sports is very macho and manish, evne though guys are walking around patting butts, hugging, showering together, etc. but it's acceptable b/c nobody thinks they're gay. how do you think it changes when a gay man is in this scenario, and how difficult it'd be for him to come out while playing, when others aren't very open minded. lebron and others voiced certain opinions suggesting closed-mindedness, and one jazz teammate even said he'd kick his son out if he was gay. at least he didn't name names. but just by playing ball, you always hear ppl calling others "fags" in derogatory terms. jordan himself called kwame "a f-ing f****t." it's just seems acceptable in sports to talk this way.

it's not his fault he wasn't good in the pros. it's not like he held owners at gunpoint, they threw him millions. he clearly wasn't worth paying that much, but is that really his fault? he should tried 100%, but how many of you would give it your all to a boss who's verbally abusive and you thought he hates your race/ethnicity (a comparison to his sexual orientation)? he sucked, but it's a big step in him coming out, just to bring some questions up. what i don't like is espn (the publishers of the book) forcing this news down our throat so much.

basketball wasn't his life. maybe this was his true calling: http://www.meech.org/video.htm

here's a nice read on amaechi, by a writer who went to penn state w/ him, and there's a link on the page to another story, but that asks one of those basic information forms to read. he also notes how it's likely amaechi's earnings will likely go towards further helping his youth organizations and good service, not like a certain roided up baseball player's confession: http://slamonline.com/online/2007/02...f-eligibility/

Last edited by theinswes; 02-14-07 at 03:53 PM.
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  #27  
Old 02-14-07, 11:29 PM
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Tim Hardaway came out and said... I hate gay people... blah blah blah... they showed it on the news... I'll go look for the link...

Here it is:

Updated: Feb. 14, 2007, 11:27 PM ET
Former Heat star Hardaway makes anti-gay commentsESPN.com news services

Former Miami Heat guard Tim Hardaway said on a radio show Wednesday afternoon that he would not want a gay player on his team.

"You know, I hate gay people, so I let it be known," Hardaway said. "I don't like gay people and I don't like to be around gay people. I am homophobic. I don't like it. It shouldn't be in the world or in the United States."

Hardaway was a guest of Miami Herald columnist Dan Le Betard on the Miami radio show Sports Talk 790 and was asked how he would deal with a gay teammate. When asked if he would accept an active player's coming out, such as that of retired NBA center John Amaechi, Hardaway replied: "First of all, I wouldn't want him on my team.

"And second of all, if he was on my team, I would, you know, really distance myself from him because, uh, I don't think that's right. And you know I don't think he should be in the locker room while we're in the locker room. I wouldn't even be a part of that."

Hardaway later apologized for the remarks during a live telephone interview with W-S-V-N Channel 7, saying he was sorry and should have never said anything.

"Yes, I regret it. I'm sorry. I shouldn't have said I hate gay people or anything like that," he said. "That was my mistake."


Hardaway, who was in Las Vegas Tuesday at a pre-All Star Game NBA Cares outreach event, was both a coach and player for the ABA's Florida Pit Bulls in 2006.

Hardaway played for five NBA teams from 1990-2003 and was a five-time All-Star. He finished with averages of 17.7 points and 8.2 assists.

LINK

Wow.. .as bad as he speaks I'm surprised anyone understood anything he said.
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