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A couple years ago Chris Webber was a guest on the Dan Patrick show. The conversation was about the dominant, fear-instilling players of the ‘90s. Webber was with the Washington Bullets at the time. Michael Jordan’s name was naturally mentioned and they began discussing the personality behind the best basketball player to ever live. He recalled a blatant dominance-asserting locker room scene before a playoff game against the Bulls in 1997. The story went like this:
“One time we played in Washington. We played a five game series against the Bulls. It was the year they won 72 games. We lose all three games by a total of 18 points. I saw Michael Jordan come into our locker room with a cigar, while it was lit, and said, ‘Who’s going to check me tonight?’ And we looked at Calbert Cheaney and we were laughing like little school kids knowing that Calbert Cheaney was going to get him, we knew it wasn’t a game for Mike.”
MJ took a lit cigar into the opposing team’s locker room in their arena before the third game of a best-of-seven game series. He strutted straight into the lions’ den in what I’d describe as an aggressive display of superiority. They were better than the Bullets. They knew it and in case the Bullets didn’t know it yet, MJ was there to inform them. Now imagine that Jordan was wearing a fully-buttoned-up polka dot shirt, rolled-up yellow pants, low top Chuck Taylors, and lensless, thick glass frames. The laughter would have been directed at him instead of Cheaney, and then they would have towel whipped his ass right out the locker room door. But the legend stands. This account is one of many anecdotes that supports the unrelenting badass persona behind Michael Jordan. He would often show up for games driving understated American muscle while decked out in “I’m about to fuck shit up” tracksuits. And his demeanor and attitude matched his style. He had swagger.
The NBA stars of today confuse the shit out of me. I know I’m not the only one to notice it. The pre and post-game styles of our NBA superstars have quickly morphed into hipster. Goddamn hipsters, man. The locker rooms must look like fucked up collections of baristas, nerds, and low-rent scumbags. Coincidentally, the two teams meeting in the Finals are the worst offenders. In this trending crime against the American sports icon, these guys are racking up felonies.
Take Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant here. Westbrook looks like he’s dressing as Steve Urkel for Halloween and Durant looks like a gay librarian.
This lensless frames epidemic has gone far enough. Whoever started this trend needs a swift kick to the giblets. And how do actual visually-impaired people feel about this? Do these hipsters not consider their feelings at all? They must see these guys as walking, mocking, prima donna assholes. They’re basically turning a disability into a fad. What’s next? Are these guys going to start cruising around arenas in tricked-out motorized Rascals? Bedazzled hearing aids? The line must be drawn, although some could argue it’s already been crossed.
Now take a look at Dwyane Wade and Lebron James right here. They look like they’re pledging to become members of a gayer, dorkier version of the T-Birds from the movie “Grease.”
You think Bob Cousy hit the locker room after games and traded in his 1-inch inseam nuthuggers for some capri pants, a deep V tee shirt, and a faux Catholic rosary? You assholes think Dr. J would get out of the shower and pick out his afro at his locker while rocking some skinny jeans, a flannel button-up, and a fedora? Shit no. They were men.
Look gentlemen, you guys will be representing our country at the 2012 Olympic games this summer. The Olympics are not only about athletic superiority, although there is little doubt who owns this department. It’s also about national pride and representation. You guys still have your power suits stowed away in your home closets from last year. Take them in and get them pressed, stat. When you pack for London, be mindful that you are no longer just the face of your organization. You’re representing America. Leave the hipster starter kits at home. They clash with red, white, and blue.
Follow me on Twitter @RogerDornTFM