We Love Our Boobie

LeBron loves him some Boobie.

You’ll have to forgive me, but I just can’t be bothered to talk about the Astros right now. For one thing, they

suck

. For another, they’re also exceedingly boring. Instead, I’d like to take a moment to address the half dozen or so remaining NBA fans who call Houston home.

This morning, I awoke to sports radio calls from H-town fans falling all over themselves while praising local product, Daniel “Boobie” Gibson. In case you missed it, the Jones High School alum summoned his inner NBA Jam Saturday night and went en fuego on the Detroit Pistons in Game 6. Boobie poured in 31 points and knocked down all five of his three-point attempts while lifting Cleveland to its first ever appearance in the NBA Finals. Not too shabby for a rookie who wasn’t taken until the second round of last summer’s draft.

Predictably, the callers fell into one of two camps:

1. Why the hell didn’t the Rockets pick this guy when they had the chance and why exactly do Houston teams always overlook the local talent (Vince Young, Carl Crawford, Rashard Lewis to name but a few) on draft day anyway?

2. Boobie and the Cavs are going to shock the world and take home a title.

Let’s address Camp One first. Look, nobody loves ripping the hometown teams more than I do when it comes to bonehead draft decisions. But passing on Gibson wasn’t one of them. First of all, the guy essentially orchestrated his way to Cleveland by refusing to work out for any other team except the Cavs. That’s right, he even dissed Houston, too. Secondly, the Rockets already have their own version of Gibson. His name is Luther Head. Both guys are gunners who don’t really have a true position in the NBA. Their size makes them ideally sorted for the point guard position, but they don’t possess the skill-set to run the show at the pro level. Finally, anyone who watched Gibson’s sophomore year at UT knows he looked nowhere near NBA ready when he decided to declare. Unless you’re related to Boobie, his coming out party is stunning to say the least. So don’t waste time thinking about what might have been. Instead, cheer on the local kid and give him credit for making the most of his opportunity and finding a way to land in a perfect spot.

As for the second camp, I hate to burst your bubble, but San Antonio is not going to let Cleveland get in the way of destiny. I’ve said it all year: the Spurs are winning their fourth title. Don’t get me wrong. It should be a fun series, despite the likelihood most of the games will finish with plodding final scores likes 83-79. I actually think Cleveland can push San Antonio to six games which I never would have thought possible even a couple weeks ago. But when push comes to shove (and in this series, it often will), San Antonio is the superior team. They possess a monumental advantage at head coach and point guard and Cleveland’s lack of a low-post threat means Tim Duncan won’t have to worry about foul trouble. One final point: San Antonio defends the three pointer better than any team in the NBA. That means no more wide open looks for Boobie. Make no mistake, LeBron will get his in this series. He might average close to 40 points a game. But the Spurs will take that as long as his teammates stay silent. Write it down: Spurs in six.

And for those of you who just can’t live without your baseball fix, I encourage you to check out Gary Sheffield’s rant on why black players are disappearing from the MLB ranks. If you’re too lazy to click on the link, here’s the highlight:

"I called it years ago. What I called is that you're going to see more black faces, but there ain't no English going to be coming out. … [It's about] being able to tell [Latin players] what to do -- being able to control them," he told the magazine.

"Where I'm from, you can't control us. You might get a guy to do it that way for a while because he wants to benefit, but in the end, he is going to go back to being who he is. And that's a person that you're going to talk to with respect, you're going to talk to like a man.

"These are the things my race demands. So, if you're equally good as this Latin player, guess who's going to get sent home? I know a lot of players that are home now can outplay a lot of these guys."

Now if any sane person still took Sheffield seriously at this point, I might be concerned. But since that’s no longer an issue, I think his diatribe is pure gold. Next, I look forward to hearing Sheff’s take on the shortage of black athletes in curling. I’m sure he can have fun spinning some sort of tale about how it has something to do with the brooms or rocks involved.

Anyway, if you wish to read a more serious take on the issue of blacks and baseball, I invite you to check out an earlier column where I touched on the subject. – Jason Friedman

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