As commenter "polynikes" on my own blog suggests, Donald Sterling’s Revenge upon NBA owners is like Montezuma’s Revenge upon gringo tourists in Mexico. Long may it reign …
The precise mechanisms of the Bruce Levenson Affair involving the Atlanta Hawks are coming more into focus today. When I wrote my Taki’s Magazine column on it back on Monday, I added, “Or it could be backstabbing among the consortium of co-owners.”
And that appears to be the case, according to an ESPN column by Jason Whitlock. The airing of dirty laundry is part of a long-running war between the Hawks’ Atlanta-based minority owners (using “minority” in the financial, not racial sense) and Levenson, the Washington-based controlling owner.
As I said, the crazier the rules become for witch-sniffing in America, the more the more clever will exploit them.
The atmosphere among NBA owners has become a little like that among Bolshevik bigshots in the 1920s-1930s Soviet Union, as memorably described in Koestler’s Darkness at Noon. When the reigning ideology is both nuts and officially unquestionable, even the true believers running things have a clammy feeling that somewhere in their past they must have slipped up and let slip out loud some bit of deviationism from the line of political correctness. And anything they’ve ever done can be used against them. So perhaps the safest policy is to go on the offensive and denounce their colleagues before they can be denounced. If your rival gets the drop on you, probably the smart play is to issue a full denunciation of your own right-deviationism and attempt to depart on your own terms.
It couldn’t have happened to a nicer group of guys than NBA team owners.
By the way, Jason Whitlock’s column has lots of other good things in it. Whitlock has long dominated the tiny niche market for being the black guy who is allowed to write smart, sensible things about race and sports. He now has company in the form of NBA all-time scorer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar who has started to contribute columns to Time trying to use wit to calm the periodic outbreaks of mass psychosis in the media over white racism in the NBA.