ESPN’s NBA ‘analysis’ hits a new low with Juicy J appearance

By | May 8, 2022
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Excuse me while I slip into something a little less comfortable…

For some reason — mindless pandering makes for an educated guess — the NBA and its TV partners have determined that unless you’re a big fan of rap music, the uglier and louder stuff, you can’t possibly be a basketball fan.

Not that there’s a lot of benign rap to choose from, but benign is not the kind attached to NBA games and telecasts.

It’s the formulaic kind, the rap that relies on vulgarity, violence, hate, pockets stuffed with cash, smitten allegiance to wildly expensive garish jewelry, threats, boast-filled bombast and the sexual abuse of use–’em-then-lose-‘ em women.

Such rap is not simply a matter of taste. Its corrosive content has for decades inspired rappers and their crews to literally shoot it out, spilling real, dead-on-arrival blood. Such episodes have become a dime a dozen.

Early Thursday morning two men were shot dead at a makeshift Manhattan recording studio. At least one, Kamir King, was described as “a rapper.” Same old, same old.

It’s the kind of rap that promotes and sustains every backwards-pointed negative stereotype of urban black America.

And if you think that’s twisted, then you can’t possibly be a basketball fan.

ESPN's Jalen Rose and David Jacoby
ESPN’s Jalen Rose and David Jacoby
Getty Images for Jalen Rose Lead
Jordan
Jordan “Juicy J” Houston, left, with Paul “DJ Paul” Beauregard
UPI

Wednesday, Disney’s double-standard sports network, ESPN, saw the hosts of “Jalen & Jacoby” — Jalen Rose and David Jacoby — discuss the postseason rise of the NBA’s Grizzlies through the eyes and words of Memphis-based rapper Juicy J, real name Jordan Michael Houston, the father of a son and a daughter.

Interviewed on camera from the back of a car as it cruised, Juicy attested to his love of the Grizzlies. He had nothing else to add. It was not even apparent that he was a basketball fan beyond the Grizzlies’ being based in Memphis. It was a waste of time.

So why was he selected by ESPN for such attention?

I searched his name on the Internet and the first thing that popped up were the lyrics to his song “Bounce It.” It covers all the lowest, unprintable but requisite bases, and then some.

From drugs, to the most profane references to women, to throwing “thousands” around in strip clubs, to receiving oral sex in his Mercedes Benz, to appropriating NBA players’ names. He even extends the rap standard by referencing black men not only as the N-word but by calling them “p—yn—-s.”

Look for yourself. Zero upside, all way down and extra filthy. And plenty more — almost nothing but shamelessly unfiltered, N-worded garbage — before and after “Bounce It.” Self-love songs.

Yep, just another rap profiteer of what so badly, sorrowfully continues to afflict black America. But there’s no shortage of what else easily outraged social and category choose to ignore.

So the questions:

Why was Juicy J chosen to appear? Did anyone inspect his work before the invite or was he exactly who and what ESPN wanted? Would Jalen or Jacoby recite his lyrics on air? Would they inculcate the young in their lives with Juicy J’s artistry?

So why was he their special, NBA-themed guest, granted their full attention and admiration?

To think that longtime ESPN tennis analyst Doug Adler was immediately fired after some reckless New York Times stringer made the preposterous Twitter claim that Adler had just called Venus Williams a “gorilla” when he in fact was complimenting her “guerilla” tactics in rushing the net , “guerrilla style” being a descriptive tennis phrase.

To think that instead of backing their guy by ignoring that absurd claim or even telling the Times’ correspondent to take a hike, ESPN summarily fired Adler, ruining his career, reputation and, as he soon a stress-related heart attack suffered, his health .

Then everyone in tennis and the media ran for cover and as far away as possible from the truth. And there they remain.

But Juicy J as the special guest on “Jalen & Jacoby,” Wednesday, was good-to-go on ESPN. It’s sick.

Gary Cohen and Todd Zeile
SNY

The right signal in the booth

I might be guilty of profiling, but it seems ex-catchers make the best baseball analysts.

Last week, SNY studio analyst Todd Zeile, filling in for ailing Keith Hernandez, did a solid job working with Gary Cohen. Although a bit too eager to analyze every pitch (who isn’t?), Zeile kept it light, interesting and, most importantly, was a sees-the-entire-field enhancement rather than a distraction.

On YES, I’ve long heard John Flaherty’s modest, understated but alert approach to be a cure for common excesses. As games now often run 3 1/2 hours, he’s a perfect companion. And last week, when the Yankees turned a somewhat routine double play, he didn’t holler as if hit by a cattle prod.

Flaherty and Zeile score high on the sit-beside-him-at-games test.

Anyway, I don’t know YES’s schedule to next include Cameron Maybin or Carlos Beltran, but if someone at or near the top doesn’t insist that they speak less by roughly half, we all lose.

Fox Sports 1’s Colin Cowherd still has a bad case of Mike Francesa Syndrome.

As chronicled by ever vigilant Twitter account @BackAftaThis, Cowherd last week said his enthusiastic endorsement of Adam Gase “years and years ago was totally sarcastic” after the Jets hired Gase as head coach, “years and years ago” — in 2019.

BackAftaThis produced that 2019 audio and video. C-owherd called Gase a “great hire” and ridiculed Jets fans for not realizing it. He was not the least bit sarcastic. But this was par for Cowherd’s dishonest discourse.

All those Giants and Jets ticket subscribers being sent notices on defaulting on their PSL payments should send copies of their legal warnings to Roger Goodell, marked “Good Investments.”

That Goodell has been allowed to escape such a bogus public claim remains, to me, a closeted scandal.

The Post on Monday included a story about CUNY spending $1 million to prevent flooding within a large hole dug for a since-delayed construction project. Was hoping to read that a spokesperson said CUNY will “look into it.”

Francisco Lindor throws to first after forcing out Jean Segura on a double play during the seventh inning of Thursday's game.
Jean Segura is thrown out by Francisco Lindor during the seventh inning of Thursday’s Mets-Phillies game.
AP

Wonders that just never cease

Just wondering:

With the Phillies up 7-1 over the Mets on Thursday, the Phils’ Jean Segura led off the bottom of the seventh with a single. Reader Garry Wilbur wonders if Segura had tried to steal second, would he have suffered the wrath of the Mets for rubbing it in — before they scored seven in the top of the ninth to win, 8-7.


I wonder where the bidding would start for Rob Manfred to sell the World Series exclusively to a Big Tech streaming outfit, holding the Series for ransom behind a paywall. MLB is turning baseball into niche programming, anyway.


As suspects in violent crimes are daily arrested and arraigned in Nike-logo garb, one wonders if that embarrasses Nike or pleases its execs for reaffirming their marketing strategy?


Reader Robert Angrilli wonders if it was mere coincidence that the radio ad he heard for a sports betting operation was “directly followed by an ad pushing debt relief.”


Reader Mark Solomon wonders why no sports gambling enterprise has hired Mookie Betts or Oscar Gamble. Well, Gamble is unavailable as he passed in 2018, but I’d go with Frank Thomas, “The Big Hurt.”


Finally, reader Bob Friant wonders who selected Staten Island FerryHawks as the name for a minor league team.

As a third-generation Staten Islander — my ancestors came over on the ferry — I know that the bird (or “boid”) that most often rides the ferry and flocks near its moorings is not the hawk, but the pigeon.

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