Filed under: Basketball, Bread City, Collage, New York Knicks, Politics | Tags: Basketball Culture, Dennis Kucinich, Nate Robinson
Back in February, sports writer Dan Shanoff made the connection between Gilbert Arenas and Barack Obama: “Both are grassroots, internet sensations… Both deliver an aura of accessibility… Both have critics who point to the fact that they are untested on a big time national stage… And then there’s the “Black President” Factor: Obama would like to become the first black president. Arenas actually calls himself ‘The Black President.'”
I guess I must’ve had this article in the back of my mind during Summer League this season because as I watched the Knicks go undefeated, it hit me: Nate Robinson is Dennis Kucinich.
What links the Democratic Rep from Ohio/Presidential Candidate and the point guard is their style, a 100% balls-out way of conducting business that doesn’t always make sense, but is a breath of fresh air in a world where most basketball players and democrats play it too safe too much of the time.
Is this actually happening? Did Nate really bounce himself an alley-oop pass and try to dunk in the middle of a regular season game? Did Dennis Kucinich really just whip out a pocket-sized constitution and file for the impeachment of Dick Cheney? Yes, both these things happened. Nate does his job like he’s a player in NBA JAM. Kucinich does his job like he’s an imaginary politician on the West Wing.
There are plenty of people who simply cannot believe that Kucinich actually ever got elected while proposing to end the war on drugs and to legalize same-sex marriage, and there are plenty of people who cannot believe that Robinson is actually getting playing time in the NBA. It’s probably because Nate’s basketball skills and Kucinich’s speaking abilities don’t translate so well on television. Robinson is so small and ripped he can get his whole body practically parallel to the floor when he drives the lane, but that’s not so impressive when broadcast with overhead camera angles. In a little over fifteen minutes, I saw Kucinich get an entire chapel of dejected Ohio Democrats up on their feet, and not with anger or resentment but with excitement at the prospect of making the world a better place. In television debates, he seems, well… completely insane.
They’re both mad short, too.
At the end of the day I definitely would not want Kucinich to be my President or Robinson to be my franchise player, but I’m glad that they’re out there someplace, being vegan and knuckling up with Carmelo.
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