Tag: NBA

Paul Shirley, former NBA basketball player turned author and entrepreneur, joins Carol Roth to talk about his journey from athlete to creator, entrepreneur and small business owner. Paul shares a frank and raw narrative about how the government pandemic closures happened just as his young business was gaining momentum, and his frustrations as a business owner watching the government pick winners and losers. Paul and Carol also discuss how what happened has informed his go-forward strategy on his future endeavors.

Plus, a “Now You Know” on time zones.

The Fragile Legs of the National Football League


Ask a sports reporter about the future of the NFL (such as the way Peter Robinson asked Andrew Beaton of The Wall Street Journal on this week’s Ricochet Podcast) and one usually gets a recitation of the latest Nielsen ratings. Yes, football dominates today’s airwaves. But that is like complimenting a paint job on an old home where the timbers in the basement are a rotting mess of leaking water and a banquet for termites. The old place has charm – but for how long?

If you don’t like the building metaphor and wish to stick with sports, the National Football League is a thoroughbred racehorse, beautiful, sleek, and very powerful and yet dependent on very fragile legs that are sometimes asked to bear up to ten times the pressure of the horse’s weight. A slight bump, an entanglement with another animal, a sharper than anticipated turn and it collapses into a fall that is over 80% fatal.

As Peter noted in the podcast, more and more parents are saying “no” to the sport. Participation in youth leagues has been steadily declining, losing almost 40% of its participants since 2008. This has led to a decline in the high school game as well, but with the reductive nature of sports (most kids bail on organized sports by the time they turn 15) it’s off a more modest 3%.

Join Jim and Greg as they discuss how the RNC was smart to move away from wall-to-wall speeches politicians and showcase how policies are working in the lives of American citizens and how socialist and communist policies have devastated other nations. They also point out that Joe Biden’s belated plea for peaceful protesting fell on deaf ears as rioters ravaged Minneapolis over the false rumor that a murder suspect had been killed by police. And they wonder what the next step will be after NBA players refuse to play in playoff games over the shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin

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The moral collapse of supposedly patriotic Americans and supposedly faithful Christians in the face of leftist identity politics has been dismaying. It should not have been unexpected. Read the Good Book and you will find fair weather followers and leaders from cover to cover. What is exceptional, what becomes remarkable because it stands in stark […]

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Black Christianity


Black Christianity again shows what it takes to show a spine. After my piece on Denzel Washington and Anthony Mackie, and after Terry Crews, another brave black man refuses to subscribe to BLM, this time a young NBA player, Jonathan Isaacs, and again it’s in the name of the Gospel–he says, black lives matter and all lives matter. This is now a question — everyone else knelt during the anthem, everyone else had a BLM shirt. A quick transformation of elite America became Kaepernick was a scandal. Everyone with a camera pointed at him seems to be a coward these days. It’s funny… We should stand up and support these brave men. God bless you, Jonathan Isaacs!

Jim is back! Join Jim and Greg as they cheer on former Covington Catholic High School student Nick Sandmann as the Washington Post settles the $250 million lawsuit he filed against it. They also cheer on the advancement of a possible coronavirus vaccine with tens of thousands of patients set to be part of a clinical trial. And they cringe as COVID-19 suddenly threatens Major League Baseball.

Greg and Jim are both here! Today, they welcome a Supreme Court decision extolling the importance of honoring the verdict of the people in each state during presidential elections.  They also shudder as China reports at least one case of the bubonic plague. And they have fun with the NBA allowing “personalized” messages on players’ jerseys that must come from a pre-approved list of messages.

Isiah Thomas Calls for End of ‘Race’ Category


An NBA program, carried on ESPN and intended to promote the left’s line on race, went a bit sideways. June 23 on NBA Game Time, Isiah Thomas, a basketball great with a master’s degree in education, called for an end to the use of race as an official classification, arguing that it has been misused for bad purposes from its origin. The young woman interviewing him had to smile through the interview, however much this was heresy in the present political moment. His comments accord more with the long time position of Alexander Hamilton III, a lawyer and American Family Radio daily talk show host. Contra Dennis Prager, the answer is not to be “colorblind.” Rather, we should learn from Deuteronomy 16:19, and not the “1619 Project.”

Isiah Thomas earned an education master’s degree at UC Berkeley in 2013. His study focused on the education and life outcomes for black male college athletes.* Instead of promoting the Democrat Party line, Thomas called for an end to the use of “race” as a classification label. He did so on the basis of theories and histories of “racialization,” the invention and development of this relatively new way of labeling and dividing people. Isiah Thomas noted that our government, starting at the national level, has four boxes: national origin, citizenship, ethnicity, and race. It is his position that race has been defined and used for ill purpose and should be eliminated from official programs. You get plenty of descriptive categorization from national origin, citizenship, and ethnicity.

It’s Tiiiime … Boogity, Boogity, Boogity!


Professional sports started breaking free from the COVID-19 craziness this past weekend. UFC led the way, followed by a more timid, painfully politically correct NASCAR. Meanwhile, the boys of summer looked to be dropping the ball again, Major League Baseball likely losing bigly in a squeeze play between the National Basketball Association, National Hockey League, and National Football League. Between the NASCAR messaging and UFC, I’ll likely be watching UFC, not NASCAR, this year.

“It’s . . . TIIIME!” 

Join Jim and Greg as the evidence piles up that the coronavirus likely escaped from a lab in Wuhan and the Chinese lied about it for weeks. They also hammer Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot for vowing to arrest people at parties for getting too close to others. And they groan as Barack Obama and other liberals gripe in an ESPN documentary about Michael Jordan not being a political activist during his career.

In a strange time, Jack does something new: Discuss sports! ChatSports Analyst Tom Downey joins Young Americans to discuss how he got into sports journalism, and how coronavirus is affecting both college and professional sports.

It’s all-crazy and all coronavirus today on the Three Martini Lunch.  Join Jim and Greg as they go through the three key points from President Trump’s Oval Office address that were not consistent with administration policy and needed later clarification.  They also dive into the rapidly growing list of college and professional sports events being cancelled or radically altered, most prominently the NBA suspending its season after Utah Jazz star Rudy Gobert tests positive for coronavirus.  Finally, they comment on movie star Tom Hanks and wife Rita Wilson testing positive in Australia while feeling slightly under the weather and wonder how much patience Americans will have for a long-term quarantine when many patients don’t feel that crummy and a lot of economic livelihoods are on the line.

Kobe Bryant Dead at 41


NBA legend Kobe Bryant, along with four others, died in a helicopter crash Sunday in Calabasas, CA. The tragedy was first reported by TMZ and is now being confirmed by local media. The LA Times reported that no homes or other bystanders were impacted by the crash. Bryant is survived by his wife Vanessa and four children.

Bryant played his entire 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers, retiring in 2016. He won five NBA championships, was an 18-time All-Star, and NBA’s Most Valuable Player in 2008.

Update: LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva has confirmed that 9 individuals died in the crash. There were 8 people and the pilot on the flight plan manifest. Among the dead are Bryant, his daughter Gianna (13) and Orange Coast College baseball coach, John Altobelli, his wife Keri and their daughter Alyssa. Other names were withheld pending notification of family.

David French joins us for a drink today in place of Jim, who will be back on Friday.  Today, David and Greg discuss the courage of Enes Kanter, a Turkish player for the Boston Celtics.  In the wake of widespread NBA cowardice on China, Kanter continues to defy the repressive Turkish government even though it persecutes his family members and he faces threats against his life.  They also wince at President Trump’s Twitter-esque letter urging Turkish President Erdogan to seek a cease-fire with the Kurds and blast Trump for pulling back so suddenly in Syria that our own military is scrambling to get out of there.  They work in a much-needed laugh as Beto O’Rourke now admits he would have law enforcement come and take away your AR-15 and any other weapons he would ban.

At the conclusion of today’s episode, they pay tribute to the late Rep. Elijah Cummings and then remark on David’s upcoming departure from National Review to join a new venture known as The Dispatch.

Jim Geraghty is back and firing on all cylinders for three big stories today!  First, he and Greg poster dunk on LeBron James for calling Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey “uneducated” for his tweet urging people to stand up for freedom in Hong Kong and suggesting such speech can be very harmful – to the Chinese government and NBA profits apparently.  In complete contrast to LeBron’s cowardice, MSNBC’s Chris Hayes is loudly applauded for hammering his own employer for following the path of least resistance in spiking Ronan Farrow’s story on Harvey Weinstein.  And they roll eyes before ripping Tom Steyer for telling supporters a win for the Democrats in 2020 means the end of the Republican Party forever and a Republican win “literally” means the end of the world.

ESPN and ‘The Map’


The other morning, ESPN was reporting on the Chinese/NBA flap and used a map that shows nine dotted lines that encompass Taiwan and other territorial claims of the Communist Chinese that no other nation recognizes.

Hey, we finally we have a good martini and it only took us until Thursday!  Today, Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America appreciate a bipartisan group of lawmakers blasting the NBA for kowtowing to China. They also slam the Biden campaign for whining that the New York Times is making common cause with Breitbart.com by covering Hunter Biden’s overseas activities. And they hammer President Trump for not worrying if thousands of ISIS prisoners go free because of Turkey’s attack on the Kurds because most would only wind up in Europe again.

Is Free Speech Compatible with Free Trade in China?


American populists already blame free trade for costing their country jobs and industrial might. Now they blame it for curtailing freedom of speech. The argument: If the US and Chinese economies weren’t so intertwined, then China couldn’t “export” its authoritarian values by using its huge market power to strong–arm American companies.

Populists correctly note that the NBA’s rebuke of a Houston Rockets official’s pro-Hong Kong democracy tweet is hardly the first instance of Beijing trying to use its financial influence on foreign companies to shape global opinion — especially regarding Hong Kong, Taiwan, and its Uighur reeducation camps. As one China expert told The Washington Post, the Chinese communists don’t tolerate dissent on these issues inside China, “and increasingly they are not tolerating dissent on these issues outside China.”

But these populist critiques of Chimerica also invite the search for a counterfactual: Should Nixon have never gone to China? Should America have tried to somehow quarantine a nuclear–armed nation of one billion people even as it tried to open up and decentralize its economy? Should Washington have simply ignored the reality — and somehow persuaded our allies to do likewise — that China was undertaking significant policy reforms in the direction of liberalization?

The search is still on for a good martini this week.  Today, Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America react to the Turkish military striking Kurdish targets just two days after the U.S. announced it would move forces out of the area so Turkey could attack one of our closest allies in the fight against ISIS. They also shudder at rape allegations against former “Today” show host Matt Lauer and at new revelations about the steps NBC executives took to downplay Lauer’s actions and stop journalist Ronan Farrow from releasing his Harvey Weinstein story that started the #MeToo movement. And they recoil as two NBA fans are removed from an NBA game in the U.S. for bringing signs and voicing support for Hong Kong.