Saturday, June 11, 2005


Of course I can never prove it. And if I asked Rasheed Wallace the qustion I am sure he would deny it.
But I think Wallace pulled a Dennis Rodman over on the media Friday, but did not mention the word race when he talked about San Antonio Spurs sensation Manu Ginobili.
Back during the heat of the Pistons-Boston Celtics rivalry in the 1980s, after another bitter playoff loss to the hated C's Rodman said Larry Bird would just be another player if he were black.
In other words the media, who is mostly white, is showering praise on a player who they view as the great white hope. Isiah Thomas foolishly got into the national glare by agreeing with his teammate and the next thing you know Zeke is at the NBA Finals holding a bogus joint press conference with Bird to apologize.
Wallace did not say it. But I sure bet he was thinking it when reporters asked him about Ginobili.
"He's all right,” Wallace said with a shrug. β€œHe's a good ballplayer. In my mind, there ain't nothing too special about the kid.”
The sports media now has Manu fever. Folks want to be like Manu. We no longer play one-on-one basketball. Rather we play Manu ah Manu basketball. He is all flash and dash and emotion and is now a budding super star.
And oh by the way he popped the Pistons across the nose in Game 1 of the NBA Finals with a splendid 26-point performance.
He is a South American player with hair that flashes across the screen. He is a white man dominating in a black man's world.
I've talked to a number of black athletes over the years and they sometimes quetion why certain athletes are praised more in the media than others. It does not always boil down to race because some question why New Jersey's Vince Carter gets so much play.
But they sometimes roll their eyes and believe whites still get more praise than blacks if they are good.
That might be true in some cases. It is not true in this one.
Ginobili can play. Game 1 was not a fluke. It is what he's been doing most of the playoffs.
The Spurs might remain Tim Duncan's team, but Ginobili bought a piece of the rock and we should start seeing him make NBA All-Star games.
If Rasheed Wallace does not think he is that special then the Pistons need to shut him down and shut the media up.
When the guy dunked on the entire Pistons team the other night it sure looked special to me.
So was Rasheed's comments Dennis Rodman-Larry Bird II? I have no way of proving it. I just suspect that is the case.


Blogger said...


you know I love your blog, and respect your opinion. But I think you are taking a BIG LEAP by trying to read so much into Sheed's comments.

It just sounds like gamesmanship to me. Not giving your opponent too much credit during a playoff series. It's classic Sheed.

I for one, am surprised that you went there with this, you know the "race card".

You obviously are more in tune with what actually goes in in the lockerooms and in the press conferences.

But to me, it sounds like you are throwing Sheed under the bus here.

I would expect that from Dan LeBatard, but not from you.

7:25 AM

Blogger T Foster said...

No one is throwing Sheed under the bus. I am simply saying it is a possibility and something I suspect. He praises other players and now he shrugs off a guy who has played well and blasted his team?
He shrugs off a player the media has been all over the last three days?
I admit I could be wrong. This is a gut feeling. And it gives you something to think about.

7:55 AM

Blogger DonVitoCorleone said...

Rasheed has publicly made racist comments in the past. No reason to suspect he isn't thinking about them now.

Like you said, there are probably a lot of others in the league thinking the same thing.

Ginobili is tremendous and he slapped the Pistons silly in Game One.

9:29 AM

Blogger billionaire said...

I am not sure if he slapped the pistons silly or he took advanatge of tired legs let's face it the pistons were in it until 11 minutes to go. Now if he breaks off again in game 2 then I will give him his due but I still say pistons in 5 or 6

12:07 PM

Anonymous The_REAL_Right_Way said...

Tayshaun had similar comments. To me it was classic, "that guy just kicked my ___ and I'm embarrassed." The last thing someone does in that situation is compliment the guy.

Manu has been playing this way all year. The difference is, up until the playoffs, Popovich had him coming off the bench. Tayshaun cannot guard this guy, that 7'2" wing span has been grounded since game 1 of the Eastern conference finals.

Billionaire, clean your glasses, he slapped the Pistons silly.

12:26 PM

Anonymous The_REAL_Right_Way said...


I see many examples of the media trying to build up certain players. For example, Kyle Korver. I thought the media tried to make this guy something he wasn't close to.

On the other hand, I fully understand the attention Manu Ginobili is getting. It is well deserved and unlike Korver, it is backed by his proven ability.

12:33 PM

Blogger T Foster said...

I think you are both right in here. Manu did slap the Pistons silly. But the Spurs had fresher legs. I want to see Game 2 before making definitive comments about what is happening in this series. The teams will be even as far as time off between games.

1:40 PM

Blogger $$Pryceless$$ said...

Manu is exceptional.

I see the point that is being made and the main point is, if a white player is good, he does get quite a bit of media love. Look at Dirk and Peja. Dirk is a great player for sure, but I think people over-estimate him as a player, maybe that is the case. They compare him to Bird, because he is tall, white and has a stroke.

Larry Bird averaged a triple double nearly a couple seasons. He would get 8 assists or so a game, 11 rebounds and 28 points. Larry Bird was miles ahead of Nowitzki, miles ahead. I'm not impressed with Dirk much, maybe that's just me.

Manu is awesome, I'm not gonna hop on the Jay Mariotti bandwagon "He might be the best player in the NBA"---no. Tim Duncan is the best player in the NBA, which makes Manu not the best player on his team. On top of that, I don't think that Manu is even the second best player in this series. I don't know which Piston is a better player, but I know one of them is. If he had a different mindset, based on talent...Rasheed Wallace, the guy could be 24,13,3,2,1 a game. He could be that type of player, but he
has never wanted to be.

I guess the main thing is, all these guys like Manu, Dirk and Peja's are white, but not even American. Who do we have left as Americans, can you imagine if Christian Laettner lived up to the hype? Just a thought. Steve Nash is canadian, may I not forget him. I guess it's Kirk Hinrich. Let's hope he's not Australlian.

Regardless of race or anything, Manu is awesome. I don't know if Rasheed meant it that way or not, but it easily could be questioned. There are a lot of great players in this series, from all different place and of different race. I can't wait to see this series continue and am very excited for Game 2. Let's check Manu and show he isn't that special.

2:27 PM

Blogger h bomb said...

I haven't been watching TV, but I do look at comcast video clips of press conferences and lockeroom interviews. Terry, if you are really asking, I don't get the race thing overtly from Rasheed. I would side more with a general gamesmanship theory. Why overly compliment or berate your opponent? Why imply that everything hinges on what THEY do rather than equally what YOU did or didn't do?

Now that a couple of days have gone by, one thing I remember are 4-5 beautiful shots by different guys that just barely didn't fall, some in and outs. Add some fouls that could easily have been called the other way.

I can see how our starting five could lose some confidence. Doesn't excuse losing composure or giving up on pressing inside.

The mark of a champ is to have a short memory - learn and move on. What WOULD shock me is if the Pistons didn't show up even stronger Sunday. Shots and calls are bound to go their way at some point as long as they don't stop trying.

Spurs were excellent, but I won't call them spectacular unless they do it 3 more times.

4:30 PM

Blogger J said...

i think there are instances where white players are given more attention, but this isn't one of them.

manu can ball.

however, i believe it was true in the case of jason williams, aka white chocolate.

many talented black point guards in the NBA can execute some of the fancy passes jason williams can. the difference is, they were berated for having street game and told if they did not eliminate it from their game, they could not make it to the NBA.

i'm not saying jason isn't talented. he is. but i believe if he were black, a coach would have made him tone down his street game.

whenever the media is not used to seeing something, it gets over-hyped. manu is one of few overseas players who does not have the reputation for being soft and mostly a finesse player. so, the media latches on. i think that just annoys other players like sheed.

5:45 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

After this series is all over Sheed and Manu will split a BIG spliff, listen to some Marley, have some white chicks wax thier candles and maybe get a little guy-guy action going. There have I offended enough of you yet?

Yes it's me Mike Valenti reminding you to remember your time you've spent reading Terry's blogs.

7:06 PM

Blogger T Foster said...

Or how about this?
Manu did not beat the Pistons because they had tired legs. he beat them because they had tired minds. It seemed most of his damage came after Big Ben's melt down.

12:34 AM

Blogger T Foster said...

J Hill,
You are right about white chocolate. He did get much love before everybody discovered he was an immature hot head. But I heard Mariotti called Manu the best player in the game.
Come on. That is overreaction.
What happened to Kobe Bryant, Tracy McGrady, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett and Allen Iverson?

12:37 AM

Blogger T Foster said...

We apologize for the comments of my radio partner Mike Valenti. He is a bad, bad, bad, bad, bad boy and I am going to spank him when I see him again.

12:38 AM

Blogger T Foster said...

And one more thing about Mike. Remember the times you spent listening to Mike, wishing you could strangle him and beat him with an ugly stick.

12:39 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You mean he wasn't already beaten with the ugly stick?



12:48 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Valenti you are my favorite village idiot - don't stop don't stop

1:10 PM

Blogger T Foster said...

I think you can safely say this about Mike. You can love him or hate him, but it sure is hard to ignore him.

1:47 PM


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