Scoop B’s Soap Box: NBA Player Camaraderie

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By Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson
Does it bother you when you see players shaking hands and hugging before games?

On Sunday, I tuned in to the Cavs-Mavs game on ABC—and I must say that I was intrigued first by the picture taking and then the handshakes and poses by the Cavs, despite how most basketball purists may dislike it. But I digress.

As the players were all lining up for the tip off, I am amazed by how many people Mo Williams is high-fiving. Jason Kidd, Eric Dampier are shaking and hugging Zydrunas Ilgauskas’ hand, and Antoine Wright may be asking Delonte West how his family is.

Of course we all know, as Kevin Garnett has said in his Adidas commercials that basketball is a brotherhood. But I wonder if perhaps players have become too friendly and that the league has become more of a social country club instead of a collection of players who  simply show up to get the job done. Then again, don’t we mix and mingle with our co-worker s? Perhaps we have just became so enamored with the various rivalries from the 80’s and 90’s i.e. Bulls/Knicks, Bulls/Pistons, Heat/Knicks (and so and so on).

Since a lot of athletes know one another since their high school days at AAU, maybe it’s not really a big deal. You would think that last year when the Pistons and Celtics played in the playoffs last year the intensity Garnett displayed and that big snarl of his would be combative to Rasheed Wallace’s North Philly (shout out to Simon Gratz High School) swagger and Chauncey Billups’ toughness. But after dissecting that, you realize that Chauncey and Garnett have been friends since high school from playing one another and that Rasheed and KG (who have similar skill sets) greatly respect each other’s games. Perhaps, it is the fans or the media who expect them to act that way, or egg it on to represent one thing, when it’s actually another.  After all, these guys do have lives off the court.
Hmm, I wonder….

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