Friday, March 23, 2007

Hate the Game: OJ Mayo

for some background, among other pieces.

I don't know quite what I think about OJ Mayo. There's definitely been some off-court troubles, and the switching of schools always irritates this traditionalist. I always would rather see someone try to make it where they are than switch and connive their way to the top.

However, I can't believe some of the blog comments about this guy when it comes to the way he chose USC. How dare the kid not give his cell phone # to USC! How dare he just make up his own mind to go to USC without being recruited, just for the publicity! etc. Can we please stop ritualistically hating on anyone younger and more successful than us? It's knee-jerk by now. Go read Jones's comment on . He sums things up pretty well and is definitely my comment of the week. (For more of his writings, ).

Yes, everyone who disagrees with OJ is right. OJ Mayo SHOULD give his phone number to Tim Floyd so he can be text'ed and called 20 times a day. He SHOULD let coaches lie to him and make promises that they can never be held liable for in a court of law. Coaches SHOULD continue to do anything they can get away with to sign players. Coaches SHOULD continue to press for 1-1 time with impressionable minors, so they can throw around their authority and mess with the kid's head. Coaches SHOULD continue to pay off their parents, grandparents, and high school coaches, just so the kid can't even trust those closest to him. OJ SHOULD pay no attention to how the LA glow attached to Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush made them millions more than they might have gotten otherwise. OJ SHOULD let some old kindly grandpa like Roy Williams or Mike K. take him to some country campus, which will cushion him and leave him completely vulnerable to the big city NBA lifestyle. Great advice, you all. Who's smarter, you or OJ Mayo? The game is a scam, so he's not playing it. It's that simple.

I am fired up about this, because I have a friend who was good enough to play college ball, and did. His coach was everything a coach shouldn't be. He hates basketball now. Before you all hate an OJ Mayo, hate the game first. Don't look at the OJ Mayo's who can escape that undercurrent. Look at all the guys who just want to get an education, play a little ball, and instead get chewed up by the system. Look at all the well-meaning poor parents who think the coach really wants to help their kid instead of exploiting him. Take a closer look at what's being done to those kids. My friend is going to make it, because he has a strong two-parent family who fought for him. Most other players don't have that advantage.

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