Race, Respect and the NBA
Samuels, Allison, Newsweek
Conflicts over money and control have kept the lockout going. But there's been another X-factor: the divide between white owners and black players.
At Magic Johnson's annual Christmas bash last week in Los Angeles, the mood couldn't have been more festive. Johnson playfully belted out hits by Al Green, while groups of NBA players mixed with the elite of black Hollywood. Yet as the NBA lockout reached its 162d day, some players shared words of frustration and anxiety. "It's hard getting used to being home this time of year,'' said Laker guard Derek Fisher. A little later, with the deejay spinning the rap hits of the Notorious B.I.G., some began to speak more pointedly about one of the hidden tensions underlying the lockout: race. "I think a lot of my peers have a chip on their shoulder with the white owners," said one top star. "I agree with that, up to the point that it hurts us. It's time to play.''
Early last week it was still ugly ball. Superagent David Falk's company announced that a charity game scheduled for Dec. 19 would benefit both …
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Publication information: Article title: Race, Respect and the NBA. Contributors: Samuels, Allison - Author. Magazine title: Newsweek. Volume: 132. Issue: 25 Publication date: December 21, 1998. Page number: 55. © 2009 Newsweek, Inc. All rights reserved. Any reuse, distribution or alteration without express written permission of Newsweek is prohibited. For permission: www.newsweek.com. COPYRIGHT 1998 Gale Group.
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