Back in the late 80s, Chuck D of Public Enemy rapped some words that we should always hold dear as we go through life. They were ‘Don’t Believe the Hype’.I been thinking those words each time I flick on the TV to watch the NBA playoff and I get hit upside the dome with a Kobe vs Lebron commercial.
A Few Things to Ponder…Black Mamba vs King James -Don’t Believ the NBA Hype
by Davey D
Back in the late 80s, Chuck D of Public Enemy rapped some words that we should always hold dear as we go through life. They were ‘Don’t Believe the Hype’.
I been thinking those words each time I flick on the TV to watch the NBA playoff and I get hit upside the dome with a Kobe vs Lebron commercial. What genius sat up in their board room and said lets do a commercial that we play before everything is decided that depicts Kobe Bryant and Lebron James going head to head with each other?
Maybe it sold a few extra pair of shoes but the move was short sighted. First, its gotten the opposing teams angry and extra hungry. Now you have fools out there balling trying to upset the Nike/NBA/Big Business set up. And why shouldn’t they be upset? -After all most of these athletes put in work to get to where they got. Nobody got a free ride.. So how and why did the NBA allow this to happen?
Second it robbed the fans of what should’ve been a rigorous competition between 4 of the best teams in the NBA. If you made it this far you’re amongst the elite-and while I will be the first to acknowledge that Kobe and LeBron are at the top of their class, they ain’t that far ahead that others can’t catch up and out play them.
Also people keep forgetting basketball at the end of the day is a team sport. So by hyping a Kobe-LeBron match up, not only do you anger the other team and their fans, but you also pisss off their team mates who are probably sitting there fuming while asking themselves-; ‘Don’t I get dap for passing the ball to Kobe so he can score as opposed to shooting it myself’?’ or ‘Didn’t I set a pic for king James so he could score?’ or ‘Wasn’t it my aggressive rebounding that set the stage for these two hyped up individuals to shine’? ‘Wasn’t it my defense that help keep the opposition for not overtake us’?
Kobe or Lebron even with winning shots and above average baskets did not win these games by themselves. So why spend millions just hyping those two?
Third point-Nike, NBA and the other corporate sponsors did what so many often do-they sucked the culture and spirit out the game and made it a shallow commodity to be brought and sold. I’m sitting here last night listening to the announcers and they sound sad..They were literally boo-hooing because its shaping up to NOT be a Kobe aka Black Mamba vs Lebron ‘King James finals. No wonder they kept showing that LeBron winning shot 500 times.. The NBA and others are trying to sell sneakers and alot of this hinged on LeBron the league’s MVP advancing to the finals. We all been played..
The whole scenario reminded me of the overhyping that Reebok did a some years back with Olympic athletes Dan O’Brien and Dave Johnson. Does anyone recall that? It was around the time of the Barcelona Summer games and leading up to it we were endlessly bombarded with commercials about how these guys grew up together and they were the American dream come true story and blah blah blah. By the time Dan Obrien-crashed by not even qualifying for the Olympics I along with50 million other people were over these guys. I forgot how his buddy Dave did-And to be honest I actually can’t even remember what sports these two played. All I remember is they were on my TV every 5 minutes and when they failed misearbly I listened to Public Enemy to remind myself ‘Don’t Belive the Hype’.
Maybe I could stomach some of this overhyping if it was the player’s athleticism being sold. Unfortunately what these NBA playoffs has become is a marketing backdrop. Sad thing is, this type of marketing is what ruined the music industry.
Once upon a time, when major record labels weren’t sitting around crying about the money the’ve been losing what they would typically do is put a serious hype machine behind an artist that had dropped a hot single. They would put that artist everywhere- from TV shows like the View to Jimmy Kimmel to the covers of Vibe Magzine, The Source and XXL all at the same time.
The artist would be on MTV’s TRL, with Carson Daly and BET’s Rap City with Big Tigger or 106 and Park with Free and AJ. Of course lots of loot would be spent to ensure that we would hear these overhyped artists being played on the radio at least 100-125 times a week on every Hot, Power and Jammin’ station in the country. That translates into every hour and half. The hot artists would show up and do a couple of free club gigs and a big autograph signing. All this would be topped off by a handful of prominent, awestruck wannabe jiggy type writers who were paid off with a free trip and some Crystal to write an over-the-top fluffy review of their upcoming album.
At the end of the day you have throngs of people duped into going out and purchasing an 18 dollar CD which only had one good song. The first couple of times it worked. By the third go around people were like ‘Ahh Hell naw I’m gonna go downlaod thaty CD off Napster. Tell me this isn’t happening with the NBA playoffs?
The worse thing about how they are marketing Kobe and LeBron is that we now have people talking about the match up between Kobe and Lebron the same way some rap fans talk about the rap beef between 50 and Rick Ross. The fans are loud and colorful but not purposeful. They been reduced to water cooler topics. many of true basketball fans are fed up. For example, I like Lebron until they showed that stupid shot for the 700th time.. They showed it so much I started NOT liking him and anything he was selling. Sad part is dude is nice guy.. Yes, the Black mamba vs King james commercials were funny but ultimately not a good look.. Kobe vs Lebron is like 50 vs Kanye gone bust..