1. Welcome to SportsJournalists.com, a friendly forum for discussing all things sports and journalism.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register for a free account to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Access to private conversations with other members.
    • Fewer ads.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

exploiting NBA ghetto pathology

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by henryhenry, Oct 30, 2006.

  1. henryhenry

    henryhenry Member

    mike wise on NBA ghetto pathology - yet another take on 'NBA Dads' - does anybody think this is a crass exploitation - disguised as sensitive and touchy-feely?

  2. Vic Mackey

    Vic Mackey Member

    I've got to say, Henry, I really liked the piece. Considering the number of profiles done on Arenas leading up to the season, this has some new stuff. The paternity avoidance reporting was particularly impressive to me.

    The only part that dragged for me was the part about his mother, but if you've gone and researched every other member of his family, I don't know how you could avoid it.
  3. I've read dozens of pieces on "NBA moms" and precious few on NBA dads. If Gil Sr. was the sole focus of this one, I still would've liked it. But what made it great was the insight into Gil Jr.'s psyche. I've been loving all the "Gil Arenas is a strange, strange guy" stories/blog posts of recent months, but Wise here dug deeper. Good stuff.
  4. 85bears

    85bears Member

    I thought Wise's Sunday piece on Arenas was incredible - haven't read the Monday follow yet.

    The Post hit a grand slam on Sunday, when you include Eli Saslow's WP Magazine amazing piece on a Redskins coach's son who suffered a traumatic brain injury in a college football game (a slam dunk BASW entry), a very detailed and interesting Red Auerbach obit and about 80 inches on the Redskins free agent philosophy. This was what a Sunday paper should look like.

    Also - the Arenas story ran as the main piece on A1 and took up two inside pages, and the story on Dean Hixon (the brain damaged athlete) was the cover story for WP Mag. And all of this smack dab in the middle of election season.
  5. Alma

    Alma Well-Known Member

    The piece doesn't scream exploitation to me. I think a lot of what Arenas says is crap - you haven't forgiven anybody who's ever hurt you if you reject love from others - but it's the journalist's job to present the man as he sees himself, not as he should see himself. Wise did an especially good job with the section involving Arenas' girlfriend. I enjoyed the stand-alone paragraph about being pregnant with his second child. Those two sure are making some good choices.

    Anyway, a series like this only goes so far when the subject talks a blue streak with limited insight into life. There is only so much pride and rage a person can read. Wise is doing the right thing through letting the scene speak for itself, but it becomes a little dull.
  6. 85bears

    85bears Member

    Great depth of reporting, though, on his upbringing. Everyone's concentrating on the paternity suit and losing him and his dad sleeping in a car, his mom showing up randomly at a Wizards game, Wise visiting with Arenas' mom and the siblings (seven of them) that he has never met, etc., etc.

    That is outstanding material.

    And for anyone who hasn't read it - Arenas' girlfriend isn't some gold digger "ghetto" girl - she's very successful in her own right. And Arenas bought her a house three blocks from him so he could see the children all the time.
  7. slowcenter

    slowcenter Member

    The overlying premise that Arenas has used all the slings and arrows he has suffered as motivation and they have made him what he is today is mundane. The reporting itself -- unearthing several nuggets that have not appeared elsewhere -- is what makes it an interesting and insightful read.

    My belief is that some readers (and sportswriters) simply have fatigue hearing about some of the awful upbringings NBA players have had. That may be, but it doesn't change the facts. The players in the NBA have some awful stories. Not a cliche'. Fact.
  8. henryhenry

    henryhenry Member

    sorry - it's a cliche and a stereotype. i feel like i've read this story a thousand times. it doesn't matter how you tell it - it's derivative.

    a far more original and fresh story would be an NBA star who emerged from a two-parent middle-class non-violent upbringing.
  9. henryhenry

    henryhenry Member

    though i must say the part about arenas ducking the subpoena - and his team helping him do it - was really good stuff. i would have written that as the lead.
  10. 85bears

    85bears Member

    Eh .. not necessarily. I remember this debate earlier this year re: Pearlman's Rocker story. Someone came on here and said Pearlman couldn't write because he didn't lead with Rocker's most offensive comments, "his best stuff."

    Sometimes the "best stuff" is more powerful when you build a base for it so that it's richer with context. That's what Wise did.
  11. Sportsbruh

    Sportsbruh Member

    So this is the reason for his "strange" behavior. Dude needs to heal. So what he got abandonment issues?
  12. tommyp

    tommyp Member

    Sounds a lot like Kobe Bryant to me ...

    I for one, loved the Arenas piece and thought Wise did a thorough job. I'm no NBA fan, but I am now a fan of Arenas.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page