Linsanity, LeBron and Locker Room Racism

Jason Johnson | 2/15/2012, 7:48 p.m.

Last weekend I made a solemn vow to myself. On a stack of empty pizza boxes still wet from my tears about the Patriot's Super Bowl loss, I promised I would not write about the following three things this week: Linsanity, the whole phenomenon about New York Knick point guard Jeremy Lin; the newest chapter in the epic East Coast West Coast style dis battle between Cornel West and Melissa Harris-Perry; and Whitney Houston's death.

But, two events over the course of two NBA games Friday were an annoying reminder of bigots and boors both on and off the basketball court.

First, on Friday during the visiting Miami Heat's blowout of the Washington Wizards, a Wizards fan (they actually have those?) named Bob Moore decided to get a little extra with LeBron James. According to Sarah Kogod, an NBC sports writer who saw the entire event and reported it on Twitter the beef played out a little something like this:

LeBron was waiting alone in the backcourt when fan Bob Moore made a comment to LeBron about Delonte West and LeBron's mom...

...According to Moore, LeBron said "The only reason you talk [expletive] is because you know I can't come off the court right now and beat your ass"...

...Also according to Moore, LeBron continued "But if I had a free pass, I'd kick your ass right now."...

...Moore replied "I'm right here, baby. Let's go" before security stepped in.

In case you didn't know there is a long standing rumor that the reason LeBron played so bad in the 2010 playoffs against Boston and subsequently made "The Decision" to leave Cleveland is because his mother was sleeping with teammate Delonte West. This whole exchange is offensive and disappointing for various reasons, and we will get to them momentarily ...

Because just a few hours later up 95 North to Madison Square Garden Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers lost a tough game to the Knicks who were led by the newest NBA Super-Star, Jeremy Lin. Lin - who is Asian American, went to Harvard and wasn't considered much of a draft pick at point guard - went on a tear last week leading the woeful New York Knicks to 4 straight wins and scoring more points in his first 4 starts than any other player in NBA history. (This includes Allen Iverson and Michael Jordan). After a scintillating 38 point performance against the Lakers on Friday Fox Sports analyst Jason Whitlock (who is African American) Tweeted:

Some lucky lady in NYC is gonna feel a couple inches of pain tonight.

Needless to say this racist Tweet got him excoriated on-line, and right on cue Whitlock apologized. Sort of. He later wrote:

I then gave in to another part of my personality -- my immature, sophomoric, comedic nature. It's been with me since birth, a gift from my mother and honed as a child listening to my godmother's Richard Pryor albums. I still want to be a standup comedian.