Tony Kornheiser is the type of sportscaster who you love to hate, in a grating, wish-he-was-off-the-air type of way. He has an annoying, high-pitched screech when he rants (which is 80% of the time), his opinions are unoriginal and downright bogus, and he is disgusting to look at-
But those are not his worst attributes. He, along with co-anchor Michael Wilbon (who I actually enjoy on occasion) are guilty of some of the most egregious crimes a reporter can commit-
1) Loss of objectivity. These two guys have their favorite athletes/teams and slurp them without a hint of shame. The whole ESPN crew is guilty of this, and this bias colors their commentary to the point where one is left to wonder how they have the time to show up for work when it is painfully obvious they spend the majority of their waking moments with their heads completely up the asses of guys like Bret Favhre, Kobe Bryant and Tiger Woods. Not only is this type of journalism intellectually lazy and a complete cop-out, it sucks the air out of the room. With so many other players to talk about, do we really need to hear how great Kobe Bryant is for the six-jillionth time? We get it already. How about talking about other players for a change?
2) Taking an obscene amount of pleasure in stating the obvious over and over again. We know Tiger Woods is great. We know Bryant and Lebron James are great. Constant repetition of this to an audience who is quite frankly sick of hearing it and would like to know how other players are impacting their respective sports is not only intellectually lazy, but it makes them nothing but fanboy shills and reduces their credibility as commentators to zero.
But Kornheiser didn't make "Busting Chops" for these daily transgressions, which are par for the course if you've ever seen him and Wilbon do their tired, grating shtick on ESPN's "Pardon The Interruption". He is here because he's been suspended for two weeks for negative comments made about fellow ESPN anchor Hannah Storm's wardrobe. No slave to fashion himself, he attacked this poor woman for her on-air attire as if he were a perennial GQ fashion plate. He eerily resembles a wart hog and dresses like a decrepit old man selling Florida timeshares to supplement his social security check. He wears outfits most old Jewish people would only be caught buried in. Here is the only youtube link I could find where you can hear the comments he made-
Micheal Wilbon went on the Scott Van Pelt show to stand up for his boy, saying that the problem is broadcasters have to be careful about what they say in this age of 24-hour media. WRONG, fat boy. The problem is Kornheiser thinks he's funny. He thinks he has to go on the air and make people laugh. But what passes for comedy on the sports airwaves is nothing but shrill banter by a bunch of jock-sniffing, half-dead wannabe's who resent pro athletes yet secretly want their dorky, lard-ass suburban kids to be just like them when they grow up.
I can deal with Kornheiser's two-week suspension because all that means is the viewers will get more of Dan Lebatard of the Miami Herald, another pompous, self-important jackass-but at least he plays off Wilbon quite well, playing the part of the doofus sportswriter no one really respects.
Michael "Be Easy" Beasley took offense at comments made by pompous blowhard Charles Barkley, who in effect stated that Dwayne Wade is Michael Jackson playing with a bunch of Titos, in reference to the gloved one's less talented brother.
Here is some advice for "Tito" Beasley-
1) Kill the tattoos and cornrows. The street cred thing is past tense and totally played out, brother-keep it moving towards something more positive. A young black man in the spotlight does not have to go "ghetto" to prove he hasn't sold out to "The Man". Besides, you never had any "street cred" so why are you faking the funk with this bullshit, now that you are a rich and famous professional athlete?
2) If you don't like the criticism, then stop with the weed and beer and go work on your game. Beasley's had it too easy as a ball player, being so much more talented than everyone else his age growing up. That is, until now when he has to face the big boys on a nightly basis. It was one thing horsing the scrubs he played against at Kansas State. This however, is the NBA. So pull your panties up motherfucker and get to work. He has found out the NBA was not as "EASY" as he thought it would "BE". Remember what happened in college the one time you faced someone as talented as you? Let me remind you-
3) Less re-HAB, more re-BOUNDS.
4) It never ceases to amaze me how some of these athletes get drawn into fronting the "Thug Life " AFTER they've made it rich. Get it through you're thick head, Beasley-if you want endorsement money coming in and your name to ring out in the right circles for the right reasons, you need to do more of THIS-
...and less of THIS-
Is there anyone living in the ghetto who wouldn't high-tail it out of there given half a chance? Stop pretending that it's cool. Your ghetto hood life stopped the moment you began getting preferential treatment because of your basketball talent. The bullshit you're pulling is an insult to those who live in the 'hood because they have no choice. All you're doing with your tattoos and cornrows is mocking a lifestyle very few people would choose to live if they had options.
Stop trying to undermine your career before it's even gotten off the ground, son. Look at all the athletes who've come before you that have made mistakes that cost them millions of dollars and worse. And work to improve your game before you get traded to some bum-ass team that has no chance of improving once the 2010 free agent class becomes available.
Oh boy, where do I start with THIS motherfucker? This guy's life has turned into the biggest nightmare since "The Amityville Horror". And the sad part is most of it was self-inflicted. It all started with his drinking problem, which got exponentially worse hanging out with lardass Charles Barkley when they both played for the Philadephia 76ers.
If anyone remembers what an out-of-shape, hopelessly unathletic buffoon Barkley morphed into the last few years of his career, it was because he spent most of his life binge-drinking and screwing white women when he should have been eating his veggies and following a real exercise regimen, which for him consisted of throwing hapless bar patrons through plate glass windows and spitting on the kids of hecklers after games.
But I digress. When Williams finally got his act together, lost weight and took his game seriously he was handsomely rewarded with one of the NBA's first max contracts. Then during the waning moments of a game on April 1, 1999 he collided with (of all people) Stephon Marbury, broke his leg and was forced to retire due to his injuries. He retired while in the second year of a six-year, $86 million contract-money he collected even though he never played a second after the accident occurred.
He and his father built "Who Knew? Estates", a 27,000 square foot house on 65 acres of prime New Jersey real estate. He was married, had a wonderful family and had the world by the fucking nuts. And he literally blew it with one blast of a shotgun.
A few things to know about Jayson Williams. He has a one-of-a-kind personality. He was known to be the life of the party and the center of attention wherever there was a social gathering. He has a great sense of humor. This came across when he was hired as an NBA analyst with NBC sports. But he has a dark side, and a mean and obnoxious streak that finally blew up in his face when he accidentally shot a limo driver in his own fucking house. This was the incident which sent his life into freefall and finally, after settling with the family of the deceased for a couple of million and spending even more on legal fees, he is now behind bars serving a 5 year prison sentence.
The depressing part in all this, and the incidents are to numerous to mention here without getting sidetracked, is all the trouble he got into AFTER the shooting. You'd think someone in such a position would have people counseling him about his behavior. But that's the thing-a guy like Williams is surrounded by "yes" men and fawning relatives, pathetic suck-ups who don't want to risk getting a one-way ticket back to Loserville from whence they came. They too were living the dream, and it's why his behavior kept spiraling out of control with no one around to check him.
So we are now left with this image of him, crying in court after sentencing-
I cannot for the life of me (and I've tried, in my spare time) fathom what gets into these athletes to be so self-destructive after having the world handed to them on a silver platter. This is his current situation-the estate has been sold, his wife filed for divorce, his father recently passed away and he is in prison, where he will be eligible for parole in a year and a half.
This has been his trajectory-from the projects of the Lower East Side (no picnic, believe me) to suffering the deaths of two older sisters to AIDS, to a D-I basketball scholarship and a ride to the big time, to a multi-million dollar pro basketball contract, to never realizing his potential due to a catastrophic injury, to all manner of off-the-court offenses involving drugs, alcohol and violence, to living his dream with the big house and the property, to fucking jail.
What the fuck, man. Really.