A glasses-empty look at the NBA’s silliest trend
BY RICK TELANDER firstname.lastname@example.org June 16, 2012 1:08AM
Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook, left, and small forward Kevin Durant react during a news conference after Game 2 of the NBA finals basketball series, Thursday, June 14, 2012, in Oklahoma City. The Heat won 100-96. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Updated: July 18, 2012 6:26AM
We’ll start today’s Stew with eyeballs as our focus.
No, not ‘‘eyeballs,’’ as in, ‘‘How many eyeballs did your blog get?’’ But the actual squishy, oblong things stuck in your face like a pair of martini olives.
Glasses were invented to help people whose eyeballs don’t function well. So it seems crazy to me — or cray , as they now say — that incredibly gifted, finely tuned, perfectly sighted NBA players (and other pros) now wear glasses as a fashion statement.
They wear frames with clear glass in them, or no glass at all, missing only the rubber nose and furry eyebrows to be Groucho Marx on Halloween. Dwyane Wade, Kevin Durant, LeBron James, Russell Westbrook — you see them in front of microphones, adjusting their fake, designer-styled eyeglasses like so many Clark Kents, Steve Urkels, Mr. Magoos.
Am I the only who thinks this is cray?
The Wall Street Journal did some research and contends the style was started by teenage Japanese girls. Their lensless fakies didn’t interfere with their uber-long false eyelashes. Yo, dudes!
Fashion must change; that is an absolute. Otherwise we’d still be wearing loin cloths and rodent sandals. There would be no Chanel, Rolex, Gucci. People like Kim Kardashian would wander naked and insane because their closets would be empty and their minds emptier.
But fellas, please. What’s next, faux hearing aids?
Or, if you’re all in, might I suggest something really cool from the world of the disabled? Designer wheelchairs.
◆ SAN ANTONIO SPURS GUARD Tony Parker recently was spotted wearing sunglasses, which protected one of his eyeballs, which had been scratched during a brawl at a nightclub in New York. Parker was there with his friend, performer Chris Brown, and bottles and bodies started flying, and somebody punched him in the face, scratching his retina. The dispute apparently had to do with Brown and his arch-enemy, Drake, also at the club. This enmity, for those of you who are uninformed, is much the way Wolverine and Sabretooth feel about each other .
At any rate, Parker will miss the first week of the French national team’s practice as it prepares for the London Olympics.
I mean, I think his sunglasses were real.
◆ Jerry Sandusky.
I hope the prosecution has rested its case against the former Penn State assistant football coach as the sexual-abuse trial moves into its second week.
If we hear much more about the screams and the horrors of young boys under Sandusky’s control, in that seemingly soundproof basement, we will have to consider this man in the pantheon with monsters like John Wayne Gacy and Jeffrey Dahmer, minus the corpses and cannibalism, of course.
◆ I watched the Manny Pacquiao-Timothy Bradley fight last weekend on pay-per-view, and I found it astounding the split decision went to challenger Bradley. I thought you had to truly rough up the champ to win his crown, and Bradley certainly didn’t do that.
But maybe the broadcast team, which included Jim Lampley and Max Kellerman, might want to get an expert in-house judge other than Harold Lederman, who confidently had Pacquiao winning 11 of the 12 rounds, thereby making the TV audience feel the match was a rout.
It was not. To this layman’s eyes, Pacquiao clearly won seven or eight of the rounds, maybe nine, with the others being up for grabs, depending on what you’re looking for in a fighter — aggression, power punches, footwork, etc.
But I saw Roy Jones Jr. lose a bout even though he beat the snot out of South Korean boxer Park Si-Hun in the 1988 Seoul Olympics, and that atrocity made the Pacquiao-Bradley decision look ho-hum. Of course, the Jones decision was corrupt. Judges were on the take. But that was just one of many horrendous fight decisions in modern times.
So why the surprise over this recent debacle? This is boxing, baby, home of Bob Arum, Don King and more unregulated divisions and federations than you can count.
◆ Why do basketball players step off the free-throw line and slap palms with every teammate after missing or making the first of two free throws?
◆ Bruce Jenner was a star athlete — for a brief spell in 1976, the greatest in the world. After years of grueling work, he won the Montreal Olympics decathlon, setting a world record.
I used to idolize him, even had a photo of him with his arms raised, jogging in triumph.
Now? Jenner’s a plastic-faced prop, the put-upon husband/dad on the ‘‘Keeping Up With the Kardashians’’ reality show. His wife, Kris Jenner, and his girls run around him like so many bimbos from hell. Meanwhile, Bruce stays calm and flies his model helicopters in the backyard.
‘‘Bruce Jenner has taken it upon himself to rescue his ridiculous clan by doing what none of its other members will do,’’ writes Chris Jones in a feature on Jenner in this month’s Esquire. ‘‘He has elected to lose.’’