Sunday, November 26, 2006

Headband-gate

I've been doing some number crunching, and I've come up with a few stats concerning Ben Wallace.
  • For the 2006-2007 season, The 'Fro is earning $15,680,000.00.
  • Thru 13 games The 'Fro is averaging 33 minutes and 53 seconds of court time per game.
  • That's $191,219.51 per game thru an 82 game regular season.
  • That's $5643.47 per minute of court time.
  • That's $94.06 per second of court time.
If Ben Wallace's stats stay at their current per game rates...
  • Rebounds at a rate of 9.23 per game would equal $20,717.17 per rebound.
  • Points at a rate of 5.46 per game would equal $35,021.89 per point.
  • Personal fouls at a rate of 2.38 per game would equal $80,344.33 per game.
  • Assists at a rate of 1.77 per game would equal $108,033.62 per assist.
  • Steals at a rate of 1.62 per game would equal $118,036.74 per steal.
  • Blocks at a rate of 1.54 per game would equal $124,168.51 per block
If Ben Wallace's game play remains at it's current rate...
  • Smush Parker dunks over The 'Fro at 1.00 per game would equal $7,840,000.00 per Smush poster
  • Erick Dampier looking like Moses Malone at 6.00 times per game would equal $1,306,666.67 per flashback.
  • Outplayed by Samuel Dalembert at a rate of 8.15 minutes per game would equal $633,535.35 per minute Dalmebert sees the floor that The 'Fro doesn't
  • Minutes lost due to wearing a team-rules-breaking headband: 15.48.
Wait, what?

That's right. The day after Ben Wallace plays a season low 19 minutes 38 seconds in a loss to Philadelphia, he's benched at two different times against New York, including what must have been an embarrassing last second yank-job right before the start of the second half.

And the reason for the benching?

That's right. He wore his trademark headband.

So when did the Chicago Bulls become the New York Yankees? When did Scott Skiles gain the cache to impersonate Joe Torre? Did Jerry Reinsdorf secretly channel George Steinbrenner with recent clubhouse edicts including the White Sox insistence on haircuts for Joe Crede and AJ Pierzynski? Long, unsightly hair is one thing; a headband preventing sweat from getting in the eyes is another.

David Stern's recent iron-fisted tactics concerning wardrobe choices for players sitting on the bench and entering the stadium could be seen as an attempt at teaching a younger generation a lesson in class and appearance. And I can somewhat understand his implicit motives -- the perception of reality can outweigh actual reality. In other words, the NBA and it's players had an image problem, one of laziness, insubordination and carelessness. Looked upon as a league of thugs and malcontents with their hip-hop culture including bawdy bling and baggy clothes, Stern choose to institute a dresscode as a direct affront to the thug-life image most ballers chose to portray. Out went the big gold and platinum chains, the sweat suits, the baggy jeans; in were collared shirts, ties and suit coats. If the players look professional, less will be perceived as ignorant and troublemakers, and in turn the NBA will gain back a little of the lofty status it's lost since the golden days of MJ, Magic and Larry Legend.

But the Bulls insistence on no headbands seems to be taking the idea a bit too far. And if headbands aren't allowed, why are wrist bands or knee high socks okay? Both are a part of the street baller image I'm assuming the team is trying to suppress. Why are special shoes allowed? Aren't sneakers/ kicks the godfather of status when it comes to image in the NBA? The idea of uniform appearance would certainly be enforced if the players wore the same shoes; high schools and colleges don't have any problems with the same shoe method.

What if there were a medical need for a headband? What then of Skiles ban? Didn't Tyrus Thomas wear one on top of his face mask to keep the sweat from running in between the mask and his face?

And in the name of team harmony, wouldn't a happy Ben Wallace go a long way to better Bulls play than a brooding and sulking Ben Wallace? He's been accused of such actions in the past. Was the headband a middle finger in the direction of Skiles for the benching in Philly? When he entered the game in the second half with headband still in tow, was it in defiance of Skiles edict, a proclamation that he wasn't going to stand for such draconian laws?

I don't know exactly what Ben Wallace was thinking wearing the headband, nor what Skiles (or Reinsdorf) was thinking issuing such a meaningless restriction. What I do know is that it's one expensive headband to be causing such trouble.

7 Comments:

Blogger Jeeves said...

The whole headband thing is baffling. I think Skiles should make it up to Ben by wearing a head band next game.

2:01 AM, November 27, 2006  
Blogger Soxually Repressed said...

The headband was banned (a)head [like that?] before Ben Wallace ever signed his contract. He was told about it explicitly. He didn't have a problem with it. He purposely wore it in an act of defiance. It did not work. This will go away in time, especially if the Bulls ever win another game. If, in fact, he had worn it after asking beforehand, it may never been an issue.

So why, you wonder, was such a ban ever in place? Any Bull named Eddie(y). Specifically, as in, Robinson and the Knick's gift that keeps on giving, Curry. Paxson hated the way Robinson wore his and looked like he would get strangled by it. Curry just wore his sloppy. Paxson and Skiles are by almost any measure old-school guys. Stern still had some dark hair when they were playing. The ban would probably have been lifted for Wallace if the circumstances had developed differently.

Big Ben needs to address his play, and stop playing with how he's dressed. (Okay, I'll stop now.)

11:14 AM, November 28, 2006  
Blogger jamesmnordbergjr said...

So SR, just because a guy wears a headband makes him lazy or slothful? By such thinking, anyone with tattoos rides motorcycles or any guy with an earring is gay. Such stereotyping is a curse we can all do without.

What if a player truly feels uncomfortable not wearing a headband and his play suffers. Wouldn't it behoove the team to end the ban? Quoting one piece of useable movie fiction Crash Davis from Bull Durham tells Annie Savoy about Nuke's recent hot streak and subsequent absence from her bed,"...If you believe you're playing well because you're getting laid, or because you're not getting laid, or because you wear women's underwear, then you ARE! And you should know that!"

7:28 AM, November 29, 2006  
Blogger Soxually Repressed said...

I never said Wallace was lazy or slothful. The rule was/is Paxson's. Like I said, if Wallace had just been an adult and said to management "Hey, I need a headband to be good, can I wear one?" the Bulls might have said "If the millions and millions of dollars and all your natural skill plus years of award-winning experience aren't enough for you to reach your potential, than go ahead, Ben, wear a headband." The problem would have gone away before it ever hit the public.
The important angle to be watched is the fact that Wallace essentially used the headband to provoke his coach over an unrelated issue.
On a somewhat seperate issue:Since we are still talking about this; I hate rule changes/exceptions for "superstars". I didn't like it for Jordan, who I loved to watch play, I don't like it for Iverson (who palms the ball more than a lonely thirteen year old lad), I don't like it for high school quarterbacks or celebrities getting out of tickets. To connect this to the beginning, it isn't the headband that makes the player slothful. It might be a slothful player (Robinson, Curry) who has one inappropriately manifested, however. Thus a decision by management to make a seemingly silly rule.

12:10 PM, November 29, 2006  
Blogger jamesmnordbergjr said...

You must not be watching much basketball this season, SR, cuz palming is being called more than I've ever seen, even on Iverson in the Bulls game. Kobe got called for it a few time too against the Bulls.

12:33 PM, November 29, 2006  
Blogger Soxually Repressed said...

I didn't necessarily mean this year. It was a general statement about superstar treatment. That's why I included back to Jordan's era.
Besides, I believe it at the END of the season. Every couple of years the NBA starts calling lifting/palming, and by the All-Star game the players are back to carrying so much they could put it in a bowling bag on the the way up.
I have watched some, but with the Bulls so awful so early I figured I would let them work out their kinks while I watched Blackhawk home games on free tv. In a parallel universe. With a bowl of banana pudding. Yet no clothes.

Was that an overshare?

2:06 AM, December 01, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scott Skiles sounds like a racist trying to bait Tyrus Thomas into being the fall guy. Blacks are lazy...where have I heard that one before. Skiles needs a scapegoat and it looks like Thomas is it. How else will he cover up his coaching inadequacies. Now I understand why the players had him kicked out of Phoenix. Scott Skiles/Doug Collins are interchangable. Both are a little crazy. Both are a pain in the rear.Skiles resemblance to Chris Benoit is eerie. Fire him Paxson before he get's you fired.

4:37 AM, November 23, 2007  

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