The Boston Celtics Reject “The King’s Pass”

Short analysis: “GOOD!

Longer analysis: The Boston Celtics suspended coach Ime Udoka, widely credited with engineering the team’s surprising turn-around this past NBA season, making the play-offs and making the NBA finals after wandering in the pro basketball wilderness for the previous 12 years. He will sit out the 2022-23 season after it was determined that Udoka had a sexual relationship with a female member of the Celtics staff. The Celtics say that a decision about Udoka’s future with the team will be made later.

Conservative media, especially conservative sports reporters, are already embarrassing themselves with attacks on the Celtics decision. “Boston Celtics, this is insane” commented the Citizen Free Press, which has been stealing The Drudge Report’s traffic since Matt Drudge went NeverTrump. On the other side of The Great Divide I will expect to read fan comments that the Celtics punishment is racist. Udoka was part of last season’s NBA rush to hire black head coaches, including several who had been assistants for many years, and the league is dominated by black players, partially explaining the NBA’s total capitulation to “Black Lives Matter” agitprop. Naturally, it had to jump on the “Diversity, Equity, Inclusion” bandwagon, but the league’s lack of black leadership in contrast with its demographics on the court was already hard to justify.

If anything, the Celtics were too lenient. The NBA had to send an unequivocal message as teams increasingly hire women in staff positions other than secretary and cheerleader. The prospect of sexual predation with NBA players on the scene—they lead professional sports in random offspring from multiple non-wives—is obvious; coaches and management had to be unequivocal: an organization is not a dating bar.

Several non-sports companies that have dealt with this issue in the executive offices fired the miscreants, most recently McDonalds. Even before the Harvey Weinstein scandal, Boeing fired its president and chief executive officer, Harry Stonecipher, after he admitted having an affair with a female company executive. More recently, a sexual affair with a CNN executive under him (stop it) led to the demise of CNN head Jeff Zucker. Democratic Congresswoman Katie Hill had to resign after she had an sexual affairs with a couple of staff members.

It is organizational incest, potentially destructive to morale and performance, a breach of leadership trust, demonstrating the ethical instincts of Bill Clinton. Of course Udoka should have been suspended.

Meanwhile, the NBA, like the NFL, has again demonstrated this month what a fine group of men they present to the culture as leaders, heroes and role-models. This week, Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards was fined $40,000 for making homophobic remarks in a post on Instagram, where he has more than 1 million followers. Last week, the NBA said an investigation showed a long pattern of inappropriate behavior by Robert Sarver, the majority owner of the Phoenix Suns and the WNBA.’s Phoenix Mercury. Sarver had used racial slurs and discriminated against female employees unfairly over more than a decade. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver fined Sarver $10 million — the maximum permitted — and suspended him for a year. Sarver announced Wednesday that he plans to sell both teams.

No institutions, companies or organizations are more prone to apply “The King’s Pass,” Rationalization #11 [“…This pass for bad behavior is as insidious as it is pervasive, and should be recognized and rejected whenever it raises its slimy head. In fact, the more respectable and accomplished an individual is, the more damage he or she can do through unethical conduct, because such individuals engender great trust. Thus the corrupting influence on the individual of The King’s Pass leads to the corruption of others…]. By appropriately disciplining a successful coach, the Boston Celtics break the mold.

Conclusion: Good.

12 thoughts on “The Boston Celtics Reject “The King’s Pass”

  1. As near as I can tell, Sarver asked his black, well-respected and well-compensated coach why an opposing black player could call the Suns’ well compensated and respected young star center “a nigger” during a game without suffering any criticism. I don’t consider that hurling a slur. I simply refuse to accept the notion that black guys can call each other niggers but white people are hurling kryptonite by even saying “nigger” rather than “the N-word.” There’s enough irrationality in the universe without creating more.

    • Actually I was going to ask if the other party to the liaison was terminated. The concept of workplaces not being dating bars should apply to all involved. To suggest that individuals who are not stars on the team have no power to resist in today’s world is as ludicrous as saying people of color have to step and get hit for whitey.

    • There was a dentist a floor or two down from one of the law firms I worked for who was reputed by the firm wiseacres to be filling the cavities of any number of the firm’s secretaries and receptionists.

    • From Metro Weekly: “In a now-deleted Instagram video, which has since been posted to Twitter by other social media users, Edwards is seen rolling down a car window and making comments about a group of shirtless men, some of whom appear to be wearing harnesses, embracing each other and talking in a close circle. As he rolls down the window, Edwards calls the men “queer-ass n****s” while another person inside the car laughs in the background.”

      • Was the violation specified? Was it calling some gay guys “queer?” Heterosexuals are not allowed to use “queer?” Only gay people can? Was it calling them “niggers?” Aren’t black guys allowed to call other black guys niggers? What if the guys on the street had been white? Could he have called them white ass crackers with impunity? If it weren’t for double standards….

  2. I had to drive from Cape Cod to Rutland, Vermont and back today for a funeral. One hour of funeral, five hours of driving each way. It was worth it; we honored one of the kindest people I ever knew.

    There are two sports radio stations in Boston, and both are… well, semi-woke. Actually, one is full-woke and the other is reasonably respectful of points of view (full woke, being Boston, does better in the ratings).

    You would think the Bruins (in training camp, first exhibition game tomorrow), the Patriots (showing weak signs of life) and the Red Sox (dead, and undeserving of coverage) didn’t exist today. It was all Celtics, all the time – and the lead-up to the press conference and the post-conference analysis was what one would expect. The conference said basically nothing, but that didn’t stop the parsing of every word and the speculation on the part of listeners.

    I’m not amused by basketball. I don’t even like it, which is arguably at least partially due to the fact that I was a slow, small kid (with a lousy shot) at the age frame when the game is taught. I did enjoy watching it back when the Chicago Bulls were at their prime, but nowadays it seems to me that the game basically boils down to “get the ball to the rich guy.” I find it boring to watch – even at the collegiate level. Gotta admit, I like a little more drama if I’m going to watch professional sports – and Jack, you won’t admire this, but I do like football. And if you think football is violent, you should never watch hockey. That’s a game where fighting is valued and players approach each other at speeds of more than 25 miles per hour, carrying a club, with knives on their feet.

    I every bit expected that you’d find this story and weigh in. Your conclusions are exactly as expected, and I don’t disagree with them. But the Celtics did a lousy job managing this story in a lot of ways I won’t go into here. Suffice to say: the buzz is that the guy was lucky to get off with a year’s suspension, and nobody expects him to return after his suspension.

    The one thing I find most interesting about this is that this was a team decision, not a league decision. Which does, in fact, speak well of the Celtics organization.

  3. … More recently, a sexual affair with a CNN executive under him (stop it) …

    You have reminded me of the following limerick:-

    Have you heard of Madam Lupescu
    Who came to Rumania’s rescue?
    It’s a wonderful thing
    To be under a king.
    Is democracy better? I esk you.

    But why did you not also append “(stop it)” to your next sentence?

    Meanwhile, Michael T Ejercito’s comment appears related to the bacon slicer joke (which see), and Other Bill’s comment appears related to the one about the Scottish couple, Ben Doon and Phil McCavity. The latter in turn reminds me that some wit annotated a flier for “The League of Gay Lawyers” with “Join the League of Gay Lawyers and widen the circle of your acquaintances”. Perhaps I’ll stop there, as the Bishop said to the Actress.

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