I’m talking of course, about KG Canaleta’s desire not to join this year’s Dunk Contest at the PBA’s All Star Games.
By now it’s moot and academic. Kelly Williams is the new dunk king, with Canaleta deciding to chill out till next year. But that’s not the point of this post. The point of this post is to explain why I think if a player doesn’t want to play, then he shouldn’t. In bulletpoints:
- KG is a free man. First of course is the obvious. KG is a free man. Even if there happens to be a prevailing contract between him and the PBA (I’m not sure there is one, but assuming there is), I assume it would at most be similar to an employee – employer contract, wherein one is compelled to do their duty whilst under employment. However, even the most stringent of contracts does not force people to do anything against their will. The worst it can do is exactly what they did – threaten to impose a fine against KG if he didn’t join. But even so, at the last moment it appeared KG couldn’t care less, meaning that it was ok by him – and even so I’ll assume such a fine is questionable at best. I mean, did he curse at a referee? Did he refuse to suit up for an official game? Did he get into a fight or intentionally hurt someone? Of course not. None of that happened and he was well within his rights.
- We all know already. By the time the Slam Dunk competition started, everyone who’s keeps up with the PBA knows that KG doesn’t really wanna join. So why the hell would I want to watch a competition where you know one of the competitors doesn’t wanna join? I want to watch competitions where you know each participant is fighting tooth and nail to win. I want to feel the drama, the excitement, the unpredictability of a fight where each fighter wants it HARD. In a competition where I know one of the participants is second thinking himself, how am I assured he’s even gonna try?
- Steve Nash. An example of a player not really wanting to join is Steve Nash in this year’s NBA All Stars 3 Point Shootout. Yes I know, this is gonna break a lot of fans hearts, but as I watched, the announcer mentioned that Nash was compelled to join under contract. The result? He didn’t even get past the 1st round, ending up with 9 points. And this coming from a career 43% 3 point shooter, ranking #11 in the NBA in 3 point shots made. Am I saying he intentionally flubbed it? Of course not (and besides how can you ever be sure?). But still, 43% career is 43% career. 9 points, in a shootout where you can score 30+, is pathetic for a guy like him.
- He didn’t feign an injury. KG could’ve taken the easy way out. In fact, I’m sure there must have been one or two people who could’ve suggested that he just pretend he was injured to get out of it. I mean how hard can it be? Players get injured all the time. He could say it happened in practice, while working out, even say he slipped on a bar of soap in the shower. He could’ve said ANYTHING. But instead, he just said ‘Bakit naman? Karapatan ko naman ‘yun na hindi sumali‘. Well said, friend.
- Ronnie Magsanoc. Many years ago, I was annoyed at Ronnie Magsanoc, a perennial National Player then, for wanting out of the National Team. But that quickly changed when he admitted the reason was he wanted to give the younger players a chance. He explained that him, along with his fellow teammates, had already represented the country in at least five stints abroad, and that it was time the younger generation had a chance. After that, my annoyance turned to respect. Why then, can’t KG be allowed to do same? I mean, we’re not even talking about national honour here. The dunk contest is not even the main event, just a side event, which brings us to:
- It’s just a dunk contest. There are people out there who watch basketball just to see dunks. These are not the people who really love basketball. They should, instead, buy one of those And1 Mix Tapes, or buy one of those ‘Ankle Breaker’ or ‘Top Best Dunks EVERRR!’ DBDs from your neighborhood DBD provider. Watching those, you don’t have to trouble yourself with things like ‘team play’ and ‘passion’ and ‘discipline’ and annoying things like that. All you have to do is sit back and watch some super athlete who couldn’t make it in the pro league dunk a ball and they’d be happy.
Of course, the PBA is gonna say the ‘fans’ aren’t gonna be happy. Hell, they might even boo him off the court everytime they see him. As far as they’re concerned, they wanna see DUNKS! And KG is a GREAT DUNKER, so HE SHOULD DUNK! He has a DUTY TO ENTERTAIN PEOPLE! WE PAY HIM TO! Right?!?
First, are these the real fans of basketball? Because if they are, they would recognize that basketball is a team game, and not of individuals, even if these can perform superhuman feats of athleticism. Placing so much weight and on a side show at that is pandering to those entertained by momentary feats of flashiness, as opposed to those who truly care for the game.
But finally, yes KG is a great dunker, but he is also his own man, capable of making his own decisions. If he doesn’t wanna join, then by God, he shouldn’t join. That’s what living in freedom is all about. I know it may sound silly, but believe it or not, it’s as simple as this: KG can do anything the HECK he wants to do. Being forced to do something against your will belongs in places like China or North Korea.
Pic Credits: Air21express.com.ph