If you haven't read Buzz Bissinger's column for the Daily Beast about white fans and race in the NBA, you might want to. It's become quite the talked-about piece, mainly because Mark Cuban called out Bissinger about it on Twitter. There's nothing much original in the column. It's more or less the same stuff progressive-minded journalists have been penning about the NBA since Sweetwater Clifton signed his name on a contract. Bissinger harvested anecdotal evidence about white disinterest in the league to arrive at the conclusion that white America won't watch black men get paid to play basketball.
I have no hard-core evidence. But based on my past experience in writing about sports, I know that whites ascribe very different characteristics to black athletes than they do white ones. I also make a habit of asking every white sports fan I know whether they watch the NBA. In virtually every instance, they say they once watched the game but no longer do. When I ask them if it has anything to do with the racial composition, they do their best to look indignant. But my guess is they felt very differently about the game when Larry Bird and John Stockton were playing….
It boils down to this: Are whites losing interest in a game in which the number of white American players not only continues to dwindle, but no longer features a superstar?
Ergo, the NBA is in trouble. (Imagine David Stern chuckling softly in his office: "Yes, Buzz. Good. Good.") Mark Cuban didn't like Bissinger's column and called him out. The result was a spectacularly entertaining Twitter slugfest (with Bissinger doing most of the slugging) that ended in a temporary detente and an agreement between both men to meet tonight at the the Sixers-Mavericks game to have a testicle-weighing contest.
In light of this provident gathering, we thought it best to recreate the Twitter exchange using cartoon bears, one of them wearing a gimp suit. Some of the dialogue in the above video has been massaged slightly to make it easier on the listener and to account for imperfections in cartoon bear software. We also made up the last line. Cuban never said it, but we had to end this thing somehow. We have provided the full transcript of the Twitter war below. Enjoy.
Buzz Bissinger is a coward
@mcuban so why am I fucking coward. Because I say what I believe and not a self-aggrandizing spoiled rich boy like you.
Hey Cuban, nobody in print or in Twitter has more balls to say what is on hi fucking mind more than me. Right or wrong.
Hey Cuban, sorry I don't own a basketball team and try to buy baseball one because of homoerotic need for boytoys.
Talk about a fucking coward Cuban. Call me out and don't even say why.
@mcuban Seriously show some balls. Tell me why I am a coward. Instead of hiding behind your pathetic business bromides like anyone listens.
I have no idea why Cuban called me a coward. Probably Beast column on race among white fans in NBA. No other journalist will even broach it.
Trust me. @mcuban will never tweet me back. Too busy having pajama party with other spoiled brats Jerry Jones and Dan Snyder.
@mcuban kind of guy who plays 1-on-1 with Nowitski for two seconds. Goes home and won't shower for six weeks.
even the baseball owner, biggest bunch of donasauruses ever, wouldn't let @mcuban into their club. First thing he would do—raze Wrigley.
Then @mcuban after razing Wrigley, would build new stadium in shape of his whale body and call if the Cube.
I just think for a guy who thinks he is so tough @mcuban calls somebody a coward and gives no reason
Fellow Twitterites have spoken and I listen—enough of @mcuban. Next move is his if he is able to move fat-assed body.
All these owners—none of them buy teams to make money. They buy them to get rid of their eternal nerdom. Control athletes.
Virtually all owners made tons of money somewhere else. Now they want to play lockout card. Then sell the fucking franchises.
@mcuban I am going to Mavericks-Sixers game Tuesday night. Come find me. Will give you seat no. Or get me floor pass. You won't.
Pretty cowardly? I put my ass out on every Tweet and column I write. Am I perfect? Fuck no. Does passion get better of me stimes? Fuck yes.
I just don't like being called coward. Get praise for what i write. Get shit. All fair But i do take a stand. To me that is column writing.
Plus column on NBA provoked debate. That is what column writing should do as well. Should I have specifically targeted my generation—yes.
@buzzbissinger Yr editor asked you to write about a topic you dont know & had no interest in researching You didnt have the balls to say no.
@mcuban Absolutely untrue. I came up with topic. I believe it. Studies show it. Editor is Howard Kurtz. He is on Daily Beast. Ask him.
Because you're an entitled spoil brat, you talk without knowing a fucking thing. Don't like column Fine. But don't make assumptions.
@mcuban. You just make assumptions because you are used to getting your own way until you routinely make ass of yourself.
Do I have thin skin? The thinnest. I know that. I try to resist it. But calling me coward a joke. Call me ignorant, full of shit. Fine.
i am done. He told me why i am coward. of course had facts wrong. Urge all of you to contact Howard Kurtz editor. He is on twitter.
@buzzbissinger 1st. belief <> facts. 2nd. Resorting to name calling = cowardly. 3rd Choosing race as subject when give a topic= semantics
@buzzbissinger 4th referring to studies after the fact and trying to make it seem like you did the work = CYA
Fuck it. Can't win. Thought people admired personal honesty. Next column—critique of car Blake Griffin jumped over. Like every other writer
I don't know.
Have to walk dog. Offer still open to @mcuban. Be at Mavs' game Tuesday in Philly. Let's meet. Talk face to face. None of this coward bs.
@buzzbissinger I will be there.
@mcuban So let's meet. How do I do it? Don't have press press. Don't regularly cover league.
@mcuban I am serious. Get me floor pass or I will give you seat number.
@mcuban If I try to approach you security will never let me close.
@mcuban and I I hope will talk seriously about column. He is NBA owner. Drop the coward BS he accused me of.
But I don't like being called Coward. The opposite. Maybe I should become 1 like every other writer. News alert: Utley sits vs. Yanks tday!
Final thought @mcuban if we meet the point is to have discussion, not scream at each other. If he makes good points, I will def. share them.
@buzzbissinger just get a media pass from the sixers. You are a blogger who blogs about the nba. I'm easy to find.
@mcuban I write a sports column for Daily Beast. I don't blog NBA. Will try with Sixers. Why doesn't your PR guy get me pass? You own team.
Obtained press press for Tuesday night.
@mcuban I did obtain press press. i will see you at game Tuesday night.