Sunday, April 09, 2006

The Rockets Power Dancers Are Dunking
...Except for the Asian Girl

With all the commotion (that has since died down we think) around Candace Parker's "dunking" an unprecedented two--not one--but TWO times in a blowout game back against Army in mid-March, it seems the Rockets Power Dancers have decided to re-invigorate that buzz by contibuting a spectacle of solidarity. If that sounds a little sarcastic, it's not at the idea that Candace's half-dunks could hardly be considered dunks (I mean, honestly, I've done that, and I'm a 5' 9" Taiwanese American, even if it was on a rim that was suspect of being a couple of inches less than 10'--I never measured it so I can't speculate--but no self-respecting dunker would claim those dunks as dunks, so I'm still not a dunker).

No, what we deride is the proponents of women's basketball proclaiming these mere four points as one great turning point in their game--as if basketball fans across the nation will suddenly be interested in women's basketball when they start dunking. They won't, especially the men. Because, to most straight, red-blooded, "I played Varsity or Jr. Varsity basketball in high school so I know what I'm talking about," American males, there's nothing worse than watching women play basketball than watching them do things they can't.

For the most part it's true, women's basketball isn't as exciting to watch, but then, neither is European basketball or the Asian American basketball leagues I sometimes run in (which I often compare to women's basketball) or... baseball for that matter. That doesn't mean they can't play. Women's basketball is women's basketball. As long as it aspires to be men's basketball it will always be a lesser god. The fact that a girl can't dunk--or even a guy for that matter, thank you Mr. Nash--shouldn't make him or her any less of an athlete--in the whole adaptation of skill and functionality sense.

I had a discussion with Train a few weeks ago about whether or not we should classify athletes by gender. I said, I personally did not and added that regardless of whether or not Candace Parker will ever dunk in her career as much as say... Stromile Swift has in one good game, she might be a better basketball player than he is... she's got a helluva lot more charisma. But we pick on Stro' because we love him... like an absent-minded little brother... and we're not dumping on him, as much as the bandwagon has been taking all comers, because we never thought he was going to be a big impact like all those bandwagoneers first imagined... not immediately, anyway. We already went through Kelvin Cato, but even he eventually matured into a solid defensive contributor and complement to Yao (until the Rockets, of course, traded him). Does Stromile Swift have this potential? Maybe. Is he as good a basketball player as Candace Parker? Well... he's a better dunker.

I don't know what inspired this sudden rhetoric on women's sports and Stromile Swift, but the Rockets Power Dancers are dunking... and doing that clap, clap, fist-in-the-air, hand at the hip pose that cheerleaders do after a flip and stuff.

1 comment:

muebles madrid said...

Very helpful piece of writing, much thanks for the article.