A Substitute for War

Basketball philosophy

Another movie analogy – The NBA Lockout and Pulp Fiction

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It looks like the NBA lockout will be resolved soon. The players and owners are once again talking, with a new mediator in Jim Quinn instead of Jeff Kessler who was shady, ill spoken and a few months removed from being tossed out of the NFL negotiations. 

I have a Pulp Fiction analogy I thought was amusing.

If you’ve seen the film, you’ll remember how in the 3rd “segment”, Vincent Vega (John Travolta) and Jules Winnfield (Samuel L. Jackson) are returning from a hit with an informant in custody. Winnfield has a gun pointed at him because he’s well, kind of out of control. The gun goes off and blows the informant’s head off, getting blood all over the car and forcing them to park their car at a Jimmie (Quentin Tarantino)’s house, and the trio is immediately facing a disaster if they don’t clean up the mess before his wife gets home.

This is pretty much what happened during the last couple weeks of the lockout. The owners (represented by Travolta’s Vincent) and the players (represented by Jackson’s Jules) had a perfectly salvageable situation turn into a mess by Jules’ figurative gun blowing up their informant’s head off and all over the car. In this case, the gun going off was the players filing the disclaimer of interest to dissolve the union.  Surely, the goal was not for the gun to go off but to make a point, it wasn’t necessary for it to be pointed to make it – but mistakes happen.

The fans in this case are represented by Tarantino’s character. We didn’t ask for two criminals to barge into our house and possibly ruin our marriage and lives, frankly it’s really unfair that we’re potentially paying for the owners and players negligence by missing a season. We just want this to be over as soon as possible.

Still, there was always a sense that this mess could be cleaned up quickly and without leaving much of a trace. But the right moves have to be made. In Pulp Fiction, they call in “The Wolf” (Harvey Keitel), who’s job is essentially be more competent and quick than negligent panicked criminals and fix their messes. He comes in, spearheads a quick cleaning of the car and disposal and saves the 3 characters before the wife comes home. The Wolf in the NBA Lockout is Jim Quinn. He reportedly got the owners and players talking again and moving towards making a deal to have games by Christmas.

Finally, in the movie Vega and Winnfield get out of the mess alive, but as penance they have to wear goofy blue t-shirts as they call a taxi and return to their scheduled day. When this lockout is over the owners and players will be relatively unscathed financially, but they should and will be embarrased that this even happened.


Written by jr.

November 24, 2011 at 10:36 am

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