Most of these 10 minutes of god only knows what will come out; writing is something that helps me clear the brain of post brainstorm tiredness. Yesterday I didn't post because I wrote something that actually had merit to go and take it out into a formal document and to publish in geek and futurist forums. This morning, I got some blurbs from a friend in Germany who we would discuss in china as we both worked, and he lived there and also worked in the mainland a few years ago. What we both know is we are "guailo," which in the past had very negative connotations associated with it.
I don't think anyone at the NBA saw the situation coming, or planned for it, from the tweet of one guy on twitter. From that standpoint, all I could think of is the speed of how the Rwanda massacres started years ago with misinformation and a radio. You have the executives of a league in a very odd place where to cash in on growing the league, they are faced with a reality of "when in Rome, do as the Romans." A pure sport that requires two rims and a ball is somehow now lost in a political and ideological mess. What is the NBA doing? They are caving.
Inside the united states, there are media messages of inclusion, freedom, and human rights. Inside china – crickets chirp while the stars that the Chinese fans would love to see are basically told: "Keep your mouth shut, show up, and play."
I really never thought I would see this situation play out with a basketball being the pawn in a chess game.
What I envision now is that China will just get fed up with the west, start their own professional league, and bypass the NBA. I watched baseball and soccer (it is called football to most of the world) get built up in japan with an odd curiosity of sorts with how they did it culturally. It worked. The NBA could allow this to happen inside china, yet, what is missing in China is that the country thinks it is a numbers game where the success of the numbering and accounting of the country and the economy has the common man has those numbers as the only thing to be proud of.
When I got to see the east during the cold war, I called the feeling "Kodachrome gray" as you went from one sector that was more vibrant and livelier, to another where surveillance was ahead of the curve with where we are at today with technology. It was depressing. Even after the wall fell, it was odd as a westerner to go into the east, as the people were very cautious, yet skeptical of outsiders until someone they knew or trusted vouched for you.
I never got this sense in Hong Kong or the mainland. With shows, I would joke that the Chinese were better capitalists that we were, despite the communist structure of the country.
I better stop now and simply close with my most exciting memory of Hong Kong and China. It was landing at the old kai tak airport. As I type, I close my eyes and can still see flying into a city that always appeared to be the gateway to the mystical world of Asia. It was my international version of what the Mississippi River was to me with mark twain's writing of the united states. One of adventure and the unknown.
As you descended into the city, I can still remember waving at people hanging their laundry in the apartment complex with some of the highest population density on the planet. Xian is a place that had my breath taken away, and I wondered about the history of the area of the earth that we hear very little of or are given minimal education in our schools about.
Today – Singapore is the gateway to Asia for me. And I would enjoy traveling through china to see the history and examples of architecture that are thousands of years old. I wager shanghai becomes the new gateway to China in the next 10 years, as I don't feel terrific about the mainland allowing Hong Kong to remain as it is.
Perhaps I just wrote myself into what is a potential issue for short term china. They just celebrated their 70th birthday under a communist rule. The country is still very young, yet, it was built out of thousands of years of history.
Perhaps we could all learn a bit more balance in looking back at history and come to a place where humans treat each other in more human ways?
Perhaps then basketball could then be a sport that would go around the globe and bring people together, and not push them farther apart.
What has to get dropped is the greed and people on both sides look-in at piles of dollars and yuan to control a game, that really only needs two hoops and a ball.
Why not take the two pro teams to some Chinese city schoolyard and play?
Just take these highly skilled and paid people and bring them back to where most of them started – a schoolyard. Invite the kids, keep the media and political powers and p/r teams away and let them play a game. Let the kids report what they saw and experienced.
What does the bible say about the "childlike heart?" perhaps adults in the world need to remember again?
So, there is my coffee break brainstorm idea for the NBA, the united states, and china for "how you build bridges with basketball."
Step one – drop all the bs and let the players play.
Step two – let the kids report what they saw, felt, heard, and experienced. No adult hype/spin/pr/bs/overanalyzing to fill the airwaves.
Actually, I like it as a documentary…. interesting slant versus all the overhyped nonsense where sports teams try to be social influencers, yet, the currency that matters is ratings and paydays.
Now, back to that blurb from yesterday...maybe I should try to build that big idea with augmanity. if nothing, perhaps it will help people see others' perspectives and perceptions, and people would come to a place where they realize, "Hey, we are all humans."
maybe then, love would override all the fear?