Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

How NBA can assist politics

Describing the current state of the National Basketball Association as another golden age of talent may be a bit premature because it will only continue to prosper with its abundance of young skillful players.

Just about every team outside the state of New Jersey offers at least one player or style that warrants viewership.

American politics lacks that same flavor. Fortunately, the NBA can offer the political world four ways that helped it reach its current glory and can help Washington, D.C., net the same results.

1. Be friends.

Even outside of the All-Star Weekends, it is apparent how well most NBA players get along with each other. The current superstars, namely those on the 2008 Olympic Basketball “Redeem Team,” especially exhibit this hospitality. This degree of friendship is unprecedented in the NBA’s history and cultivates a unique atmosphere for the league.

Washington politicos foster more of an animosity toward each another. An easy way to approach the overly hallowed bipartisanship is with simple, but currently inexcusably absent, amicability.

Locking into Mortal Kombat with those in the opposing party executes fatalities on the optimism of the American populace. If politicians actually mingle, the exaggerated verbal assaults may subside to reveal at least more realistic name-calling.

2. Push yourself to surpass your peers.

Yes, this can be peacefully accomplished in conjunction with my first point, and that point may even catalyze this one. Kobe Bryant reigns as the prime example of dedication, as his practice regime remains unrivaled.

Already one of the best in the league, Bryant sought Hall of Fame center Hakeem Olajuwon last summer to help add a low-post game to his already lengthy repertoire. This intense drive to improve fuels the NBA’s star power and also rubs off on other players.

Inside the Beltway, similar to on the court, well-researched and practiced politicians can distinguish themselves from the rest of the pack. They keep themselves from falling into the same halfhearted motions of disregarding research and relying solely on emotional pleas.

It is idealistic to think that every player or politician will train hard, but if even the top talent tier does so, it will impact everyone else.

3. Take care of yourself.

Staying at peak condition demonstrates that a player cares about his ability to perform. Steve Nash of the Phoenix Suns resists sugar, and Hall of Fame center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar practiced yoga to prolong his career.

Others, such as Shaquille O’Neal, have played beneath their potential throughout their career because of a history of starting the season out of shape. Without coincidence, Shaq has left four teams on bad terms.

For politicians, fitness’ importance is mostly involved with aesthetics. They represent their constituents and the country just as much physically as they do politically. A Politico article last summer analyzed the expanding waistlines and unhealthy diets of those on the Hill.

If representatives and senators can’t abstain from too many sweets, can we trust them to not submit to other temptations or have a reasonable discussion on the health of our country?

4. Know your skill set and abide by it.

Early in his career, Josh Smith of the Atlanta Hawks routinely took long jump shots and three-pointers to prove his potential stardom. Most of them missed, and he consequently hurt his team and the outlook of his career.

This season though, Smith has realized his true niche of aggressive defense and slashing offense, resulting in the closest he has ever been to attending his first All-Star Game.

In a sense, politicians can resemble a younger Smith. Congressional officials customarily dabble into funding debates just because their constituents, who most likely have jobs on the line, expect them to.

At times, I can accept this weak representation, but when the official continues to fight an unwinnable battle in a field outside his or her expertise, it hurts the entire American team as a whole.

Wesley Vaughn is a sophomore majoring in public relations and political science. His column runs on Mondays.

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