- Potential first-round March Madness upsetsCollege Basketball Insider Jon Rothstein joins SI Now to highlight possible first-round NCAA Tournament upsets that could shake up March Madness.Sports Illustrated
- MLB teams that could surprise, disappoint in 2019Yahoo Sports' Hannah Keyser, Tim Brown and Mike Oz talk about which MLB franchises could surprise and disappoint baseball fans in 2019, including a team that hasn't won a World Series title since 1991.Yahoo! Sports
- Baylor, Mississippi State, Notre Dame, Louisville women secure top seedsThe field for the 2019 Women's NCAA tournament was announced and Baylor was selected as the No. 1 overall seed.Sports Illustrated
Nick Wright reacts to Russell Westbrook's verbal altercation with 2 Jazz fansFOXSports2:50
Potential first-round March Madness upsetsSports Illustrated1:35
MLB teams that could surprise, disappoint in 2019Yahoo! Sports3:53
Baylor, Mississippi State, Notre Dame, Louisville women secure top seedsSports Illustrated1:08
What you need to know about the March Madness bracketUSA TODAY SPORTS1:24
Could Messi be getting even better?Yahoo! Sports2:15
NCAA Tournament: Final Four picksYahoo! Sports4:56
Gymnastics sensation Ohashi on how she found out her routine went viralFOXSports1:01
Could Kapler run into trouble managing Harper, Phillies' clubhouse?Sports Illustrated1:39
Boeheim reacts to Syracuse's NCAA Tournament selectionCBS Sports2:48
Crew Call: Stevens reacts to Kyle Busch’s 200th winNASCAR1:50
Duke's national title chances after Zion's return, ACC tourney runCBS Sports2:03
Oregon's Altman talks about NCAA seeding and locationCBS Sports2:21
Iowa's Baer excited to return to NCAA TournamentCBS Sports2:36
Making sense of March MadnessUSA TODAY SPORTS3:51
Temple's Dunphy gratified to return to NCAA TournamentCBS Sports1:58
On Monday night Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook was caught on tape telling a Utah Jazz fan "I'll (expletive) you up. You and your wife."
NBA fans quickly seized on the moment, calling it a bad look and expecting a suspension to come from the league. A suspension may still be on its way for Westbrook, or at least a fine, for the verbal altercation.
Then Westbrook told his side of the story, saying that the fan had told him to "get down on your knees like you're used to," which provoked a response from Westbrook.
Then people found the fan on social media.
This morning my colleague Ted Berg wrote a column asking if we know too much about sports. If there was too much information, too deep an understanding of games that are meant to be distractions. He concluded we did not, and (for the most part) knowledge is a good thing.
This Westbrook incident is another one of those instances where I am glad we have the internet. Fifteen years ago, we would have labeled Russell Westbrook a problem or worse for what he yelled at a fan on Monday night.
Today, we can (more quickly and easily) learn about the fan, and begin to understand and empathize with, if not exactly condone, what Westbrook did. It took people less than 12 hours to not only figure out who the fan was, but that this fan has a social media presence that contains racist, violent and xenophobic language. (Warning: The above link contains all of the language just described.)
For some fans, I imagine this entire episode will be exhausting. Sports used to be simpler, because we were presented with limited viewpoints. We cheered for the home team. Our guys were good guys and the other guys were bad guys. If someone yelled at a fan or griped about a contract, they were a "bad locker room presence" or a "distraction."
Did any of that reflect reality? Not really. But things were simpler. Things made sense.
Now we have to have a lot of information, at all times, from everywhere. It forces us to think, to hold more than one idea in our heads at one time. We can no longer blindly root. The guy griping about his contract, we now know, is concerned for the longterm future of his health, has a frighteningly quick career on average, and is being squeezed by a team owner worth billions, an owner who is a symbol of the income inequality our nation and world is dealing with.
The point guard screaming at the fan isn't just an immature malcontent, especially when the fan allegedly said something horrible and has a history that appears to show extremely racist and violent thinking. Not to mention, many of our willingness to condemn Westbrook shows our eagerness to side with the white person, a reflection of implicit racial bias that infects far too much of our country.
This is all messy. It's all tough to deal with. It's easier to just fall back on cliches and long for the good old days when things made sense. We want to root for guys who want to win for the ball club. We don't want the real world creeping in.
That's all understandable, to a degree, but it's not what it is to be a responsible citizen, or sports fan, in 2019. You have to do the work.
Related slideshow: Best of the NBA season (Provided by imagn)