The 2020-21 NBA season is back underway and along with it, players are still kneeling for the national anthem. With TV ratings tanking and alienated fan bases, the NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers knew they needed to get players standing for the anthem, and fast! Fortunately, the team believes they’ve found the answer.
“We racked our brains to figure out what players care about most in this world and tap into that to make it happen,” explains a team executive. “Turns out it isn’t social justice—it’s just money! We found that if we dangle cash, diamonds, or Lamborghini keys above their heads, they pop right up without giving it a second thought.”
Execution, though, has proved complicated for arena operations staff. This is according to Eliot Hawkins, Facilities Manager for the Denver Nuggets, who upon learning of the Lakers’ success has also used the new method. “You see, the money needs to be close enough to seem within grasp, but high enough to keep them from being able to grab it before the anthem ends. And these guys can freakin’ jump.”
The Oyster wanted to find out how fans are feeling, so we spoke to Isaac Blackwood, a Denver resident who lives just a few blocks from the Nuggets’ Ball Arena. We asked about the team, the anthem, and his take on how these athletes so powerfully influence social change. Looking perplexed, Blackwood replied, “Is the NBA still a thing? I didn’t know anybody still watched basketball.”