The NBA: where Spanglish happens

I am offended by the NBA’s weak attempt to court the Latino community. I am referring to these “Spanglish” uniforms they present on their Latin nights. The NBA believe they are “going Latin” by just adding the word “los” on their jerseys. Huh? We don’t have the word “the” on the regular, “English” uniforms. I don’t mean the “Los” of Los Angeles, but I’ll get to that in a moment. This half-hearted attempt of assimilation is bullshit, and borderline racist. Taco Bell is more authentic to Spanish culture than this. Hell, Chad Ochocinco (nee Johnson) is more accurate Spanish than the NBA Ene-Be-A!

Last things first, if you’re going to go after the Latin market, why is only 20% of the league doing it? That’s right, only 6 of the thirty franchises have a Latin jersey. And only one style per team as well? The effort exerted by the NBA’s Marketing Department was less than the Knicks effort on defense under Mike D’Antoni. I understand there are some markets and cities that do not have a large Hispanic population (yet), but how come the LA Lakers have a Latin jersey, and the LA Clippers do not? Why Dallas, and not Houston? Why not Phoenix? Or growing Spanish cities such as Denver, and New Orleans?

More importantly, of those six Latin jerseys, why is only 3 of them correct Spanish? Personally, I think the NBA got lucky on two of those three; I was surprised that there is no Spanish translation for “Mavericks” or “Lakers.” (I mean, the Spanish word for “lakes” is “los lagos”; yet there is no official word in Spanish for a person or people who live by a lake. I, (and the ghost of Chris Farley) are extremely disappointed! The third isn’t much of a victory either, replacing “New York” with “Nueva York.” Luckily, or unluckily, the culturally insensitive three are three teams that are viable contenders to win a title: Chicago, Miami, and San Antonio. The English jerseys for these teams are, respectively: “Bulls”; “Heat”; and “Spurs.” Their Latin jersey read: “Los Bulls”; “El Heat”; and “Los Spurs.” For those too lazy to do a quick online translation, a more accurate translation would be: “Toros”; “Calor”; and “(las) Espuelas.”

Personally, I’m looking forward to Chinese Night sometime in the near future. I can’t wait to see my how favorite teams’ jerseys look in Mandarin.


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