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Posts Tagged ‘NBA’

The 14 Biggest #PRFails of 2014

prfail

The leaves are dying, the trees are barren, the weather is getting colder, and there’s no money left in your bank account. That literal and figurative chill in the air can only mean one thing — it’s award season for public relations.

It’s that time of the year when we scour the Interweb for the best ideas and most original thoughts; we also remember those unlucky/unintelligent/unprepared folks ready to take their rightful place atop the pedestal for staging the worst communications failures of the year.

PR fails are those instances when a brand or personality just loses its for a moment. Unlike the year’s real “losers” (cough…Uber…sniff…American Apparel…hack…Lululemon), these juggernauts of jocularity can provide us with a bit of holiday comedy, after which we can all stand and applaud the fact that we were not in any way involved.

Without further ado, here are the worst #PRFails of 2014. Enjoy — we did…

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Golden State Warriors’ Owner Goes Maybe-Racist, Blames Siri

NBA: Playoffs-Denver Nuggets at Golden State Warriors

Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Meet Peter Guber. (And yes, his name is pronounced the way you think…more on that in a moment.)

He is Chairman, CEO, and founder of Mandalay Entertainment, a motion picture company that has racked up more than $3 billion and 50 Academy Award nominations. Dude’s got skills.

Goober Guber is also the owner of the Golden State Warriors, and is now part of some unfortunate NBA owner company. He recently joined the ranks of Donald Sterling, formerly of the L.A. Clippers, and Bruce Levenson, formerly of the Atlanta Hawks, as a maybe-possibly racist.

But save the #PRFail; he blamed auto correct, so it’s all good.

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Slammed: Atlanta Hawks’ Owner Sells Shares Over Racist Email

Atlanta_Hawks_New

The National Basketball Association just exhaled and placed Donald Sterling’s bigoted vitriol behind it, thanks largely to Steve Ballmer paying $2 billion for the Los Angeles Clippers and putting Sterling out to pasture where he belongs.

And now, we discover the NBA has another racist loitering among its owner class: Bruce Levenson of the Atlanta Hawks.

Being a simpleton in 2014 is laughable enough. Being a bigoted owner in the NBA like Donald Sterling is hilarious. However, being a prejudicial xenophobe in the NBA…in ATLANTA…feels like a rejected pilot script from a bad “man turns life around” sitcom. Yet, here we are, discussing an email Levenson wrote two years ago claiming his audience (again, in ATLANTA) was “too heavily African-American.”

Not a history or geography buff, this guy.

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Another Donald Sterling Lawsuit: Different Chick; Same Shtick

Donald Sterling

I’m fat and happy. Thanks, NBA!

Just when you thought the world would leave accused serial bigot, philanderer and new billionaire Donald Sterling alone comes this report (from TMZ, no less).

Apparently, Donald Sterling has a history of racist commentary and sexual harassment.

It feels like only yesterday when one V. Stiviano adopted the persona of a Daft Punk backup dancer, recorded Sterling re-enacting a scene from ‘American History X’, and proceed to help the NBA  make him rich beyond his wildest dreams force him to sell the LA Clippers. That was a forced hurl off the cliff into a sea of prejudicial despair.

But, as we hear in game shows, there’s more…

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#PRFail: Shaq Thinks Making Fun of Disabled Kids Is Good for a Laugh

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ICYMI–and by the lack of response from American sports media (MEMO to TNT ‘Inside the NBA’: We see you) you have–a funny thing happened to Shaquille O’Neal the other day. You see, Shaq is a certifiable legend in basketball among his peers, the teams, and the fans. Everyone loves Shaq because he is self-admittedly just a big kid at heart.

Like with most kids, from time-to-time, even Shaq needs a parent to take him aside and put that big 7’2″, 350 lb. ass over a knee and get to whoopin’ up on him. Why? Look at the picture. One of those kids are just “making a funny face.”

And then it was put on the other kid’s Instagram account for the entire world to see.

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Two Weeks Later: Donald Sterling ‘Apologizes’ for Racist Rant

Donald-Sterling

Dear Donald, We look forward to seeing you at our next pep rally. Love, Grandmaster of the KKK.

Arguably, the most important rule to crisis communications is own it quickly. In fact, be the first to comment! Donald Sterling had a crisis with his NBA team, Los Angeles Clippers, because of a few (dozen) bigoted comments about black people. (MEMO to Donnie: You are so not in the right business.)

Understanding he was losing interest in the team, experienced in-fighting among his team, and his own coach even refused to lead said team if Sterling still owned it, he had a major crisis on his hands. So, he does what most rich people do, “Meh!”

And then apologizes two weeks later. Kinda.

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Oklahoma Newspaper that Trashed Kevin Durant Apologizes … Finally.

Mister UnreliableICYMI: The NBA Playoffs are in full swing. Teams are leaving it all on the court and sports reporters are becoming huge homers for the local team. Well, most of them.

Last week, The Oklahoman decided that perennial All-Star Kevin Durant hasn’t really been pulling his weight on the Oklahoma City Thunder, so on the front page of its sports page, they called him “Mr. Unreliable.”

The sports world blew a gasket. “Unjustified,” “Shameful,” and “Smoking crack” were a few of the sentiments out there. Durant didn’t blame them because he’s more of a gentleman — and about to be a free agent.

So, he goes out the next night scoring 36 points and leading the team to victory and a Game 7. After a day hearing the news world still blowing up the paper, that’s when the paper apologized.  Read more

When #PRFail for Drake Turns Into #PRWin for Toronto

Toronto Mayor Ford wipes face during an announcement that the Toronto Raptors will host the 2016 NBA All-Star game in Toronto

Stop sweating, big man. We are not talking about you … for once.

Unfortunately for the great city of Toronto (Shout out to my cousins up north), the entire place is under a blizzard of crap. Nothing weather related, just its crackhead Mayor. So, the city tries to find whatever happy-happy-joy-joy it can to forget about that blowhard.

To wit, we come to the NBA’s Toronto Raptors, which are currently in a nice playoff series with the favored Brooklyn Nets. At an earlier game, Captain D-Bag of the R&B scene, Drake (whom we have covered several times for his toolbag of nothing here, here, and here), was caught exhibiting his primping courtside in a YouTube video that went viral in a millisecond.

And then, the Toronto Raptors organization stretched out its baby Tyrannosaurus arm and cashed in with some genius…

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The NAACP Takes a PR Hit In The Donald Sterling Debacle

adam silverCommissioner Adam Silver was everyone’s hero on Tuesday when he announced that Donald Sterling would be banned for life from the NBA after the league confirmed that was in fact his voice on a recording filled with racist and sexist remarks. (Was there ever any doubt?)

Not only that, Sterling has to hand over $2.5 million for charity — not much for a billionaire, but it’s the principal — and Silver says he’s going to press to get the LA Clippers sold to a different owner. Not only did Silver call the comments “offensive,” but he said they were “harmful,” which connotes something deeper, more serious and more corrosive.  Boom. Boom. Boom.

While he and the league are being given credit for handling the situation swiftly and effectively (well, by almost everyone), there have been a lot of questions about how the NAACP could have seen fit to give Sterling not one, but two lifetime achievement awards. The second one was meant to be handed out next month at the organization’s annual convention, but was rescinded on Monday. Even then, the LA chapter’s president Leon Jenkins said there is “room to forgive.”

It looks as though the NBA has been much tougher on Sterling than the NAACP has. And some are saying that it could be because Sterling donated money and Clippers tickets to the organization.

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Let’s Hope Donald Sterling’s Lifetime Ban Ends This Story

So NBA commissioner Adam Silver decided to ban Donald Sterling from the league for life and fine him $2.5 million bucks in addition to attempting to force him to sell his team.

You heard it; we all heard it. The appropriate celebrities weighed in.

Thought Leader Mark Cuban agrees, despite telling ESPN that such a move might mark a “slippery slope“:

Magic Johnson also agrees:

That pretty much covers it, then. Video after the jump in case you missed anything.

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