EC: There are a few lines from Brown that suggest a racial insensitivity that today would not be permissible but at the time was a more accepted part of the discourse. Did any of that stand out to you as you re-read the piece today?
SO: You’re referring to a quote in my piece in which Hubie says that “urban blacks” are ruining basketball because they’re selfish and don’t respect the team concept. That was jarring then, and it’s more jarring now. Moreover, if you believe what you read online, it is not the only time Hubie has said something racially insensitive. But I don’t think of him as a racist. (I grew up in Georgia and have known genuine racists.) I see Hubie more as an equal opportunity insult maven — kind of a Don Rickles of basketball. He’s not as funny but just as blunt and politically incorrect. In today’s climate, of course, the line about “urban blacks” would be a firing offense. Hubie doesn’t talk like that on ESPN, but boy, he calls ‘em like he sees ‘em.
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