WASHINGTON, D.C. – President Barack Obama said today that National Basketball Association (NBA) players who sign with “foreign teams” during the current NBA lockout will be taxed heavily for their “selfish, un-American behavior.”
Speaking from his all-weather, solar-heated basketball court at the White House, the president said he was “tired of American businessmen moving jobs overseas” in order to take advantage of favorable conditions in other countries.
“The average NBA player supports at least fifteen home boys, gofers, factotums, mules, and groupies,” said the president. “I will not stand by and watch those jobs shifted overseas by greedy NBA players.”
The president said that he will seek bipartisan support, as usual, for his tax bill, which makes it less attractive for NBA players to take their talents to the South of France or wherever, but Republican leaders were quick to criticize his plan.
“Now is not the time to raise anyone’s taxes, especially the taxes of the wealthy,” said House Speaker John Boehner. “With unemployment above 9 percent, isn’t it better to have some NBA players working overseas than to have them collecting unemployment here?”
Republicans were not the only ones critical of the president’s plan.
“Mr. Obama once again seems willing to risk alienating his base, this time by targeting basketball players for punitive tax increases,” said the Reverend Al Sharpton, host of MSNBC’s Politics Nation. “I mean, how many white players are going to get offers from teams in Italy or Greece? It’s brothers that are going to suffer from this legislation.”
President Obama’s legislative initiative follows by one day NBA Commissioner David Stern’s announcement that the first two weeks of the 2011-12 NBA regular season—one hundred games in all between November 1 and 14—have been cancelled. Mr. Stern’s announcement came after more than seven hours of negotiations between NBA owners’ and players’ representatives had failed to produce any progress toward a new labor agreement. The cancellations mark the NBA’s first work stoppage since the 1998-99 season was reduced to fifty games.
President Obama responded to Speaker Boehner’s comments by threatening to go directly to the American people in a series of town hall meetings held in basketball arenas around the country, but the American people may not be willing to listen.
“Like I really care about a bunch of overpaid, tattooed thugs complaining because they might not be able to meet the payments on their Lamborghinis,” said William Carson, a postal worker in New York City.
“The whole fucking post office is about to implode, and I’m supposed to care because I won’t be able to buy overpriced tickets to Knicks games and pay $5.50 for a bottle of water? Gimme a break.”
Commissioner Stern, 69, responded to such criticisms testily.
“There’s just no underestimating the self-absorption of the average NBA fan. If people want to worry about their pensions or the economy instead of worrying about whether Lebron James’ will continue to come up shriveled in the fourth quarters of close games, then let them. People get the kind of basketball they deserve.”
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