According to the caption under the teaser for HBO’s upcoming Real Sports program, “Host Bryant Gumbel returns to his hometown of Chicago to report from Marshall High School, site of the iconic sports film, Hoop Dreams.” Mr. Gumbel reveals that Chicago gang bangers gave b-ballers a “hooper’s pass” back in the day, “excluding them from the violence.”

Gumbel says Chicago’s 2016 murder total of 762 is “still fewer than the numbers recorded in the heyday of Hoop Dreams.” True dat. Hoop Dreams began production in 1989, when the Windy City’s murder toll was 849 souls.

Gumbel’s “scoop”: Chicago gangs are less discriminating about who they shoot now than before, implying that the percentage of basketball players killed by gangs has gone up even while the murder rate has gone down.

I’m not buying it. Maybe the gang whose turf included Marshall High School left b-ballers alone, for a while. But generally speaking Chicago’s gangland violence is the same as it ever was: indiscriminately ruthless.

The more salient fact: basketball offers a statistically insignificant number of inner city youth a way out of the thug lifestyle, Hooper’s Pass or not. That’s not a topic Mr. Gumbel seems interested in addressing.

33 Responses to Bryant Gumbel: Basketball Players Now Fair Game for Chicago Gang Bangers

    • EXACTLY WHAT I WAS GOING TO SAY.

      Gumbel is about as relevant as Mr. Wizard, and Mr. wizard actually really mattered at one time.

    • Gumball 1970s token affirmative action quota baby. ABC has been dusting off the has been hacks of the 70s/80s for the last couple weeks. Their ratings must be in the toilet and grasping at straws/desperate.

    • It’s actually worse Vhyrus as the population has plummeted from 1989. Rats fleeing a sinking ship. Unfortunately the gang scum is moving south to my neighborhood…?

  1. Bryant Gum Ball looks terrible. The high point of his career was when David Letterman painted his ankle with orange spray paint.

  2. Pretty sure Notorious B.I.G covered this back in 1994 or so with his tune Things Done Changed.

    When your report is 23 years behind a rap song released by a guy who’s been dead a full 20 years, ironically from GSW’s, it’s time to hang up your hat…

    • ^Yep.
      The story is as irrelevant as the reporter.

      Unfortunately, egos don’t know when to go away.
      Egos are blind to their own irrelevance.

  3. Statistically, the surest way for minority youth to survive and enjoy a good life is to get an education and stay off drugs and out of gangs. That would be much easier if Illinois would put gangbangers convicted of violent crimes away for decades instead of letting them out to continue victimizing their neighbors. Illinois is too broke to afford that.

    • You’re missing one important factor: parents. Kids who grow up with two parents are much more likely to succeed in life than kids who grow up in a single parent household.

    • “Statistically, the surest way for minority youth to survive and enjoy a good life…”
      …is to have parents/family teach them from a young age to avoid the allure of get-rich-quick schemes like athletic “Hoop Dreams,” aspiring to be rappers/actors, and committing robbery & pushing product as a gang member. Really sad that the three most visible career paths held up as examples for minority youth are either pie-in-the-sky bullshit or outright criminal. Even sadder, bastards like Gumbel have steadily worked to discourage any alternative career paths besides these, and in the worst areas of the ghetto there is hardly any legitimate economy or honest prospects remaining. At this point, the surest way to survive is to get out of these cesspools as quickly as possible by any means necessary, ironically enough by joining the military in many cases.

      • Yeah, but really who wants to be an engineer, scientist or a corporate exec?

        There’s no floozies, no chains, no music promoting your hardcore corporate raider/wildin’ out in the laboratory lifestyle and you rarely, if ever, get to flash your gat at a meeting to get your point across.

        Generally speaking you don’t even get to grab some asshole, drag him into an alley and stab him up with a screwdriver for flashing the wrong signs at the water cooler and “the knockout game” is really frowned upon in the mail room because it fucks with the sorting process. Boring. No allure to that life at all.

        • That might get you fired. You can’t even have cool conversations in a professional setting.

          “Yo dawg, why’d you smoke the new guy?”

          “That motherfucker? Dawg, you know I had to bust caps. His ass was trippin’. He was putting the Erlenmeyer flasks in the same cabinet as the test tubes! How we gonna make these paper stacks when he’s messin’ with the glassware organization? You know that fucks up the the flow in da lab! So yeah, I dirtnapped his ass to get a rep. Ain’t no one gonna mess with this lab again! Gotta run this shit like Scarface yo!”

          Said no one in a professional setting ever.

        • Anyone who thinks being an engineer has to be boring and devoid of weapons and awesome sex has a very poor imagination.

          Sincerely,
          An engineer

        • Clearly you’ve been hanging around the wrong labs.

          Music? Check. With plasma speakers.
          Minionettes? You betcha!
          Chains? All day long. Even the overhead crane in the death ray bay is gold plated. (Granted, it was purchased by the government…)

        • Not one of you have ever pulled out the AK’s, mounted up the gunship and hit a rival company’s BBQ, killed a bunch of people and drove off screaming “Thug Life til the end, tell a friend b***ch!!!”, not a one.

          [Please, for the love of everything holy, tell me that no one is actually taking this shit I’m saying seriously.]

        • “Anyone who thinks being an engineer has to be boring and devoid of weapons and awesome sex has a very poor imagination.”

          “Luxurious penthouses, fast cars, beautiful women; he designed them all, from his tiny one-bedroom apartment…”

      • It’s “modeling” and it is the greatest inculcator there is (no not the zoolander kind). How many engineers do you see in the hood? Who has wealth and power in poor areas? People doing illegal stuff and cops . . . and some times they are the same people.

        If growing up you saw a bunch of dads take their son’s bar mitzvah money (which is already substantial in some cases) and invest it so that before, during, or after college he has some change to travel with, invest, etc. well, you would have a model for success. You don’t teach delayed gratification – strong men show it and the name for it is “father”. Not sure how you break the fatherless cycle – smarter men than me have tried. I do know that poverty does not have to equal violence. We are in a bad mess and there is no quick and easy way out.

    • Because college today is the same thing as an ebumacation. NOT

      When admission is because of skin color (or the ability to play kiddy games at a high level) is the college time actually worth anything? Affirmative action has been a/the thing at college for 40years and today can anyone actually assume the product is in his position because of competence and achievement? NO you can not make such assumption. THAT is the result of quotaism of the progtards it makes the ghetto permanent.

  4. creole. maybe they misspelled gumbo, but that’s probably acadian.
    i find him and his brother greg annoying. and don’t even mention jim rose. i don’t care what any of them have to say.
    this would be like watching a documentary narrated by kevin costner; i couldn’t.

  5. Christ, Gumball’s looking to the *gangbangers* to resolve the issue? Talk about the soft bigotry of low expectations.

  6. Well you got one “fact” right RF. I used to ply my trade all over Chicago in the 90″s. Now I won’t risk my life buying/selling in the hood. The biggest change is thousands of young teen(and tween) punks shooting willy nilly. If you do adult crime you should do adult time. Hell there are weekly( sometimes daily ) expressway or Lake Shore Drive shootings. They’re bound to kill a few hoops boys…

  7. Marshall High School’s most famous graduate is not a rapper or b-baller. It is a Russian immigrant by the name of Hyman Rickover. I bet Gumbel doesn’t know that.

  8. It strikes me that relying on the forebearance of criminals is, by definition, a Bad Idea. No matter the year.

  9. Too bad for any of the decent black folks in the dangerous Chicago neighborhoods. Even if you get an Illinois concealed carry license, CTA buses and El trains are off limits, so a carry license is about useless in the hood.

    That’s the way NRA lobbyist for Illinois Todd Vandermyde wrote state Rep. Brandon Phelps concealed carry bill in 2013, the worst he could, and stuffed full of garbage that the anti-gun police unions wanted, like Duty to Inform with criminal penalties. That way unmarked tactical teams can disarm and kill licensed citizens legally, like what happened to Philando Castile in Minnesota. Thanks Todd!

    What’s next, Duty to Strip Search? Oh well, at least we “got a bill passed” in Illinois. Who cares about blacks like Otis McDonald anyway. Go team NRA!

  10. Is hooper’s pass dead or are these people who are getting caught up on the side in things that bring this wrath on themselves? Maybe they’re into substance abuse and owe money… I wouldn’t be so quick to make that conclusion without knowing more about the dealings on those who were shot.

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