Even Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Has an Opinion About Lena Dunham and ‘Girls’

It’s a pretty easy joke to make: anyone with an opinion and an internet connection has found the time to write a thing or two about Girls. And it’s not even a joke anymore: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, NBA Hall of Famer, has an opinion about Girls. Because of course he fucking does.

In a Huffington Post article, Abdul-Jabbar rips the show a new one.

We’re supposed to find these girls somehow charming because of their flawed characters. Their intense self-involvement is meant to be cute and it can be… at times. But not enough to overcome our impatience with their inability to have any personal insight. They’re all educated but fatally ignorant.

This isn’t all Girls fault. It’s unfair to put so much of a burden on what is basically a standard sitcom. Some of the fault lies with the audience’s desperation for a generational voice that they turn to a sitcom to express it rather than great literature. Filmmaker and short story writer (and Dunham fan) Miranda July is more accurately a voice of a generation adrift in the rough waters of Great Expectations and a Great Recession.

When it takes itself seriously is when it stumbles. I just wish it would express its seriousness by being funnier. Seinfeld made it a point to ridicule the characters’ shallowness and self-involvement, raising it to a level of social commentary. And it was funny. Two other girl-centric shows that reached these same heights to be voices of a generation were My So-Called Life and Wonderfalls. Both funny, yet also insightful and original. Perhaps that’s why they both only lasted one season before becoming cut hits. Girls, a safer more mousy voice, is already been renewed for a third season.

THANK GOD SOMEONE FINALLY SAID SOMETHING.

But seriously, there are a couple of things to take away from this piece:

  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is one of the thirty or so people who watched Wonderfalls

Oh, wait, that’s really the only interesting thing here. That and Abdul-Jabbar’s suggestion that "a black dildo" would have been a cheaper way of bringing up the meta-discussion about race rather than hiring Donald Glover to play a character on the show. Tell that to the unions! Now, Huffington Post, can you open up your blog space for some actual cultural critics to share some insight instead of getting a famous person to nonsensically rehash stuff that has been written literally everyone else? 

Now, when will Lena Dunham get that Deadspin byline?

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Nike Founder Clinches Very Well-Earned Spot in Basketball Hall Of Fame

Good news for purveyors of sweatshop-made sportswear: you too can be inducted into a hall of fame meant to celebrate athletic excellence! Take it from Phil Knight, the chairman and co-founder of Nike, who will join the ranks of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Wilt Chamberlain in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. None other than Michael Jordan will present him, as a small thank-you for all those endorsement deals.

About zero people are thrilled by this. Yahoo! Sports reports:

It was a controversial selection despite Knight’s induction as a "contributor," i.e. non-coaches and non-players who nevertheless have a huge effect on the sport. By any metric, Knight and Nike have altered the course of basketball at every level.
 
However, this honor, the top award an individual can earn in basketball, would seem to be at least somewhat related to Nike’s status as the premier corporate sponsor of virtually every important organized body in basketball.

Got that? Just change the sport forever somehow—like, commodify its equipment to a psychotic degree, such that you unleash the horrors of class resentment and exploitative labor practices—and they will put your name on a plaque for all to admire. All who pass through Springfield, Massachusetts, at least.