Ira Newble is a seven-year veteran of three NBA teams. The casual NBA fan has no idea who he is. On a Cleveland Cavs team that features LeBron James, Newble is just an afterthought. Last season he averaged 3.1 points and played in only 15 games. The year before, he averaged 1.3 points in 36 games. He will be making $3.4 million next season, most likely spending the majority of the time on the bench or on the injured reserve list. He is what others may call “overpaid”, “bench warmer” or even a “scrub”.
Even without the notoriety, just being a professional athlete gives players like Newble power that an everyday person could not get.
Take for instance the release of the highly popular Apple iPhone. A first hand account from someone waiting at a downtown Celevland AT&T store with 60-70 others during the release saw Newble use his power to get into the store before everyone that had waited in line, some camping out the night before, and purchase “at least 4-6 total” iPhones.
At 5:55pm, A NBA Player by the name of IRA Newbie (no joke google him) appeared with 3 bodyguards and the AT&T employees just let him in. He came out with two bags of filled iPhones (there was at least 4-6 total)!! All of us were totally pissed off!!
An abuse of power? Probably. But in Newble’s case, I’ll give him a break. He made headlines in May when he wrote an open letter to the Chinese government concerning its support for Sudan in its ongoing genocide in Darfur and has been getting NBA players to sign it. Could the average joe off the street have that much influence? Probably not. But what if Newble was an All-Star player? I’m sure their would be even more publicity and awareness. NBA players (and sports figures) have a lot of power that can help influence the world we live in, but only a few choose to use it. Ira Newble may be overpaid as a basketball player but not in the game of life.