Video: The Continuing Decline of White Americans in the NBA

» December 7, 2009 9:50 PM | By Brandon Hoffman

Yesterday on “Outside the Lines,” ESPN’s Mark Schwarz explored the perception that white American players are a dying breed. Jerry West, Mark Price, and Mike Dunleavy, all former NBA players, were asked to comment on the evidence that supports that idea. Asked by Schwarz to name the NBA’s best white American player, West said: “Gosh, I didn’t know we had any. You have to help me with that one.” Price, a four-time All-Star with the Cleveland Cavaliers and current shooting consultant for the Atlanta Hawks, says white American college stars have not been able to adjust to the pro game, where size and athleticism are top priorities. Perhaps the most interesting soundbite comes from Toronto Raptors executive Wayne Embry, who claims the NBA allowed zone defenses, in part, to address the perception that white Americans are poor defenders.

(Via Dime)


2 Responses to “Video: The Continuing Decline of White Americans in the NBA”

  1. Basketballogy Says:

    What a FANTASTIC video clip. Thanks, Brandon.

    It seems to me like this isn’t a matter of race at all, but culture.

    The culture of other countries bringing up players with work ethic, skills, heart and desire… qualities that often economically disadvantaged people in the U.S. find in themselves as they break away from their circumstances.

    The racial demographics that this just happens to apply to is what explains the demographics in the NBA, the all defensive team, etc.

  2. Brandon Hoffman Says:

    Glad you enjoyed the video. I don’t buy McAlarney’s claim that he’s being discriminated against, but the clip is interesting nonetheless.

    West, Dunleavy, and Price made a number of salient points.

    Work ethic, and intangibles like heart and perseverance play a part, yes. But length and athleticism are essential. Are the greatest athletes in the world African-Americans? Well, a very high percentage of the best sprinters, leapers, basketball players, baseball players and football players are black. That’s undeniable.

    I think Dunleavy hit the nail right on the head when he said: “It all comes down to — key point: who can he guard?”

    The NBA is one of the most egalitarian institutions in our society. If you can play, NBA GMs will give you an opportunity to prove you’re the best man for the job.

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