clbent04

Where Are All the White-American NBA Superstars?

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The general population demographics of the US are as follows:

White: 76.3 percent

Hispanic: 18.5 percent

Black: 13.4 percent

Asian: 5.9 percent

https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/US/PST045219

But when it comes to NBA basketball, 80 percent of the pros are black.  More surprisingly, we have no modern white-American NBA superstars.  Zero.  Zilch.  Probably the most talented white-American playing today is Kevin Love.  Haven't heard of him?  Well, he's superstar-ish, a far distant second from the likes of LeBron James and Kevin Durant. 

If you look at high school basketball, over 60 percent of the players are white American.  But from there the statistic of white Americans playing basketball dwindles drastically when graduating to college ball and beyond.

So it is a question of talent?  Are white Americans simply unable to compete at the highest levels of competition in basketball?  Are white Americans genetically inferior when it comes to the game of basketball?

Or, is it a cultural issue, where it's been instilled in white Americans that they simply can't hoop with black players? 

Side note - the last white-American NBA superstar to play the game was John Stockton. He retired in 2003. Some argue it was Larry Bird (retired in 1992).

But wait, what about Steve Nash? Sorry, he's Canadian. Dirk? German. Luka? Try again. Slovenian.  The only modern white-NBA superstars are anything but American.

nba.thumb.jpg.ef54226bb145554ec995ebca945536d8.jpg

 

Edited by clbent04

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5 hours ago, clbent04 said:

Are white Americans genetically inferior when it comes to the game of basketball?

This one

Edited by Fether

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2 hours ago, Fether said:

This one

That’s a misconception. You’d be surprised to know that out of the top 3 Americans with the current highest vertical jumps, 2 of them are white-American males.

Also, the genetically-inferior assumption is debunked as we’re seeing a steady rise in white-European superstars.

But wait, you might say, they’re European…

Well, yes, but guess where white Americans primarily descended from.

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58 minutes ago, clbent04 said:

That’s a misconception. You’d be surprised to know that out of the top 3 Americans with the current highest vertical jumps, 2 of them are white-American males.

Also, the genetically-inferior assumption is debunked as we’re seeing a steady rise in white-European superstars.

But wait, you might say, they’re European…

Well, yes, but guess where white Americans primarily descended from.

So that question I answered was just a trap?

Edited by Fether

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58 minutes ago, Fether said:

So that question I answered was just a trap?

You could have answered that it’s a cultural issue. And really it is. The lack of white American superstars in the NBA is due to the false but popular stereotype that white players simply don’t have what it takes. 

How should we rectify the lack of white American players in the NBA? Should the NBA commission mandate a set percentage white Americans in the NBA and reform the draft process?

If America is looking for equity for all, should all disparities including these be addressed? 

Edited by clbent04

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26 minutes ago, clbent04 said:

How should we rectify the lack of white American players in the NBA? Should the NBA commission mandate a set percentage white Americans in the NBA and reform the draft process?

If America is looking for equity for all, should all disparities including these be addressed? 

I see where you are going.

I think the only time there should be some “rectification” is when there is something that needs rectifying. White Americans choosing baseball, golf, business and teaching over sports is not something that needs rectifying (and I imagine you agree).

As for blacks and other minorities having preferable treatment in college and other similar scenarios, there is a conversation to be had. 
 

I may be wrong, but I think it is widely accepted and understood that in the raising of the nation, blacks, Native Americans, and other minorities had it bad. The stealing of the Native American land, Slavery and the institutionalized racism found after slavery was abolished has most definitely had an affect on their communities today.

Now as to what needs to be done about this, I don’t know. But I don’t think we can compare whites in the NBA to blacks with PHDs. Yes, both have to do with agency, but one also has to deal with a long history of a nation that hated them and put them down.

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And to just address a premise above (that I am sure was just a question and not a statement of belief)

Whites are not afraid the play basketball against blacks. I think it has a lot more to do with the fact that, as a general rule, whites do have more options to choose from for their future. For me, I enjoyed basketball, but I also enjoyed rock climbing, drumming, the gospel, video games, disk golf, dentistry, business, preparing for a mission, board games, etc. had Basketball been my only option (or I wasn’t taught how to explore other options), I would have played a lot more basketball and become a lot better.

Edited by Fether

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I’m not sure whether this thread is to be taken at face value, or whether it’s intended as a tongue-in-cheek commentary on the plethora of think-pieces wondering why there isn’t racial parity in traditionally white-dominated professions.

Assuming the former:  do we see this kind of racial disparity in other professional sports like football, baseball, and soccer?

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5 minutes ago, Just_A_Guy said:

I’m not sure whether this thread is to be taken at face value, or whether it’s intended as a tongue-in-cheek commentary on the plethora of think-pieces wondering why there isn’t racial parity in traditionally white-dominated professions.

It's meant to be taken at face value, but I'm also questioning the soundness of American politics trying to rectify select issues involving racial disparity.

12 minutes ago, Just_A_Guy said:

Assuming the former:  do we see this kind of racial disparity in other professional sports like football, baseball, and soccer?

Yes, the NFL player population is 70 percent black, MLB -- 60 percent white, NHL -- 90 percent white...

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48 minutes ago, Fether said:

Whites are not afraid the play basketball against blacks. I think it has a lot more to do with the fact that, as a general rule, whites do have more options to choose from for their future. For me, I enjoyed basketball, but I also enjoyed rock climbing, drumming, the gospel, video games, disk golf, dentistry, business, preparing for a mission, board games, etc. had Basketball been my only option (or I wasn’t taught how to explore other options), I would have played a lot more basketball and become a lot better.

But when you know that most American high school basketball players are white, something is happening along the progression to the NBA when so many white American players fizzle out.  If America is 76 percent white, and white Americans account for over 60 percent of the high school basketball players, you'd think there'd be a bigger representation in the NBA. 

Isiah Thomas once said of Larry Bird's stardom in basketball: "If Bird Was Black, He'd Be Just Another Good Player."

This sums up the bias that many in pro basketball believe to be true.

Edited by clbent04

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1 minute ago, clbent04 said:

But when you know that most American high school basketball players are white, something is happening along the progression to the NBA when so many white American players fizzle out.  If America is 76 percent white, and account for over 60 percent of the high school basketball players, you'd think there'd be a bigger representation in the NBA. 

Isiah Thomas once said of Larry Bird: "If Bird Was Black, He'd Be Just Another Good Player."

This sums up the bias that many in pro basketball believe to be true.

They don’t continue on to the NBA because they have other desires out of life. 
 

More white children grow up with a father than blacks, they grow up with more money and more role models that can show them the joys of life. If you don’t have that, you seek fun… and that’s basketball. 
 

It seems to me that it is more a social economical dilemma than anything else. And the people who fall into that social economical statistics of likely growing up to play basketball are also likely to be a racial minority.

Genuine question. How many pro basketball players grew up in under the poverty, at poverty, middle class, and wealthy. I would imagine most athletes come from poor homes. Why? Because basketball is cheap and fun.

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4 minutes ago, Fether said:

Genuine question. How many pro basketball players grew up in under the poverty, at poverty, middle class, and wealthy. I would imagine most athletes come from poor homes. Why? Because basketball is cheap and fun.

Valid point, although this has changed noticeably over the last 20 years.  A growing percentage of pro basketball players today come from wealthy families and had a pro basketball father to show them the way.

This includes Devin Booker, Kobe Bryant, Jae Crowder, Stephen & Seth Curry, Bol Bol, Patrick Ewing Jr., Tim Hardaway Jr., Kevin Love, Gary Payton II, Klay Thompson, Jalen Rose...

 

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This website says 86% of all STUDENT athletes grew up poor. Didn’t read through it so I am just taking the headline by its word. I bet you the percentage is higher in the NBA
 

https://www.sportingnews.com/us/ncaa-football/news/4465460-student-athletes-poverty-paid-scholarships-ncpa-texas-duke

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1 minute ago, clbent04 said:

Valid point, although this has changed noticeably over the last 20 years.  A growing percentage of pro basketball players today come from wealthy families and had a pro basketball father to show them the way.

This includes Devin Booker, Kobe Bryant, Jae Crowder, Stephen & Seth Curry, Bol Bol, Patrick Ewing Jr., Tim Hardaway Jr., Kevin Love, Gary Payton II, Klay Thompson, Jalen Rose...

 

So poverty and having a pro ball player as a dad seem to be large factors for people to become pro ball players.

 

I would ask what percentage of those parents grew up in poverty

Edited by Fether

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This article from ESPN says 30% of the athletes in the NBA grew up in poverty. 30% is a lot, but not really supporting my case.

https://www.espn.com/espn/story/_/id/6777581/importance-athlete-background-making-nba

 

So I don’t know 🤷🏻‍♂️ 

I genuinely don't think it’s a problem that there aren’t many whites in the NBA. I am very much a believer that those that are best should get in regardless of whether there is unequal representation.

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2 hours ago, Fether said:

I genuinely don't think it’s a problem that there aren’t many whites in the NBA. I am very much a believer that those that are best should get in regardless of whether there is unequal representation.

To me it's not so much a problem either but rather a prime example of how cultural influences affect our way of thinking.  I'm convinced that white American basketball players have trouble competing on the collegiate and pro levels largely because of false cultural beliefs giving credit to theories like black players being naturally physically superior to white players.  

Edited by clbent04

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14 hours ago, clbent04 said:

Side note - the last white-American NBA superstar to play the game was John Stockton. He retired in 2003. Some argue it was Larry Bird (retired in 1992).

Chris "Birdman" Andersen played in the NBA until 2017.

I agree with the idea that there are social/economical factors behind the racial divide in the NBA.

But I wouldn't rule out genetics either.

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The more "elite" someone is, the more likely they are to claim that professional wrestling is the province of "white trash". 

In reality, however, professional wrestling is one of the most diverse sports going right now. Not only is it popular in the United States, where you currently have wrestlers of all races and ethnic backgrounds and several top wrestlers are or have been in interracial marriages, it's also incredibly popular in Canada, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, and Mexico.

It's very common to see wrestlers from one country work for a promotion in another country, and in fact right now the big thing in the industry is the "Forbidden Door", an official talent-sharing arrangement between All Elite Wrestling (US), Impact! Wrestling (US), New Japan Pro Wrestling (Japan), Stardom (Japan), National Wrestling Alliance (US / Canada), and AAA (Mexico). A wrestler signed to one promotion could hypothetically wrestle with most of these promotions (Stardom is all-female) if they become popular enough, and in fact All Elite Wrestling routinely features wrestlers *from* Japan as travel restrictions permit. 

So yeah... perhaps the most diverse sport in the world right now is the one that most people presume only one race are fans of. 

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49 minutes ago, Ironhold said:

right now the big thing in the industry is the "Forbidden Door"

That’s happened since the 90’s when The Great Muta was loaned from Japan to WCW for C-listers. 😉

Edited by LDSGator

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1 hour ago, LDSGator said:

That’s happened since the 90’s when The Great Muta was loaned from Japan to WCW for C-listers. 😉

The WWE mandates that all talent under contract wrestle exclusively for them, with contracts actually including non-compete clauses to prevent anyone from immediately turning around and joining another promotion; it's 30 days for the people you see on NXT and NXT UK, and 90 days for the people you see on Smackdown and Raw. 

In fact, up until last year they were actively keeping talent bottled up by having them under contract, even if they weren't using them, to keep other promotions from having them. 

With the WWE being so large and so dominant, this basically meant that if you wanted to hit the "big time" in wrestling, it was all or nothing. 

The "Forbidden Door" is the exact opposite of this, and officially cements the arrangements that AEW was allowing their talent to have with other promotions. This allows talent who are being under-utilized in AEW to take work elsewhere until their fortunes improve, and also allows talent still under contract in other promotions to finish out their contracts. 

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9 hours ago, clbent04 said:

 I'm convinced that white American basketball players have trouble competing on the collegiate and pro levels largely because of false cultural beliefs giving credit to theories like black players being naturally physically superior to white players.  

I think I remember watching a documentary about this many years ago. I think it was called White Men Can't Jump. :) 

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I am a basketball player. It is my sport. I played high school ball in California. Although I understand the notion you are bringing up with culture, having played against a plethora of players of all races my brothers who are black are much more genetically talented. Speaking on the average, not the top, they jump higher. They are quicker and harder to guard.

There were outstanding Caucasian, Latino, and Asian players. They were few and far between. When I traveled in high school tournaments throughout California, it was rarely ever a Caucasian, Latino, or Asian player we were watching and astounded with playing. Again, there were some Caucasians, some Latinos, and some Asians that stood out. We had one in particularly everyone thought would go pro. He, as a freshmen, was averaging 20 to 30 points a game. He was 6'2" as a freshman and could jump. I never heard more about him after my mission. I have even looked him up to see what happened. As with many others his grades, he went to a lower division and because he was no longer pampered he dropped out.

I spoke once with a friend whose best friend was a college recruiter. He said something like this, "If the grades and education of many of the black players were higher, we wouldn't see any other race playing football (except for your Polynesians and well QBs) in the Pros." He said you wouldn't believe the talent of these young black adults, but are rejected solely because they only know sports. So, in that @Fether makes a valid point about culture. They play ball everyday, all day. That was their aim -- to make the pros. But didn't realize the chance of making to the pros without college is low with football.

As to European comparison, you have to realize the nations mentioned are predominantly white. If you look at their teams you don't see many people of any other race. In that sense, you will always have a standout in those countries who make it to the Olympics, and then at the Olympics they get seen. The problem in the US, is that the outstanding Caucasian player is seen against outstanding Black players, or other races, and on average the outstanding black player is usually a step ahead against the Caucasian player.

If I had vision when I was younger, because I love basketball I would have moved to a Slovenian country, where mostly Caucasian, and then played basketball with them. I would have had a chance standing out against other players. At 5'9" though I would have had to work harder. Not many 5'9" Caucasians in pro basketball, but you do see some that are Black -- just an example.

Edited by Anddenex

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5 hours ago, Anddenex said:

I am a basketball player. It is my sport. I played high school ball in California. Although I understand the notion you are bringing up with culture, having played against a plethora of players of all races my brothers who are black are much more genetically talented. Speaking on the average, not the top, they jump higher. They are quicker and harder to guard.

I appreciate your personal experience, but the genetics argument doesn’t make sense to me.

Science has never proven that one race is physically stronger or has a greater ability to develop things things like dexterity, agility, and quickness. 

Do you think a lot of these black players just spent more time honing their craft?

Do white players dominant the NHL because they’re genetically superior to everyone else when it comes to hockey?

Think of professional body builders and competitive strongmen. I believe most to be white but have notably seen representation with most races aside from Asian and Middle Eastern. From how I see it, anyone who starts lifting weights gets stronger. 

Edited by clbent04

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1 hour ago, clbent04 said:

I appreciate your personal experience, but the genetics argument doesn’t make sense to me.

Science has never proven that one race is physically stronger or has a greater ability to develop things things like dexterity, agility, and quickness. 

It makes sense to me having seen a lot of different types of players, and at the same size the average Black person I played against were always more athletic than their Caucasian counterparts. I am speaking averages not your elite few.  The easiest example is jumping. On average if you take a Caucasian male who is 6'3" and a Black male who is 6'3" both playing the same sport. It is most likely the Caucasian is not able to dunk, or barely can dunk. The average Black male at 6'3" put the average Caucasian male to shame with jumping. Understand, at 5'9" in high school I was able to grab rim two hands, so I could jump, and at my high school we had a Black male who was 5'8" who could do a 360 and dunk. He was dunking in middle school (7th grade) at 5'5". I have never seen any other race have such an ability.

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Do you think a lot of these black players just spent more time honing their craft?

Both. If they have the genetics but not the willingness to hone their craft they won't perform. But if they have the genetics and hone their craft they have better performance than their counterparts. Example is Shaq. If I am remembering correctly, it was someone who saw the talent in Shaq, which made him believe it was possible. Due to this he began to hone his skills for a big man.

Quote

Do white players dominant the NHL because they’re genetically superior to everyone else when it comes to hockey?

They dominate because probably 90% that play hockey are Caucasian. Look at the Olympics with running from America. We know we have Caucasian runners who compete but how many have gone to the Olympics? Why is the short speed race dominated by Black males? We know the Olympic runners are training, working hard, and doing all they can to compete, but the race that dominates are Black males.

Here is a good example: At a 2010 meet, Lemaitre became the first white European or American to run 100 meters under 10 seconds. How many Black male runners have run the 100 meter in under 10 seconds? That is both training and genetics, or as Carl Lewis said -- which I partly agree with -- “The blacks, physically, are made better.” —Carl Lewis, nine-time Olympic gold medal winner in track and field.

Quote

Think of professional body builders and competitive strongmen. I believe most to be white but have notably seen representation with most races aside from Asian and Middle Eastern. From how I see it, anyone who starts lifting weights gets stronger. 

Professional body building champions is all genetics and hard work (and some steroids for some 😉 ). Genetics plays a role as to body makeup. What the chest looks like. How the chest develops and what shape. Biceps shape. Tricep shape. Back shape. My best friend in high school had one of the best tricep shapes I have ever seen. I was jealous. His genetic makeup, shape of muscles and tone, were better than mine. If we trained together, lifted weights together for competition. No matter how hard I would try I wouldn't beat him because of the genetics handed to him. His muscle definition and shape I wouldn't be able to compete against.

Edited by Anddenex

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1 hour ago, clbent04 said:

Think of professional body builders and competitive strongmen. I believe most to be white but have notably seen representation with most races aside from Asian and Middle Eastern. From how I see it, anyone who starts lifting weights gets stronger. 

Fun FYI:

Interesting documentary you might enjoy: 'Generation Iron 3'. Currently on Netflix if you have it. Goes into Body building around the world, specifically in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. 
The pinnacle of body building is the Mr. Olympia. The 2020 winner was Mamdouh Mohammed Hassan Elssbiay (lower center pic) from Egypt. Past winners have been from Lebanon and Cuba. 6 of the last 10 winners were Black.  Fun fact, the first winner ever was Larry Scott a member of the Church. 

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