June 28, 2005

The Problem of Manu's Skin.: David Stern is doing his best to "globalize" the game. But some players aren't too happy about it.
via kottke

posted by lilnemo to basketball at 11:33 AM - 29 comments

This kind of logic is terrible. Why does it have to be because of Manu's skin that he is not being respected? Why can't it be his country of origin? Or more likely, is it because Stern is constantly pimpin' the foreign players? I get so tired of hearing about the anti-white bias. There are studies available that discuss just the opposite -- how white players of similar statistical performances make more money, how white players are able to serve as bench warmers at a greater rate. There is just no evidence to support this so-called white bias.

posted by bperk at 12:05 PM on June 28, 2005

I lay some blame at the feet of Stern who, until it was no longer financially beneficial, sold the league as a 'black league' : max out one market, move onto the next.

posted by garfield at 12:13 PM on June 28, 2005

bperk my thoughts exactly.those studies are all a bunch of crap,who even waistes their time thinking of this shit?

posted by HOE.O.K. at 12:15 PM on June 28, 2005

Why can't it be his country of origin? It is about his country of origin. But why is that any different than the color of his skin? This article never mentions money. It's about respect amongst your peers:

"If he was an inner-city kid, if Manu Ginobili was from Chicago or New York, and he was bringing the game like he's bringing it now, all the players in the league would say, 'Manu is the truth.' Instead they say, 'He throws his arms, he flails.' Every series in the playoffs this year, it's been that way. Denver did not want to give him credit in the first round. Seattle, same thing. Now Detroit."

posted by lilnemo at 12:17 PM on June 28, 2005

There is just no evidence to support this so-called white bias.

"I sat in the room a couple years ago when Kenny Smith addressed the incoming rookie class during the NBA's training session. The room included dozens of European players. But Kenny only spoke to the black Americans, and he more or less told them that foreign players were getting their jobs because they brought new fans, and increased revenues to the teams and the league. "The foreigners admitted to being taken aback. Jiri Welsch piped up in front of everyone, as did Bostjan Nachbar. "To their credit, even most of the American players thought Kenny was full of it."

posted by yerfatma at 12:47 PM on June 28, 2005

During ESPN's pre-draft coverage last night Jay Bilas asked Greg Anthony (and I am paraphrasing), that if the Age Limit is so detrimental to kids in the inner city (Anthony's phrase), and the NBAPA is composed of mostly guys who grew up in the inner city, how is it that the CBA was allowed to go through? Anthony stated that the deal was signed to ensure that there would be a season, and not necessarily because players liked the deal. How exactly is Stern to blame in that one? I'm sorry, Greg but guess what? The age limit will affect the kid in the Balkans, as well as the kid in Lima, Peru or Shanghai because they too will have to wait that extra year, and they will need that money just as bad. As if Stephen A. Smith, Greg Anthony, and Tim Legler opening their mouths about how Manu/Yao/etc. aren't as tough/good/demonstrative as Shaq/Kobe/TMac because of "where they're from" isn't enough.

posted by lilnemo at 01:08 PM on June 28, 2005

Old biases die hard, xenophobia is all around us. "The French," Brent Barry said, walking off the floor as he shook his head. "What is it with the French?" Obviously Brent hasn't spent much time listening to Rush Limbaugh or watching "the most trusted name in fair & balanced news" Bill O'Reilly, 'cos if he had, then he'd have all the evidence he needs to know that French are cowards, a bunch of "cheese eating surrender monkeys" too afraid to take up arms and march lockstep behind Our Savior Lord Bush. Pass the Freedom Fries s'il vous plait. Our culture too easily stereotypes and denigrates "the other," and we laugh about it - Har-har!! And it's not just color or race, it's something deeper. To a paleo like Don Cherry, a Swede hockey player isn't a Swede hockey player. He's dismissed out-of-hand as a "Chicken Swede." It may take years, but you will surely see more international players in the NBA and the Parker's and Ginobli's of today will be the pioneers for tomorrows generation, and by then, their participation will be accepted as second-nature, just as surely as Greg Lemond and Lance Armstrong have made Europeans accept that Americans are just as capable of riding bicycles up hills as they are.

posted by the red terror at 01:38 PM on June 28, 2005

I blame the whole "white people can't play" stereotype on Kurt Rambis.

posted by smithnyiu at 01:55 PM on June 28, 2005

Really? I always blamed Danny Ferry. He was a 2nd overall.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 02:50 PM on June 28, 2005

Good call Weedy, but Kurt's 1.7 ppg vs Danny's 1.9 is hard to overlook. But their combined .0000000002 rebounds is truly a white stat.

posted by smithnyiu at 02:56 PM on June 28, 2005

My gut tells me that this is the same thing hockey went through 10-15 years ago. Now the two most storied teams in Canada are captained by a Swede and a Finn. No biggie.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 03:12 PM on June 28, 2005

Dude. Two words. Uwe Blab.

posted by lilnemo at 03:39 PM on June 28, 2005

To me it's not so much the impression that "white men can't play" -- 'cos whatever you think about Kurt Rambis looking like the 4th Hansen Brother, an awkward looking hillbilly named Larry Bird ripped that myth to shreds -- but rather that foreigners can't play the game, as if they are culturally incapable of footing it with Americans born and bred into the game. But a global game it has become, and basketball scouts would be foolish to ignore overseas talent for the same reasons that a baseball scout would be negligent if he dismissed Caribbean and Japanese players. Spurs fans aren't upset about foreign players. I suspect if more foreign players help lift other teams to NBA championships, other fans and teammates won't mind either. As Weedy says, you didn't see too many Red Wing fans upset about Russians with names they could barely pronounce.

posted by the red terror at 03:47 PM on June 28, 2005

sp. H-a-n-s-o-n Brothers. (You guys remember them, right? Well, Kurt Rambis looked like a genetic clone.)

posted by the red terror at 03:49 PM on June 28, 2005

H-a-n-s-o-n Brothers. (You guys remember them, right?...) Who could forget. Slapshot. Great call.

posted by smithnyiu at 03:55 PM on June 28, 2005

I think the NBA has race problems in more than one direction. Black American athletes and reporters giving short shrift to white foreign players, white reporters exaggerating the accomplishments of white players, black reporters being too chummy with black players, white fans buying into lame stereotypes about black players, and on and on. I hope it's just growing pains. This is a great time to follow the league. I could care less about the race and nationality of individual players.

posted by rcade at 04:39 PM on June 28, 2005

Basketball is not a black man's game. But basketball has traditionally been a form of black cultural expression, if that makes sense. For a long time, the two co-existed fairly well, with some of the game's great innovators coming from the playgrounds. But, in my opinion, the gap between the cultural expression of playground basketball and the micro-managed, high-stakes-economics version of the pro(/college) game has widened dramatically over the past 5-7 years. Put another way, the AND1 version of basketball, for all its merits as a form of cultural expression, has done as much "damage" to the economic hopes of black basketball players as any influx of international players or CBA-imposed age floor will ever do.

posted by smithers at 05:40 PM on June 28, 2005

its the same old shit....America now has had a double racial standard for years...You have Black Spring Break,Miss Black America and on and on...Its not just sports!! I quit watching basketball years ago,for this reason..If the vast majority of pro players did'nt have getto ball to fall back on they'd be in prison or selling crack.

posted by maclmn at 05:53 PM on June 28, 2005

If the vast majority of pro players did'nt have getto ball to fall back on they'd be in prison or selling crack. Can't ya just feel the love all around...

posted by Texan_lost_in_NY at 06:15 PM on June 28, 2005

man, what a buzzkiller maclmn. I hope they get a black nascar driver soon so I can see your head explode.

posted by smithnyiu at 06:35 PM on June 28, 2005

If the vast majority of pro players did'nt have getto ball to fall back on they'd be in prison or selling crack. If the vast majority of white golfers didn't have the public links to fall back on, they'd be in trailer parks or committing corporate fraud.

posted by grum@work at 07:11 PM on June 28, 2005

"This is a great time to follow the league" I just don't see how. It's a mow-down-everyone-in-the-lane, run-over-the-opposition game. If I wanted to see that, I'd watch the NFL. Which I don't. Want to see basketball surge in popularity? Start calling charging fouls and travelling again. The product the NBA is putting out there isn't basketball any more. This comment brought to you by the "You whippersnappers get off my lawn" contingent.

posted by mr_crash_davis at 08:08 PM on June 28, 2005

I completely agree with rcade, in the sense that its the talent of the individual players, not their race. If Im an owner I dont give a shit where my player comes from as long as hes got game, and can produce. Its funny how all of these american corporations out source our asses, and move to 3rd world countries to pay them peanuts, so they can pocket more profit. To me thats a real world problem, this situation with foreign players is harmless.

posted by Rage Rod 74 at 10:23 PM on June 28, 2005

Hey crash, Didnt you watch the finals. Guess not. There was plenty of charging and traveling calls, shit too many calls at times.

posted by Rage Rod 74 at 10:25 PM on June 28, 2005

You can "globalize" american jobs, but not a game. That dont make any sense.

posted by Rage Rod 74 at 10:28 PM on June 28, 2005

It's what, ten months since the Athens Olympics? How soon we forget. Anyway, I find it slightly ironic that many of those inner-city kids have a somewhat cushier passage into the professional league during their formative years than those who don't benefit from hefty scholarships. Why does it have to be because of Manu's skin that he is not being respected? Why can't it be his country of origin? It's pronounced 'Tur-nee Pah-quer'.

posted by etagloh at 03:26 AM on June 29, 2005

"This is a great time to follow the league" I beg to differ. I've been a fan for 30 years -- I can remember when NBA Championship Finals between the Lakers and Sixers -- a FINAL ferchristsakes -- featuring legendary marquee names like Kareem and Dr. J -- were tape-delayed for broadcast at midnight on CBS. They didn't even show the FINAL live on TV! There was no internet back then to track scoring, so if you were a fan on the East Coast you were obliged to dial in a distant Philadelphia radio station to listen to the game played live, and then watch it hours later on TV. But where the hype and technology has promoted the game better than ever, I can say right now that the game has never been worse. (And don't get me started about the 3-point line. Grrrr!)

posted by the red terror at 01:08 PM on June 29, 2005

Well, Manu was on the Argentinian Olympic Team that officially ended Team USA's (somewhat sad) quest for gold in Athens. Perhaps that's it. Or, it's because we don't have a lot of white guys to root for right now, what with the NHL ceasing and desisting. Hey, look, an ungainly semi-white guy succeding at professional sports...against a buncha black guys! Wow, this is cool!

posted by The_Black_Hand at 10:09 PM on June 29, 2005

"Hey crash, Didnt you watch the finals." I think I saw about 35 seconds of game 6. It's just not interesting to me any more, as I thought I'd pointed out.

posted by mr_crash_davis at 06:03 PM on June 30, 2005

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