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Daily Commentary for 2022-05-26

Why are None of the White NBA Stars from the US? by Mark D. Hauser

While watching the Lakers-Spurs series I was reminded of the fact that none of the best white NBA players are from the United States. It seems pretty clear that the 4 best white players in the league are: 2 time MVP Steve Nash (from Canada), last year's MVP Dick Nowitzki (Germany), this year's 6th Man of the Year winner Manu Ginobili (Argentina), and the Laker's budding star Pau Gasol (Spain). None of the top 4 are from the US: why is this?

There is no real pattern: 2 from Europe, 1 from South America, and 1 from North America. And black players (Kobe, Lebron, Chris Paul, Tracy McGrady, Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan (United Stated Virgin Islands), Amare Stoudemire, Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard, and Dwyane Wade to name a few), all from the US, still dominate the league (other than the players listed above). So, it is not because the rest of the world has completely caught up talent wise to the US. Why then?

I am not sure, but I have some theories. First of all, basketball is the second most popular sport in the world and is the most popular or the second most popular (more common because of soccer) sport in several countries (only 3rd most popular in the US). And the population in most of these countries is predominately white. And there are a lot more people in this world (6 billion) than there is inside the US (over 300 million). Hence, now that basketball has been popular for awhile in other countries, there are more whites outside the US playing basketball than inside the US. This has to part the reason; but, how much of the reason?

Perhaps, it is just temporary and some white stars from the US will break out in the next couple of years. (The 2008 College Player of the Year, Tyler Hansbrough, is white, although no seems to predicting that he will be a big star in the NBA. On the internet, there are too busy calling him overrated because he is white.) From a marketing stand point this would make the NBA happy, but I doubt they would admit it publicly. It was, after all, the emergence of Larry Bird (could he be more "white"?) (I think I am allowed to say that because I am white, but I am not sure these days) and his battles with Magic Johnson that saved the league from obscurity. Your thoughts?

RANDOM THOUGHTS: Who dresses Don Cherry (NHL analyst) and Craig Sager (TNT's NBA sideline reporter)? They both look like how a blind person would dress with advice from Liberace on acid. ... Anyone who thinks that they do not play defense in the NBA is: 1. flat-out (I thought I would stick in a sports/ESPN cliche in there) wrong and 2. not watching the NBA playoffs. And the teams that do play the best defense are playing in the Conference Finals (here is another free (what the heck it is a holiday) sports cliche for you: defense wins championships). ... It will be interesting to see if Sidney Crosby begins his championship legacy this year (which the NHL is dying for him to do), or the if the veteran Red Wings show the young Penguins that they are not quite ready. Whatever happens this year -- I doubt that this will the last time that we see such a talented player as Crosby in the Stanley Cup Finals.

PREDICTIONS: Kobe is playing too well -- Jordanesque at times -- look for the Lakers to win the NBA Championship.


  • Before you get too confident in Sydney Crosby making the final year after year, remember that Jaromir Jagr only made it his first two seasons and those were the only years that Mario made it. While Pittsburgh has the top talent (Malkin and Fleury) to go along with Crosby, it will be interesting to see whether they can hold the team together for long with the salary cap.
    Posted by andymuenz

Past Commentaries

My Favorite Three-Headed Monster To Win The NBA Championship is ... by Donald Chisholm, II
Baseball Doesn’t Have to Be Perfect by Sally Solomon
My Favorite Ranking Question and Why by Mark D. Hauser
Why are None of the White NBA Stars from the US? by Mark D. Hauser
No Bite for Tiger in U.S. Open by Joe Miegoc
The Emergence of the Terrific Trio by Chris Marlow
Baseball in DC a Disaster by Steven Lienert

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