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NBA, race, Rockets

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by NewAge, Nov 3, 2013.

  1. NewAge

    NewAge Member

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    Seeing some of the Lin controversies here - unquestionably with some racial undertones - made me think how the NBA has changed over the years I have been following it. So here are my thoughts; as a disclaimer, I am white, but have scientific training, so by nature try to be observant and impartial.

    In the early 90s the NBA was game for black players coached by white men. It just was. It was shocking how few if any black coaches there were at the time. Was there some prejudice going on among organisations? Was the ugly "black men are stupid" stereotype at play? Maybe some of it, there may have been other factors as well. In any case, the league has evolved a LOT in getting black coaches the opportunity to coach.

    As for players, the NBA game was much more different than FIBA and NCAA back then. To a large degree it was much more like an individual sport, designed to highlight the athletic abilities of its star players. The illegal defense rules put a huge premium on one-on-one abilities, which was more similar to the style of play in the black neighbourhood's playgrounds. Black kids, who didn't have good access to organized activities and good coaches early on, were learning the game as a one-on-one sport.

    At the same time, in the late seventies and early eighties, I don't think that many athletic white boys were drawn to hoops, unlike their black peers. The money and the popularity of the NBA game was not as high as football and baseball back then, so that in the early 90s there was just no supply of athletic white players to come to the league. "White stiffs" were common to the point that it became a stereotype.

    One thing which I had noticed going on for many years, and which bothered me a lot, was that most teams were filling their 8-12 roster spots with token white guys. Rockets were very consistent in that regard. We have had an inordinate number of Petruskas, Zan Tabaks, Serge Zwikers, Ryan Bowens, Dan Langhis, Scott Brookses, etc... I was convinced that it was a marketing ploy, it gave many white fans the white favourites to root for. And it was working. A large number of calls to the radio shows, posts on the USENET group back then, and yes here at Clutchfans were about how Scotty Brooks was giving it 110%, b****ing of why we wouldn't play Langhi, who averaged 28ppg in summer league etc...
    Perhaps the most egregious example was Boki Nachbar, on whom half the CF had a serious man-crush. I thought at the time it was a huge mistake not to draft Tayshawn and that was probably racially motivated...

    What happened next was that the playground-ball was taken to the extreme with the Francis-Marbury-Iverson generation, that the league decided to change the rules and allow more team-oriented gameplay. That led to things like Steve Nash winning back-to-back MVPs, which was unthinkable in the 90s.

    At the same time athletic white men were starting to come to the League, which also led to Brent Barry winning the dunk contest at the All Star weekend.

    As the country has grown more diverse and more tolerant, I think nowadays NBA is a much better place, where all races and nationalities have equal opportunities to become star coaches and players; much less prejudice and stereotyping.

    The current Rockets are a very unique example of a team with black, white, Asian-American and Hispanic-America players, in addition to international players as well. That has never happened before. Good times.
     
  2. mr. 13 in 33

    mr. 13 in 33 Member

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    This belongs in the D&D not the GARM
     
  3. RiceDaddy7

    RiceDaddy7 Member

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    Good points, but I think you missed an important one:

    We're still lacking black owners. Granted, there aren't many wealthy black people short of Oprah, but I'd like to see more diversity in ownership...and this is beyond race. I'd like to see younger owners like Cuban (I know he's not "young", but he is comparing to a lot of owners).

    Also, as an Asian-American, Yao Ming did nothing for me...at least, not as much as Jeremy Lin did. They are two very different groups of people. I was far more excited about Jeremy than I was with Yao.
     
  4. Rockets2K

    Rockets2K Clutch Crew

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    Game Action And Roster Moves

    GARM

    Subjects allowed are just what the name of the forum says.

    Anything else does not go in here.

    Race topics go n the Debate and Discussion (D&D) forum
     
  5. plutoblue11

    plutoblue11 Member

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    As a black-American woman who is also a Rockets fan, Yao Ming did alot for me, he was a breath of fresh air, a great person, very worldy, charitable/giving, friendly, and a kick-ass basketball player who may have been the last great NBA center.

    Jeremy Lin ... mmmm... he's a good basketball talent and very competitive player, but he's more or less average. Though, I understand and very much respect your prospective wholeheartedly, because Lin is breaking barriers in many ways.

    I hate to say this, but alot of black-American athletes (not all or most) are disgraceful to watch on and off-the court/field...they come off as very ignorant, selfish, uncultured, lazy, unfriendly, overly decadent, overly materialistic, and often take things for granted . . . it's kind of disheartening to watch at times, especially when you realize in most professional sport leagues with predominately black/American athletes tend to have higher rates of players who are completely destitute, bankrupt, broke, and possibly disabled two to five years after retirement. After 2-15 years of making it rain in the club and on main street, you are making your way towards your local labor department ... should not be happening.

    Look at Terrell Owens, Mike Tyson (a few years ago), JR Smith (past, present, and probably future), Gilbert Arenas, Lamar Odom (that situation is saddening), Chris McCallister (who is allegedly back at home with his parents), Andre Rison, Kobe Bryant, Floyd Mayweather, Antoine Walker, and to a point Dwight Howard (still not a fan on his). Even Kobe has an unlikeable disposition .... it's hard to root for some these players.
     
  6. NewAge

    NewAge Member

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    What a great post! Shows how a fan can look objectively at players' personalities, without racial self-identification blurring their mind. As you say, it is understandable for our Asian friends to lose their objectivity, given the barriers he is breaking. But I hope they can grow out of it.

    Don't get me wrong, he's a great kid, very bright, good first step, good linear speed. But at the same time, I want to be able to say things like for example, that he has the worst lateral quickness of any Rockets PG since Matt Maloney, without this being taken as a personal assault by many of his fans...
     
  7. bigtexxx

    bigtexxx Member

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    How old are you, NewAge? Your OP is full of simplistic stereotypes and frankly juvenile assumptions (e.g., the NBA was racist because there weren't many black coaches).
     
  8. TexanCowgirl

    TexanCowgirl Member

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    Why won't you say "we're still lack of Asian owners", you self hatered bum? You think you're better the the FOBs?
     
  9. NewAge

    NewAge Member

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    Oh, no doubt about it! How many black coaches were there in 1991 and how many are there now? Black coaches were just not given the opportunity back then.

    You're right that things are always more complicated, but at first approximation that was the case.

    I am old years-wise, but young at heart :)
     
  10. Angkor Wat

    Angkor Wat Member

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    No way, 7'6 center with actual skills? It's rare we will ever see that again, regardless of race. Yao had to overcome so much being from a completely different part of the world. Everything thrown at him at once.
     
  11. bongman

    bongman Member

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    New age, have you factored in the globalization of this product called NBA? From a lot interviews I heard of European players, the Dream Team had a big impact on them and got them started playing BB. Olajuwon and Mutombo is one of the reasons we are starting to see more African born players in Europe and the NBA.

    Not sure if I agree with the "white token" label. For example, Ryan Bowen was not a household name but got playing time due to his tenacity and hustle. Brookes had a high BB IQ and was very good at running the team.
     
  12. rimrocker

    rimrocker Member

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    The OP, while earnest, has some substantial issues. I'll just address a couple.

    In the 90's we had guys like Price, Majerle, Mullin, Hornacek, Skiles, Barry, Chapman, Petrovic, Chambers, Smits, Gugliotta, Harpring, and others. Hardly a roll call of stiffs... There's a 25 ppg scorer, a legit big man, a dunk champion, some high flyers, a HOFer who left us too early, an elite pg, and some very good wing players.

    The love for Boki came from his potential and his willingness to after Malone. I don't recall a great clamoring for him before the draft. That Prince turned out to have a better career may have been a good call by you, but there were legit concerns about him on draft day.
     
  13. plutoblue11

    plutoblue11 Member

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    I'm pulling this from J.R.'s post in the NFL Week 9 thread:



    A little off-topic, but is a part of my initial post. As individuals I really do not sympathize with these players when they go broke, regardless of their race or previous circumstances. I'm not against players having fun, playing pranks, or doing whatever ... it's unreal at the rate these guys end up broke in such stupid manner. That's one of the reason I can admire someone like a Yao Ming, Grant Hill, or Tim Duncan for not being just another balling knucklehead on the court or field.
     
  14. CometsWin

    CometsWin Breaker Breaker One Nine

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    There you go, keep those Asians in line. Nice job.
     
  15. KlutchQT

    KlutchQT Member

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    LOL. I can't.
     
  16. KingCheetah

    KingCheetah Member

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    Are you a marine biologist?
     
  17. JayGoogle

    JayGoogle Member

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    According to your link there, it's a problem in all three major american sports...it's not a black athlete problem...it is a athlete problem.

    Some of these athletes (the most talented ones) are so coddled and treated like celebs while growing up they never really learn about life. They know more about their sport than they do life.

    Basketball is the worse (I'm surprised the number is not higher) because if you are a prodigy people know it at age 15. Guys like Lebron, Oden, Wiggins now...the world is handed to them at such a young age.

    I think in a lot of ways they are like those kid celebs who always grow up to have problems it seems. The world is just handed to them at too young a age.
     
  18. amaru

    amaru Member

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    The fact that the particular men you mentioned are of African descent.....or "black-americans" has absolutely nothing to do with their behavior.

    It is dishonest and intellectually lazy of you to suggest so.....your qualifying statement about being a "black-american" woman doesn't change this.
     
  19. amaru

    amaru Member

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    LMFAO

    How do you define wealth?
     

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