Dearth of White Americans in the NBA
Outside the Lines (Sunday, 9 a.m. ET, ESPN)
The Sporting Life with Jeremy Schaap (Friday, Dec. 11, 10 p.m., ESPN Radio)
While he had hopes for an NBA career, and thought he had a chance of going in the second round, Notre Dame point guard Kyle McAlarney went undrafted. He says he didn’t a get a chance to prove himself in the NBA, due in part to the stigma attached to being a white American. Today, white American players are less visible, and arguably less prominent, than at any time in the NBA’s 63-year history. Just 10 percent of NBA players are white Americans, while 73 percent of the players in the league are African American, and 17 percent are from foreign countries. Outside the Lines’ Mark Schwarz reports.
Facts in Sunday’s OTL piece:
- There has not been a white American NBA All-Star since Brad Miller in 2004.
- No white American has been selected to start an All-Star Game since John Stockton in 1997.
- In 1986, both Larry Bird and Kiki Vandeweghe were among the League’s top five scorers. Last season just two white Americans — the Knicks’ David Lee and Indiana’s Troy Murphy — finished among the top 100 in scoring.
Mark Schwarz: “Who is the best U.S.-born white player in the NBA right now?”
Jerry West: “Gosh, I didn’t know we even had any. You’d have to help me with that one.”
“I don’t necessarily agree that I’m ‘too slow.’ I’m not slow at all. I just think that’s a perception, that’s a label I’ve been given.” — Kyle McAlarney
Schwarz: “How much of a stigma is that for the white American player, that he doesn’t have what it takes to defend in today’s NBA?”
Wayne Embry (five-time NBA All-Star): “I think that’s big. I think that’s huge.”
For most of his career at Florida, Tim Tebow has worn several simple rubber bracelets on his wrists. In the past few years, he has received hundreds of requests from people asking that he wear a certain bracelet to carry a certain message. Tom Rinaldi tells the story of one such bracelet Tebow wore through his senior season, in honor of a football player he never met: 15-year-old Taylor Haugen. Taylor, a Florida high school student, died from injures he suffered in a football game last year. Since the day he received the bracelet, Tebow has never taken it off — keeping a connection with a boy who dreamed of one day being a Gator himself.
“I was affected by the people that he affected his whole life. Even though he was 15, even though he didn’t have all the accolades in the world, he still left a legacy, and he still challenged me to this day to leave a legacy like he did.” — Tim Tebow, on Taylor Haugen
The Panteras de San Fernando is the only one of the 22 teams in the AA youth conference of the American Football League of Mexico State — better known as FADEMAC – to play all its games on its home field. Those games are played inside the walls of the Comunidad para Adolsecentes de San Fernando, home for the team players and other youngsters who are considered incorrigible and violent. The team is part of a program attempting to teach juvenile delinquents civility and discipline through sport. Visiting teams have lost their initial fear of facing rivals stigmatized as violent and dangerous, and to date each game has been an example of sportsmanship and solidarity. In this, their first season, they have won so much more than games.
Quiet Colston is Saints’ Bargain-Basement Star
ESPN.com (Anna Katherine’s piece is posted now)
Marques Colston, not picked in the NFL Draft until the seventh round by the New Orleans Saints, is profiled in this ESPN.com piece. Against the Patriots this past Monday, the 6-foot-5 wide receiver recorded his 13th career 100-yard game – good enough to make him third in Saints franchise history.