Thursday, December 17, 2009

Is The NBA Discriminating Against White Players?!?

Despite being a bigtime sports fan, I don't watch ESPN much anymore. While I used to tune in 24/7, I can't tolerate the foolishness anymore, and prefer to get my sports via the net. ESPN is a lot like listening to Power/Kiss/Hot urban radio stations. Their sports shows are ultra sensationalized, and so highlight driven that you'll find yourself thinking certain players are much better than they actually are. In classic ESPN fashion, their 30 second game recaps will show you one guy on the winning team dunking 3 times, but neglect to tell you the guy only scored 6 points in the entire game. Losers get no highlights at all. What part of the game is that?

I'll give them credit in recent years for branching out into fullblown investigative sports journalism with semi-credible shows like E:60 and Outside The Lines. But this latest episode, well, this was some ole' bullsh*t. That's about as nicely as I can put it. Peep how ESPN creates a controversy where none exists, by examining the plight of the white American collegiate player trying to make it to the pros.

Bullcrap. This clip paints this McAlarney guy as a victim. A solid (but unspectacular) college player who is being discriminated against by the predominately white front offices of 30 NBA teams who are passing him over for black guys.

Cry me a freakin' river.

Sports is the ultimate meritocracy. If you're good enough, and can keep your nose clean, someone will give you a job. It's not like this is a casino; it has nothing to do with luck. McAlarney is 5-11, was a lousy college defender, and is really just a one trick pony (shooting). Any guy that height with limited athleticism is going to need some to show some point guard instincts, and McAlarney didn't even play the point in college. He is the consummate example of a good college player without the skillset needed for the NBA, and he's the exact sort of player (an undersized shooting guard) that has the hardest time making the league simply because there are so many similiar players in the NCAA. It was no shock that he didn't get drafted or make a team, especially considering the fact that he was busted for drug possession and kicked out of school at one point. After pulling this stunt, it will indeed be a shock if he ever gets a call up. Enjoy the D-League, buddy. It's gonna be awhile.

I can't really figure out the point of this story. When similar examinations of the lack of minority players in Major League Baseball are discussed, it's usually in the form of black kids not having access to baseball fields in the inner city, and a lack of little league programs that cultivate such talent. Basketball, by comparison, is hardly a sport that presents such obstacles. If you're good, you'll be found. So, I really, really, just don't get the point ESPN is trying to make here.

Few will doubt that having more than a scant 10% of American born white players in the NBA would be better for business. I've yet to see a team where the token white guys (yes, this form of affirmative action still exists. Brian Scalabrine, anyone?) weren't all fan favorites. If anything, ESPN might want to do a special on how mediocre foreign born white players are taking up roster spots that these same American born whites used to get. But insinuating that the NBA is systematically oppressing the hoop dreams of undersized, unathletic white shooting guards is just stoopid.

And that's why I don't watch ESPN.

Question: Was McAlarney discriminated against, or is he simply not good enough for the NBA? Does the NBA need more white guys to make the product more attractive to middle America, or do racial quotas have no business in the sports world?

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