May 18, 2007

White Americans only 6% of the NBA:

Slate has been running an email dialogue this week about the NBA playoffs between Paul Shirley, a 6'-10" 230 pound white guy who played bits of three seasons in the NBA and is now in the Spanish league, and Neal Pollack, who is, as far as I can tell, a writer who has watched NBA games on television.

Shirley writes:

The only guy [on the San Antonio Spurs] I find remotely interesting is Brent Barry. And while most of my affection for him is derived from his go-to-hell attitude and his unique skill set, I fear that some of it comes from his status as a white American in the NBA.

My previous sentence implied guilt. But should I feel guilty for rooting for a white American in the NBA, just because he's a white American in the NBA? Upon further review, I don't think I should. I think it's natural. A recent study reported that the NBA is 75 percent black and 19 percent foreign. They left out the remaining percentage. Six percent of the NBA is white Americans. We're like endangered gorillas, left to scratch our simple, blocky heads while our jungle is slashed and burned to make room for logging trails. It's hard not to feel sympathy for the gorillas. Especially if you're one of them.

I retract my statement of apprehension. It's okay for me to root for Brent Barry.


In an email entitled "Should We Care About How Many White Players Are in the NBA?", Pollack replies:


But what's with the obsession with white American players in the NBA? I realize that you are one, or have been one, and maybe I'm still hanging on to antiquated early–'90s notions of "cultural diversity," but I have to wonder why it matters. It strikes me that the one thing most NBA players have in common, other than incredible basketball skills, is that they're all rich, or at least relatively rich. I know that some of these guys came from tough backgrounds and that you stepped fully formed out of a Waltons reunion. But it's been my experience in life that class identification trumps racial or ethnic identification. Yes, if there were a 3-point-shooting Jew in the NBA, I'd probably pull for him a little harder. But a regular white guy? There are enough successful white guys in the world. They don't need our help.


Obviously, there are so many unsuccessful Jewish guys in the world that the tiny percentage of successful Jews needs to pull for them so the vast majority of downtrodden Jews stand some slight chance of making it in this world rigged against them. It's only simple moral logic. Anybody who can't follow this reasoning is either an idiot or an anti-Semite. It’s not ethnocentrism, it’s purely objective altruism toward the lower classes. Everybody knows that most Jews are working class folks living in walk-up tenements in the Lower East Side, while the goyim are typically polo playing snobs who dress like the man on the Monopoly box with a top hat and a monocle. Didn't you learn anything from your grandmother?



Unintimidated, Shirley fires back:


I just finished playing basketball for a team in the Spanish first division. Our games were a big deal—the first division in Spain is easily the second-best basketball league in the world. Despite the popularity of my team and of the league, coverage of Spanish-league games was often preceded by the latest news from the Memphis Grizzlies and the Toronto Raptors. The former employs Pau Gasol, while the latter pays both Jorge Garbajosa and Jose Calderon. People in Spain want to know how their countrymen are doing in a faraway land. A normal reaction, I think.

Similarly, when the average white American male tunes into TNT sometime between October and June, he would very much like to see another average white American male on the basketball court. Most of the time, he doesn't. But in the few situations that he does, he is going to root for that player. That's the way it is. We like to see people who look like us succeed.

It would be nice if we could all cop to this phenomenon. Most people won't admit that they do the same because they're afraid they will be vilified for their apparent ignorance. But such a reaction is not necessarily harmful; by cheering for the success of his comrade in pastiness, the viewer is not wishing that black players fail. He is doing the same thing as the Spaniard who cheers for Pau Gasol.

Of course, one rebuttal would be: Come on Paul, we're all American. Are black American culture and white American culture really that different? The answer would be: Yes, they are. And if you think they're not, you haven't been paying attention. Again, the differences are not a bad thing; in fact, they're probably a good thing. And the more we discuss them, the more understanding everyone will have.

As for me … again: 6 percent. My attempt to succeed in the world of basketball could be compared to the efforts of a 1970s-era black man in the world of bond-trading. White people are not supposed to be good at basketball. I've been reminded of that assumption hundreds of times in my career. The attitude most often displayed by black basketball players I've faced was very similar to the one you espoused at the end of your last turn, Neal: Your people have everything else. Just let us have this.

From age 12 on, my one goal was to be a really good basketball player. I didn't care about much else. Of course, I did other things—stupendously hokey things. You're right: It was a Walton-esque existence. I was in 4-H, I was a Boy Scout, I finished fifth in the Kansas State Spelling Bee. I even got a National Merit Scholarship. I'm probably the whitest person with whom you'll ever publicly exchange e-mails.

But none of those activities/pastimes/sexual obstacles ever brought me as much happiness as basketball did. As I got better, I found myself to be a minority on the court more and more often. And as the members of my race were whittled away, I quickly realized that I wasn't particularly welcome. When I was on defense, the other team would give the ball to whomever I was guarding and yell, "Take it to him. He can't guard you." They did that not because I am from a middle-class home, or because I grew up on a quasi-farm, but because I am white.

So, forgive me if I feel that I have a special kinship with the Brent Barrys of the world.

The remarkable decline of white Americans in the NBA is much less discussed/lamented in the media than the decline of black Americans in Major League Baseball (down from a high of 26% in 1974 to 8% today).

Non-American whites are doing better than ever in the NBA, with the last three MVP awards going to white foreigners (Canadian Steve Nash twice, and German Dirk Nowitzki this year). Apparently, whites do better in the NBA when they don't play against blacks growing up.

This decline in white Americans in the NBA is especially strange because it's not clear what else all those extremely tall white guys are doing. I would guess that white American fathers are giving up on basketball with its hip-hop culture and anti-white biases and are grooming their tall, athletic sons instead for:

- Playing quarterback. More than ever before, quarterbacks are the top of the sports heap. Today, "The Man" in American sports is either Peyton Manning or Tom Brady, and only Tiger Woods comes close.

-Baseball pitcher. Pitchers have been getting taller, with 6'-10" future Hall of Farmer Randy Johnson being the classic case of a white guy who would have been funneled into basketball in the 1960s simply due to his size. (There's some evidence that big league teams underrate short pitchers, but that just shows there's a prejudice today in favor of tall galoots.)

- Soccer goalie. Americans do better at goalie in European leagues than at other positions probably because our tall kids get more practice at other sports emphasizing eye-hand coordination than do foreigners who work on their eye-foot coordination in soccer year round.


My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

44 comments:

Dave said...

Sailer,

FYI, not every American Jew feels the way the way Neal Pollack does: when I used to watch the NBA, I would root for white American players too, just like Shirley does. A combination of factors conspired to make me stop watching the NBA, including: its move to the nether-regions of basic cable, the realization that so many players were mailing it in, the ridiculously long regular season and 7-game playoff series, the subjective nature of fouls, and the news that the Nets were moving to Brooklyn.

Good suppositions about where tall white athletes are headed. In addition to QB, there are also more tall whites at TE and T positions in football.

Sean said...

I think Shirley is slightly misplacing the bias of Spanish fans. I would imagine (although this is more conjecture than anything else) that Spaniards' close attention and adulation for their native sons in the NBA has less to do with any sort of racism or ethnocentrism and more to do with attachment to place.

I'm a young white guy who has played basketball all my life (no farther than high school organized) and I root for black players all the time. I have no special affinity for Dirk or Nash or Barry (Shirley liking him seems odd). Besides my home town team, the Rockets, I root for Houston natives like Seatles Supersonics forward Rashard Lewis and Charlotte Bobcats center Emeka Okafor. Likewise, I root for (the very few) graduates of Texas A&M who play in the NBA: Antoine Wright of the Nets and Acie Law IV who should be a lottery pick in this year's draft.

At least with those of my generation, this seems to be my experience. We root for those from where we are from, regardless of color. Whether this is any more crass than rooting for white guys or rooting for black guys, I cannot say. But I think Shirley's point is mistaken.

Anonymous said...

Yes, if there were a 3-point-shooting Jew in the NBA, I'd probably pull for him a little harder. But a regular white guy? There are enough successful white guys in the world. They don't need our help.

Classic stuff. Raw ethnocentric mentality on display here. That's really no reason for embarrassment unless you come from a group that hysterically and hypocritically denies any hint of ethnocentrism in whites.

The fact that the Jewish Pollack is face to face here with a "regular" white Shirley is hilarious and speaks volumes. Apparently, it's assumed by Pollack that all civilized white men (civilized means deracinated, of course) are assumed to be on his team in the great project of not helping the white guys of this world. After all, those are indeed the rules of our society, right?

Steve is right to point out yet another example of the Jewish anti-white bigotry that pervades the culture. It's an important phenomenon because it's one of the last forms of bigotry that goes largely unchallenged. Indeed it is accepted, practiced and even encouraged by the self-appointed cultural police.

From Adorno to Borat the cheap shots and defamation of American whites as a group (especially white males) is relentless.

Considering the historic Jewish role in the horrors of the Middle East and African slave trade, and Bolshevik Communism, and their enthusiastic role in apartheid South Africa, their zookeeper attitude towards Palestinians, their traditional role as pimps, pornographers, international mafiosa and high finance swindlers...the entire project of white demonization by Jews is just so much bullshit. So much projection. Giving the Jews as a group the moral high ground based on past behavior is to exit reality and enter bizarro world.

Actually, the headlines are continually full of Jewish crime stories which make them at least as suspect as "regular" whites if we're going to judge group behavior.

Here is a sampling of the current crop of perps:


Scooter Libby - convicted

Sandy Berger - convicted, forced to give up law license

Phil Abramoff - convicted

Paul Wolfowitz - disgraced

Boris Berezvosky - mafioso publicly threatens to violently overthrow elected and very popular Putin

George Soros - convicted previously of fraud and now publicly attempts to buy American elections outright

Bank of New York - convicted and previously paid many millions in damages for role in "Russian" fraud and is being sued for a lot more now.

Rabbi caught in MSNBC online underage sex sting - convicted

Girls Gone Wild pornographer - convicted

Phil Spector - on trial now for administering "accidental suicide"

AIPAC executives - go on trial in June for espionage

Anonymous said...

If any of this is true, then why does basketball remain popular and lucrative?

You would think that if people constituting 10% of the population were 75% of the participants in the game, and if the audience wants to see people like them succeed, then how could there be so much money in the league - in tickets and TV broadcasts - to pay these huge salaries?

It theoretically "shouldn't" exist...but it does. I don't get it.

Anonymous said...

neal pollack is a writer based in LA.

http://nealpollack.com/bio/

Anonymous said...

The simple fact is there is massive discrimination against all whites in the NBA. When all-black U.S. teams play all-white teams from Lithuania, Italy, Greece, Serbia, Croatia, Argentina and Germany, who wins? The U.S. is lucky to get third place in international basketball competitions. Yet who makes up 75% of the NBA?

Anonymous said...

Sean, have you ever seen a black person cheer for a white athlete against a black athlete in any sport?

Well neither have I.

TomV said...

We root for those from where we are from, regardless of color.

For most of human history, those who share a neighborhood also share a "color". The same psychology is at work. And Spanish sports fans have amply demonstrated that the latter factor matters to them. If some foreigners are more foreign than others, then some natives must be more native than others.

I have no special affinity for Dirk or Nash or Barry (Shirley liking him seems odd)

It's not so odd if you remember that Shirley identifies specifically with white American players, not just white ones. Because of the nationalistic component of his identity, he is less purely ethnocentric than Pollack, who would root for a "3-point-shooting Jew" regardless of his nationality.

PS I love Tom Wolfe's portrayal of Jojo at one point as the token white in Charlotte. Reverse angst for reverse affirmative action! I wonder if Shirley, Nash and others have ever had that kind of experience or feeling.

Anonymous said...

We root for those from where we are from, regardless of color. Whether this is any more crass than rooting for white guys or rooting for black guys, I cannot say. But I think Shirley's point is mistaken.
...


You're an extremely nice young man, Sean.

jody said...

sean is a completely normal. most young white americans dislike white basketball players and prefer black players. it has nothing to do with being colorblind. in fact it is quite color conscious. sean is right about one thing. people in his generation have been conditioned to dislike white athletes and root for black athletes.

no other race acts this way. paul shirley is on the money. any white guy who roots for other white guys in basketball faces derision.

one thing i wonder is when, if ever, immigrant groups will also earn the label of sucking at basketball and not being able to jump. despite the constant bashing they take for even daring to step on the court (how foolish of them to try to earn million dollar paychecks playing a game that they invented), white men are actually good at basketball, and can jump pretty high.

by 2030, when the majority of high schoolers are short, slow, weak immigrants and second generation immigrants who obviously cannot play basketball, cannot jump, and have not made it to the NBA, and after white teams from europe beat black teams from the US a few more times...

americans will still be yelling at their television about how much white guys suck at basketball. not a word about the millions and millions of mexicans who contribute nothing to the US basketball talent pool.

indians, asians, arabs, mexicans, they all completely suck at hoops and none of them can jump worth a damn. yet americans retain a deathgrip on the idea that whites simply cannot play basketball at all. it never crosses their mind to mobilize a talent pool 200 million strong to improve the overall level of the game, even after it is proven that whites can play at a high level. americans simply go back to worshipping blacks.

Ron Guhname said...

Pollack's logic seems to be that percentage of successful men in a group is irrelevant--only the total number is significant. Well I like to take convenient positions too: the prevalence of success is what matters, so since it is so high for Jews, why would we ever want to pull for them?

Anonymous said...

Really interesting posts above esp the last- wow. I would agree with Sean- I went to Maryland and have a strong affinity for their alums in the NBA errr maybe not alums but they went there. This may be age related. Pollack sounded really unlikeable.

jody said...

i could write about this topic for a while, but i kind of get tired of repeating the same stuff.

i only wanted to add that if it were a matter of place and not race, then why do white college basketball fans hate the white players on their own team so often?

you take a good white player in college basketball, and the hate that white americans often have for them is palpable. many white sportscasters and sportswriters can barely contain their contempt for the majority of white college players.

Anonymous said...

The really weird thing is that, when using pre-1970's officiating [or even pre-1990's officiating], white people can actually compete in the game of basketball.

That's why the USA national team regularly loses in international competition these days - without David Stern and his corrupt officiating crews, our players [i.e. our African-American superstars] aren't allowed to claw and scratch and hold and elbow and grind on defense, and, on offense, they aren't allowed to take 57 steps without dribbling on the way to a layup or a dunk.

And la voila - suddenly caucasian teams, like Serbia, or Argentina, are competitve with negroid teams.

Enforce the rules, and whites can compete. No rules, and you get jungle ball, like we have in the NBA nowadays [see especially Suns -vs- Spurs].

By the way, if anyone can fathom what David Stern thinks he's doing with the NBA and the demographics of its viewership & fanbase, then I'd love to know.

No white people among my acquaintances watch the NBA anymore, because they see it for what it is - a Vince McMahon-esque farce. And we all used to be NBA junkies.

I've heard people posit the theory that Stern has abandoned the American caucasian demographic in favor of the European & Chinese markets, but I'm dubious.

It seems to me that if the Europeans & Chinese see their stars get the same treatment that all non-African players seem to get [and I gotta wonder how the Canadians feel about what just happened to Steve Nash in the recently concluded series with the Spurs], then you've got to figure that eventually they'll change channels, just like we do now.

Again, if anyone knows how David Stern has stayed in power all these years, I'd like to know.

jody said...

i'm passionate about this issue. i can't stop posting.

here's another question. when will they decide to stop talking about minorities in sports and just say blacks. because there is no drive to get more mexicans into the NBA. mexican coaches have a representation of zero in the NBA. does the NBA actually think we know they are not talking strictly about blacks when it comes to "diversity" in the league?

this will become a real problem for the "diversity is strength" crowd. there are more mexicans than blacks, yet they excel at pretty much nothing, and will be underrepresented in almost every field.

and what is the goal of "diversity" in the NBA anyway? don't they really mean 100% black? if all players, referees, and coaches were black, that would be ideal diversity? not a single mexican, asian, indian, or arab of any prominance in the NBA. adding blacks and removing whites seems to be the only kind of diversification that the league understands. like most of america, it's race policy is stuck in 1970 and mexicans don't exist.

it's getting to be downright bizarre how mexicans only exist in policy decisions when they are important for some particular immigration issue. for a lot of political discussion it's as if there is no third race. people still have not registered the fact that there are more mexicans than blacks. perhaps this is simply a side effect of the pathological need that white americans feel to protect their precious blacks. the inability to acknowledge a different group has even completely undermined rushton's "sliding scale of racial attributes" yet academics in that field soldier on, oblivious to any evidence that several large groups of humans exist that do not fit their hypothesis. i have talked at length about how indians, indonesians, bangladeshis, and pakistanis completely contradict the sliding scale, to no avail.

also, there is strangely is no call for less white cheerleaders and more black ones. last post for now i promise.

aceflyer said...

Athletic ability is the reason blacks are in the majority. But the reason American whites are dwindling beyond the logical limit is because blacks have come to dominate the mindshare of the game at lower levels. Whites are better team players, but it's impossible to play that game when the majority of one's teammates is not committed to the same concept.

Part of the problem is that the David Stern regime has promoted individualism in its marketing. After 20 years of this hype, it has had an effect. Now we have the patently silly "And 1 Streetball" tour - an athletic event in which neither side is actually focused on winning. It's worth noting that when the NBA games get serious (final 3 rounds of the playoff), we see NONE of these corruptions. But many whites who could play in NBA playoff-style competition were already weeded out at a lower level by less disciplined teammates.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Every Steve comment touching on Jews brings out the anti-Semites.

No, there is no anti-White guy racism by Jews. For one thing Jews are far too divided. Bernie Goldberg is different than Steven Spielberg who is different than the Borat guy who is different than Noam Chomsky.

Want five opinions? Ask three Jews. A source of cultural strength and weakness.

Jews played almost no role in either the Atlantic or Arab slave trade. That was taken up by Brits, particularly those in Liverpool, or Arabs respectively. Jews had little role in South Africa, and were regularly persecuted by Uncle Joe Stalin (recall the "Doctor's Plot?")

Jews regularly suffer persecution and one "respectable" hatred is the anti-Western Left and the paleo Pat Buchanon Right uniting on their hatred of Jews.

What is hidden in the original post is the class origins of anti-White attitudes.

Elites signal their elite status by adopting anti-White attitudes, showing that like the Medieval Priesthood they are beyond Nationalism, ethno-Centrism, racial identity, and so on.

But they DO have an identity: a "hip, trendy, sophisticated" set of signifiers. Trader Joe's, NPR, Volvos, etc. The (ironically) mostly white elites are rather small in number but outsized in their control of media and government and corporate power. NBC built it's entertainment model on catering to them with shows like Friends, Seinfeld, and Frasier.

If you wanted a portrait of the new elite the character of Frasier would probably be it. Or maybe his brother. But most NBA fans are like the father character: white, working to middle class, proudly ethnic (Irish or Scots or German or Italian heritage), and not IMHO too happy about the total dominance by Blacks of the NBA.

What happens when a race or ethnic group or class group dominates a sport or set of industries is that they keep out others who are not in that group. It's ethnic nepotism and probably a strong evolutionary trait. You can see it in the Publishing, Theater/Broadway, and Hollywood environments where women and gays tend to dominate.

Of course the mostly white middle/working class NBA fans can find other sports. Football, even hockey where white guys predominate. If I were Stern I'd be worried.

Julio said...

Steve,

Was that you posting as Anonymous 2:08? He seems to have hit the drive you teed up for him.

Steve Sailer said...

No.

ricpic said...

"also, there is strangely is no call for less white cheerleaders and more black ones."


White Ass Rules!

SFG said...

Eh...I would say Jews do tend to make up most of the media portion of the white elite, but are simply an overrepresented minority of the remainder of it (banking, law, etc). As for anti-White attitudes, I would argue that's a function, as another poster said earlier, of a 'transnational' attitude among elites. Certainly there was a more ethno-nationalistic attitude among American elites in earlier years, but the old WASP elites didn't like white ethnics (non-Anglo-Saxons such as Irish, Germans, Italians) either.

The whole Jews and sports thing is interesting. One thing nobody's mentioned is that sports was one area where Jews never really made it, and males outside of the science fiction club still like to have sports heroes. So naturally any Jewish writer is going to root for the only Goldberg in the NBA. Playing sports is interesting in that it seems to advance individuals but not societies much; the charisma and energy of the ex-football jock help him succeed, but it doesn't seem to do much in the aggregate. The Chinese are five feet high, suck at sports, and I'll be very surprised if any of this keeps them from being a world power.

Dave said...

"Bank of New York - convicted and previously paid many millions in damages for role in "Russian" fraud and is being sued for a lot more now."

Bank of New York was founded 200 years ago by Alexander Hamilton, who wasn't Jewish. It's a publicly traded company now and isn't generally considered an especially Jewish institution.

"have you ever seen a black person cheer for a white athlete against a black athlete in any sport?"

In my predominantly black junior high school there was a black guy who was a Celtics fan when (if memory serves) 8 out of 12 men on the Celtics squad were white. He enjoyed being a contrarian.

"since it [the prevalence of success] is so high for Jews, why would we ever want to pull for them?"

Is Neal Pollack asking you to root for him to succeed as a writer? Would it matter if you did?

"if anyone can fathom what David Stern thinks he's doing with the NBA"

Seems everyone considered Stern a genius a few years ago, but when your league gets bounced to basic cable, you're doing something wrong. In defense of Stern re: officiating, he did suspend the black player who leveled Nash, didn't he? I no longer watch the NBA, but from the highlights I have seen, it does seem that most of the flagrant fouls I've seen have been committed by African American players on foreign white guys -- perhaps because those foreigners are less likely to physically retaliate.

"also, there is strangely is no call for less white cheerleaders"

Fewer white cheerleaders, Jody. Best to use "white" English when ranting about blacks, to avoid any unintentional irony.

"No, there is no anti-White guy racism by Jews... What is hidden in the original post is the class origins of anti-White attitudes.

...Elites signal their elite status by adopting anti-White attitudes"

True. There are, of course, Jews among these elites, but the common denominator is elitism, not Jewishness.

BTW, one bastion of these elite NBA fans IMO is Matthew Yglesias's blog. Yglesias is of course a Jew, but many of the commentators who make up his echo chamber don't appear to be.

"Yes, if there were a 3-point-shooting Jew in the NBA, I'd probably pull for him a little harder."

Since this is purely hypothetical (as far as I know), I'd be interested in Pollack's response to a sport that did have a sprinkling of Jews. From my perspective, as a football fan (NY Giants) who happens to be a Jew, I felt a tinge of ethnic pride, when Mike Rosenthal played tackle for the Giants, but when he was traded to the Vikings, I didn't stop being a Giants fan.

"Raw ethnocentric mentality on display here."

My guess (without knowing Pollack personally) is that his comment about the hypothetical Jewish 3-point shooter is meant less as a statement of his ethnocentrism than as a self-deprecating acknowledgment of the paucity of Jewish professional athletes. After all, if Pollack were consumed by a "raw ethnocentric mentality", why would he spend so much time watching NBA basketball? He could get another satellite dish and watch an Israeli basketball league, or spend time following a sport where Jews were better represented, like chess.

Anonymous said...

What's interesting is that even a role player like Luke Walton can get $5 million per year. So the $$$ opportunities in the NBA are quite high even if you're just a journeyman.

Yes individualism keeps out anyone who does not play street ball, which is pretty much black players who play pickup games as kids, or guys who deliberately change their style of play (Bryant was upper class European in background but deliberately adopted street ball play because it was popular).

Note how the old Magic Johnson Showtime Lakers morphed into "Black Hole" Bryants -- the ball goes in but never goes back out. Emphasis on assists, no-look passes, ball movement, and defense go out the window and only spectacular scoring matters. Long term this is killing the NBA as is the thuggery. Note how the NFL's new guy is trying to crack down on the thuggery because of the damage it can do.

My best guess for the near total lack of whites like Byrd or McHale at the top of the stars list and only 6% (nearly all journeymen) is that they are deliberately excluded by ethnic nepotism. That's the downside.

Stern is dreaming if he thinks he's going to make money in China. One thing the Chinese aristocracy is very good at is separating gullible Western investors from their money.

Ashish George said...

What's with all this whining about the NBA being so selfish? And what demonstrable "anti-white bias" does Sailer have in mind? For someone who is so skeptical of allegations of racism elsewhere, he sure is awfully credulous here. I wonder why that is...

Anonymous 6:24--
What are you talking about? Kobe Bryant, for example, is a regular on the All-Defensive Team. Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, Amare Stoudemire, and Shaq are all known as great defensive players. Adam Morrison (the NBA's latest Last Great White Hope), on the other hand, plays some of the worst defense imaginable, and his posture reminds me of someone out in left field who suspects he should be playing right.

How is the emphasis on individual stars killing the NBA in the long term? That claim requires some explanation.

The simple fact of the matter is that as individual players get better, individual games get more emphasis. Larry Bird was something special, but I would take Lebron, Kidd, Hamilton, Anthony, Iverson, Arenas, McGrady, or Deng over most of the slow-moving, unathletic heroes of decades past--and those guys weren't even NBA First Teamers!

And if you seriously think NBA teams are worse overall now, well, I doubt you even watch the NBA except through dusty Pleasantville glasses.

Ashish George said...

Anonymous 6:24--
Do you even watch the NBA? Kobe Bryant is a regular All-Defensive Team selection. And please explain how the emphasis on individual play is killing the NBA when fans are happy, players are happy, and, judging by NBA revenues, David Stern is happy.

Sailer--
For someone so skeptical of claims of racism, you sure are credulous here about a supposed anti-white bias. I wonder why that is...

JB Cash said...

I write about this all the time over at castefootball.us. Most of what I would add has already been said.

White self hate is a strong emotion. When whites want to hate somebody they do a hell of a job, even if it's themselves.

Regarding the lack of white Americans....think for a minute. The NBA is full of Croatians. Look at the tiny population of Croatia. Are the Croatians physically superior in some way to American whites? You would have to say no.

Yet there is a basketball program at every white high school in America. There are more white kids playing basketball in high school in any large state in America then in all of Croatia yet all of America cannot produce the numbers of white players that tiny Croatia does?

Recently John Amechi, the gay British/Nigerian basketball player received some publicity when he "came out". This guy sleep walked through several years in the NBA. He was NEVER any good. At any level. Yet he was given chance after chance to fail. But hundreds of US white players who excel in college don't even get the chance that loser did. Why is that? It's all about the cancer called diversity that has infected our society.

Also a couple of people have asked how the NBA expects to make money by alienating the white fan base. It's simple. The NBA, like all professional sports is nearly wholly financed by corporate interests.

Every stadium and arena (usually built at taxpayer expense) is pre-sold out by corporations that buy up the luxury suites and prime box seats. Thus they make money no matter how many fans but tickets. Since company seats are always give-aways you can always find people to go to a game free.

Advertising drives sports too. The tie-ins are everywhere, from every spare inch of arena space to each commercial break. The local media devotes full time non stop coverage to each team so the sports product itself does not have to be advertised.

The NHL draws as many fans as the NBA but which sport is more popular with the media? The NBA is "primetime" even though it can't generate any primetime TV revenue. The NHL is considered a second rate league, with the same revenue stream as the NBA.

Sports is sick in the same ways the rest of our society is. One would be naive to think otherwise. Unfortunately pro-sports has the ability to influence young minds in important ways. For that reason it is important to consider the implications of this issue.

fwood1 said...

On topic: After reading Steve's article and the comments, I'm glad that I couldn't care less about the NBA.

Off topic: Anon. from the 3:34 train wrote, "Want five opinions? Ask three Jews. A source of cultural strength and weakness." Actually, that statement is true for any group you plug-in in place of "Jews". Even "anti-Semites".

tommy said...

anonymous,

Considering the historic Jewish role in the horrors of the Middle East and African slave trade,

Jews in the States did not play a massive role in the African slave trade. The only major players were a few Sephardic Jews (about the only significant Jewish presence early America to speak of). The role of Jews in that trade has been greatly exaggerated by the Nation of Islam. The Sephardic Jews were more significant in the Caribbean and South America, but that is because they tended to have a long history of involvement in anything mercantile in the Mediterranean sphere.

As for the Mideast slave trade (I assume you are referring to East Africans enslaved by Arabs), I haven't heard anything about a significant Jewish presence, but I don't know much about that trade.

Jews did play a significant role as middlemen in the European slave trade, mostly involving Slavs, around the time of Charlemagne, but hey...

sfg,

The whole Jews and sports thing is interesting. One thing nobody's mentioned is that sports was one area where Jews never really made it, and males outside of the science fiction club still like to have sports heroes.

Of course, nobody has ever claimed Jews were exceptionally athletic. Still, in proportion to their small numbers, I wouldn't be surprised if they are better represented than some might imagine. Jewish and half-Jewish girls seem to be reasonably well-represented among world class figure skaters (and other ice skaters):

Sasha Cohen
Sarah Hughes
Jamie Silverstein
Amber Corwin
Cindy Bortz
Loren Galler-Rabinowitz
Melissa Gregory
Lily Kronberger
Irina Rodnina
Sarah Abitbol
Emelie Rotter


Given the fact that Jewish women seem to be heavily represented not only among western skaters, but also Eastern European ones, I'm not entirely certain that this can be chalked up to class either. I haven't checked into it, but I wouldn't be surprised if Jewish women are also well-represented in gymnastics.

Steve Sailer said...

There weren't many Jews in the slaves states in the U.S., so Jewish involvement with slavery in the U.S. was unimportant.

On the other hand, Sephardic Jews played a large role in the development of the sugar industry in the tropical New World. See Paul Johnson's "The History of the Jews." The sugar plantations were the great devourer of African slaves.

See http://www.blacksandjews.com/wash.post.html

The point, as always, is not that Jews were worse than everybody else, but that the contemporary assumption that Jews were always and everywhere merely passive victims is a myth.

Mark said...

There weren't many Jews in the slaves states in the U.S., so Jewish involvement with slavery in the U.S. was unimportant.

Jews haven't been much involved in agriculture in recent times, so that's not shocking. But quite a few Jews lived in the South as cotton merchants; the first two Jewish members of congress represented Southern states; and the Confederacy had a Jewish cabinet member.

The point, as always, is not that Jews were worse than everybody else, but that the contemporary assumption that Jews were always and everywhere merely passive victims is a myth.

In a society where everyone gets points for claiming to be the victim, that's an important point.

We can have a rational, truthful discussion about racial and ethnic prejudice, or we can we have the fanciful one dictated by the PC police.

The fanciful one tells you that it's always the fault of the whites. No hatred there (LOL.)

The rational one tells you that ethnic tensions often owe something to the actions and behavior of both ethnic groups.

The fanciful view tells you that anti-Semitism in Middle Ages Europe was caused by murderous white Christian bigots, and there's nothing more to know. The rational view helps you to understand that Jews, who were often tax farmers and who had a legal monopoly on moneylending (and who weren't bound down in
serfdom), were hated because they were owed lots of money.

The fanciful view tells you that whites "hate" blacks because they hate their skin color. The rational one tells you that white homeowners don't all put up "For Sale" signs when an equally dark Indian family moves into the neighborhood.

I prefer the rational discussion, and not only because the answer every time isn't to blame my race for everything bad that happens.

tommy said...

Steve,

The sugar plantations were the great devourer of African slaves.

Yeah, I don't think most people today have any sense of how incredibly savage and deadly slavery was in South America or the Caribbean. Brazil required a constant and enormous supply of labor to run the sugar plantations. Slaves there rarely lived long enough to reproduce. On the eve of the French Revolution, Haiti had a slave population numbering a full half-million and was not only France's most valuable overseas possession, but also the most valuable piece of real estate in the world.

The point, as always, is not that Jews were worse than everybody else, but that the contemporary assumption that Jews were always and everywhere merely passive victims is a myth.

Yes, I agree. There is this tendency among some Jews to make the worst out of everything that has ever happened to Jews even if reality is more of a mixed bag. The glass may be half-full, but some Jews act as though it were entirely empty!

Mark,

The fanciful view tells you that anti-Semitism in Middle Ages Europe was caused by murderous white Christian bigots, and there's nothing more to know. The rational view helps you to understand that Jews, who were often tax farmers and who had a legal monopoly on moneylending (and who weren't bound down in serfdom), were hated because they were owed lots of money.

That is true. All we usually ever hear about Jews during the Middle Ages is the persecution they faced. There is no doubt they experienced severe persecution and expulsion from time to time. On the other hand, on a day to day basis, Jews were living like the lesser nobility while perhaps eighty to ninety percent of the European population in any given country were peasants. Even factoring in all the persecution, how much do you want to bet that life expectancy among Jews was a lot higher than it was among serfs?

Anonymous said...

I wonder how Mr. Pollack would view it if blacks also began dominating athletic agency and management (which is overwhelmingly jewish) the same way they do NBA rosters.

Things like this not only depend on whose ox is being gored, but who sees themselves as owning the ox in the first place.

Mark said...

On the other hand, on a day to day basis, Jews [in the Middle Ages] were living like the lesser nobility while perhaps eighty to ninety percent of the European population in any given country were peasants.

It's a strange thing: when mobs were out to persecute Jews in the Middle Ages, Jews almost always ran to the local Bishop or Lord, who almost always protected them. Why? I suspect that, like rich people (of any religion) now, they knew how to stay in the good graces of the powerful (bribes).

When Coeur de Lion was coronated, a group of Jews gave a him a nice coronation present. The public rioted. It was the first (and only) progrom ever in England.

From my knowledge of history you understand that Jews were persecuted; but they were also frequently protected by the very Lords who were oppressing everyone else, which is likely to cause a little resentment.

After all, if a politician today said "Group X will be required to work in factories, and Group Y will be 'restricted' to being doctors and computer programmers (which no one else can do)" which group would be more angry: group X or Y?

Mark said...

One of the reasons that the nobility of Middle Ages Europe wanted Jews around is because they were often (correctly) viewed as providing skills not possessed by the locals. Whether it was tax farming or moneylending or trade, they either did it, or did it better, than anyone else.

After one Russian czar kicked out all the Jews, the Russian economy collapsed. They were later allowed back in by (I think) Catherine the Great.

But it's also interesting to see that the modern, mostly "dejewified" Europe hasn't been doing too badly in spite of itself. If they removed the political barriers to prosperity, such as their immense welfare states, they would be economic juggernauts. It spite of all the talk of decline, they still have some of the world's largest economies.

But that's been a weakness of Europe (and Europeans) for a long-time: a serious desire for safety, and an animosity towards risk-taking. Jews are more inclined towards risk.

Americans, whose ancestors took a pretty big risk just in coming here, are less like the ones who stayed behind. That does not hold for immigrants who come here today, of course, when coming to America is the least risky thing you can do - a sure thing, in fact. ("Will my income increase tenfold or only fivefold?")

In fact, it may be a (partial) Jew, Nicholas Sarkozy, who will liberate Europe from its demographic death trap.

Plus it doesn't always hurt to be an ethnic minority. Not having lots of "cousins" around (and the biological urge to be at least quasi-polite to them) can be a liberating feeling. It can be intellectually and economically liberating to be walking around in a society where everyone says "Don't touch the magic rocks!" but you CAN touch the magic rocks, and are even encouraged to do so.

Julio said...

Steve Sailer:

"The point, as always, is not that Jews were worse than everybody else,"

You do seem to feel compelled to mention a lot of behavior by particular Jews, often in seemingly irrelevant contexts (e.g., talking about Russian Jewish oligarchs in your review of the Spike Lee movie Inside Man) -- why the fixation? Is there too much adulatory press for Jews these days, in your opinion, and you want to balance things out?

"but that the contemporary assumption that Jews were always and everywhere merely passive victims is a myth."

This clause begs to be unraveled a little. Who shares this contemporary assumption you mention that Jews have had no agency in their history? Surely the record of Jewish achievement in many fields requires more than their simply being victims. What you seem to be alluding to is the statements of those who seek to excuse instances of persecution against Jews (e.g., one of your regulars who calls himself "Svigor") by claiming that these persecutions were really a defense against Jewish perfidy or a retaliation for Jewish crimes against the persecutors.

If that's not your intention, perhaps you could clarify? Because it seems that rational people could acknowledge that: 1) historically, there have been Jews active in commerce who have been as amoral or immoral as non-Jews (e.g., Sephardic sugar merchants), and 2) instances of persecution against Jews (e.g., Cossack-led pograms in Czarist Russia) were not motivated by, and cannot be excused by 1).

Anonymous said...

I've often wondered how much of the historical accomplishments of the Jews have to do with this phenomenon. Just being given permission to see the world differently from your society, having more than one perspective you can look at things from, is enormously valuable.

Some people get that on their own eventually, but most apparently don't.

Mark said...

I've often wondered how much of the historical accomplishments of the Jews have to do with this phenomenon. Just being given permission to see the world differently from your society, having more than one perspective you can look at things from, is enormously valuable.

Clearly there's a genetic component(s) to Jewish success, but the cultural side might have fed the (usually) virtuous circle.

I'm not sure i buy Prof. Harpending's thesis that Jewish intelligence arose in the early Middle Ages, though. By that time they had created most of their religion, a religion that would come to be venerated, in various forms, by 60% of the world's people. It may have accelerated then, espcecially as less successful Jews were choosing, or being forced, to leave the fold.

Charles Murray had an essay about that somewhere, where he comes to pretty much the same conclusion. His conclusion? Jews are the chosen people.

I wonder how many people have looked at the various forms of anti-Semitism in terms an evolutionary process. Group X sees that group Y is more successful. Does group X wipe out group Y, assuring that their own descendants aren't replaced by group Y's, or does group X coerce group Y to assimilate, bringing their genes into the fold?

Doing the latter doesn't mean replacement of all your genes. It just means that, eventually, the relevant genes that lead to say, greater intelligence, come to predominate in the merged group.

Think about the first lucky guy who had an opposable thumb. Clearly this led to greater reproductive success, but it doesn't mean that he was superior to his contemporaries in any other way. He could've been short, buck-toothed, had bad BO, and frighteningly uncoordinated.

But...he had that thumb. Men feared him and chicks swooned. Fast forward 20 generations and lots of people have his thumb. That doesn't mean his genes have replaced everyone else's, or those of all the other males. The only gene of his that's spread is the one for the thumb.

Nowadays, we are following the second evolutionary strategy. Rather than isolating Jews, we're interbreeding with them. Today, over half of Jews in the US marry non-Jews.

A bad thing? For our enemies, maybe.

James Kabala said...

I am more than a little skeptical of the claim that Jewish moneylenders in medieval Europe lived as well as the lesser nobility. The moneylending profession is certainly a profitable one, but not necessarily a ticket to fabulous wealth. Can any expert comment?
There may have only one true "pogrom" in English history, but the first recorded blood libel charge was in Norwich, England in 1144, and Jews were expelled from England entirely from the 1290s to the 1640s. Most likely neither Chacuer nor Shakespeare ever met a Jew.

Mark said...

The moneylending profession is certainly a profitable one, but not necessarily a ticket to fabulous wealth. Can any expert comment?

The lesser nobility wasn't fabulously wealthy, either. Probably the primary difference between well-off Jews and lesser nobles was that the lesser nobles had castles, while Jewish moneylenders did not. Kinda important when you're facing a mob.

Floccina said...

Having been a basketball fanatic myself I think that 'Apparently, whites do better in the NBA when they don't play against blacks growing up.' is true for a few reasons.



1. In the USA coaches still insist that big men be athletic and stay close to the basket despite the fact that you now get 3 points for a long shot and only 2 near the basket. In the USA tall guys are still mostly not allowed to face the basket.

BTW IMHO the 3 point shot is ruining the game.

2. Whites seem to mature a little later than blacks and the time to develop and be a star in Europe without often smaller but stronger better jumping blacks showing then up helps the Europeans. I am convinced that many of the white Europeans would not make it to the NBA if they had to play their way up in the USA. Also these big uncoordinated guys do not look so bad playing against other big uncoordinated guy. The Europeans have adapted much quicker to the 3 point shot.





On a different subject I would much rather see black Americans win than to see white forgings win. Go Detroit!

floccina said...

Also another obstacle for whites is that a coach will look at a recruit and think that he can he add the brains, discipline and team play to a better athlete not knowing the those things are as fixed as athletic ability.

The Duke coach is an exception (I cannot spell his name) as was John Wooden.

Dave said...

"The Duke coach is an exception (I cannot spell his name)"

His name is spelled "K". ;-)

floccina said...

'On a different subject I would much rather see black Americans win than to see white forgings win. Go Detroit! '

Should have read:

'On a different subject I would much rather see black Americans win than to see white foreigners win. Go Detroit! '

Spell check can only do so much.

Anonymous said...

If they removed the political barriers to prosperity, such as their immense welfare states, they would be economic juggernauts.

They are economic juggernauts. The U.S. isn't the biggest exporter in the world. Neither is China. Germany is.