March 20, 2013

"The Most Hated College Basketball Players of the Last 30 Years"

With the NCAA basketball tournament underway, Grantland has a feature entitled "The Most Hated College Basketball Players of the Last 30 Years." It's a bracket of 32 (apparently) hated players, divided up into four sectors: the 1980s, the 1990s, 2000s, and Duke U.
"Name someone you hate." 
... It's Wojo. 
Yes, Wojo. Hardcourt-slapping, charge-drawing, pass-and-cut-awaying Steve Wojciechowski, the honorable-mention All-American who played point guard for Duke from 1994 to 1998. I'm probably not alone in feeling this way — the Washington Times called him "the most reviled 6.6-point scorer in NCAA basketball history." ... In the moment, however, few things make my blood boil like some ACC pretty boy or deadeye shooter or egregious flopper or hard-nosed defender — or some unholy amalgamation of all these qualities. ...
The 32-player competition has four regions — one each for players from the 1980s, 1990s, and 21st century, and another for Duke Blue Devils. Before Coach K and the Cameron Crazies get too worked up about being singled out, let me explain the decision to turn part of this bracket into a mini-tournament of Duke hate. For starters, imagine the alternative. Think of all the Dukies who didn't make the cut: Carlos Boozer, Kyle Singler, Trajan Langdon, Brian Zoubek, Ryan Kelly, the Brothers Plumlee, Chris Collins, Thomas Hill, Alaa Abdelnaby, and many, many more. If Duke weren't confined to its own quadrant, half the athletes in the competition might be Blue Devils. And if they were peppered throughout all the regions, an all-Duke Final Four wouldn't just be a possibility — it would be a likelihood.
... There's not much mystery to what turned us off about Bill Curley and Eric Montross — they were white stiffs with terrible haircuts. And does anyone bring it all together in one package better than Tyler Hansbrough? Psycho T had it all — accolades galore, 4,000 percent effort, and those bugged-out, demonstrative, lunatic eyes. Plus, during an era in which few players with serious NBA futures spend more than two years in school, it felt like Hansbrough never left.

Much of the anti-Duke hate, of course, is the twisted mirror image of Chinese people liking Jeremy Lin for being Chinese: Duke hate is a phenomenon of white fans hating a mostly white team for being mostly white and winning at the black man's game. Six of the eight Duke players are white (and Shane Battier has a white mother. Update: so does Austin Rivers). My vague recollection is the inflection point in Duke Hate came in the early 1990s when Duke upset a black-dominated U. of Nevada Las Vegas team that the press had been extolling as the greatest college team ever.

Much of the hatred seems to be directed at the more genetically inferior players who succeed in college basketball based more on work ethic and character.

Judging from the racial makeup of the three decades, anti-white hatred appears to be a growing phenomenon. Only one (Danny Ainge) of the eight widely hated players from the 1980s is white. Only two of eight from the 1990s are whites. But of the 2000s, six are white (and Joakim Noah has three white grandparents).

P.S. Here are the results among Grantland readers (not a particularly vibrant bunch):

Most hated: Christian Laettner (white)
Runner-up: Tyler Hansborough (white)
Semifinalist: Eric Montross (white)
Semifinalist: Rick Fox (half-white half-black, good-looking)
Quarterfinalist: J.J. Redick (white)
Quarterfinalist: Danny Ainge (white)
Quarterfinalist: Mateen Cleaves (black)
Quarterfinalist: Joakim Noah (3/4th white 1/4th black, oddly feminine-looking)

So, one of the eight Most Hated has two black parents, two have one, five have none. Not exactly representative of the racial demographics of college basketball stars.

Human beings enjoy hating other human beings, but they are sensitive to the messages their society sends them about whom it is okay to hate.

93 comments:

Anonymous said...

anti-White hatred is equivalent to anti-Semitism.

guest007 said...

The last ten years has seen the best black players either skip college basketball entirely or do a one and done year. You can only really hate players who have been with winners, played multiple years, and played on teams that people hate. That generally leaves whites.

Also, the rest of the ACC hates Duke because of the special treatment that the Duke receives from the referees, the NCAA, and the media.

Anonymous said...

First they came for the Southerners, and I did not speak out--
Because I was not a Southerner.

Then they came for the White Trash, and I did not speak out--
Because I was not a White Trash.

Then they came for the Anglo Saxons ("WASPs"), and I did not speak out--
Because I was not a WASP.

Then they came for me--and there was no one left to speak for me.

Maguro said...

Calling Bill Curley and Eric Montross stiffs is absurd, they were both very good college players who weren't athletic enough to succeed in the NBA. For that they deserve to be hated?

Maguro said...

I will admit that Wojo was kind of annoying, though.

Anonymous said...

Calling Bill Curley and Eric Montross stiffs is absurd, they were both very good college players who weren't athletic enough to succeed in the NBA. For that they deserve to be hated?

You seem to have missed an important qualifier: they weren't just stiffs, they were white stiffs.

Anonymous said...

I will admit that Wojo was kind of annoying, though.

What about him annoyed you?

Hail said...

"Six of the eight Duke players are white (and Shane Battier has a white mother)"

The last is Austin Rivers.

A simple google search shows that his mother, too, is very White. All thee listed Duke players are at least half-White.

Black genetics forms only about 10% of the ancestral-pool of the Duke bracket. (Parents of the players: 14 Whites and 2 Black-Americans [assuming the Black-Americans have 80%-Black-genetics], i.e. .125*.8, equals 10%).

jody said...

i've posted several times before about how euro americans have been conditioned to single out and hate other euro american athletes. no need to repeat much of that here.

they will go to great lengths to harrass, insult, attack, jeer, prank, and bash various players for the mere transgression of being white.

they would never dare do any of this to african players no matter how genuinely despicable, violent, racist, or hostile any particular player ever was.

"The last ten years has seen the best black players either skip college basketball entirely or do a one and done year. You can only really hate players who have been with winners, played multiple years, and played on teams that people hate. That generally leaves whites."

not a bad counterargument, but it's just not true. this phenomenon extends into all sports, so it's not an isolated NCAA basketball thing. there are far too many examples to list them all. one i remember poignantly was the 2004 NBA finals between the lakers and pistons. sports radio personalities in detroit went far out of their way to harrass the laker's white players every chance they got, even calling them at 5AM in their hotel rooms to wake them up and make them miss sleep. it was extremely obvious they never harrassed the black players.

i think a major element is that euro americans are now so conditioned to never express public hate for any africans or to confront any africans under any circumstances, that they have trouble even showing public dislike for players on opposing teams. so today they can only vent all their frustrations and sports fandom hatred by directing it on euro american players, because it's ok to attack them as virulently as possible. they are afforded no social protection in our year 2013 society and can be used as punching bags.

40 years ago it was a different story, but decades of conditioning have reversed the players' roles as objects of ridicule, scorn, and ill will. this is easy to observe even from the coaches, who are very lenient with the african players and very strict and harsh with the european players. many coaches are afraid treat their own players evenly now because of this all encompassing, overreaching cloud that hangs over every social interaction.

the exact same situation exists in the world of hiring and firing. it's easy to fire euro americans for any transgression, and they're out the door with no hesitation whenever the employer wants. the situation is quite different when it comes time to fire africans. significantly different treatment is afforded to them.

Anonymous said...

Joakim Noah is strange looking. I don't know about feminine though aside from the hair.

Hail said...

Austin Rivers' very-cool use of English grammar:
Exhibit A
Exhibit B
Exhibit C
Exhibit D

"Sometimes I sit back and realize how important family is. There always there for me, through thick In thin we got each others backs. Love.."

"Brandon Knight is the homie, and it's apart of the game....but daaaammmm not this! Lol"

"Last question, what hand did I recently just brake? and who was it against?"

"Question 10, what are the only 2 numbers I have ever wore...?"

--All written by Austin Rivers in the past two weeks via his Twitter account

Derek Brown said...

I honestly think there was a trickle over effect from just how hateable Laetner was. He was so hateable that people kind of keyed in on white players as a figure of hate. If Laetner had gone to UK this bracket would have its own UK division. Laetner really was a Goldstein character and a canary in the coal mine from an alt right perspective. The fact he was only modestly successful in the pros seemed to validate this hatred.

How did Shane Battier make this list? That really suggests that what is hateable in a basketball player is that they play defense. Of course this natural selects for white hustle players and Bruce Bowen who I've always hated and until never been sure why.

I really didn't hate Laetner myself and what was intersting was the on one of those 30 for 30 docs on ESPN the Fab Five hated Grant Hill alot more than Laetner.

Anonymous said...

Steve, try to keep in mind that the bulk of people watching college basketball for entertainment have serious mental impairment. If you watch it as a curious, pointless, insane, telling cultural phenomenon, fine whatever.

But...for fun? A bunch of imbeciles bouncing a ball? Really?

Anonymous said...

Most hated: Christian Laettner (white)
Runner-up: Tyler Hansborough (white)
Semifinalist: Eric Montross (white)
Semifinalist: Rick Fox (half-white half-black, good-looking)
Quarterfinalist: J.J. Redick (white)
Quarterfinalist: Danny Ainge (white)
Quarterfinalist: Mateen Cleaves (black)
Quarterfinalist: Joakim Noah (3/4th white 1/4th black, oddly feminine-looking)

Just by eyeballing Fox (his facial features are quite Caucasoid), I would guess that he is probably more than half-White in terms of genetics.

syon

Rich said...

Along these lines, Gator fans still hate Dwayne Schintzius... RIP, and watch out for those tennis balls in heaven.

Anonymous said...

No Danny Ferry?

Anonymous said...

Well, it just wouldn't do to hate blacks. It might be a hate crime.

Anonymous said...

I think there's hate-for-badassness and hate-for-lameassness.

If some white players are hated for lame-ass-ness, then there's no honor in it.
But if they're hated for bad-ass-ness, it's a kind of honor.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

I recall a New York WFAN call-in in the 1990's with an outraged fan remembering how that obnoxious, dirty Danny Ainge had bitten Tree Rollins's finger in a scuffle. The bastard.

Except it was Rollins who had bitten Ainge.

Ainge was irritating, of course, and one would expect that any list of most-hated players would include people who were. Yet it is striking to note the demographics of who is most hated. I have to wonder if annoying white players are just noticed more, while annoying black players just fade intoeach other.

Anonymous said...

You're right on this one Steve. White college basketball fans are terrified that they'll appear like amateur, noob fans when the reveal that their favorite team is Duke or that their favorite player is white. And we know that SWPL desperately fear appearing like an unsophisticated noob. It's pure status signalling. A college basketball fan can signal sophistication by "hating" Duke.

The phenomenon reminds me of how the hipsters at Pitchfork Media constantly overpraise mediocrities like Kanye West.

kaganovitch said...

I work with a bunch of urban blacks and the hatred extends to white style players even if they happen to be black. It is striking how thoroughly despised Karl Malone and Tim Duncan are by urban black basketball fans.

Anonymous said...

ND had a lot of white players in the late 70's. The 78-79 team, which was ranked # 1 during the season, had 4 white starters: Tripuka, Laimmbeer, Branning and Hanslik. 2 became NBA allstars and Hanslik started for many years in the NBA. That's when there were still a lot of white players.

Indiana had Randy Wittman and Ted Kitchel in the early 80;s.

I think the 77-78 Duke team was pretty white with guys like Spanarkel and Gminski.

ben tillman said...

Also, the rest of the ACC hates Duke because of the special treatment that the Duke receives from the referees, the NCAA, and the media.

No, it's UNC that receives the most special treatment from the referees.

FWG said...

I have to admit I used to be a Duke hater (much of it because they frequently beat Georgia Tech). But since my consciousness has grown, I'm coming around on Duke. Never thought I'd see the day, as there used to be a site called Duke-Sucks.com and I was one of the top five posters, lol. It is rather ridiculous how hated they are, largely because the relative lack of melanin amongst their players.

ben tillman said...

...and Bruce Bowen who I've always hated and until never been sure why.


I hope it was the fact that he was a dirty player who would walk up under jump shooters hoping that they would land on his foot and sprain their ankles.

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...
First they came for the Southerners, and I did not speak out--
Because I was not a Southerner."

I've heard a slightly better version of this recently.

First they came for the Blacks, and I did not speak out because I was not a Black

Then they came for the Hispanics , and I did not speak out because I was not a Hispanic.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me, but because street crime and White collar crime was down 95% they were so happy that they decided to forget about me and so they left me alone.






Anonymous said...

Part of the reason Duke tends to be hated is that their best players tend to be relatively mediocre players who overperform at the college level due to Duke's system.

Anonymous said...

Another great example of the anti-white narrative in sports was the supposed leveling of Brian Bosworth by Bo Jackson in football. Go rewatch that hit on youtube. Nothing special at all. This was brought to my attention by a friend who watched it after me and another friend recalled to him how vicious it was. He was what the hell are you guys talking about and rightly so. The comments on the video are the same people saying things like " why do I remember this hit being alot harder?". I can't help but wonder if it was the media hating the idea of this young white LB being anything but a dud.

beta_plus said...

This seems like a stretch. I know of at least one incident of a black Duke player punching a white UNC player on the court.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZGHaLUgrzi4

Also, the girls at Duke are astoundingly ugly for a major Southern University regardless of color.

Alden said...

What it might boil down to is that basketball is perceived to be about grace and style, and most guys on that list are perceived to lack it. Compare with football.

In the NFL, fans adore guys like Vonte Leach and John Kuhn who make a living off of playing a minor ugly role. Leach and Kuhn embody what the sport of football is about: thick-necked guys who play their role and smack heads. Yet men like Shane Battier and Tyler Hansborough often get mocked/hated for their relentless defense and rebounding.

Too bad that perception of basketball has stuck. Real, good team basketball is a lot more fun than LeBron skying in for yet another unopposed tomahawk dunk.

Anonymous said...

""Name someone you hate."
... It's Wojo."



I'm sorry, Barn, they just don't like me- what do you expect? They're hookers. What? It's pronounced exactly the way you spell it!

JeremiahJohnbalaya said...

I think one thing to note here is that this author's age skews his results (and I don't see any evidence in the article that the list is from anything other than his own making.) According to this wiki article, he was on a Fullbright Scholarship in 2006-ish. So, he couldn't possibly have much memory of 80's (and probably early 90's) NCAA basketball. This is further evidenced by the fact that he doesn't mention any of the 80's Dook players who would have been prime candidates for the all-time Dook most-hated list.

I guess, there's actually an argument there that he is even more anti-White than he appears on the surface. He's mostly just picked successful famous players from the 80's.

And, come on, there really are so many reasons to hate Dook. Their success, annoying fans, rat-faced coach, favorable treatment by the refs, floor-slapping, rah-rah attitude, etc. The possibility of their whiteness never crossed my mind. We don't need an explanation of brain-washing to explain it.

DYork said...

The most hated por players I remember were Danny Ainge and Bill Laimbeer.

Both about as White as you can get.

JeremiahJohnbalaya said...

White college basketball fans are terrified that they'll appear like amateur, noob fans when the reveal that their favorite team is Duke or that their favorite player is white. And we know that SWPL desperately fear appearing like an unsophisticated noob. It's pure status signalling. A college basketball fan can signal sophistication by "hating" Duke.

Eh, I think SWPL status signalling would probably either favor Dook, or dismiss basketball entirely.

But, I may be too close to the front lines to see any of this very clearly.

Cail Corishev said...

I still remember Laettner stomping down on the stomach of an opponent who had fallen in the lane. I suspect that little display of elite character puts him over the top.

In general, yes, it's safer for whites to hate white players. But there are some other things going on here.

Dislike for Duke, at least here in the Midwest, is more about the perception of Duke as an elitist east-coast college. If Harvard had a top-flight basketball team, we'd hate them just as much. It's like if Bushwood Country Club fielded a team that was a contender every year; wouldn't you root against them? Granted, if Duke was all-black for a decade or so, that would probably diminish the snob perception somewhat; so their whiteness is a factor, but it's really the perceived snobbery that's hated.

I think another part of it is that white people just plain care more about the white players and notice them more, for good or ill. It's the "they all look alike" effect. I was a huge Larry Bird fan, and I'm sure his color had something to do with that. But which Laker did Celtic fans boo harder: Magic Johnson who beat them regularly, or the white role-player Kurt Rambis? When a white guy is the only one on the floor, you can't help noticing every play he makes, especially when he's hacking your favorite player or getting away with something.

I also think the black players just weren't so into the harsher "black" culture back then, if that makes sense. There weren't all the tattoos and shaved heads, and everyone didn't look like they spent every spare moment in the weight room or the doctor's office. You had guys taking Muslim names and growing Afros and stuff like that, but it wasn't so intense. A guy like Ainge could get in a scuffle with a black player who wasn't any more buff than he was, and no one worried that it might start a racial incident. They were just players.

Billy Chav said...

The entire Grantland piece in four words and a symbol:

Christian Lander > Christian Laettner

HAR said...

OT, but speaking of Carlos Boozer, does anyone know his racial background? He looks like a typical American mulatto, but his name is Carlos, and he was born in Alaska. Anyone know?

Anonymous said...

But...for fun? A bunch of imbeciles bouncing a ball? Really?

It was not always thus.

There used to be a fair number of honest-to-goodness student athletes in the NCAA revenue sports, and as I just pointed out about a month ago, both Tyler & Cody Zeller have now become 1st-Team Academic All-Americans.

But the long term trend is pretty horrible - every year, there are fewer and fewer teams with any players who can consistently speak in complete sentences with properly-conjugated verbs.

And hoping to be able to root for a prominent athlete in a revenue sport who doubles as a STEM major is getting to be a fool's errand.

But, again, it was not always thus.

JB said...

You're probably not too far off the mark on the general sentiment. There is definitely a P.C. code among basketball fans. White fans don't want to be too exuberant in their like for a white player, lest they get called out.

On the other hand, the Duke hate has added components. And I say this as a fan of one of the other teams associated with discipline and "whiteness" (Indiana).

Duke is constantly fawned over by ESPN and other media outlets. That is the main source of most of the hate. Ironic really...that the media, largely populated by P.C. liberals, are so blind to their own inherit bias for the "white team" Duke that they are oblivious to the fact that their coverage of that team annoys the piss out of most other fans.

Silver said...

Calling Bill Curley and Eric Montross stiffs is absurd, they were both very good college players who weren't athletic enough to succeed in the NBA. For that they deserve to be hated?

You don't get it do you? They're WHITE. That's reason enough. Sheesh.

On a more serious note, jody's right about all this being the product of social conditioning. When you've been morally directed to devote all your psychic energy towards uplifting the saintly oppressed black man for decades, over time it becomes unseemly to level any sort of criticism at blacks, no matter how minor or innocuous. Simultaneously, it becomes all too easy to spew venom at his wicked oppressor, the White man, who, as a class, is guilty of everything wrong with this universe. (In reality, he's just guilty of being better, which is a sin in a world that worships losers, weirdos and no-hopers of every variety.)

This is why it's essential to play latinos and blacks off against each other. They loathe each other, so use it. If you don't, latinos become just one more oppressed 'minority' (like whites aren't a tiny minority in this globalized world, lol) you have to feel forever guilty over.

jody said...

really all you need to do to see how this works is observe how hasheem thabeet is treated. or rather, not treated, at all, whatsoever, to any degree.

hasheem who? oh right. he was only the number 2 overall pick in the 2009 draft. he has a career average of 1 point per game. he's easily, by far, the biggest bust in NBA history. does anybody talk about him...ever?

does he receive 1% of the attention that shawn bradley received? thabeet is, after all, the tallest player in the league right now, as was bradley during his career. do ESPN anchors howl with laughter when thabeet gets in the game and fumbles the ball away or gets dunked on? well, probably not, considering he's such a COLOSSAL bust that he can barely play. he's such a bust, the team that drafted him sent him to NBDL!

here's shawn bradley's best season: 13 points, 12 rebounds, 3 blocks. that was his average, for a SEASON. has hasheem thabeet even done that ONE TIME?

while shawn bradley was a disappointment, he still played at an above average level at his position for years. hasheem thabeet warms the bench at an above average level.

this year he's on the thunder, a high profile team that played in the NBA finals last year. so his team has high visibility. does he have high visibility? is he the subject of endless ridicule and relentless taunting from sportscasters? do they even mention him at all? one of their favorite things is to joke about overpaid players and how TERRIBLE their contracts are - bill simmons even wrote a column about it.

well, hasheem thabeet is averaging 2 points and 2 rebounds a game for one of the highest profile teams in the NBA. for this, they are paying him a cool 5 million dollars a year. i guess that's not worthy of any ridicule. care to guess what kind of reception shawn bradley would be getting for putting up 2 points and 2 rebounds at age 26, in his prime, while being paid that much?

yeah, it's pretty obvious, it has nothing to do with NCAA players being one and done. when i was younger i didn't get this at first, and chuckled along when they clowned players like bradley. then after a while, i started to get it, and noticed they never ridiculed the goofy, clumsy, or just plain bad black players with nearly as much verve or ardor. and there are a lot of them. they screw up all the time too or have terrible careers. and the sports guys simply ignore it most of the time.

i remember during some of bradley's later seasons, there were these twins in the league, jason collins and jarron collins, who were pure crap. yet they were 25 minute a game starters at center, and not one time ever were they clowned by ESPN or any sports writers. these two guys turned in a few seasons where they were playing 30 minutes a game and scoring 4 points or something ridiculous, the way erick dampier was for a couple years.

Glaivester said...

Wojo?

People hate Max Gail's detective character on Barney Miller?

Anonymous said...

People hate Duke and its players (both white and black) because Duke is (and has been) the most media-hyped team in college basketball, has been documented to get on the free throw line (and more importantly put the opposing teams' players in foul trouble) at levels that defy statistical probability, and they consistently underpeform relative to their ranking whether in the tournament or during the season.

White fans do not hate white athletes based on their their whiteness. Which is not to say that the other races won't hate them on that basis, or that they won't be ridiculed by the media on that basis.

White fans (as whites will do unlike the other races) are objective and call it as they see it. Brian Urlacher and Clay Matthews are hugely popular, not to mention all those white quarterbacks or receivers, etc. I focus on football because it is by far the most popular sport--basketball has become more and more a black popular sport and baseball's audience is a whole different dynamic where athleticism is much less in your face.

The issue (as always among whites) is the elites or top tier, people who make decisions and deliver the message. Here, it's undisputed that white coaches and white media have a stark bias against white kids. The white mass (in sports, politics) is just waiting to be told it's okay and healthy to live out their innate race consciousness.

Anonymous said...

While Sailer has a point, I personally think the Duke hate has to do more with the media and people 'blowing up' duke players while they are at duke only to see them be utterly useless at the most part at the next level (or no where near as dominant as they were in college basketball).

Notice that Duke's three best NBA players are absent from the grantland piece. Grant Hill, Elton Brand,and Kyrie Irving.

Hill is bi-racial, intelligent, got his degree, stayed all four years, and by all attributes would be on a generic list with the rest of those alums that are on that bracket.

The difference? Hill was ridiculous at the next level and proved that he wasn't inflated out of proportion. Genuine basketball superstar.

Irving and Brand also took heat from Duke fans/alums (esp Brand) for leaving early so the Duke hate is partly brought upon the fans/alums themselves.

I personally care zero about the college game as it is very sloppy, slow, and poor compared to the pro game. Duke can 'dominate' in the triple-a baseball version of basketball but virtually all of them get shown up when they get to the League.

Anonymous said...

FAO Derek Brown:

I think Hill was hated more by the Fab Five because he was part african-american and was by far the most talented on the duke side that beat them and they felt that he 'sold out' to go to a school like Duke instead of another college.

If Grant Hill went to UNC, Michigan, Indiana, UCLA, etc..I don't think the fab five would've 'hated' him as much.

Anonymous said...

while shawn bradley was a disappointment, he still played at an above average level at his position for years. hasheem thabeet warms the bench at an above average level.

Shawn Bradley wasn't ridiculed or considered a bust. He had a few decent seasons and performed about what people expected in the NBA.

Anonymous said...

What's really interesting about this thing is that Christian Laettner is considered among the best college players of all time. Easily in most everyone's top 10. Hate all you want, but for fans of the actually game of basketball and with more than a passing knowledge of the college game, he's one of the best ever.

ben tillman said...

There are reasons to hate Duke. As someone who grew up in ACC country and then went to college in the Ivy League, I couldn't help hating Duke for its offensive condescension to the other schools in its league and its laughable pretensions to Ivy League status.

But, yes, the hatred of its players is largely due to race in many cases, although I still don't get the Spanarkel hype.

ben tillman said...

Shawn Bradley wasn't ridiculed or considered a bust. He had a few decent seasons and performed about what people expected in the NBA.

He is the most-ridiculed player in NBA history. You are way off base.

Anonymous said...

Having hung out with SWPL's during the Duke Bball days of Shane Battier, I can anecdotally report that he was fawned over by the SWPL set.

Anonymous said...

I'm really enjoying this thread. College sports provides an arena in which many cultural trends converge and send off signals, or symptoms, of much deeper problems.

I think Jody's (or should I say jody's) got the best argument so far. He's right that Shaun Bradley was regularly mocked and vilified; see also Keith Van Horn, for example. These are good players whom the sports media/fan worlds were just itching to see 'fail', so they could be demonized. And this rarely -- although not never -- happens to black players (see Michael Olowokandi, and the ur-stiff, Benoit Benjamin, both of whose names are watchwords for 'bust'). The difference is that the black failures are usually seen as such in retrospect; similar white players start their NBA careers with anticipation of their impending stiff-dom.

Why is this? I think part of it's conditioning, but maybe not quite in the ways that have been discussed so far. The only things lots of sports fans love more than the joy of their team winning it all (which rarely happens) is the delicious schadenfreude they can wallow in when ripping the athletes (and coaches) making up the teams they watch. As several upthread have mentioned, there is no penalty, ever, for so ripping white athletes. But a kind of governor kicks in for some fans when ripping on black athletes. A little voice is telling them that some the things they're saying could be taken the wrong way, might sound bad, etc., etc. I recall listening to a Bill Simmons podcast once in which he brought up this very topic: he admitted there were places he wouldn't go in terms of criticizing blacks in sports because it made him uncomfortable.

And one other thing: in basketball, at least, I think there's one additional, very simple, reason white players often get singled out: it's easy to see them. When anywhere from 6 to 9 of the players on the floor in NBA or big-time college games are black, a white guy just stands out visually. Couple this with all the other factors we've discussed, and you're off to the races (sorry!) with the hating.

Anonymous said...

Just a follow up: I forgot to give kudos to Cail C for previously noting the visibility thing.

Also, just an additional point on fans' differences between criticizing black and white players: for most fans, it's open season when discussing a player's actual performance athletically. It's when other factors -- typically labeled 'intangibles' -- come up that the conversation gets dicey. In other words, if you're talking shooting percentages, have at it; race is of no matter. But when you start talking about a point guard's 'leadership' qualities, or about his ability to execute advanced defensive switching tactics, or floor spacing on offense, or the like, then it's much, much safer to stick it to the white stiff.

One interesting caveat: I've noticed recently that there has been a shift in NBA analysis as advanced metrics and analysis have become more commonly respected and used. The subtle stuff (e.g. spacing, help defense) that some players do that was generally unappreciated by typical fans in the past is now getting much more play in the sports media, and among fans. For example, I've come across numerous mentions this NBA season of how Marc Gasol (big pasty white guy) is now considered the best center in the league, while Dwight Howard ('athletic' black guy who dunks mightily) has been ripped regularly. The tide may be changing a bit.

Anonymous said...

Duke hate is a phenomenon of white fans hating a mostly white team for being mostly white

Most provincial remark I can recall ever reading from Steve. And I can think of a couple other howlers over the past month alone.

Anonymous said...

He's right that Shaun Bradley was regularly mocked and vilified; see also Keith Van Horn, for example.

Van Horn was never mocked and vilified. He had a solid, consistent, steady career. He averaged 16 pts and 7 rebs over his career.

Bradley was never mocked or vilified either. Dikembe Mutombo was more than Bradley ever was.

Anonymous said...

He is the most-ridiculed player in NBA history. You are way off base.

You're off base. He wasn't ridiculed any more than Manute Bol was.

Bradley had a mediocre career, averaging 8.1 points, 6.3 rebs.

Steve Sailer said...

"jason collins and jarron collins"

I hadn't realized how awful the Collins' twins stats were in the NBA. These 7 footers were the west coast black version of Duke players: They were graduates of Harvard-Westlake in the Hollywood Hills, played a full four years at Stanford, and were pretty effective college players by the time they were done. In the NBA they've been in over their heads.

Anonymous said...

Note that Shawn Bradley went 2nd the in the draft and ended up with worse career stats than Gheorge Muresan, who averaged 9.8 pts and 6.4 rebs over his career.

Anonymous said...

There are reasons to hate Duke. As someone who grew up in ACC country and then went to college in the Ivy League, I couldn't help hating Duke for its offensive condescension to the other schools in its league and its laughable pretensions to Ivy League status.

A lot of the locals hate Duke for similar reasons - much of the student body is from New Jersey and the Northeast.

guest007 said...

Part of the Duke hate comes from casual white fans of college basketball who are Duke fans. It is common to find people well outside Tobacco Road who claim to be Duke fans but what they mostly know about the team is that the players are white.

What most whites do not realize is that many blacks will be the fans of whatever college team has all black players and are currently winning. That is why blacks have moved from being Georgetown fans to UNLV fans to Michigan fans to Syracuse and then on to some other team.

Anonymous said...

"speaking of Carlos Boozer, does anyone know his racial background?"

I've been wondering about this too. I think I read he had some Caribbean connection. With him and Joakim Noah, the Bulls have the most ethnically/culturally ambiguous team in the NBA.

Anonymous said...

@Cail Corishev
Your Harvard hypothetical doesn't quite work. Elite schools with strong basketball teams aren't hated. Other posters have brought up Stanford. In the late 90's / early 00's Mike Montgomery coached 30+ win teams at Stanford. Nobody hated the Cardinal because of their selective admissions. (Much more selective than Duke.)

@JB
ESPN doesn't pump up Duke because the producers personally "like" the team. They pump up Duke because every sport needs a "heel" to boo and root against. Think of the Washington Generals or WWE. The question isn't why is one particular media driven team hated. It's why did the people shaping the media narrative pick Duke.

@HAR
Carlos Boozer has a typical African American heritage. His parents are from Maryland / DC suburbs. (I think they're both UMD alums) His Dad was a federal employee in Alaska.

Anonymous said...

The Duke teams of the past 10-15 years haven't been all that "white." In reality, the teams have been heavy with "biracial" and "multiracial" players. You've already noted that Shane Battier and Austin Rivers were multiracial. Trajan Langdon's father was a white antrhopology profeessor as well.

The next Duke player to be "hated" also has an interesting ethnic history. Check out Jabari Parker.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jabari_Parker

His father is a former NBA player. His mother is a Mormon from Tonga.


Also, Coach K seems to have the strategy of recruiting players with strong / present fathers. A lot of his players had fathers play in the NBA. e.g. Seth Curry, Chris Collins, Mike Dunleavy, Nolan Smith, Gerald Henderson. Kyrie Irving's Dad played pro ball in Australia. Of course Grant Hill's father played with Roger Staubach on the Cowboys after being a quarterback at Yale himself.

Anonymous said...

Ben Tillman, a Duke alum used to be a member of my gym, and he'd occasionally wear a t-shirt proclaiming "Duke: the Harvard of the South". He seemed offended when I asked him why there were no shirts for sale at the Harvard Coop saying "Harvard: the Duke of the North".

The status posturing of this list is proven by the absence of any of the execrable scholar-athletes from Georgetown under racist John Thompson, who believed there was no white kid in America good enough to play for his teams.

Anonymous said...

Correction-except for the illiterate Patrick Ewing, of course. When he was a Cambridge Rindge & Latin, his lack of English mastery was excused by his immigrant status. One local reporter was man enough to ask, why, what language do they speak in Jamaica?

Anonymous said...

Since when is Grant Hill bi-racial? Only in the cultural sense that his parents grew up in the white world (father, Yale; mother, HRC's roommate at Wellesley).

There are plenty of reasons that Duke basketball is hated, but race is the biggest. Duke ends up with a disproportion number of top white players and ends up with the target on its back. I have no doubt that Laettner would have been hated had he gone to UNC or Kentucky, though not to the extent he was at Duke.

Anonymous said...

I guess Rivers didn't get in to Duke on academic merit.

Anonymous said...

Schadenfreude.

This is a white folks' poll and so it's full of white folks schadenfreude.

Even so, it the last 30 years, the two most hated college basketball players in the West have undoubtedly been Reggie Miller (UCLA) and Gary Payton (Oregon St).

sane_voter said...

Being really into college basketball at the time, I thought alot of the Shawn Bradley hate was the fact he got a monster NBA contract for essentially being 7'6". And he got that contrac for playing one season at BYU and then went off on his Mormon mission prior to the draft. He was decent in college but I never thought he would be an NBA superstar since he was pretty skinny for his height.

ben tillman said...

Ben Tillman, a Duke alum used to be a member of my gym, and he'd occasionally wear a t-shirt proclaiming "Duke: the Harvard of the South". He seemed offended when I asked him why there were no shirts for sale at the Harvard Coop saying "Harvard: the Duke of the North".

At least the folks at Wofford take a more sophisticated tack: Their shirts read, "Harvard: The Wofford of the North".

Whiskey said...

I don't know any of these guys. I'd say that "hate" of College Basketball White players is a function of White fans mostly moving to NASCAR, or Baseball, or Hockey, or WoW, leaving nothing but Black and Mexican guys. The Laker Riots, when they win, are filled with nothing but Black and Mexican fans.

White QBs like say, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, and Tom Brady are sure popular. Fans have not embraced Michael Vick (despite the media push) nor say, RGIII or that guy in Carolina. Meanwhile NASCAR racers like say, Dale Earnhardt Jr. have their own "Junior Nation."

Anonymous said...

Being really into college basketball at the time, I thought alot of the Shawn Bradley hate was the fact he got a monster NBA contract for essentially being 7'6".

He wasn't just mediocre as a center, he was mediocre as a super-giant center i.e. taller than 7'2". Gheorge Muresan had better stats than him. Bradley did not put up stats like the good super-giants like Rik Smits and Yao Ming.

not a hacker said...

they never ridiculed the goofy, clumsy, or just plain bad black players with nearly as much verve or ardor

Greg Anthony's going to be a U.S. Senator!"

mel belli said...

racist John Thompson, who believed there was no white kid in America good enough to play for his teams.

That's actually refreshingly candid, unlike the Stanford track coach who insisted he'd find the "great white sprinter," and told me to get back under "the rock you crawled out from" when I told him it couldn't be done.

Mr Lomez said...

"What it might boil down to is that basketball is perceived to be about grace and style, and most guys on that list are perceived to lack it."

This point nails it. How could anyone possibly argue that sports fans hold a special animus for white players due to PC coding, or whatever asinine logic you want to apply? What a joke. Really, Shaun Bradley was vilified? Was he treated any better or worse than Greg Oden? Kwame Brown? Manute Bol? These comments are as juvenile and ill-founded as any microaggression witch hunt.

In ALL sports, fans seek out those players who best embody the physical ideals of that sport. In basketball, those ideals happen to be those which are perfectly suited for African genes: the unique combination of length, explosive strength, and improvisational agility. Not to mention that basketball, because of its natural fit for Africans, has largely adopted the black urban culture, which itself values bravado, style over substance, and free-form over structure. Hence, the objection to slow, scrappy, intellectual players like Wojo, who disrupt the natural flow of the game.

If anything, fans will go out of there way to embrace a white player who subverts these racial expectations. See: Jason "White Chocolate" Williams, Chris "Birdman" Andersen, or even in the old days a flashy scorer like Pistol Pete.

On the other hand, as has been noted, black players who don't fit this ideal, like Karl Malone or Tim Duncan, receive the same antagonism as their white equals.

helene edwards said...

Lomez, read closer. White audiences had no problem with Malone or Duncan. And by the way, what did Birdman Andersen subvert, besides good taste?

Anonymous said...

Some of the most hated on that bracket chart are understandable. Like Adam Morrison. Morrison started crying on the court after UCLA went ahead by 1 pt. with 2 seconds left in the Sweet 16 game. The after the buzzer sounded and the game ended, he collapsed in the middle of the court and kept crying. Then he made this commercial:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-NoeH_RkmcA

He was drafted 3rd by the Charlotte Bobcats - incidentally, Michael Jordan made the decision to draft Morrison and said that "Adam Morrison is the future." Jordan has been a terrible manager and executive in his post-retirement career. Morrison ended up being a huge flop.

Mr Lomez said...

You're right. Karl Malone was so popular that despite being the 2nd highest scorer of ALL TIME, his biggest endorsement deal was with LA Gear.

Tim Duncan, too, is so beloved that Slate wrote ran this article explaining why Michael Finley (who?) sold more jerseys than Duncan did during the Spurs second run at the NBA Finals.

And anyway, the point stands: nobody hates white players because they're white. They hate white players who can't 360 reverse dunk or throw behind the back alley oops. But any white guy with a little street in him (Chris Mullen, say), or a little jazz (Ricky Rubio), will be embraced with open arms.

Even a buffoon like Brian Scalabrine will get some love if he's got a good personality.

Steve Sailer said...

Story about Grant Hill's background:

When his father, Calvin Hill, was at Yale in the 1960s, the other football players looked to him as their leader in their search for easy classes. On the first day of classes, Calvin Hill led a pack a football players into the back of a class. They looked around uneasily trying to decide, until Hill said (AFAIK), "Look, there's George Bush! He's taking it, so it's got to be a joke class."

Anonymous said...

Karl Malone was not very popular or considered cool even though he was one of the greatest players of all time. Duncan is another great player who is not that popular or considered cool.

After his deal with LA Gear, Malone had an shoe endorsement deal with APEX shoes, a shoe company nobody has ever heard of:

http://solecollector.com/news/pe-spotlight-karl-malone-s-apex-mailman-shoes/

Anonymous said...

Most Duke stars, black and white, have underperformed in the NBA relative to their success and hype in college.

Steve Sailer said...

The idea that there's something hateful about less genetically gifted college basketball players succeeding in college basketball through work ethic and teamwork is a popular but curious one.

Truth said...

"Calling Bill Curley and Eric Montross stiffs is absurd,"

In the NBA they were stiffs.

Truth said...

"Black genetics forms only about 10% of the ancestral-pool of the Duke bracket. (Parents of the players: 14 Whites and 2 Black-Americans [assuming the Black-Americans have 80%-Black-genetics], i.e. .125*.8, equals 10%)."

dude, I think a nice, time-consuming hobby is in order.

Truth said...

"Then they came for me, but because street crime and White collar crime was down 95% they were so happy that they decided to forget about me and so they left me alone...."

...And I was able to complete my 16 hour days of forced landscaping labor on the golf courses in peace...

Truth said...

"here's shawn bradley's best season: 13 points, 12 rebounds, 3 blocks. that was his average, for a SEASON. has hasheem thabeet even done that ONE TIME?"

The problem is, Shawn Bradley never did that for a season ONE TIME either. As usual you are lying.

Truth said...

Shawn Bradley was mocked and ridiculed not only because he was white, but because, and mainly because, he was different from NBA players in Every conceivable way. He was an 18=year old white Mormon from Utah who was 7-6 and weighed 200 lbs. and he looked...gawkey.


There have been a lot of busts in the NBA who are black as well, but the reason that white guys are all ridiculed more is that every one of them confirms the stereotype of the bad, white player, and it is not only a stereotype, because it seems, in EVERY draft, there is a Montross, a Curley, a Fredette, a Morisson, etc. etc. etc, or even a Bargnani type who puts up decent numbers on a god awful team.

Black players are not associated with a stereotype of black players being bad, because there is no such stereotpye.

It's no different that the way you clowns extrapolate a black man doing something wrong to every black man in America being a loser, now, is it?

Truth said...

"I don't know any of these guys. I'd say that "hate" of College Basketball White players is a function of White fans mostly moving to NASCAR, or Baseball, or Hockey, or WoW, leaving nothing but Black and Mexican guys."

Oh, so the Laker starting five makes $87 million a year off "nothing but black and Mexican guys?"

Whiskey, it's a large statement, but you may just be the dumbest Cat god ever gave life.

Mr Lomez said...

"The idea that there's something hateful about less genetically gifted college basketball players succeeding in college basketball through work ethic and teamwork is a popular but curious one."

Curious until you consider basketball's cultural context. "Work ethic" and "teamwork" aren't exactly hallmarks of the hip-hop ethos.

Truth said...

"racist John Thompson, who believed there was no white kid in America good enough to play for his teams."

That's a lie, he heavilly recruited Mark Price, and Christian Laetner, they decided to go elsewhere. Danny Ferry said he was only going to play in the ACC. He had a fair number of white players on scholarship during his tenure ate Georgetown, they just didn't excel at his trapping, pressing style of play.

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_many_white_players_played_under_John_Thompson_Sr_at_Georgetown

HAR said...

Ha, Truth is on fire.

I think there's a bit of an anti-white guy thing going on. But the commentators here are sounding like mainstream conservatives/leftists. Race is just one factor of many when it comes to what players are liked or hated, just as race always matters to some degree in everything. But it probably matters less in sports than it does just about anywhere else.

Steve Sailer said...

I vaguely know a basketball player on a college team that just won an NCAA tournament game. He's happy to be playing college basketball and getting a scholarship to go to a nice college. That he knows he's not an NBA-level talent doesn't somehow invalidate what success he's had in college basketball, Just as that Vince Young didn't make it as an NFL quarterback doesn't mean he didn't deserve to be the MVP of the two Rose Bowls he won.

Anonymous said...

Troofie, why didn't Thompson recruit Bobby Hurley? He'd have been perfect for Georgetown: a relentless defender, up-tempo point guard and a moron.

Mr. Lomez, the brothers resent NO ONE more than Bird, and I think it's because he COULD showtime with the best of them.

But Troofie's right about Whiskey's comment. Here in racist Boston, it seems the paler the skin, the more interest in the NCAAs. At my lily-white gym I had to threaten a couple 20-somethings with violence to get one of the TVs switched to the Bruins game. Hockey is the flip side, where the biggest whiny punk in the NHL is the black kid from Montreal, who runs away when the gloves drop.

Anonymous said...

The idea that there's something hateful about less genetically gifted college basketball players succeeding in college basketball through work ethic and teamwork is a popular but curious one.

Well true, there's nothing hateful about them. But people tend to dislike players who star in college or are hyped in college but underperform relative to their college reputation in the NBA. It's the dislike for the "overrated" player.