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1213Re: [APBR_analysis] Re: white American players

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  • John W. Craven
    Aug 24, 2002
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      On Fri, 23 Aug 2002, mikel_ind wrote:

      > --- In APBR_analysis@y..., "harlanzo" <harlanzo@y...> wrote:
      > > Mike, I think your chart really is a reflection of the expansion of
      > > the talent pool. White american stars are bound to decline as
      > > basketball became more national and then global.
      >
      > I have no idea how this conclusion is reached. If you are a star
      > player, and your team picks up another star, do you become a weaker
      > player?

      Nah, it's that if you're a, say, 17 and 9 player, right on the cusp of "stardom", but you're in a relatively weak league in terms of talent, an infusion of talent will raise the level of quality of the average player and, by proxy, lower your own skills. If the 17 and 9 guy becomes, say, a 14 and 5 player after that, then he's no longer on the list.

      Of course, that's not all that's happened. Basketball became the sport of the streets sometime in the 1960s, and at about the same time it ceased to be something that suburban (mostly white) parents had their kids do growing up. That's nothing but an observation, though.

      >
      >
      > > I've got to wonder
      > > if the euro stars will soon eclipse white americans in number.
      >
      > It's already happened, by my count.

      I wonder when, if ever, non-American players will form a large enough minority in the NBA to make a USA vs. the World contest on All-Star Weekend a compelling battle. It's already happened in the NHL, but I have an inkling that by the time world basketball reaches the level of the US the Euro leagues will be competitive enough economically that they'll stop coming over. This is already happening to some extent.

      >
      >
      > > I guess the question to ask is to what factors created this
      > decline.
      > > Is it a result a of merely an expanding talent pool? or are teams
      > > less cognizant of having white players featured or even being the
      > > 12th man?
      >
      > It is certainly likely that 12th men are being displaced by other
      > 12th men. That's why my study was limited to a group that
      > constitutes starter-quality players. Unless the league becomes more
      > than 50% Euro, no 'good' Americans have been bumped from the league.
      >
      > The notion of 'featured players' is interesting. When Dan Majerle
      > played 40 minutes in Phoenix, he got close to 20 ppg and went to
      > allstar games. Since I filter out the effect of minutes (somewhat),
      > I never thought he was close to being an allstar.
      >
      >
      > > I do remember in the early 80s Peter Vecsey made a big
      > > deal about the Knicks having an all-black team for the first time.
      > > It wasn't meant to be a racist notion but people definitely thought
      > > it was a noteworthy item. Now, this is not an issue. (There may
      > > still be towns that are cognizant of it; i do remember Milwaukee
      > all
      > > white front court of the early 90s and Utah also seems to find more
      > > white players than most teams). But this has to be somewhat of a
      > > factor.
      >
      > There was the famous instance in Philly, where Sir Charles complained
      > that the 12th-man spot was given to a white guy, just because he was
      > the last white guy in the cut. Isiah Thomas and Larry Bird were
      > drawn into the fracas, eventually. Everyone made their point and
      > moved on.
      >
      > I may do a comparison of your allstar breakdown (below) and my
      > lists. My hunch is that prominent white players are less likely to
      > be overlooked in allstar selection. Szczerbiak comes to mind.

      There does seem to be an element of Great White Hope-ism WRT pretty good caucasian players. Van Horn was constantly being compared to Larry Bird coming into his rookie year until it became clear that the only thing he has in common with Bird is his skin color (and maybe a bit of the shooting touch from midrange). Dirk Nowitzki is also continually compared to Bird even though he's much, much more comparable to Tom Chambers. The hype surrounding Shawn Bradley was deafening.

      >
      >
      > > I did a quick peek at the number of white americans all-stars over
      > > the years to see if they reflected your numbers. Here is the
      > > breakdown based on the categories white american, white european,
      > and
      > > african american (i'll consider ewing, duncan, mutombo, and
      > olajuwon
      > > in the african american segment for the study)(injured players are
      > > also included)( i stopped in the 50s where I was not sure who was
      > > what ethnicity but before 1957 there really weren't more than 1 or
      > 2
      > > black players on the team):
      > >
      > > WA WE AA
      > > 2002 2 2 20
      > > 2001 0 1 27
      > > 2000 1 0 23
      > > 1999 (no game)
      > > 1998 0 1 23
      > > 1997 3 1 25
      > > 1996 1 0 23
      > > 1995 2 1 22
      > > 1994 2 0 24
      > > 1993 4 1 21
      > > 1992 6 0 20
      > > 1991 4 0 21
      > > 1990 4 0 21
      > > 1989 6 0 19
      > > 1988 2 0 22
      > > 1987 4 0 21
      > > 1986 2 0 24
      > > 1985 3 0 21
      > > 1984 8 0 16
      > > 1983 5 0 19
      > > 1982 4 0 21
      > > 1981 4 0 19
      > > 1980 3 0 19
      > > 1979 5 0 18
      > > 1978 9 0 14
      > > 1977 11 0 15
      > > 1976 8 0 16
      > > 1975 6 0 18
      > > 1974 6 0 18
      > > 1973 11 0 17
      > > 1972 8 0 18
      > > 1971 10 0 16
      > > 1970 7 0 18
      > > 1969 10 0 15
      > > 1968 7 0 18
      > > 1967 9 0 11
      > > 1966 9 0 11
      > > 1965 7 0 14
      > > 1964 9 0 11
      > > 1963 15 0 9
      > > 1962 15 0 10
      > > 1961 13 0 9
      > > 1960 16 0 5
      > > 1959 17 0 3
      > > 1958 17 0 3
      > > 1957 17 0 3
      >
      >
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