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Re: white American players

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  • mikel_ind
    ... 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? ... It s
    Message 1 of 13 , Aug 23, 2002
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      --- 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?


      > I've got to wonder
      > if the euro stars will soon eclipse white americans in number.

      It's already happened, by my count.


      > 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.


      > 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
    • McKibbin, Stuart
      Yeah. Perhaps a mulatto caste system should be utilized to keep it all straight. AllStar Quadroons. AllStar Octoroons. (Heavy sarcasm) I would suggest this
      Message 2 of 13 , Aug 23, 2002
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        Yeah. Perhaps a mulatto caste system should be utilized to keep it all straight. AllStar Quadroons. AllStar Octoroons. (Heavy sarcasm)

        I would suggest this group not branch out into specious cultural anthropology. I don't think anything is being illuminated by this line of inquiry.

        -----Original Message-----
        From: doc319@...
        Sent: Thursday, August 22, 2002 9:45 PM
        To: APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com; doc319@...
        Subject: [APBR_analysis] Re: white American players


        The discussion of "white" American players, "white" Euros
        and "blacks" raises a question that may be beyond the scope of this
        group but is interesting nonetheless. Jason Kidd (to cite just one
        prominent example; there are many others) has one "white" parent and
        one "black" parent. Are his statistics included among the "white"
        players, the "black" players or split up somehow between the two
        categories and what rationale is used to determine this?



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      • doc319
        I didn t mean to offend anyone by my question. I m simply asking what methodology is being used to classify players by race. Isn t standard methodology an
        Message 3 of 13 , Aug 23, 2002
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          I didn't mean to offend anyone by my question. I'm simply asking what
          methodology is being used to classify players by race. Isn't standard
          methodology an important aspect of using statistics to answer
          questions? To classify by height or weight or position played is a
          straightforward, objective matter. Classifying by race is a whole
          different matter. When one splits NBA players into "white
          american," "white euro," "black" or any other racial designation, is
          this being done on the basis of the player's appearance, which racial
          community he was raised in or identifies with or what? I personally
          think the whole idea of determining whether "euros" or "blacks"
          are "chasing out" "american whites" is kind of silly. That's the
          point I'm making. I certainly am not proposing the bizarre kind of
          all-star teams that McKibbin refers to in his post. I'm simply
          pointing out that if the various people who are examining this
          question to do not have an agreed upon way to classify players by
          race, there is no way to determine if one racial "group" is replacing
          another racial "group."
        • doc319
          Just to make my question perfectly clear: in Mike s posting referring to good, whitAm, and black players (his categories, not mine), on what basis is a
          Message 4 of 13 , Aug 23, 2002
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            Just to make my question perfectly clear: in Mike's posting
            referring to "good," "whitAm," and "black" players (his categories,
            not mine), on what basis is a player included in these categories?
            Isn't it obvious that how one determines membership in these
            categories will shape the answer to the question of whether
            one "group" is "chasing out" another "group" or not? Isn't it equally
            obvious that there are a certain number of players who realistically
            could be included in either or both groups and doesn't that make the
            whole question of one "race" allegedly "chasing out" another "race"
            silly? Wouldn't it make more sense to simply compare players without
            referring at all to their race?


            --- In APBR_analysis@y..., "mikel_ind" <msg_53@h...> wrote:
            > Transplanting a thread from the APBR site, I wonder if we can get
            > anywhere with this.
            >
            > There was some curiousity over there about the NBA talent level,
            and
            > the diminishing role of white Americans in the league. So I did a
            > bit of a survey.
            >
            > I took an arbitrary cutoff point -- 25, in my t*nd*ex-like system --

            > and called players above this 'good' players, and counted how
            > many 'good' players were in the NBA/ABA every 5 years since 1952.
            >
            > Here is the summary:
            >
            > year good whit whAm black
            > 1952 2.00 2.00 2.00 0.00
            > 1957 2.38 2.13 2.13 0.25
            > 1962 2.78 1.44 1.44 1.33
            > 1967 2.30 0.70 0.70 1.60
            > 1972 2.82 0.89 0.89 1.93
            > 1977 3.77 1.09 1.09 2.68
            > 1982 3.87 1.00 1.00 2.87
            > 1987 3.78 0.52 0.52 3.26
            > 1992 3.93 0.59 0.44 3.33
            > 1997 3.93 0.66 0.41 3.28
            > 2002 4.10 0.66 0.34 3.45
            >
            > Lately, I have checked by another definition of 'good': players
            who
            > are on my 'top 526' list of career totals. We might call
            > them 'significant players', though some of them may never have been
            > particularly 'good'.
            >
            > Seeing the year 1977 as the last high-water mark for white
            American
            > influence, I have tracked who has entered the league each year
            since
            > 1975.
            >
            > Categories are New Players, White, White Americans
            >
            > year NP W A - NP W A %WH %WA
            > 1975 14 5 5 - 14 5 5 .36 .36
            > 1976 14 3 3 - 28 8 8 .29 .29
            > 1977 `8 0 0 - 36 8 8 .22 .22
            >
            > The second set of columns represents running totals since 1975.
            >
            > year NP W A - NP Wh WA %WH %WA 5Yr
            > 1978 18 4 4 - 54 12 12 .22 .22
            > 1979 10 1 1 - 64 13 13 .20 .20 .20
            > 1980 14 3 3 - 78 16 16 .20 .20 .17
            > 1981 14 4 4 - 92 20 20 .22 .22 .19
            >
            > The last column is last-5-year % of entering players who were white
            > Americans.
            >
            > year NP W A - Tot Wh WA %WH %WA 5Yr
            > 1982 18 6 6 - 110 26 26 .24 .24 .24
            > 1983 13 1 1 - 123 27 27 .22 .22 .22
            > 1984 15 2 2 - 138 29 29 .21 .21 .22
            > 1985 18 3 3 - 156 32 32 .21 .21 .21
            > 1986 16 2 1 - 172 34 33 .20 .19 .16
            > 1987 14 3 3 - 186 37 36 .20 .19 .13
            > 1988 14 1 1 - 200 38 37 .19 .19 .13
            > 1989 21 6 5 - 221 44 42 .20 .19 .16
            >
            > 1990 20 1 0 - 241 45 42 .19 .17 .12
            > 1991 19 1 1 - 260 46 43 .18 .17 .11
            > 1992 12 0 0 - 272 46 43 .17 .16 .09
            > 1993 13 2 2 - 285 48 45 .17 .16 .09
            > 1994 18 2 1 - 303 50 46 .17 .15 .05
            >
            > We are seeing fewer 'significant' players entering now because they
            > aren't there yet (fewer than 10 years service).
            >
            > year T W A - Tot Wh WA %WH %WA 5Yr
            > 1995 9 0 0 - 312 50 46 .16 .15 .06
            > 1996 9 1 0 - 321 51 46 .16 .14 .05
            > 1997 4 0 0 - 325 51 46 .16 .14 .06
            > 1998 4 0 0 - 329 51 46 .16 .14 .02
            > 1999 2 0 0 - 331 51 46 .15 .14 .00
          • mikel_ind
            I m having terrible luck with my replies disappearing, so I apologize if this is a repeat of myself. doc319 is entirely correct: the missing white players
            Message 5 of 13 , Aug 24, 2002
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              I'm having terrible luck with my replies disappearing, so I apologize
              if this is a repeat of myself.

              doc319 is entirely correct: the 'missing' white players might be
              showing up as fractions of various players. The cultural background
              of a player is hardly something I want to get into, and the column I
              labelled 'black' could have been 'non-white', but I wasn't being very
              selective of my terms.

              My motivation for the study is my concern with the uninvolvment
              of 'white' American kids in the great sport of basketball.

              If 83% of the NBA's best players were from west of the Mississippi
              River, we would be wondering, what the heck is going on in the East?

              Then we would be speculating about guys who were born in Memphis and
              moved to St. Louis, and so on. But the bigger issue would still be
              that eastern kids have stopped playing the game, for some reason.


              --- In APBR_analysis@y..., "doc319" <doc319@y...> wrote:
              > I didn't mean to offend anyone by my question. I'm simply asking
              what
              > methodology is being used to classify players by race. Isn't
              standard
              > methodology an important aspect of using statistics to answer
              > questions? To classify by height or weight or position played is a
              > straightforward, objective matter. Classifying by race is a whole
              > different matter. When one splits NBA players into "white
              > american," "white euro," "black" or any other racial designation,
              is
              > this being done on the basis of the player's appearance, which
              racial
              > community he was raised in or identifies with or what? I personally
              > think the whole idea of determining whether "euros" or "blacks"
              > are "chasing out" "american whites" is kind of silly. That's the
              > point I'm making. I certainly am not proposing the bizarre kind of
              > all-star teams that McKibbin refers to in his post. I'm simply
              > pointing out that if the various people who are examining this
              > question to do not have an agreed upon way to classify players by
              > race, there is no way to determine if one racial "group" is
              replacing
              > another racial "group."
            • John W. Craven
              ... 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
              Message 6 of 13 , 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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                >
                >
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                >
                >
                >
              • John W. Craven
                ... I think that the primary thing we should be looking at is not so much race but background. Jason Williams, for example, has quite a bit more in common with
                Message 7 of 13 , Aug 24, 2002
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                  On Sat, 24 Aug 2002, doc319 wrote:

                  > I didn't mean to offend anyone by my question. I'm simply asking what
                  > methodology is being used to classify players by race. Isn't standard
                  > methodology an important aspect of using statistics to answer
                  > questions? To classify by height or weight or position played is a
                  > straightforward, objective matter. Classifying by race is a whole
                  > different matter. When one splits NBA players into "white
                  > american," "white euro," "black" or any other racial designation, is
                  > this being done on the basis of the player's appearance, which racial
                  > community he was raised in or identifies with or what? I personally
                  > think the whole idea of determining whether "euros" or "blacks"
                  > are "chasing out" "american whites" is kind of silly. That's the
                  > point I'm making. I certainly am not proposing the bizarre kind of
                  > all-star teams that McKibbin refers to in his post. I'm simply
                  > pointing out that if the various people who are examining this
                  > question to do not have an agreed upon way to classify players by
                  > race, there is no way to determine if one racial "group" is replacing
                  > another racial "group."

                  I think that the primary thing we should be looking at is not so much race but background. Jason Williams, for example, has quite a bit more in common with Gary Payton (in terms of his upbringing) than John Stockton. Even though he is very clearly caucasian, if you stuck him into the "black" category I wouldn't necessarily have a problem with it. The downside, of course, is that it's a lot easier to look at and listen to guys and divide them based on their skin color and their accents than it is to review each individual player on a case-by-case basis.

                  John Craven

                  >
                  >
                  >
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                  >
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                  >
                  >
                • harlanzo
                  ... much race but background. Jason Williams, for example, has quite a bit more in common with Gary Payton (in terms of his upbringing) than John Stockton.
                  Message 8 of 13 , Aug 25, 2002
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                    --- In APBR_analysis@y..., "John W. Craven" <john1974@u...> wrote:
                    > On Sat, 24 Aug 2002, doc319 wrote:
                    > I think that the primary thing we should be looking at is not so
                    much race but background. Jason Williams, for example, has quite a
                    bit more in common with Gary Payton (in terms of his upbringing) than
                    John Stockton. Even though he is very clearly caucasian, if you stuck
                    him into the "black" category I wouldn't necessarily have a problem
                    with it. The downside, of course, is that it's a lot easier to look
                    at and listen to guys and divide them based on their skin color and
                    their accents than it is to review each individual player on a case-
                    by-case basis.
                    >
                    > John Craven
                    >
                    > >
                    I agree with what you and doc319 that there are much better ways to
                    categorizes human beings. the question i think is really what, if
                    anything, the data mike provided reveals about say the talent pool or
                    even race issues in the nba at any time. I have no answer to the
                    question but I don't think it is necessarily a waste of time to ask
                    it.
                  • Michael K. Tamada
                    ... 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
                    Message 9 of 13 , Aug 26, 2002
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                      On Sat, 24 Aug 2002, John W. Craven wrote:

                      > 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.


                      Yes, I think it'll become like soccer (not that it'll necessarily become
                      as big as soccer but I think basketball will become the 2nd most popular
                      worldwide sport -- if it isn't already). International championships,
                      using either club or national teams, will become relatively more
                      important. Will they become more important than the NBA championship,
                      much as soccer's World Cup is more important than any league championship?
                      That I don't know.

                      As for the timing, I think a competitive "USA vs the world" is not that
                      far away. Less than 10 years if the rate of improvement maintains. When
                      France can produce a playoff-ready 19-year old point guard -- well that
                      was pretty much the last hurdle from my point of view. The most complex
                      position on the court, the one for which even American players usually
                      need 2-3 years of NBA experience to master (check out Stockton's and
                      Payton's early career stats) -- and here's this just-turned-20-year old
                      outplaying Gary Payton.



                      --MKT
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