Friday, May 20, 2011

the socio-economics of basketball and the question of race or how to alienate almost every one in 3 easy steps part 1

It's NBA playoff time. Quite possibly my favorite time of the year, ever since I discovered Santa isn't real. Every time I think of fictional Christmas characters I'm reminded of my mission. Did you know Jesus has been to New York? I've never been to New York. That asshole. Speaking of my mission almost every white boy from the USA that I met while serving mine(The Adelaide, Australia, Zion Mission) hated professional basketball (despite b-ball being the unofficial sport of the Mormon church). The consensus was that college basketball was far superior to the pros, based on the stellar reasoning that college basketball is blah, blah, blah, bullshit etc. Douchebags. Let's be clear, college basketball blows goats. Speaking of its merits collectively and not individually: The athletes are inferior, the skill level is second rate, the centers barely surpass 6'7 (what's basketball without freakishly overgrown men, there's something about watching Shaq run the floor that is both fascinating and frightening ) and there's a lot more white people who play percentage wise than in the professional ranks. Yep, I just threw down the race card, read 'em and weep boys and girls, I win again.

Complaints against the NBA and the championing of College basketball usually come down to these points...
  1. Guys in the NBA don't really try where as college boys hustle (like dope dealers) all day long baby.
  2. College guys play for love and not for the money.
  3. College guys are fundamental.
Real talk time. Here's the rebuttal..

1. There's this pervasive insidious racial stereotype that applies to people of colour in every country that I've ever lived in. It goes as follows: If you're a shade darker than white, you're lazy. Where did this come from? It can't be from the good old days i.e. when slavery was legal. Pardon the colloquial language, but those niggas did all the work. Apparently shedding the shackles of oppression includes adopting a slacker attitude which is genetically passed on to your descendants ad infinitum. Some one please explain this stereotype to me. I mean do all stereotypes really start with a kernel of truth? Really? Anyway, a whopping 82% of the players in the NBA are black according to some anonymous poster on That's a lot of homies. Quick side note: Thanks to the progressive folk doctrine surrounding the offspring of Cain in the Mormon church (this has to have been some kind of lame attempt at a theodicy on the part of the brethren .) our darker skinned brothers and sisters have been cast as fence sitters. This designation doesn't exactly conjure up images of thoroughbred work horses. That's the Mormon explanation. Not really satisfactory.
Back to the big picture: the stigma remains, origin unknown, black people are lazy, especially overpaid, self-entitled black athletes (This sentiment echoes far beyond the parochial confines of my once and past church). Of course this is only my opinion, but you don't get to the top of a profession in any field by not working your ass off. I fail to see how basketball is an exception to this inviolable rule. I get the feeling that some of my fellow white boys (well, I'm half Samoan, so I'm doing my own kind of fence sitting "my skin may be white, but I'm brown on the inside". Name the movie) resent the success of young black men. Keep those confederate flags under wraps boys the south wont be rising again anytime soon. Not in the NBA.
A valid question at this point is: why are blacks, or excuse me African Americans, over represented in American professional sports, particularly basketball and football? There are two basic theories: (a) black people (I'm wanting to say those of African descent, but if you go back far enough we're all from Africa) on average have more fast twitch muscle fibers, higher calf insertion points, basically they're just more physically robust than their every-other-race counterparts. (b) The socio-economic condition of the black man is worse than white peoples. Therefore they're more motivated to get out of the ghetto so to speak, than those who live relatively more comfortable lives. Think about the USSR circa communist rule. You live in a country that has an arctic climate, it's $50 dollars for a loaf of bread. You can work on a farm or in a silo or some other shitty alternative or you can become an Olympic Level athlete. For a while there Russia won a lot of medals. Some people believe that this is because they had a big enough Why as motivation. Getting out of the hood, making elite athletes since forever. Perhaps the success of black men in the NBA is a combination of both factors. Or maybe I'm racist.

That will do for today.

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