May 26, 2011

Choose your parents wisely

Here's the abstract of an academic article by Joshua Kjerulf Dubrow and jimi adams that shows that, as usual, family helps:
The popular image of the African American National Basketball Association (NBA) player as rising from the ‘ghetto’ to international fame and fortune misleads academics and publics alike. This false image is fueled, in part, by critical shortcomings in empirical research on the relationship between race, sport, and occupational mobility: these studies have not adequately examined differences in social class and family structure backgrounds across, and especially within, racial groups. To address this problem, we empirically investigate how the intersection of race, social class and family structure background influences entry into the NBA. Information on social class and family structure background for a subpopulation of NBA players (N = 155) comes from 245 articles published in local, regional and national newspapers between 1994 and 2004. We find that, after accounting for methodological problems common in newspaper data, most NBA players come from relatively advantaged social origins and African Americans from disadvantaged social origins have lower odds of being in the NBA than African American and white players from relatively advantaged origins.

I was nodding my head until that last bit. Watching Dirk Nowitzki dominate on the sports highlights gets me to wondering once again: how come there are more top white basketball players from foreign countries (e.g., Nowitzki, Nash, the Gasols, Ginobili, etc.) than from the U.S.? Sure, there are more tall white guys abroad, but Germany isn't exactly hoops crazy. 

Top white American basketball players do seem to come from wealthy basketball families fairly often: Kevin Love's dad was in the NBA and Kiki Vandeweghe's dad was an NBA player who became the Lakers' team doctor. But, it seems as if white fathers today who aren't ex-basketball stars are more likely to groom their tall, athletic sons to be quarterbacks rather than basketball players. I remember back in the late 1960s how amazed NFL fans were that Roman Gabriel, at 6'5" had become a quarterback rather than a basketball player. Times have changed. (By the way, Gabriel's father was from the Philippines. His mother was Irish.)

Clearly, one reason for this finding about blacks is that jail wrecks the careers of a fair number of athletic blacks from underclass backgrounds. It would be interesting to look at arrest and prison statistics on height and race to see if being very tall helps a black guy be less likely to stay out of jail because he's being helped along toward a basketball career. My prediction would be that a lower percentage of very tall black men are in prison than in the total black population. 

A few years ago, I made up a list of the top 10 centers in NBA history, and most seemed pretty smart. Center is the position where sheer height matters most, yet having something on the ball must also help. Of the top 10 centers, only Moses Malone, with his almost incomprehensible rural Southern accent, was clearly from the least advantaged part of society. Patrick Ewing was pretty taciturn too, but a lot of other top centers, such as Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain, were famously good interviews. David Robinson scored 1320 on the SAT (old style) and Kareem 1130.

Also, I suspect that having an outstandingly athletic son can sometimes keep fathers from straying too far, thus keeping the kid at a higher social level because his family is intact.

The small number of top players from Africa are mostly from the top of their societies: Olajuwon's dad was rich, Mutumbo's dad was a high school principal, and Luol Deng's dad was a cabinet minister in the Sudan. The late Manute Bol was a herdsman, however.

71 comments:

Anonymous said...

Kareem is obviously a smart guy, but he can say strange things. Recently he's been publicly criticizing the Lakers because there's no statue of him in front of the arena. When has a non-dictator ever demanded a statue of himself? Also, his chain of logic linking the Horton Hears a Who movie to racism is unintentionally hilarious:

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/kareem/2008/04/horton-hears-a.html

Anonymous said...

Steve Nash is Canadian, but he was born in South Africa. So does he count as an African American player?

Anonymous said...

Considering there is such a strong racial caste system at work in the NBA which would tend to skewer any statistical analysis. What possible methodology could predict that foreign countries with little basketball history will produce more white NBA stars then the US with hundreds of thousands of white kids that play avidly.

Clearly there is a slotting, an agenda, and intentional anti-white sentiment at work. For example what are the chances that the best US college basketball player will be drafted high and used to built a team around? If white-such as Jimmy Federette-none, if black-guarenteed yes. Case closed.

Oh and the comment that tall white guys are all trying to get their sons to be quarterbacks instead of basketball players is as lame an excuse as the one being bandied about concerning the lack of quality black heavyweight fighters-they're all in the NBA/NFL. hahahaha!

Darwin's Sh*tlist said...

It was a far cry from NBA-level play, but when I played jv and varsity in high school in the mid-late 80s, there were two types of kids on the team: 1) Black kids who ranged from poor to middle class (though even among the poor kids, there weren't any from underclass basket-case home lives) and 2) kids like me - the children of well-to-do white professional Rotarian types.

Aside from poor whites being resistant to playing what many of them regarded as a "black man's sport," I noticed (I think) a more practical reason. Most black kids lived near public parks or community centers with courts where they could play pickup games all the time. Affluent white kids had paved driveways that were usually flat at the end where they could put up a hoop either on a pole or on the garage. Similarly, we could play all the time, too (even more into the evening as the driveways were easy to light).

White proles usually had gravel (or dirt) driveways and didn't often live near parks.

Tom said...

how come there are more top white basketball players from foreign countries (e.g., Nowitzki, Nash, the Gasols, Ginobili, etc.) than from the U.S.?

This is a result of gradual desegregation of our schools. Most white kids used to have the opportunity to play on a mostly white basketball team. That has changed.

Over the years, the lower levels of basketball in America have increasingly become numerically dominated by blacks. When you play on a team in high school, your teammates are your social clique. Most white kids don't want to hang out with a bunch of black kids. I had some basketball talent, but the thought of joining the team never even crossed my mind. I couldn't even understand the black kids when they talked, let alone understand their mentality and relate to them on a personal level.

Another factor is the wildly different style of play between blacks and everyone else (whites/asians/ latinos). Black basketball players are much more aggressive, impulsive, and selfish than whites/asians/latinos.

Severn said...

how come there are more top white basketball players from foreign countries (e.g., Nowitzki, Nash, the Gasols, Ginobili, etc.) than from the U.S.?

For some reason HBD people are very reluctant to admit the existence of cultural factors. I don't see why, since "human bio-diversity" is big enough to accommodate different cultures. In any case it strikes me as obvious that white American males grow up intimidated by blacks and believing that basketball (and to some extent athletics in general) is a black guys field.

White guys from Europe don't carry around that baggage.

Anonymous said...

"The popular image of the African American National Basketball Association (NBA) player as rising from the ‘ghetto’ to international fame and fortune misleads academics and publics alike. This false image is fueled, in part, by critical shortcomings in empirical research on the relationship between race, sport, and occupational mobility..."

I think the rise of the black middle class had led to more black athletes coming from higher social backgrounds.

Also, many successful black athletes seem to be light-skinned. They could be products of middle class black men who married white women. With middle class dad and mellower white mother, the black kid might be better focused on athletics. The Obamization of athletics, as well as politics.

Also, middle class black kids, if they're good at sports, may keep their eye on the ball and stay out of trouble, especially if many of their friends in highschool are white middle class kids.

But an underclass black kid, even if athletically gifted and on the sports track, may be tempted by easy money in drugs, gangs, etc and fall by the wayside or even get killed.

Anonymous said...

Steve failed to mention former American-born white Detroit Pistons Center Bill Laimbeer, who was a 4-time all-star, won 2 championship rings with the Pistons, and was a great defensive player, rebounder, and 3-point shooter. Laimbeer was disliked for his rough play and surly attitude towards sportswriters, which might account for he is ignored by the media. He was also from a fairly well-off background. In his early career Laimbeer was said to be the only NBA player who earned less than his father, an executive of Owens-Illinois.

Anonymous said...

Steve your sports pieces are interesting but often wrong-headed. What sport is more dominated genetic freaks than Basketball. To be a center in the NBA you need to be 6'10" (at least) weigh x amount, have x percent body fat, & not be total Klutz. How many people meet these requirements, and then fail because they didn't have a loving dad or a high IQ?

I don't have the exact stats off the top of my head, but I'd say 80 percent of NBA players are 6' 5" and over, and probably 2 percent of US males are 6'5 and over. I don' think there are many White Americans in this 2 percent that decide to become QB's rather than Small forwards.

Anonymous said...

Sure, there are more tall white guys abroad, but Germany isn't exactly hoops crazy.

Talk about an outlier...can anyone name a German basketball player other than Dirk Nowitzki?

Rev. Right said...

"how come there are more top white basketball players from foreign countries (e.g., Nowitzki, Nash, the Gasols, Ginobili, etc.) than from the U.S.?"

Because they can develop in an environment free of competition with black players.

It seems obvious that the black population produces a higher proportion of the kind of large, mobile athlete that dominates at the game of basketball. But it is exceedingly weird how there are more white Europeans than white Americans in the NBA.

NBA basketball players are produced by a system that starts with junior leagues, then high school, then big time college basketball programs. At each stage the field is narrowed with only the best going on.

On average, blacks mature and reach adult stature earlier than whites. Not to get all Malcolm Gladwell on you, but even a slight head start on physical maturity can confer a significant advantage.

Most kids playing basketball in high school cannot compete at the elite level of players who are "Men among boys". If a signifcantly higher percentage of these mature players are black than white, that would result in many talented white players being discarded at early stages of this winnowing process. If you can't make the freshman team, you are probably done with basketball.

European players play in more homogenous populations. All of the elite players in high school are going to be white, and this is the pool that will be drawn from to play at the next level.

Europeans also don't have to deal with a conventional wisdom that white guys can't play, because, over there obviously they can.

jody said...

if germany cared about soccer, dirk nowitzki would be....oh wait, germany cares about soccer. well if spain cared about soccer, the gasols would be...oh wait. well, tall black NBA players would still dominate soccer if they were "interested". as we can plainly see from the netherlands, tallest nation in the world and 3 time world cup finalist, which fields a national soccer team of...oh wait.

so much for dwight howard and andrew bynum dominating soccer. play the sport that suits you, not the one that ESPN says you would easily dominate if you were "interested".

after 2 rounds, there is only 1 american tennis player left in the french open. i guess all the good tennis players are in the NBA and NFL now too? or is that only boxing, where kevin durant would be world heavyweight champion if he was "interested"?

Steve Sailer said...

I know a well-to-do couple who were classmates of Laimbeer in high school in Palos Verde. I can remember when Laimbeer's team beat the supposedly unbeatable Verbum Dei with future NBA first round picks David Greenwood and Roy Hamilton in the 1975 CIF playoffs. Laimbeer went on to have a much better NBA career than either, even though they had been touted as basketball gods since they were freshmen in high school.

Miley Cyrax said...

Hilarious that we applaud black NBA players for getting SAT scores such as 1130 and 1320. Wow Kareem and Robinson are such renaissance men to score about as high as decently smart white and Asian kids do in middle school! If only they weren't basketball players/put down by white oppression I'm sure they would be rocket scientists or brain surgeons!

Anonymous said...

These 2 posts from 2 of Sailer's recent posts seem to contradict each other in their assumptions about educrats' level of intelligence. Steve, are educrats smart or not smart? Or does it depend on the country?

“A few years ago, I made up a list of the top 10 centers in NBA history, and most seemed pretty smart…The small number of top players from Africa are mostly from the top of their societies: Olajuwon's dad was rich, Mutumbo's dad was a high school principal”


From a May 22nd post: “The good news about educrats is that they aren't very bright and aren't very good at predicting the effects of policies.”

Anonymous said...

Manute Bol and his minute ball.

Anonymous said...

"Wow Kareem and Robinson are such renaissance men to score about as high as decently smart white and Asian kids do in middle school!"

Really, middle school kids take the old SAT? I did not know that.

Anonymous said...

There aren't many white players because high level youth basketball in the US is filled with ghetto types.

Developing talent requires a lot of parental investment, and white parents aren't going to put in that kind of investment to see their sons get corrupted by ghetto culture. Middle-class black parents are more acclimated to the underclass and don't mind.


I hadn't before noticed centers being more intelligent than one would expect, but I have noticed that accurate 3-point shooting seems to require a higher IQ, hence why whites (even big ones like Dirk) still hold on to that role, and ace black 3-point shooters like ray allen and reggie miller seem intelligent as well.

Mitch said...

" Wow Kareem and Robinson are such renaissance men to score about as high as decently smart white and Asian kids do in middle school!"

1320 old SAT is about top 15 percent, give or take. Almost certainly better than the current president, definitely better than the previous president, and smack dab in the center of "smart by any definition".

By the way, most middle schoolers who take the SAT and do really really well don't see much of a boost in scores when they get to high school. For example, my son and another of his friends took the SAT in middle school for the CTY. Both qualified, but my son's friend had low 600s; my son had high 400s. Both were in the top .5% of their age group at the time (2000). Five years later, my son's was 2200 (mid 700s), the friend was 1900 (still mid 600s).

You are clearly implying that white and Asian middle schoolers with high scores do much better later, but it's not at all linear.

Steve Sailer said...

I suspect that in the market among middle class black ladies with infertile husbands looking through sperm donor catalogs, seed of David Robinson would prove popular.

Jack said...

I know Steve argued once upon a time that while football players tend to be more intelligent than their race, basketball players might not be. I think basketball players are though on average, at least for blacks, because of the discipline and relative crime-free past needed to make college bball and the NBA.

Then again, white football players may be smarter than white bballers on average. Most white fball players are QB/linemen who need to remember tons of plays.

The NBA would probably like nothing more than for there to be a white American star in the NBA, but those are so rare. If there is one, he will probably come from an all-white part of the country.

Fred said...

"Hilarious that we applaud black NBA players for getting SAT scores such as 1130 and 1320. Wow Kareem and Robinson are such renaissance men to score about as high as decently smart white and Asian kids do in middle school! If only they weren't basketball players/put down by white oppression I'm sure they would be rocket scientists or brain surgeons!"

1320 on the old, harder SAT is probably about a 1400-1420 today, which would put Robinson in about the 97% percentile -- easily smart enough to be a brain surgeon.

Camlost said...

If white-such as Jimmy Federette-none, if black-guarenteed yes. Case closed.

First of all, it's Jimmer Fredette.

Second of all, he has ZERO chance of making it in the NBA and that's not because of anti-white racism. He's an awful defensive player, he's skinny, can't dribble, and is nowhere near physical enough to defend NBA shooting guards.

Basically, he has no position to play in the NBA. His only skill would be hitting uncontested 3-point shots, but that's superfluous since if you need a deep specialist you can also get a white guy like Kyle Korver or Mike Miller since they have shooting ability and size enough to keep them from being a liability in other areas.

Whaddy'a think, Truth?

Basketball seems to be the only topic that you actually know, lol...

Truth said...

"Considering there is such a strong racial caste system at work in the NBA which would tend to skewer any statistical analysis."

Like the one at NASA?

"What possible methodology could predict that foreign countries with little basketball history will produce more white NBA stars then the US with hundreds of thousands of white kids that play avidly."

You said RACIAL caste system; the last I checked Andrea Bargnani and Darko Milicic were white.

Truth said...

"Talk about an outlier...can anyone name a German basketball player other than Dirk Nowitzki?"

Detlef Schremp was outstanding.

Anonymous said...

Passive aggressive ankle biter says:

"These 2 posts from 2 of Sailer's recent posts seem to contradict each other in their assumptions about educrats' level of intelligence. Steve, are educrats smart or not smart? Or does it depend on the country?

“A few years ago, I made up a list of the top 10 centers in NBA history, and most seemed pretty smart…The small number of top players from Africa are mostly from the top of their societies: Olajuwon's dad was rich, Mutumbo's dad was a high school principal”


From a May 22nd post: “The good news about educrats is that they aren't very bright and aren't very good at predicting the effects of policies.”"


Two statements made in two completely different contexts can't be cherry picked like that, ankle biter, and you know it.

"He is smart for a black basketball player; his dad was a high school principal" is what some might call damning with faint praise. Intelligence isn't an absolute: what might be considered top-flight for one group wouldn't be considered top-flight for a different group. That's why we can speak of groups as meaningful things in themselves, and not mere arbitrary grab-bags of random attributes.

Likewise speaking of educators as a group you're not speaking about a racial group but a professional group and you can make group comparisons. In this context Steve isn't talking about innate intelligence but professional group intelligence: how well the group actually does its job. IMO its job is not to produce educational models that can work because of their offical HBD denial, thus they are forced to "act stupid" (as you are) in order to deny the obvious. These people aren't literally stupid: their ideology forces them to act as though they are stupid. But you already know all about pretending to be stupid so as to deny the obvious, don't you, ankle biter?

Truth said...

""Wow Kareem and Robinson are such renaissance men to score about as high as decently smart white and Asian kids do in middle school!"

That's highly dubious; and in any effect, the real issue is, how many of those White and Asian middle schoolers can dunk from the foul line?

Miley Cyrax said...

@Mitch
1320 old SAT is about top 15 percent, give or take. Almost certainly better than the current president, definitely better than the previous president, and smack dab in the center of "smart by any definition.

By the way, most middle schoolers who take the SAT and do really really well don't see much of a boost in scores when they get to high school. For example, my son and another of his friends took the SAT in middle school for the CTY. Both qualified, but my son's friend had low 600s; my son had high 400s. Both were in the top .5% of their age group at the time (2000). Five years later, my son's was 2200 (mid 700s), the friend was 1900 (still mid 600s).

You are clearly implying that white and Asian middle schoolers with high scores do much better later, but it's not at all linear.


It's not at all linear, but it's not hard to see that most people get smarter from seventh or eighth grade to eleventh grade. Friends of mine and I generally scored about 150-300 points better (Math and Verbal combined) in 11th grade than we did in middle school. That's a pretty substantial improvement when you're already scoring above average in middle school.

Really, middle school kids take the old SAT? I did not know that.

We also took the SAT in middle school for CTY and similar programs.

glib, facile n snarky said...

"(By the way, Gabriel's father was from the Philippines. His mother was Irish.)"

Obviously the woman was insane. What about this guy's SAT score, btw? Is he smarter than a black guy?

Anonymous said...

" In any case it strikes me as obvious that white American males grow up intimidated by blacks and believing that basketball (and to some extent athletics in general) is a black guys field.

White guys from Europe don't carry around that baggage."

This.

There are enough talented athletes among the >600M whites in N. America and Europe to produce a few NBA players, most of whom come from a relatively tiny pool of 50M or so blacks. White kids in Europe can develop at their own pace without facing far more talented and aggressive black players early in life.

Anonymous said...

Stupid, Liberal, Anti-White Bigots.

SLAWBs

There are only two types of SLAWB: hopelessly stupid and hopelessly biased. You have to be one or both to believe the things SLAWBs believe:

diversity is a strength
every culture is equally good
race does not exist
the Western world need more immigrants
white racial identity is racist
non-white racial identity is wonderful
mentioning or alluding to minorities in an unflattering way is racist
refusal to feel guilty for being white is racist
refusal to hate all white people is racist
openly calling for the extermination of all white people is not racist
any white person accused of racism by anyone is a racist
anyone accusing a minority of racism is a racist — unless the accuser is a less racist minority (blacks < Muslims < Hispanics < American Indians << Asians << Jews), in which case the accused is the racist; or both are the same race (e.g. black vs. "Uncle Tom"), in which case whomever is least anti-white is the racist
science, statistics, and common sense are racist if they do not support any of the aforementioned beliefs
freedom of speech does not extend to questioning any of these beliefs (including this one), which is racist
a racist (by any of the above criteria) is the worst thing you can possibly be, and the use of violence to suppress his or her “hate thoughts” — and I do mean thoughts, not just speech — is a legitimate political strategy to be encouraged, if not mandated by law
etc.
Neither type of SLAWB can be reasoned with. The hopelessly stupid SLAWB cannot understand, and the hopelessly biased SLAWB will not understand, or he will understand but pretend he does not understand because it profits him (e.g., Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Jesse Jackson’s crazy son…).

Since they cannot be reasoned with, it is about time I stopped trying.

I have stopped trying
I mean it. I am done arguing with these morons and charlatans.

So now that I have stopped trying, what am I going to do with all my free time?
http://unamusementpark.wordpress.com/
Robert in Arabia

Anonymous said...

"We also took the SAT in middle school for CTY and similar programs."

I'm just surprised they take the old SAT, from, what is it now, 20 years ago? I figured they'd have them take the new one, the actual SAT people are administering now. But no, they administer old copies. Weird!

Laban said...

Choose your parents wisely.

Two days back Michelle Obama visited Oxford, and brought along some girls from a girl's state school in London, the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson school which is 90% minority.

She praised a former pupil, now at Oxford.

During her speech at Oxford University, the US President's wife told pupils from Miss Pabi's old school: "If you start to doubt yourselves, I want you to remember Clarissa. Remember her story if mine does not resonate. Success is not about our background - Clarissa knows that."

Miss Pabi, educated at Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School in Islington and now studying English at Oxford, said: "It was unbelievable being in her presence and hearing her talk."


So is Ms Pabi the child of semi-literate immigrant parents, whose native intelligence was brought out by her schooling despite her poverty-stricken background? Not exactly.

"Miss Pabi was inspired to go to university by her mother, who has a doctorate in chemistry. Her father and grandparents were educated at university and her younger brother is at the University of East London."

Truth said...

"Second of all, he has ZERO chance of making it in the NBA and that's not because of anti-white racism. He's an awful defensive player, he's skinny, can't dribble, and is nowhere near physical enough to defend NBA shooting guards."

Jimmer Fredette is certainly a lighning rod. Strangely enough, I think that he will be BETTER than most scouts do. He will be a solid rotation player at least and a good starter at best. He gets compared to JJ Reddick, who's a solid rotation player, and he is a better player than JJ is RIGHT NOW.

He doesn't play defense, but that is a matter of desire more than anything else as he's a pretty fair athlete. If he worked hard he could be an adequate defender. I think he's better than Kemba Walker and possibly Brandon Knight but not IRving.

Steve Sailer said...

I don't know anything about Jimmer Fredette of BYU, but looking at his picture, I wouldn't be surprised if he were 1/16th or 1/32 black.

glib and said...

Ok. I've had enough of the SAT. When are you guys gonna move on to the GRE, MCAT, LSAT, or MAT?

More earth-shattering would be to have jr high kids take the GRE, LSAT or MAT to see if they're really any harder than the SAT.

Furthermore, the ACT is tired of getting short shrift around here and is thinking of suing.

Anonymous said...

"When are you guys gonna move on to the GRE, MCAT, LSAT, or MAT?"

Meh. Many more data points with the SAT, plus there's less selection bias because so darn MANY people take the thing. People who take the LSAT are going to law school; people who take the MCAT are going to med school. A certain kind of person plans on these things, so you get slightly skewed results. Those tests aren't as useful for talking about broad population characteristics, which is what Steve tends to do.

Laban said...

"In other sports, size is more important - and the government appears to be discreetly trying to influence this too. Top basketball coach Wang Libin says the government encouraged the exceptionally tall mother and father of Yao Ming, the 7ft 6in superstar of the American basketball league, to marry. They did the same for his own parents, and for him and his wife - both basketball players. Their daughter is only 15, but she is 6ft 4in tall and dreams of playing in the 2012 London Olympics. Now, he says, tall people are exempted from the one-child policy so that they can breed more tall offspring."

JSM said...

"SLAWBs"

Thank you, Robert in Arabia. This is excellent. May I use it?

Anonymous said...

"I suspect that in the market among middle class black ladies with infertile husbands looking through sperm donor catalogs, seed of David Robinson would prove popular."

Indeed, an incredibly athletic, intelligent 7-foot tall math major and NBA player.
I always knew he was an unusually classy guy for an NBA player, I'm not surprised to see he's bright as well.

Consistent with the theme of the post, that his father was an engineer is no surprise either.

Mitch said...

"More earth-shattering would be to have jr high kids take the GRE, LSAT or MAT to see if they're really any harder than the SAT.

Furthermore, the ACT is tired of getting short shrift around here and is thinking of suing."

GRE verbal was never renormed, and is much harder than the SAT verbal. Only 2% get above 700. GRE Math is a bit easier; no second year algebra, but you also don't get a calculator.

The LSAT is much harder than any section of the SAT, even without math.

THe ACT is a great test. When working with the lower half of the cognitive curve, it's much better to give them the ACT than the SAT--it's more direct, without being easier. On the other hand, its time constraints are a big chunk of the difficulty.

From a practical standpoint, the two are interchangeable, so it's probably more accurate to write SAT/ACT. And the reason we discuss the SAT/ACT and not the grad tests is that the n is far more representative and considerably larger.

Maguro said...

how come there are more top white basketball players from foreign countries (e.g., Nowitzki, Nash, the Gasols, Ginobili, etc.) than from the U.S.? Sure, there are more tall white guys abroad, but Germany isn't exactly hoops crazy.

I think a lot of it can be explained by the structure of European sports, which takes promising athletes at in their early teens and makes professionals out of them.

Soccer players like David Beckham have been professional athletes since they were 11 or 12 years old, and I suspect European hoops stars like the Gasols have professionalized in much the same way.

All that professional training and practice gives Europeans a tremendous advantage against American athletes who wasted a lot of their precious time on stuff like school and a social life.

Dutch Boy said...

The European players can develop their game playing "white man's basketball" (Moses Malone's term, I believe). This is bb as it was intended to be played: pass the ball to the open man, play defense, etc., not the NBA style no harm/no foul game.

JW Ogden said...

I think Nowitzki is a good case. If he grew up here in the USA coaches would have made him stay close to the basket and compete against much more athletic blacks. He would have had to make it into the NBA at 22 years old. It is quite possible that he would not have made it. In many cases playing in Europe against lesser competition helps because it allows a guy like Nowitzki to develop a shot. Also Europe being newer to the sport in more adapted to the 3 point shot.

BTW I hate what the 3 point shot has done to the game.

Jeff said...

Just read that a top 5 pick in the this year's draft, Enes Kanter, has a wealthy, surgeon father.

He's from Turkey and made the smart decision of not binding himself to a Turkish team for the long term so he can play in the NBA and make more money.

Anonymous said...

I think a lot of it can be explained by the structure of European sports,

No, I'm pretty sure that it can be explained by white guys in America being scared to death of black guys.

I'm a white guy from Europe (though not a basketball player) and one thing which shocked me when I came to America was how scared white Americans are of backs. White American men in particular. It's like an entire country had its testicles removed.

Anonymous said...

I don't know anything about Jimmer Fredette of BYU, but looking at his picture, I wouldn't be surprised if he were 1/16th or 1/32 black.

That's carrying the whole one-drop thing past the point of absurdity.

Sheila said...

JSM, the acronym SLAWBS is from http://unamusementpark.wordpress.com/
and I believe Unamused would be happy to have you use it.

Re middle-schoolers and SAT scores, my son took the SAT in 7th grade (at age 10) as part of the Duke Talent Search program and got 1130, which I believe was a bit higher than the average college-applying high-school senior in my state. Since at least 75% of those applying to college really don't belong there, I don't find these black NBA stars' SATS terribly impressive.

Tom said...

First of all, it's Jimmer Fredette.

Second of all, he has ZERO chance of making it in the NBA and that's not because of anti-white racism. He's an awful defensive player


Jimmer Fredette will be drafted in the middle of the first round (example). First round picks automatically receive guaranteed contracts. So, you have essentially ZERO chance of being right.

alonzo portfolio said...

Others have said this before but it has to be repeated: if you're European, you're not going to get the crap beat out of you by jealous, race-obsessed blacks as you come up in the game. In this country, blacks will mess you up off the court if you dare to compete with them under the boards or block their shots.

Anonymous said...

"I'm a white guy from Europe (though not a basketball player) and one thing which shocked me when I came to America was how scared white Americans are of blacks."

With good reason. Check out the crime statistics. The robbery and murder rates differ by a factor of 10.

Someone who doesn't worry as much about being hurt or going to jail is more likely to attack. Even if the white could put up a good fight, or even win, why get damaged? Or if you have a gun, why go through an expensive trial for manslaughter or whatever?

That's why in stable societies, animal as well as human, physical conflict is minimized. Conflict is stylized if possible. But blacks don't go along with the program in our unstable, low social-capital society.
Robert Hume

Anonymous said...

"I'm a white guy from Europe (though not a basketball player) and one thing which shocked me when I came to America was how scared white Americans are of backs. White American men in particular. It's like an entire country had its testicles removed."

French men are becoming the same way with increasing numbers of blacks in France. Europeans don't know the truth because they see American Tv and Hollywood which are full of lies. In truth, many blacks are thugs and they be the toughest race.

Whiskey said...

Yeah there are European-based White players in the NBA, but not very many of them and they get little pub and shoe contract hoopla. Compare/contrast say, LeBron James ("We are all witness") to Dirk Nowicki. Who is the most celebrated player?

The NBA probably would like NO White players if they could get away with it. The NBA is centered around showing pure athleticism (and about as little team-work as possible) and Black guys do athleticism better than anyone else. The Best Athletes(tm) are always Black. The NBA is slam dunks and such. That's the game, today.

You might argue about the wisdom of that strategy, but its pretty clear they chose it.

Anonymous said...

"but I have noticed that accurate 3-point shooting seems to require a higher IQ,"

Yeah, throwing a ball from outside the perimeter is like doing differential equations. Give. Me. A. Frikken. Break.

ogunsiron said...

Fred said...

"Hilarious that we applaud black NBA players for getting SAT scores such as 1130 and 1320. Wow Kareem and Robinson are such renaissance men to score about as high as decently smart white and Asian kids do in middle school! If only they weren't basketball players/put down by white oppression I'm sure they would be rocket scientists or brain surgeons!"

1320 on the old, harder SAT is probably about a 1400-1420 today, which would put Robinson in about the 97% percentile -- easily smart enough to be a brain surgeon.
----
According to wikipedia ,

"Robinson scored a 1320 on the SAT, and he chose to go to the U.S. Naval Academy, where he majored in mathematics.

For an early 80s sat=1320, the IQ comparison site brackets the IQ between 136 and 139. Both scores are above the 99th percentile of whatever is the reference population.

( see
http://www.iqcomparisonsite.com/oldSATIQ.aspx )

On the same site, the roughly equivalent M+V GRE score = 1330.

Finally, according to this site
( http://www.happyschoolsblog.com/average-gre-scores-for-phd/)
,
the average M+V GRE score for people accepted in doctoral math programs in the USA is about 1231.

Looks to me like David Robinson is a tiny bit more than decently smart. He's probably not putnam fellow material and he might have struggled at caltech but that doesn't make him dull or just above average. Come on.

Truth said...

"Compare/contrast say, LeBron James ("We are all witness") to Dirk Nowicki. Who is the most celebrated player?"

And if you'd learn the name of the guy you are sticking up for, you might have a better argument.

glib, facile n snarky said...

"the average M+V GRE score for people accepted in doctoral math programs in the USA is about 1231."

I'm hoping this is like 730 M + 500V b/c I surpassed this average and am in no way capable of completing a doctoral math program. The devil is obviously in the details.

Anonymous said...

There are several factors that increasing Kareem and Robinson's SAT score-equivalent on today's scale:

- in the 1960's, old exams were not released. Preparing for the exam was unusual, and retaking it was rare.

- in the 1980's the exam had not been made easier (analogies, comparisons, and other difficult parts were later dropped) nor recentered. For the higher scores, recentering awarded about 70-80 extra points on the verbal and 10-20 on the math.

- Robinson and Alcindor spent far more time playing sports than would have been the case for an ordinary student (or athlete). They would have probably scored higher if they had more time available for academics.

Anonymous said...

"Second of all, he has ZERO chance of making it in the NBA and that's not because of anti-white racism. He's an awful defensive player, he's skinny, can't dribble, and is nowhere near physical enough to defend NBA shooting guards.

Basically, he has no position to play in the NBA. His only skill would be hitting uncontested 3-point shots, but that's superfluous since if you need a deep specialist you can also get a white guy like Kyle Korver or Mike Miller since they have shooting ability and size enough to keep them from being a liability in other areas.

Whaddy'a think, Truth? "

No, I think it's stupidity. The best player in college is such a sucky player that he can't even dribble. Hey why don't all those black players that will get drafted higher dominate in college if a crappy white player can do it?

I never understand the thinking of the anti-white. A complete blindness to double standards. Anyway if you really think you can argue the point go to castefootball.us and get yourself slapped back to reality.

Lucy said...

"- in the 1960's, old exams were not released. Preparing for the exam was unusual, and retaking it was rare."

I wonder if there's any way to get around test preps. Even in the 80s no one who expected to do well on the SAT/ACT prepared for it. Though we often did schedule a first entrance exam in time to take it a second time knowing the highest score, I believe of either take, was the one counted.

Now you'd be crazy not to put your child through some sort of test prep in order to make the competition more fair. That being said, I think some test preps are more acceptable than others. Getting up to speed on math you haven't seen in a while plus learning new vocabulary vs learning how to guess.

BTW, there was a rumor going around my high school in the mid-80s that one guy had scored a 1600 only answering every other question on the SAT. Could this have been true?

Anonymous said...

>"In truth, many blacks are thugs and they be the toughest race."

They may be thugs, but they not be the toughest race.

They are willing to fight though, and I get the impression that the majority of white men have never been in a fight in their lives.

Anonymous said...

"'m hoping this is like 730 M + 500V b/c I surpassed this average and am in no way capable of completing a doctoral math program."

A looooot of foreigners in math and science get 800 math and tank the verbal. As long as they pass the TOEFL, grad schools don't give two craps about the verbal score.

Lucy said...

"A looooot of foreigners in math and science get 800 math and tank the verbal. As long as they pass the TOEFL, grad schools don't give two craps about the verbal score."

This would be more impressive if I hadn't simply used a high school level math tutorial to review material I hadn't seen in over a decade to get my shockingly-high-for-me math score. :p

Anonymous said...

There looks to be a bumper crop of European NBA players coming up in this year's draft, but virtually all of them would be considered some type of forward. No guards or centers were really on the lists I've seen. What has recently begun to hurt Euros coming over to the NBA is that most European clubs want economic compensation for giving the rights to an NBA team, and most NBA teams don't want't to give up cash.

This arrangement works very well in between pro soccer clubs in Europe where you have many large deep pocketed national leagues ( England, Germany, Spain, France, Italy ) These clubs arrange transfer fees in order to give up big or promising players within and between countries and lessen the impact of losing a star player before his contract runs out. This is why English powerhouse Manchester United gave up it's biggest player Cristiano Ronaldo to Spanish powerhouse Real Madrid. Americans aren't used to sports where they have to compete with other comparably wealthy countries and where the sport is just as popular. Most European basketball teams are run by the same organizations that run their soccer clubs.

Anonymous said...

I am Argentine, here Basketball is a small city sport. It is played in cities with populations of less than 300.000 people.

Those cities tend to be cities which have been founded and are populated mainly by European immigrants who came here from the 1880's till WW2.

In those small cities, the sports center, owned by the City Hall, is one of the most important institutions. Because it helps the population of the provincial town to not die of boredome. Teenagers go there a lot and end up playing sports like basketball, handball or volley, which are not played at all in the big cities of Argentina (in the big cities all people play football/soccer, with tennis being the second most popular sport).


Just lurking

Anonymous said...

“To be a center in the NBA you need to be 6'10" (at least) weigh x amount, have x percent body fat, & not be total Klutz. How many people meet these requirements, and then fail because they didn't have a loving dad or a high IQ? …I don't have the exact stats off the top of my head, but I'd say 80 percent of NBA players are 6' 5" and over…”

The stats are easy to find: http://www.draftexpress.com/nba-pre-draft-measurements/?page=avepos&year=All

The average NBA center is 6’9.81” (half would be shorter) and 251 lbs. Power forwards average 6’7.6”, small forwards 6’6”, shooting guards 6’3.5”, and point guards 6’0.6”.

“Talk about an outlier...can anyone name a German basketball player other than Dirk Nowitzki?”

Hmm… Detlef Schrempf, Uwe Blaab, Christian Welp were all NBA playes (and Schrempf was a very good one).

Anonymous said...

"jail wrecks the careers of a fair number of athletic blacks from underclass backgrounds"

Now I understand that many neglected discus throwers play in NBA. Sure, this is the only sport, where they could use their potential, right? Teach me about sport anthropometry, Steve!

WarLord said...

"Talk about an outlier...can anyone name a German basketball player other than Dirk Nowitzki?"

An outlier in a coutry that has 5-6times more guys with the height of an average NBA player than US blacks?

WarLord said...

"It seems obvious that the black population produces a higher proportion of the kind of large, mobile athlete that dominates at the game of basketball. But it is exceedingly weird how there are more white Europeans than white Americans in the NBA."

Apparently, all the NHANES surveys that documented the average height of 178 cm in today's US blacks - barely moderate by current European standards - must be biased and racist. All the amateur anthropologists from ESPN know the topic better.

WarLord said...

"There are enough talented athletes among the >600M whites in N. America and Europe to produce a few NBA players, most of whom come from a relatively tiny pool of 50M or so blacks. White kids in Europe can develop at their own pace without facing far more talented and aggressive black players early in life."

And not only they are more talented - they are also so-so much more athletic! So don't wonder that the world record in the discus throw has been stagnating for so long - all the best 2 m tall discus throwers play in NBA! The same applies for the hammer throw, no doubt. And considering that some tall javelin throwers also stand somatically quite close to NBA guards and forwards, we are losing tens of potential great field athletes only due to NBA! That's depressive, really.

Anonymous said...

Hockey Pop: Popeye Jones' Son Is A Rising Star, But Not In Basketball
Written by: Les Carpenter
Tuesday, June 7, 2011 4:04
thepostgame.com

...His oldest son Justin, 20, just finished a season with a junior team near his Dallas home called the Texas Tornado. His youngest boy Caleb, 14, is showing promise too. But it is his middle son, 16-year-old Seth, whom hockey people are talking about. They say Seth, a tall, rugged defenseman who plays for the U.S. Under-17 team, might be a top 10 pick in the 2013 NHL Draft.

Popeye doesn't know much about hockey, not like basketball where he is an assistant coach with the New Jersey Nets. Over the years, he has stood in the back of rinks, a giant of a man trying to hide as he watched his sons skating across the ice. He calls out encouragement. He has learned the game but not enough that he can break down their performances...

At USA Hockey they love Seth. The coaches there notice the same things that are so obvious to the father. The Under-17 team coach, former NHL player Danton Cole, calls Seth "a point guard"...