The Black All-Star Game

by J.B. Cash

16 February 2005

The NBA's annual All-Star game will be held this weekend. Basketball does not lend itself well to All-Star contests. The defense is more lackadaisical than in the regular season (if you can believe that), so everyone treats the game as a high-profile scrimmage.

As a basketball game the All-Star game is a flop; even the various "skills" contests provide more entertainment. But what the game has become is a popularity contest for the players. As such it is an indication of the advantage that white people grant to black basketball players out of a sense of guilt and/or pity.

The starting five for each team is chosen by a vote of the fans. They can vote at games or on-line. Thus the starting players are theoretically the most popular players in the league. Blacks and others often accuse white people of being the most racist people on the planet. This is patently absurd. Many examples refute this contention and voting for the NBA All-Star team is one case where whites are the most racially disloyal people in the world.

Here is a chance for white people to give in to their racist tendencies and vote deserving white players onto the team while ignoring black players. So what do they do? They vote for a completely non-white starting line-up. Some of those elected have little reason to even be on the team. Besides the top nine black players that were elected, a player from Communist China received more votes from white people than any white player. Since white people make up at least 80-90% of the fan base and a similar percentage of computer users, it is obvious that white fans are not particularly fond of white players no matter how deserving.

Voted onto the team were some of the following black players. Vince Carter was elected to his sixth All-Star game, (basketball voters being as biased towards incumbents as political voters). Carter has been traded once this year, has admitted he doesn't always try hard, and is often an unlikable person. Still the fans love him. Despite being just 17th in the league in scoring he still gets more votes than other players.

Grant Hill has some sort of magical spell over basketball fans. He is a decent enough fellow, unlike Carter, and is voted to the team every year he is healthy enough to play, few as those are. He was even voted onto the team once when he had hardly played all season long and was not able to play in the All-Star game (sort of like Missourians voting Mel Carnahan into office after he had died). Hill has resurrected a career that seemingly ended due to a nagging ankle injury, but sympathy is not a good reason to be an All-Star nor is his 18.7 PPG.

Kobe Bryant is scoring a lot of points but his team has fallen apart. If there ever was a player white people should punish you would think it would be a black man accused of raping a white woman. Apparently even being a rapist of a white woman is not enough for white people to express their supposedly racist tendencies against a black player. If that isn't, what is? Well certainly not being the face of the "gangster" look in sports (Alan Iverson), a leader on the disappointing U.S. Olympic basketball team (Tim Duncan), or even a ridiculously overhyped kid a couple of years out of high school (Lebron James).

Even an Oriental has a larger fan following than any white player as Yao Ming received the most votes in NBA history. A lot of that was from his native China, which only makes you wonder, why the heck everyone else in the world gets to vote for the supposed North American All-Stars? Are those fans in China going to buy tickets to games to support the NBA? No. Are they going to buy the products that are advertised in support of the NBA? No. All the Chinese are going to do is make all the little trinkets and other junk sold at NBA games along with nearly everything else that was once made in America. Eventually they will be the only ones able to afford to go to a game. That will be one long commute!

There were plenty of deserving white players. Some of them were selected as back-ups thanks to the rational voting of the (primarily) white NBA coaches, who choose the non-starters for each conference. The Dallas Mavericks' Dirk Nowitzki is having a fantastic year after many seasons of being one of the best and least recognized players in the league. If white fans cannot be motivated enough to elect a long-time star player, and one of the few white ones, who is having a career year and is leading his team to one of the best records in the league, when will they?

Steve Nash has proven himself to be the primary reason the Phoenix Suns have the best record in the league, is also a well-known star who may well end up as the league MVP this season, yet finished third at his position in the voting.

Only one white player was selected by the Eastern Conference, Cleveland Center Zydrunas Ilgauskas. Ilgauskas received half as many votes as the Pistons' Ben Wallace even though he averages twice as many points. Wallace, though, has a huge 'fro which offsets his miniscule offensive skills. San Antonio's Manu Ginobili, quite possibly the most athletically gifted player in NBA history, was selected by the coaches, a nice selection, but last year's number two scorer in the league, Peja Stojakovic, was ignored, as were any white players born in the U.S.

There will be plenty of other diversions during "All-Star" weekend. A slam dunk contest, results of which are judged in much the same manner as figure skating, in other words politically. You can even enjoy watching Ice Cube and Nelly playing in a celebrity game. I have noticed that nearly all black people believe they can play basketball, as if it was a birthright, or perhaps they believe it's genetic (unlike IQ). I have personally attended picnics, family reunions, and other affairs where even the most out-of-shape overweight, and old, black people believe they can play basketball.

One cannot overestimate the importance of basketball to the black community in America. They have seized hold of the game here and aggressively defend it against any white presence. Their enthusiasm for the game is beyond fanatic and is the main reason that few U.S. whites are starring in the NBA. U.S. whites learn early on that blacks have so much invested in the game that it is too much trouble to try and challenge their fierce defense of it. In a society where any white aggressiveness is attributed to the aforementioned excess of "white prejudice" it is not surprising that whites avoid the inevitable conflict and leave that to the foreign players who did not have to deal with all that in their formative years.

I experienced a personal example of the extreme black devotion to the sport while working with some disadvantaged youths in my locality. (Disadvantaged means black). In one survey of households in a nearby public housing complex we found that two percent of the 200 families surveyed had an adult male in the house. That is four families out of 200! That certainly helps put the 'dis'- in disadvantaged.

Recently I attended a game for 6-to-8-year-olds at the local recreation league in this same community. The skill of some of the young black kids is truly amazing. It is obvious that they have spent a lot of time playing. Their desire and aggressiveness is quite high for their age. At other times in other sports I have watched kids (black and white) lazily slink around a soccer field, fall asleep at their baseball games and wander off from football practices. Never have I seen the drive and desire that was present at these youth basketball games.

The whole thing was curious to me until I watched what every young black kid did after he made a good play or sank a basket. He would look over to the audience at a particular one of the considerable number of black men in attendance and receive an approving nod or smile. It suddenly occurred to me that this was probably the only positive feedback many of these poor young boys got from their fathers. If 90-something percent of them do not have a father at home, yet nearly all of them had a "father" in attendance at their basketball games, that would make the playing of those games the most important hour of each week in their young lives.

Think of the tremendous impact that must have on those boys. For them the main opportunity for any fatherly affection is by excelling at basketball. That makes school, church, or any other activity, a completely secondary interest. In contrast to them the few white kids that were there would look for cheers from teammates and coaches when they made a good play. They probably get lots of positive feedback from their fathers at home. Isn't that what a father does? On the other hand a poor play or lack of effort brought scowls of disgust from the fathers of many of the black players.

And it is not just the fathers that show up. Often the whole extended family is there. Whooping and hollering and cheering their kids on, ragging on the refs and coaches. Geez. The white kid's relatives would mostly sit there politely and cheer when expected. That is one big difference in cultures. That is also why there are so many black NBA players and so few white NBA players. It means everything to them to succeed at basketball. Failure to them is like failure as a race. It is very difficult to compete against that level of desire.

We all understand the tremendous desire of black people to succeed at basketball. It is part of their culture and heritage. But it is dysfunctional. It is unhealthy, and it is a symptom of the other poor lifestyle choices made by many in that culture. Furthermore every white person on some level understands what I have described. When it comes to basketball black people are given a pass. It is as if white society has agreed that yes, you people have so little, you may have this. But that is wrong. It is unfair. It is unfair to those white kids that do have the same desire and skill but are overlooked due to existing stereotypes.

It is also unfair to those blacks that get a free pass. Yes many of them are good at the game. Yes it is very important to them. But competition is coming. The Europeans often have the same talent and the same desire. In Major League Baseball blacks have been pushed right out of the game by hispanics who did not buy into the same white-guilt advantage that was bestowed on the black American players.

Blacks were unprepared for the level of competition of the hispanic baseball player and they will again be unprepared for the level of competition of the European player, although that fight will ultimately be much tougher. White society needs to get off its guilt trip and go man-to-man with the black basketball players. It's the right thing to do.


Mr. Cash writes for Caste Football.

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