Monday, April 2, 2012
Top 5 White American NBA Players
Man, this was a tough one. Over liters of dark German beers at West Village bar Peculier Pub on Friday night, Snoot, Bottle and I somehow got to discussing the best White players in the NBA. Discounting Europeans and mixed race players this is about as tough as choosing the top 5 hottest WNBA players (believe we tried that one before too). But, being the suckers for a good list that we are, we decided to go for it anyway. We all know that there's been a severe decline in the White player going back some years now (SI did a story on this way back when)but I hadn't even realized it's THIS BAD. We've heard a lot about the lack of black baseball players but I could easily tick off 5 great African-American players who are active in the Majors. Long gone are the days of Dave Debusschere, Bill Walton, Larry Bird, hell even Jason Williams and Wally Sczerbiak would be an upgrade from most of what passes for a good White guy these days in the league. What did we rack our brains to come up with for White America and the NBA? Since the first one is easy, we'll start there and then go in descending order of White crappiness.
1) Kevin Love
A no brainer. The subject of a recent "what if he were a different race" PTU post, K Love may be a minority in the league, but he's not letting anyone bully him. Dominating all season, Love is putting up stupid numbers on a mediocre team in Minnesota. The fact that he's white has led to some stupid Larry Bird comparisons (his game is more Barkley and Moses Malone than Bird or McHale) but his play has put him in the running for top 5 white American player of ALL TIME if he keeps it up.
2) David Lee
The drop off from one to two is steep but wait til the next couple of guys. The one-time Knicks' all-star is still a dependable 20 and 10 guy on most nights, yet his defensive short comings are still a huge issue. Despite the occasional flashes that D Lee has showed through out his career, I don't think it's a coincidence that he's never been on a .500 team. He is definitely white, though, and stats like his leave him second to only one.
3) Steve Novak
Ok, I said the drop off was steep. A virtually unheard of journey man turned cult figure in New York this season, Novakane has demonstrated his 3 point prowess as a valuable member of the Knicks this season. Unfortunately, Steve is about as one note a player as there has ever been in the league. Even though he's nearly as tall as A'Mare, you're more likely to see Ben Wallace shoot a 3 then see Super Novak post up anyone. In the same vein as White players like Steve Kerr or Jason Kapono, Steve is the ultimate specialty player, he's in for one reason and one reason only. At least he has the only white guy celebration move in the league.
4) Chris Kaman
- This guy was actually an all star a couple years ago. Imagine that. I'm sure he still has some talent but there are a couple of factors working against this zombie looking fool. Firstly, he played in the Olympics for Germany which would normally eliminate him from the White American discussion. He's like 1/16th German. I'm all for national pride but how much love can you feel for a country that your great grandmother was from? That's stupid but another factor against the Kamanator is he's totally fallen apart since the Chris Paul trade. Just as that trade ruined Lamar Odom's fragile psyche it seems to have done the same for this ugly bastard. He's been off and on the injured list, has put up numbers way below his career averages and has recently missed more than a week's worth of games...with the flu! Who takes off a week because of the flu? I know playing for David Stern's Hornets in April isn't quite the same as going up against the Jazz in the finals, but man up, you punk. To make matters worse, he sat on the bench during the Lakers game on Saturday. If you're well enough to put your suit on and drive to the arena you could play the game. If I were one of his teammates I would have punched him in the balls.
Anyway, he's still one of the 5 best White American players in the league.
5) Mike Dunleavy Jr:
We are really scraping the bottom of the cracker barrel now. Dunleavy has been the typical white Duke player throughout most of his career. That is, he's been a severe disappointment to everyone and bounced around from mediocre team to mediocre team. But, he's still got some skills as evidenced by his Reggie Miller impression at the Garden last week. Another guy who had a Reggie like day at MSG this year was Ryan Anderson of the Magic. But I'm going to chalk his season up to a contract year anomaly. Also, he doesn't have any pictures as funny as that one of MD Jr.
Honorable Mentions: Ryan Anderson, JJ Redick, Kirk Hinrich, Luke Ridnour, Troy Murphy, Nick Collison, Blacky, Kyle Korver.