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Red's Army

Do NBA teams “carry” white guys?

Chuck - Red's Army July 27, 2010 Uncategorized 9 Comments

MSNBC talking head Chris Matthews was having a spirited discussion
about affirmative action on “Hardball” when suddenly, unexpectedly, the
conversation shifted to race and sports.

At first, the chat was about everyday jobs, with Matthews posing the
question: “If an Italian passes the firefighter’s exam, and a black man
doesn’t, who gets the job?”

This led to his Pat Buchanan using the “Olympic model.” Basically,
that there are black-dominated sports (sprinting, high-jump) and
white-dominated sports (hockey, swimming) but this is America, dammit,
and the best athletes are the ones who make the team.

That’s when things get interesting. Matthews, ever the provocateur,
then proclaims, “I think a lot of NBA teams carry white players.”

SportsGrid

I think it's silly to think NBA owners/general managers would waste a valuable roster spot on a non-deserving player because of his skin color.

And what's the point of having your 10th, 11th or 12th guy be white? It's not like he's seeing time on the court or making the cover of your media guide.

Am I naive?

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  • CFH

    Carry a truly non-deserving player? No. A team that’s trying to win needs all of its roster spots filled with contributors and prospects.
    But if there’s a pack of potential 13th men who have about the same expected contribution/upside, and the only thing that separates them is race… I can see a team taking the white guy.
    Way more likely to happen on a bad team with publicity issues than on a good team.

  • http://www.manfredmacx.com Jon

    The decision to sign one player over a pretty equally skilled player might come down to race (or personality or fan popularity or any number of other non-basketball factors), but I do not believe there are any pro sports GMs who are racist enough to give a player hundreds of thousands of dollars or more just because of race. It’s bad business.

  • xkenchy1

    i refuse to listen any over 40 about race because they seem to hold on to the past and never looking to have a good and honest debate about it. thank God for the younger generation who seem to get it. our future on race looks promising.

  • Danno

    poor scal.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p01156f5ebb21970c JD

    You can point out Scal as an example of a team doing this, but the only reason he became useless and overpayed was because the team suddenly went from a very bad to a great team in the middle of Scal’s contract and they had no more use for him really.

  • Walk

    could the available Delonte West be our new “white” guy?
    seriously though…Danny should be on the phone with that dude. He can play and he doesn’t have a contract. Granted Lebron’s mom probably wants him down in Miami for obvious reason, its still worth a phone call.

  • nick

    Its obviously true that teams “carry” white guys. Ryan Bowen, Scal, Brian Cardinal, Eric Piatkowski back in the day, but none more OBVIOUSSS than Scal, u mean to tell me he’s better than all the unsigned guys out there like McCants, Bonzi Wells, and the list goes on and on, gimme a fuckin break I agree 100%

  • CFH

    Poor Scal. I knew his name would get dragged into this.
    Scal was signed for too much money because Jason Kidd made him look better than he was (not an uncommon occurence with great point guards) and because Danny Ainge made an error in judgment.
    Not because he is white.
    He stayed because he was already under contract, because the right trade didn’t come along, and because he didn’t do the kind of harm a player has to do to be exiled from a team while under contract (see Marbury, Stephon).
    Not because he is white.
    Race and Boston sports have a long, tangled, ugly history. I wish people wouldn’t cheapen that by putting Danny Ainge’s poor decision to sign Scalabrine for too much money on race.

  • The Truth is Here

    you’re not naive. That comment was. To think that people really care that much, in a sport which is predominantly black, is ridiculous. People who wouldn’t watch because of the skin color of those playing would have already turned the TV’s off, and if they were to watch, it wouldn’t be the one white guy on the team that kept them watching. Your assessment is right on the money.