View Full Version : Larry Bird
06-10-2004, 01:19 PM
06-10-2004, 01:35 PM
Sometimes the worse thing you can be is right.
06-10-2004, 02:59 PM
Bird is nothing if not straightforward and honest in expressing his view. I'm not really bothered by it.
06-10-2004, 05:40 PM
Ralph Wiley and Bill Simmons hosted a chat on this topic yesterday and came up with the same conclusion I did: If Barkley said it, it would be a blip on the screen.
I don't think White America is looking for white players, but they would of course welcome a white superstar...of course, I think ALL people would welcome a player the caliber of Bird...just might not buy his jersey, that's all...
06-10-2004, 06:33 PM
He's right - but I wish it wouldn't have been asked, and I do believe it's a generational thing. Kids today don't care a whit - it's the baby boomers, perhaps that do a bit.
Ytown Tribe fan
06-10-2004, 08:00 PM
To me, LJ's quote was right on the money:
"I don't think so. I think the fans look at the game, [they're] not looking at the race. [They're] looking who can play basketball. Or who's athletic. ... When you [were] a kid and you used to go outside, it didn't matter who was the best player in the league. If Bird was my favorite player, I'm out shooting threes. ... If Magic was my [favorite] player, I'm out there throwing my best passes. It's not the race issue. If you can play the game of basketball, you know fans are gonna love you."
I really don't know what Bird's point was. My boys play b-ball and baseball and, as I did when I was a kid, they identify with great players when playing or shooting, and the great players they identify with are of all races.
As for Bird being upset being guarded by a white man, that was just Bird being an egomaniac -- something that knows no color line in sports.
06-10-2004, 08:07 PM
It is less important than it used to be. But it still matters to some.
06-10-2004, 08:31 PM
Most of the white kids I see around today want to act like the black rappers, pro players, etc. If there's a mass of white people that only want to watch/root for white NBA players, they're probably over the age of 25.
06-10-2004, 09:30 PM
I agree that all people except the most extreme racists are fans of talent, no matter what race. But I think there are two things to think about if a white American (not a euro) were to become one of the top 3 players in the NBA:
1) Novelty factor: You might not agree, but I think novelty is a HUGE factor. For as talented as Yao is, a large reason he became so popular is because he's Chinese. I know I enjoy seeing him doing well largely because he's from China...its neat. That he's good is a bonus. I think Tiger's the same way. Immensely talented, but I would argue that most of his initial surge in mass popularity (not popularity in golf circles) was because he was black (and had a cool name).
2) The Barbie Doll factor: There's a reason they started making black, chinese, and hispanic dolls. People naturally identify with folks with common characteristics. If people see a white guy playing that dominates (top 3), I guarantee he'll get a little more of a bump then a comparable black player.
Think Jason Williams (Remember "White Chocolate") jerseys from his rookie year...I think he was either the #2 or #3 jersey that year. Think "Thunder" Dan Majerle and the press he was running in the early '90s. These guys were marginal stars.
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