Essay on Racism in the NBA

833 Words 4 Pages
NBA basketball is an exciting sport. The NBA features such star players as, Michael Jordan, Allen Iverson, Keith Vanhorn, and John Stockton. You could ramble on all day about Pro basketball. And two big questions always come up when talking about pro basketball. Why are 2/3 of the NBA players black? And do black and white players have two different techniques for playing the game of basketball?
Jeff Greenfield cites in his essay “The Black and White Truth about Basketball” theories from the book Foul by David Wolf. In today’s modern game of NBA basketball, over 2/3 of the players are black. Greenfield also cites that over the last two decades, no more than three white players have been among the ten starting players on the NBA
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Greenfield stands by Wolf’s idea; basketball isn’t the same as it once was. I too can agree with Wolf’s idea that basketball is the same as it used to be 50-60 years ago.
“Basketball was once a game for the Irish and Italian Catholics in Rockaway and the Jewish on Fordham Road in the Bronx.” (Greenfield 210). Back in the beginnings of basketball ethnic names like Red Holzmans, Red Auerbach, and the McGuire Brothers were etched as stars of the NBA (Greenfield 210). But in the present names such Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal and Allen Iverson are a fixture of pro basketball with national television exposure and million dollar salaries. This is a far cry from the old school basketball of white men with status playing it for leisure. Greenfield and Wolf believe there is a question of style with today’s modern player.
“Black” and “white’, are there two distinct styles of players in the NBA? Jeff Greenfield believes so. Greenfield believes the two most important traits that characterize “black” basketball is leaping ability and razzle-dazzle moves. When coaches see a white boy who can jump or who moves with extraordinary quickness, they say, “He should have been born black, he’s that good.” (Greenfield 212). This statement was used in the title to the hit film White Men Can’t Jump. Most of the legendary jumpers in the NBA were black. Such players include Willis Reed, Julius Erving, and Wilt Chamberlain. In today’s modern game

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