pictured: David Lee
by Jimmy Chitwood
It’s hard to believe that the NBA season is getting under way. I mean, does anyone even watch this stuff any more? As an avid basketball fan, I certainly have trouble with it. It hardly looks like basketball at all. And after the referee-gambling scandals, the comments by Rasheed Wallace that the NBA is as fake as “wrassling,” and the continued lack of white Americans in the game, it is hard to find a reason to watch.
But just in case anyone IS interested, here is a brief synopsis of each team from a caste system perspective.
Atlanta Hawks: Last year the Hawks couldn’t score. Their solution? Draft two guys who can’t shoot. They couldn’t play defense last year, either, and the two rookies can… so maybe this year will be slightly better. Maybe. Most likely, they’ll finish near the bottom. Again.
The Hawks have only one white player on their roster, starting center Zaza Pachulia. He is a highly skilled, unselfish player on a team that doesn’t value unselfishness or skill.
Boston Celtics: After trading for Kevin Garnett in the off-season, the Celtics are “THE” fashionable pick to win it all this year. Just like everyone picked the Lakers a couple of years back when they picked up Karl Malone and Gary Payton, and you saw how that turned out. The fact is, the Celtics are a team whose stars are old and an injury to Garnett ruins the year. Aside from the big named trio of Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen, there isn’t much talent on the roster.
The leprechaun can’t be happy, and undoubtedly the luck of the Irish has left the building, because only two white guys are even on the roster. And neither Scot Pollard nor Brian Scalabrine will see significant action, despite the fact they are solid role players.
Charlotte Bobcats: The expansion team has yet to make a splash, and the injury to Adam Morrison certainly won’t help. They have a no-talent point guard, and a selfish two guard and small forward. Two talented young big men are often overlooked in Emeka Okafor and Primoz Brezec, because they don’t get to touch the ball unless they snag a rebound.
The Bobcats only have four white athletes on the roster, and are likely only going to start one white man, center Primoz Brezec. The 7-footer has a sweet mid-range game, but few people know about it. Swingman Matt Carroll is a talented and versatile player who should see a lot of minutes, but wrongly won’t get near enough minutes. Adam Morrison struggled through his rookie year, and it is looking like an injury will steal his second. Argentine forward Walter Hermann has looked amazing in limited opportunities, so you wonder why his opportunities are so limited…
Chicago Bulls: The Bulls are expected to do big things this year, led by white point guard Kirk Hinrich. Hinrich has been called too slow, too short, too everything white people are always called. Yet despite all the b.s. labeling, he has become the best young point guard in the Eastern Conference.
The Bulls have four white men on the roster, all young, and all talented. Hinrich is the only full-time starter, although swingman Andres Nocioni is considered the sixth starter by many. He and Hinrich are two of the toughest players in the NBA. Nocioni will also dunk on your head. The high-flying Russian, Viktor Khryapa has shown flashes of brilliance, but doesn’t get enough minutes on a regular basis to make an impression. Rookie center Aaron Gray is a ruggedly powerful 7-footer with a beautiful mid-range game, but it’s doubtful he will be allowed to play much as a rookie.
Cleveland Cavaliers: Once again the media circus will worship at the feet of “King” James, while once again he will reign over a tremendously mediocre franchise. They will probably make the playoffs, but in the East, that means about as much as leftover spam in the fridge. Their lack of commitment to re-sign talented two guard Sasha Pavlovic and rebounding machine Anderson Varejao shows just how little the Cavs want to win.
Now that they’ve officially re-signed Pavlovic, the Cavs have a whopping TWO white athletes on the team. Sasha, and starting center Zydrunas Ilgauskas. Big Z is one of the top offensive centers in the league, and he seems to have put his foot problems behind him.
Detroit Pistons: Motown is as black as a loss of all hope. The Pistons don’t have a single white player on their opening day roster. But hey! They do have a 7-foot guy from Senegal who occasionally can walk and chew gum at the same time. You have got to love “potential!”
Indiana Pacers: This team has fallen like Paris Hilton’s panties with any random guy. Once the power of the East, now they are amongst the dregs at the bottom of the NBA’s cesspool. Repeated bizarre personnel moves have caused a big ol’ jumbled mess, but maybe something good will happen. Like not having to watch them play.
The Pacers are expected to start two white athletes to open the season, and have a total of four white men on the roster. Under-achieving but gifted Mike Dunleavy has yet to transfer his terrific skills and talent to an actual game. Will this be his year? Troy Murphy battled injuries last year, but is almost a lock to score 15 and grab 10 boards every game. He should have a big season. Jeff Foster is a rugged rebounder, and one of the best low-post defenders in the league. Back-up point guard Travis Deiner is a guy I really like. He has played better than the guys in front of him at every step of his NBA “career,” yet has never been given the reins of a ball club. Unfortunately, it probably won’t happen this season either.
Miami Heat: Once again we are told that Shaq got in shape this off-season. Once again, it is a lie. The Heat are blessed with the NBA’s latest black Jesus, though, in Dwyane Wade, and fictional fouls that send him to the free throw line will keep the Heat competitive all year.
The Heat have only one white starter, and two white players. Starting point guard Jason Williams used to have the quickest first step in the league but knee injuries have hurt the last couple of seasons. Back-up point guard Chris Quinn is an unheralded athlete and a very good basketball player in a league that prefers “phenomenal” athletes who aren’t.
Milwaukee Bucks: This is a team without an identity, a direction, or much of a chance to win games. Their most highly touted player is a selfish two guard, while their best talent is a second-year center, Australian 7-footer Andrew Bogut.
Bogut is the only white starter for the Bucks, and one of only two white men on the roster, and he should emerge as their go-to guy if he becomes consistent. Or more accurately, if the backcourt consistently quits chucking up a shot every time they touch the ball and pass it to him once in a while. Journeyman center Jake Voskuhl hangs out at the end of the bench.
New Jersey Nets: The Nets have lost what little luster they had, because (surprise surprise) Vince Carter hasn’t helped lead them to a championship. The backcourt is getting older by the day, while the team has done little to address the glaring holes in the frontcourt. Another .500 year and a meaningless playoff appearance likely await.
Nenad Krstic is one of only two whites on the roster, and the lone projected starter. Still a very young center, Krstic looked to be a star on the rise until a knee injury last December ended his season. Will he re-gain his form this year? Slovenian superstar small forward Bostjan Nachbar is a nasty dunker with a pretty good jump shot and a willingness to play defense. Despite all that, he almost always comes off the bench.
New York Knicks: Yuck! Isiah Thomas has managed to spend more money for nothing than possibly any GM in NBA history. And he’s managed to do it while displaying enough arrogance and racism to temporarily stun Al Sharpton speechless.
Once again, the New YUCK Knickerbockers will most likely feature an all-black starting lineup, despite the fact that the lone white athlete on the roster is clearly their best talent. David Lee has somehow managed to get stuck in New York, even while Thomas has tried to purge everything white from the franchise. Lee, a high-flying, glass-eating super athlete, remains firmly entrenched at the end of the bench at all times. Except, of course, when the blacks in front of him get hurt. Then, he comes in and averages double digits in rebounds. He is the first person to average 10+ rebounds off the bench since Dennis Rodman in 93-94. Oh, and when David starts a game, he averages a double-double.
Orlando Magic: The Magic are once again expected to finish near the bottom of the East… so much for the magic, I guess. Only one white man will routinely start. Hedo Turkoglu is a smooth, very gifted ball player, and is finally beginning to gain some credit for his multi-faceted game.
Orlando has five whites altogether on the roster, but aside from Hedo the others are merely bench decorations. J.J. Redick, the best three point shooter in collegiate history, barely sees the court. Pat Garrity, a tough defender and good shooter, also is a seldom-used reserve. Athletic power forward James Augustine is in a similar situation, while rookie center Marcin Gortat will likely remain in street clothes most of the year.
Philadelphia 76ers: One of the worst run franchises in the NBA (which is saying something!), the Sixers will once again be a beacon of abysmal failure. Which, in the weak East is quite an accomplishment. Kyle Korver, the best 3-point shooter in the NBA, and an excellent rebounder for his size likely won’t crack the starting line-up on opening day. That should tell you a little bit about how things are done in Philly.
Korver is one of four white athletes on the opening day roster. All are young, and all SHOULD get plenty of minutes for this woebegone franchise. Sadly, they likely won’t. Undrafted pogo stick Louis Amundson is an athletic defender who is tenacious on the glass. Power forward Shavlik Randolph, also undrafted, showed immense potential last season before getting injured. Athletic 7-foot rookie center Jason Smith has plenty of skill and talent, but it remains to be seen how much playing time he will get.
Toronto Raptors: The Raptors have gotten more talented and more wins every year under General Manager Bryan Colangelo, and not coincidentally they have gotten whiter. Second year power forward Andrea Bargnani is often compared to Dirk Nowitzki for obvious reasons, but has the athleticism of Kevin Garnett. Although with a much better jump shot at this stage of their careers. 3-point shooting small forward Jason Kapono, who led the league in three point shooting a year ago, also starts.
Toronto has six white athletes on the roster to start the season, and all should see significant playing time. The international style is made possible off the bench by athletic slasher Carlos Delfino, sweet passing point guard Jose Calderon, veteran center Rasho Nesterovic, and rugged forward Jorge Garbajosa.
Washington Wizards: The worst team in a pathetic conference. Ugh!
The Wizards only have two white men on their roster. Darius Songaila is an under-sized but very effective power forward who rarely gets significant playing time. Rookie big man Oleksiy Pecherov is an unknown commodity.
Dallas Mavericks: Reigning league MVP Dirk Nowitzki leads the Mavericks again. They are one of the NBA’s top two franchises, thanks primarily to the skills of Dirk. After a dominant season a year ago, the Mavs lost in embarrassing fashion in the first round of the playoffs.
Dirk is arguably the best player in the NBA, but aside from him the only other white player on the Dallas roster is sweet-shooting rookie big man Nick Fazekas.
Denver Nuggets: Filled with ghetto thugs, it shouldn’t be surprising that the Nuggets are said to be “very talented” and “poised for a deep playoff run,” despite the fact that none of the “stars” have ever won anything aside from Carmelo Anthony. Their list of criminal activity would fill quite a large trophy case, however,
Rugged and under-utilized forward Linas Kleiza is the lone white athlete on the roster.
Golden State Warriors: Last year they ended the season with a huge upset of Dallas in the opening round of the playoffs. They are hoping to build off that this year, and getting rid of the ball-hogging Jason Richardson was a step in the right direction. Third year center Andris Biedrins is the lone white starter to open the year.
The Warriors have four whites on their opening day roster. At 6-11, Biedrins is a human pogo stick who routinely facials his black opponents and eats more glass than a stunt man. In just his third year, he has a brilliant future. Sweet shooting and smooth, rookie two guard Marco Belinelli was the talk of summer league play. Gifted but under-achieving forward Austin Croshere hopes to revive his career after leaving Indiana. Rookie center Kosta Perovic is a project out of Serbia.
Houston Rockets: Possibly the most hyped team in the league and certainly the favorite of Chinese folks, the Rockets hope they have found the missing piece of the puzzle. Argentine power forward Luis Scola, early front-runner for Rookie of the Year honors, is certainly talented, but he isn’t going to get a lot of touches. That job is shared by Tracy McGrady and the giant Chinese center Yao Ming, who will never live up to the pub, but has finally become a really good ball player.
Aside from Scola, the Rockets have only one white player. Phenomenal long-range bomber Steve Novak wastes away on the bench, though.
Los Angeles Clippers: The other team in LA has finally staked a claim to being the best team in the city… but that isn’t saying much at the present time. The Clippers are forever caught in turmoil between selfish point guard Sam Cassell and pretty much everyone else. The eccentric and gifted but young Chris Kaman starts for them at center, and is a superstar waiting to happen if he just becomes more consistent.
Aside from Kaman, the only white athlete on the opening day roster is point guard Dan Dickau. Dickau has looked very good, despite all his “athletic limitations” every time he’s been given an opportunity, but he’s traveled around enough to be sponsored by Rand McNally. With the point guard situation for the Clippers in flux, perhaps this is the year he finally gets a real chance.
Los Angeles Lakers: Caught up in the Kobe Bryant soap opera yet again, the Lakers are in search of stability. They have fallen to the bottom third of the West, and have yet to stop their skid. Point forward Luke Walton is a highly skilled passer with a good range jumper, but is at best a third option in the LA circus.
The Lakers have five white athletes on their opening day roster. Walton is a routine starter. Sasha Vujacic is a solid back-up point guard who has shown flashes of brilliance and rarely makes mistakes. Vladimir Radmanovic is a match-up problem at either forward spot, but has been streaky with his jumper. Chris Mihm is an inconsistent but talented big man. Rookie Coby Karl is athletic and skilled, but looks to be relegated to benchwarmer.
Memphis Grizzlies: I find it hilarious that in one of America’s blackest cities the three best basketball players are white. The Grizzlies start three white men on opening day, led by All-NBA candidate Pau Gasol. He is a phenomenal offensive player from power forward spot, yet still is criticized as “soft” because of his pale skin.
Darko Milicic has finally found a place where he is wanted. He is as fluid a 7-footer as you will ever find, and he is finally physically maturing as he gets older. His shot blocking ability should provide a welcome compliment to Gasol. Swingman Mike Miller is good enough to start at any of three spots: point guard, shooting guard, or small forward.
Memphis has six total white players on their opening day roster, including rookie Spanish point guard Juan Carlos Navarro. JCN is bigger, quicker, and an all around better player than current starting point Damon Stoudamire. The Spaniard should take over the starting spot sooner rather than later. Sweet shooting swingman Casey Jacobsen is a potential starter, as well. While the “Janitor” Brian Cardinal gets mop up duty late in games.
Minnesota Timberwolves: The T-Wolves have an all-black starting lineup, yet somehow are the least talented team in the league. Ha!
Minnesota has three white players on the opening day roster. Marko Jaric is a talented but erratic point guard whose talent would outshine his inconsistency if he had darker skin. But since his skin is white, he has somehow fallen out of favor with the coaches. Journeymen big men Michael Doleac and Mark Madsen provide toughness and defense on the odd occasion they see the floor.
New Orleans Hornets: Last year they were ugly. This year is probably more of the same. Unless, of course, the return of former All Star Peja Stojakovic provides the difference. Peja is one of the best shooters in the league, but he missed the entire year last season due to back surgery.
The Hornets have three white players on the roster, including starting small forward Stojakovic. Ryan Bowen is a long defender and rebounder. The very athletic rookie Adam Haluska looked phenomenal in his one extended opportunity in the pre-season… but like so many athletic two guards, he is probably destined for the bench.
Phoenix Suns: The NBA’s best ball player, in my opinion, starts at point guard for the Suns. Steve Nash, a two-time NBA MVP leads the most explosive offense in the league. However, the perennial power has begun to show cracks in the foundation…
Phoenix starts Nash, but only has two other white men on the roster. Sharp shooter Eric Piatkowski is a deadly sniper, but is bored to death on the bench most nights. Sean Marks, a Kiwi who has impressed every time he’s gotten playing time, gets playing all too rarely.
Portland Trailblazers: Last year they stunk. This year they will stink. But at least they haven’t had anyone arrested. Yet. The Jailblazers are trying to put that image behind them, but haven’t yet embraced the idea that white men can play ball.
Portland starts just one white athlete: shotblocking center Joel Przybilla. Portland has five total white players on their opening day roster, however only superb point guard Steve Blake joins Przybilla in getting significant minutes. Blake is a brilliant passer and excellent defender, but has never been considered a “real” long term option at the starting point guard spot for “some” reason. Guard Sergio Rodriguez gets garbage minutes, while veteran big man Raef LaFrentz and high-flying youngster Josh McRoberts will do the same.
Sacramento Kings: The Kings used to be the most exciting franchise to watch in the NBA. And the whitest. Neither is the case any longer. Now they are awful, and only one white athlete sees much playing time. Brad Miller still starts at center, but his ability to pass, defend, rebound, and shoot somehow get overlooked…
Miller starts, but he is one of just two white players on the roster. Brilliant rookie center Spencer Hawes should make a big impact this season.
San Antonio Spurs: The class of the NBA, the Spurs are the favorites to win the title again this year. The defending champs aren’t as white as they have been in years past, though. Francisco Oberto, an Argentine, starts at center as the lone white man in the starting five and provides a fine complement to Tim Duncan.
The Spurs have four white athletes on their opening day roster, including starter Oberto and starter-in-all-but-name Manu Ginobili. Manu is an explosive force on offense, both above the rim and beyond the three-point arc, and a stopper on defense. He is a phenomenal talent. Brent Barry, the former dunk champion, is a great shooter and brilliant passer, and sees significant minutes. Forward Matt Bonner has a silky jumper and is a good rebounder, and while mostly a benchwarmer in past years Bonner is expected to have a bigger role this season.
Seattle Supersonics: The Sonics have been abysmal, mainly because they don’t play the best guys on their team. Will that change this year? It’s unlikely… however, the only white American player to go straight from high school to the NBA, Robert Swift, is expected to start this season after rehabbing a knee injury a year ago. Point guard Luke Ridnour is a brilliant player in the open court, but has yet to become solid on defense.
Seattle has four whites on the roster, including projected starters Ridnour and Swift. Power forward Nick Collison is under-rated, but should see a lot of action. Wally Szczerbiak hopes to revive his career in his first year at Seattle.
Utah: Utah hasn’t been the same since John Stockton retired, but they are beginning to climb back into NBA relevance. Starting center Mehmet Okur gives them an offensive presence unlike any the franchise has ever had before. Forward Andre Kirilenko has the talent to be a Top-5 player in the NBA but fell into coach Jerry Sloan’s doghouse last year. He is a phenomenal defender and can guard any position on the floor.
Utah has five white men on the roster, Guard-forward Matt Harpring might be the strongest player in the NBA and is very versatile. Sharpshooter Gordan Giricek provides a long range threat. Both he and Harpring are part-time starters. Rookie Ukrainian center Kyrylo Fesenko is a project.