Form The Lynch Mob! More Sports Heroes Commit Truth About Race!

I`ve seen it a

thousand times
. But I`m still bemused that modern

sportswriters
form lynch mobs whenever sports heroes
commit the

unforgivable sin
of not being boring about
race.

Boston Celtic basketball
legend Larry Bird and Green Bay Packer great Paul
Hornung recently incurred the wrath of the sports
scribblers for speaking frankly about the Great American
Taboo.

Last week,

Hornung
lost his job broadcasting Notre Dame games
for saying back in March that, because the Fighting
Irish have some of the strictest academic entrance
standards for football players in the country, they are
routinely beaten by the speedsters at anything-goes
colleges like Miami U.

Hornung`s proposal:

“We can`t stay as
strict as we are as far as the academic structure is
concerned because we`ve got to get the black athletes.
We must get the

black athletes
if we`re going to compete."

William C.
Rhoden at the New York Times immediately
denounced him:

"Hornung`s remarks were an insult to every
athlete—black and white—who ever played for the
university, earned a degree and added to its football
legend.”
"Hornung
Has Failed to Meet Standard of Common Sense
:
April 1, 2004,
Free version
]

Nooooo!
Calling for lower standards in the future in order to
widen the pool of athletes eligible to be admitted to
Notre Dame is a compliment to black grads of the
past. As we now know, they were (mostly) admitted and
earned a degree under

higher standards
than those of most colleges.

Of course,
these nice liberals screaming at Hornung for saying that
Notre Dame should lower its standard to admit more black
athletes also

strongly approve
of Notre Dame

lowering its standards
to admit more black non-athletes.

That`s
called affirmative action!

The fact
that the

white-black gap
in average SAT score is 206 points
(see page 11 of this 820k College Board [PDF])
causes all sorts of fascinating problems for
universities that have both high standards in the
classroom and high hopes on the football field. But the
gridiron scribes don`t want you to hear about them.

(You can
read all my comments on the Hornung brouhaha

here
, including the inside story on how the Fighting
Irish`s last national championship was won back in 1988
by

temporarily lowering admissions standards
to get top
black athletes like quarterback Tony Rice.)

More
recently, sportswriters turned their mindless rage on
the great Larry Bird for his crime of telling the truth.
Bird said:

  • “… as we all know, the majority of fans
    are white America. If you just had a couple of white
    guys in there
    [in the NBA], you might get them a
    little excited.”

  • “But it is a
    black man`s game, and it will be forever.”

  • “I just
    didn`t want a white guy guarding me, because it`s
    disrespect to my game.”

  • “I mean the
    greatest athletes in the world are African-American.”

He`s right, of course. I
covered this issue in depth in one of my best
National Review
articles way back in 1996: "Great
Black Hopes.
” A
s you can tell just by
noticing the greater average

muscle definition
of black athletes, there are

genetic differences
between the races that give
blacks, on average, more explosive muscularity of the
kind that basketball, football, and

sprinting
particularly require.

Truth, however, is not a
defense in America`s race wars. In a typical reaction,
entitled

Ignorance and Arrogance Collide, Live and Off-Color
,
[ June 10,
2004,

Free version
]New York
Times
columnist Selena Roberts whined:

“Do broadcasters and beat
reporters need a `dump` button for raving sports icons,
too? Didn`t … Bird hear? The anything-goes
entertainment culture of insensitivity is out.
Self-censorship is in… Bird`s offensive lapse was out
of ignorance…”

Hmmm. What would H.L. Mencken
say about newspaper reporters who vilify the rare honest
source who doesn`t just give them same the old soft
soap?

A common
theme in sportswriters` complaints last week was that
Bird, who has been a successful NBA coach and is now the
president of the Indiana Pacers franchise, is a poor

white trash
inbred retard straight out of the movie


Deliverance
.

Sports
columnists, in contrast, all have doctorates in

behavioral genetics
.

Thus


Mike Vaccaro
in the New York Post
hyperventilated about “logic-challenged hayseeds like
Larry Bird espousing his own strange brand of
sociology.”

Other
outlets printed stories entitled “Bird`s
comments leave us at a loss
,” “When
it comes to race, best to shut up
,” and “Bird
comes off looking like bigot
.”

But the truth is anything Mr.
Bird says about basketball deserves respectful analysis.
Let`s take it from the top:


  • Would
    more white American stars help slow the
    rapidly-declining popularity of the NBA?

    (U.S. ratings for the NBA Finals have fallen by
    about

    half
    since peaking in 1998)?

  • Answer:
    Sure it would!
    It`s amusing to hear the same people who constantly
    accuse whites of being racist to then turn on a dime and
    say whites aren`t the slightest bit ethnocentrist.

The NY Times` Selena
Roberts cites the popularity of 7`-5″ Yao Ming as an
example of how fans are completely colorblind. But of
course Yao`s advertising appeal isn`t based on his
performance (he`s a fine young player who may well
mature into a mainstay of the league, although he`s not
there yet). It`s the fact that he`s a

really tall
Chinese guy
.

The NBA front office loves Yao
because a billion

ethnocentric Chinese
people love Yao. That
translates into all sorts of NBA-licensed crud they can
sell to the China market (although Red China`s

penchant
for intellectual property theft might put a
dent in their sales forecasts).

Similarity,
the NBA`s popularity in other countries is fueled by an
increase in the number of

foreign players
making it in the NBA.

White Americans are hugely
less ethnocentric than the Chinese. Indeed, they are
probably the most

colorblind
people on Earth (although that`s not
necessarily saying much).  But they aren`t completely
lacking in normal human feelings.

White Americans only make up
about 12% of the NBA. African-Americans are

77%
. Worse, following the retirement of the great
point guard John Stockton, white Americans supply almost
none of the stars. The only white American to play in
the All Star Game the last two seasons has been Brad
Miller, hardly a household name. The closest thing to a
charismatic white American star is Canadian Steve Nash.

Some of the fun of being a
sports fan is dreaming that somebody personally
connected to you—your cousin`s hotshot young nephew, or
whoever—might someday make it big. Indeed, one reason
African-Americans are such fanatical NBA fans is because
so many of them really do have some kind of
semi-intimate connection to a basketball star. But, if
you are a white American, that seems more and more like
a pipe dream.

For example, during my youth I
knew about a dozen kids who went on to play minor league
baseball, about three who made it to the majors, and one
who earned the Cy Young Award.

But I`ve never known anyone
who became an NBA player. I doubt I ever will.


  • Will
    white American fans be satisfied with the rapidly rising
    number of white European, Turkish, and Argentinean
    players?
    They
    now make up 45% of the white players and most of the
    white All-Stars.

  • Answer:
    I doubt it. White
    Americans tend to like African-American a lot more than
    they like white Europeans. As we`ll see at the Olympics
    this summer, for white Americans, patriotism tends to
    trumps racialism, although the latter is hardly
    nonexistent.


  • Why are
    whites who grow up in Serbia and Lithuania, thousands of
    miles from any blacks, doing better at the black man`s
    game than whites who grow up just 20 miles away from the
    inner city?


  • Answer:

    Partly, I blame the

    adjustable height backboard poles
    that infest so
    many driveways lately. Too often I see white kids
    imitating their black heroes by dunking on eight foot
    baskets, rather than practicing the outside shots on
    regulation ten foot baskets that might get them to the
    NBA.

Larry Bird was the classic
example of White
Men Can`t Jump.”
But that didn`t stop him
–because he didn`t try to play the black aerial game.

Or perhaps white parents are
keeping their sons away from basketball because of its
players` (deserved) reputation for thuggishness.
Witness the new book

Out of Bounds: Inside the NBA`s Culture of Rape,
Violence, and Crime
by

Jeff Benedict.
The blurb`s startling summary

"Based on a first-of-its-kind investigation into the
criminal histories of 177 NBA players from the 2001–2002
seasons, Out of Bounds shows that an alarming
four out of every ten NBA players have a police record
involving a serious crime."

Plus,
when Bird

revealed
, "I just didn`t want a white guy
guarding me, because it`s disrespect to my game,"
I
suspect he was thinking more about the end of his career
than the beginning. It was certainly no sign of
disrespect in 1979 when the 76ers assigned to him the
Great White Defender

Bobby Jones
, who made the first team of the NBA`s
All-Defensive squad eight years in a row, from 1977
through 1984. Up through that era, whites were typically
seen as tending to be the more tenacious defenders.
Blacks were seen as the greater offensive threats, but
as frequent slackers on defense. 

Former
Celtics superstar Charles Barkley

joked
about Bird`s comments: "I`ll tell you what
was really funny was . . . we always thought it was an
insult when they put
[Bird] on one of us, because
he was the worst defensive player ever."
But in
fact, Bird made the second team of top defenders three
times early in his career.

But no
white has been named to the

All NBA Defensive First Team
since Mark Eaton in
1989 (unless you want to count mulattos Jason Kidd and
Doug Christie as more white than black). As recently as
`77 and `78, whites made up a majority of the first team
(Jones, Bill Walton, and Don Buse in both years).

Something good happened,
though, to make defense fashionable among blacks –
perhaps it was the John Thompson-Pat Ewing teams at
Georgetown U. in the early 1980s. The huge improvement
in black defensive play greatly raised the overall
quality of NBA games over that seen in the mediocre
Seventies.

But eventually the trend went
too far. Blacks stopped practicing their shooting skills
in favor of nonstop scrimmaging, so free throw and field
goal percentages plummeted. Thus you see car crash games
like the last of the Eastern Conference Finals, where

neither team scored 70 points.

You only get good at defense
by playing against others. You only get good at shooting
by

practicing by yourself
. Of course, whites tend to
have more driveways where they can perfect their
shooting mechanics, but there are personality
differences as well that push the races in different
directions. Blacks tend to be more gregarious and thus
prefer playing games to working out alone, while more
whites are loners.

Unfortunately, the utter
triumph of black basketball culture has damaged the game
over the last decade. It has pushed it too far toward a
contest of full-body athleticism, at which blacks
dominate, rather than of hand-eye coordination, at which
the races are more equal—with Bird being the

all-time Grand Master
.

Worse, the post-Michael Jordan
generation of black players grew up listening to

gangsta rap
, which consists in large measure of
young black men boasting how they have murdered

other young black men
who didn`t subordinate
themselves to them. (If you have a strong stomach, check
out the lyrics to, for example, NWA`s epochal Straight
Outta Compton
.”
) Not surprisingly, this kind
of culture is not conducive to strong team play on
offense.

So much of the modern NBA game
consists of four players standing around on one side of
the court while one guy with the ball on the other side
of the court tries to manufacture a shot.

Off the court, much of the
news consists of self-destructive

Kobe-and-Shaq-
style bickering between teammates over
who should get the ball the most and who is The Man on
the team.

This has provided an opening
for European whites, who like to work on their shooting
and don`t mind playing as a team.

This lead to
the ultimate question:


  • Will the
    white American superstar ever return to the NBA?

Major League
Baseball is trying to lure black youths back to baseball
with the

RBI
program (“Reviving Baseball in the Inner
City”
). The NBA should at least begin a national
conversation about why there are so few top white
American players.

Of course,
there is a problem with

free discussion
: some people might not like the
answers
.

Because you
can`t understand basketball today without thinking about
race.


[Steve Sailer [email
him] is founder of the Human Biodiversity Institute and


movie critic
for


The American Conservative
.
His website


www.iSteve.blogspot.com
features his daily
blog.]