As a historic blizzard bore down on the East Coast a few weeks back, a New York tabloid proclaimed the upcoming weekend to be ‘As White As The Oscars’.
Well the forecast tonight will be as dark as the 2016 NBA All-Star Game.
That would get an ESPN employee a two-month suspension.
Out of the 10 starters chosen by the fans and 14 reserves selected by the coaches, all 24 of this year’s original All-Star participants chosen happen to be U.S. born and African-Americans.
The NBA has been overwhelmingly black for a couple generations now, a simple result of the sport’s demographics and something African-Americans should be proud of. Just like next week’s Daytona 500 will be contested by mostly white participants (The NASCAR Cup series does feature a Cuban-American and Japanese-American driver).
The breakdown is still surprising in context of the NBA’s worldwide diversity, and Spain’s Pau Gasol and Dominican-born Al Horford wound up in the game as injury replacements for Chris Bosh and Jimmy Butler.
Still, for the NBA to go 24 for 24 with U.S.-born players serves as a reminder that America still dominates the sport. I am also amazed that with tonight’s game in Toronto that the NBA did not find a way to squeeze a Canadian player such as Andrew Wiggins onto the roster, although two representatives of the Eastern Conference second-place Toronto Raptors will play.
For those who score at home:
- Dwyane Wade – Chicago
- Kyle Lowry – Philadelphia
- LeBron James – Akron, Ohio
- Paul George – Palmdale, California
- Carmelo Anthony – Brooklyn
- Chris Bosh (inj) – Dallas
- John Wall – Raleigh, North Carolina
- Paul Millsap – Monroe, Louisiana
- DeMar DeRozan – Straight Outta Compton
- Jimmy Butler (inj) – Houston
- Andre Drummond – Mount Vernon, New York
- Isaiah Thomas – Tacoma, Washington
- Steven Curry – Akron, Ohio (grew up in Charlotte)
- Russell Westbrook – Long Beach, California
- Kobe Bryant – Philadelphia
- Kevin Durant – Washington, D.C.
- Kawhi Leonard – Los Angeles
- Chris Paul – Winston-Salem, North Carolina
- LaMarcus Aldridge – Dallas
- James Harden – Los Angeles
- Anthony Davis – Chicago
- DeMarcus Cousins – Mobile, Alabama
- Clay Thompson – Los Angeles
- Draymond Green – Saginaw, Michigan