Let's get RACIAL!!

I was watching Russell Peters' Red White and Brown and decided to look at the NBA Draft from a racial point of view. I assure everyone that it is not my intention to stir up any bad blood on this forum. This is purely for the sake of analyzing the NBA draft.

I decided to see the bust ratio in the NBA lottery during the past 10 years when dividing draftees into two general racial groups: Black and White. People like Mike Bibby (mixed) swing to the Black side to make things easier to calculate. I start with the 97 Draft until the 2006 draft.

I define a bust as a player blatantly under performing his Draft slot in the lottery with respect to the strength of the draft , regardless of injury trouble

when the player's performance is not blatantly bad for the draft slot, but still of horrible value at that slot, I give them a half bust

2006:
Whites drafted: 3 players busts: 2 ( 1/2 bargs, 1/2 Reddick, 1 Morrison) bust percentage: 67%
Blacks Drafted: 11players busts: 3 1/2 (Williams, Armstrong, O'Bryant, 1/2 Sene) percentage: 32%

2005:
Whites Drafted: 3 players busts: 2.5 (1/2 bogut, Vasquez, Korolev) bust percentage: 83%
Blacks Drafted: 11 busts: 3 (1/2 Webster, 1/2 Frye, Diogu, may) bust percentage: 27%

2004:
Whites drafted: 5 players busts: 4 (Humphries, Araujo, L. Jackson, R. Swift) Bust percentage: 80%
Blacks drafted: 9 players busts: 1.5 (Livingston, 1/2 Telfair) Bust percentage: 17%

2003:
Whites: 5 busts: only 1 ( Milicic) percentage: 20%
Blacks: 9 busts: 2 (Banks, Sweetney) percentage: 22%

2002:
Whites: 3 busts: 1.5 (Tskitishvili, 1/2 Dunleavy) percentage: 50%
Blacks:11 busts: 5.5 (J. Williams, Wagner, 1/2 Gooden, jeffries, Ely, Haislip) percentage: 50%

2001:
Whites: 2 busts: 0.5 (1/2 Radmanovic) percentage: 25%
Blacks: 11 busts: 5 (Brown, Curry, Diop, White, Brown) percentage: 45%

2000:
Whites: 3 busts: 1 (Mihm) Percentage: 33%
blacks: 10 busts: 6 (Swift, 1/2 Miles, Fizer, Johnson, Moiso, 1/2 E. Thomas, C. Alexander) Percentage: 60%

1999:
Whites: 2 busts: 1.5 (Redojevic, 1/2 Szerbiak) percentage: 75%
Blacks: 11 Busts: 2 (Langdon, bender) percentage: 18%

1998:
whites: 4 busts: 2 ( LaFrentz, Doleac) percentage: 50%
Blacks: 9 busts: 2 (Kandi man, Tractor Traylor) Percentage: 22%

1997:
Whites: 2 busts: 1/2 ( Croshere) Percentage: 25%
blacks: 11 Busts: 5 1/2 (Daniels, Battie, Mercer, 1/2 T. Thomas, Foyle, Abdul Wahad) percentage: 50%

Conclusions...

let's add the aggregate from these 10 years:

Whites:
32 Players taken in total
16.5 Busts
Aggregate bust percentage: 52%

Blacks:
94 players taken in total
36 Busts
Aggregate bust percentage: 38%

I believe these figures to be good, unbiased representations of the rate of Busting for Lottery Picks. I am Asian and impartial to which side "wins" or "Loses" . I believe that I've taken a large enough sample size to iron out most statistical anomalies.

These findings....
are rather interesting in my honest opinion. These numbers imply that in the lottery, by drafting a white player, you are taking on a more than 13 percent increase in the chance that the player will be a bust.

I also looked at White players Drafted in the top 5 over the sample period....
Out of 10 White players, taken in the top 5, only 2 have performed at their Draft slot or better (Gasol and Van Horn) This means that only 20 percent of the top 5 White picks have been good draft choices. I didn't crunch the numbers for Black people, but I doubt it's this low.

What causes this large gap in Bust percentage?

Reason number 1
In my honest opinion, one of the main reasons is "character". I'm not racist when I say this, but there are many more black players getting into trouble with the law than their light-skinned counterparts. This is purely empirical and not meant to offend. NBA GMs want to draft high character guys, and it just so happens that a higher percentage of white players are of "high character". These white players are not from the hood; they don't carry extra baggage with them when they step into the NBA. They don't have to look after their "Boiz" in the hood and subsequently put themselves at risk of unlawful behaviour. Because GMs want high character guys, they have tended to reach to far down for these guys

Reason number 2
Many of these white players are really good College players due to their decent size and solid fundamentals. In the NBA, their size comes into question and their lack of Athleticism. ( almost all white lottery picks in the sample period had average to below average athleticism, check for yourselves ) These white players generally have had great collegiate careers with good tourney runs, so GMs like that and draft them higher than they deserve to be. This is because GMs put too much emphasis on drafting a winner who carried a team. They forget that when they come into the league, they're not going to make a difference to the team through a winning history as it is obvious that skill level is far more important.

reason number 3
A lot of these white guys are international. It is a) harder to gage their skill level due to various leagues of various strengths b) tough to see if their game can translate into the NBA c) too tempting for GMs to pass up on a potential marketing opportunity. Hence, GMs may have delusions of Grandeur about these players.

Reason Number 4
ATHLETICISM! YES, THAT DESERVES ALL CAPS. Almost none of these lottery pick white guys have good athleticism. They can get by on the amateur or International level, but the NBA is filled with run and jump athletes who can negate these players' good fundamentals. GMs, for reasons above

Moral of this research:
It is much safer to draft Black people in the lottery than White people. I wish I had more time so I could compare the star rate of lottery picks between Whites and Blacks over the last decade. I really think that
there have been around 2 white lottery stars ever since 1997: Gasol and Van Horn (Kinda)

It's been fun doing this research... I ask everyone who views this to comment, good or bad.
Of course, actually crunch the numbers before ripping me on its legitimacy

billyk
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That chart was DUMB take a

That chart was DUMB take a few sociology classes if you what an explanation of race diffrences.... I like it better when the topics are about the DRAFT.

Haakaan
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I've never understood why

I've never understood why its okay to say that groups of people may evolved different coloring, hair texture, and facial features to adapt to their environments, but when it comes to physical prowess at certain sports everyone freaks out. There's a reason people of West African descent make up about 75 percent of the league while being only ten percent of the US population, and its not just a cultural thing. There's a reason the fastest sprinters at the track meets are usually black, the best throwers usually white. I could go on and on about cultural (and population) history and how it relates to the sports we love, though there's no where near enough room (or real reason to) on this format. Since we're talking internationally, does anyone else think its interesting how basketball mad China, a country of 1.5 billion, produced only 4 NBA players, compared to Lithuania, a country of about 5 million, producing...well I don't know, but a lot more. Or how about Senegal, which doesn't have a very developed basketball program, but still manages to produce a few NBA players (and a ridiculous number of sprinters and soccer players).

Oh and for the record, in anticipation of whatever ignorant (and hopefully some not) comments may come, I'm white, black, and Indian (which is actually a really common mixture in this country).

bobbyb
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Manu And Rudy

Rudy and Manu are definitly caucasian( white). In America we consider Spanish speakers to be NON- White because the vast majority arent white. Most of them are Mestizo( Euro- Native american mix) or Mulato (Euro- African mix)or a combination of the 2 . Manu most likely considers himself to be Italian- Argentine, Just like for example a character like Tony Soprano considers himself to be Italian American .

sheltwon3
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No one is saying but for

No one is saying but for argument sake, I am pretty sure neither of the players you are refering too consider themselves white. People that talk about basketball do not consider them white. I do understand a lot of what you are saying and by looking at them you can tell their is more to them than them being white. I would think they were Mexican if i did not know where they were from. I also know that some Mexicans can put white on their birth certificates and other identification. In this country we do separate black from white from Hispanic from Asian. Going by this those players would not fall under white. All that technical stuff means nothing when nobody speaking of the sport suggests that those players would fall under white. Also Kris Humphries I think is mixed sort of like Blake Griffin.

rtbt
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Ivwerson3 - Intelligent Comments

Hey Iverson3, thanks for posting an intelligent set of thoughts on this subject. I've been so used to one ignorant comment after another that I began to wonder if anyone on this forum could discuss the subject intelligently.

I read that article and found it very interesting. Of course we could have come to the same conclusion using common sense.

iverson3
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Thanks

Thanks, I'm glad you read it.

The thing is, without articles like this it is very hard to come to consensus conclusions using common sense (meaning in a discussion with other people.) The reason is that anybody can read a headline or short article, and claim that scientific studies have proven blah-blah-blah about race and pick your attribute. And you might reply with your doubts or other thoughts on the matter, but then they will repy "But the studies proved it- you are just being emotional about the matter."

A scientific study can show basically anything, depending on who is funding the study. Just this morning I was hearing about how the tobacco industry has spent millions of dollars on hundreds or thousands of 'scientific studies' over the years, all of which 'scientifically proved' there was no link between smoking and cancer. Gee- imagine that!

And even when we don't have an obvious agenda, our personal biases are going to come into play. I will be the first to admit that I find the general idea of link between race and intelligence to be not only grossly inaccurate and over-simplified in my personal opinion, but actually very revolting as well. So that affects how I view these things, and what I tend to pick up on. But that Gladwell article is a real eye-opener, and should at least raise plenty of doubt for anyone who thinks this is a scientifically closed issue.

I sorta took the OP's original post in jest, because it was just a little fun exercise in my eye, and because who cares, this is a NBA draft forum. Regardless of what the trend of a limited sample may or may not show, I doubt it would affect my judgement if I was a NBA GM at the top of the draft. Because there are far more DIFFERENCES between Larry Bird and Adam Morrison than similarities (i.e. skin color.) You don't draft a skin color in general, you draft a specific player.

rtbt
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Hey Iverson, Thanks for Putting a Smile on my Face

Once again, even if we disagree [and we don't], it's so refreshing to read intelligent thoughts on this subject or any other one. You know it all started for me when I tried to point out the following. Probably 80 to 85% of all the players in the NBA are great athletes. Most of the exceptions are the slow, lumbering big guys.

The great athlete moniker includes ALMOST EVERYONE in that 80 to 85% range, both white and black. There are some great white athletes in the league and there are black guys who aren't very athletic. You simply cannot generalize about entire groups of people. Why is that so hard for people to understand?

I was also amazed by the number of people who cannot distinguish between facts versus opinions, which border on, or are out and out racist. For example, if someone said most of the great athletes in the NBA are black, that's a fact. But when they say the average black guy is a better athlete than his white counterpart, now we're talking opinion that is on the edge of being racist. It really depends on how it's phrased.

And then they were incapable of discussing the subject without firing off one ignorant insult after another. It's as if they've never engaged in an intelligent debate in their life.

As for race and intelligence, I've always said no one race has a monopoly on intelligence or stupidity. There are brilliant black doctors, scientists, CEOs, and there are black basketball players who can barely read or write. I think our President is brilliant and there couldn't be a better role model than him.

There are extremely intelligent white people who have advanced degrees in a variety of subjects such as physics, something I could never grasp. And then there are white people who are just plain ignorant and incredibly stupid. They have no clue when it comes to thinking logically and/or analyzing facts.

Anyway you're right, this is all about the draft. I tried to stay out of what I thought was an idiotic thread, but there were so many ignorant comments, that I couldn't take it any more. OK, I have a couple of more comments that I'll post in another message and then we can hopefully call it a day.

Stanford hoops
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as far as overrall in every

as far as overrall in every sport you have a point iverson..but i guess the ones that can jump just dont wanna play basketball

iverson3
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Thanks for your thoughts.

Thanks for your thoughts. That's a great point about NBA players- pretty much anyone in the NBA is a world-class athelete, period.

The other funny stereotype is the 'gym rat'- the scrappy white guy who is behind the ball athletically but compensates and excels by living in the gym. I am guessing that anybody who achieves any level of success in Division 1 college ball has basically lived in a gym since they were 8 or 10 years old. Some players of course work harder than others, but come on.

Stanford hoops
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lol...dickie v loves the

lol...dickie v loves the "gym"rat

rtbt
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Iverson3 You Are So Right

Iverson wrote, "The other funny stereotype is the 'gym rat'- the scrappy white guy who is behind the ball athletically but compensates and excels by living in the gym."

Yes that's one of the most frequently used stereotypes of white players. Almost every player in the NBA lived in the gym virtually all of their young lives.

Another one we all hear is white players with a high basketball IQ. I'm sure there are just as many, if not more, black players with a high basketball IQ.

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