By Anthony McClean, Editor In Chief Emeritus NEW HAVEN (BASN) —...
Our Best Boxes Of 2006
YIN YANG IN THE NBA LOOKING GOOD TODAY BUT TOMORROW ??? WILL BASKETBALL FOLLOW BASEBALL
SYMBOL OF THE PAST SYMBOL OF THE FUTURE
Definition of Yin Yang
” This Symbol (Yin-Yang) represents the ancient Chinese understanding of how things work. The outer circle represents “everything”, while the black and white shapes within the circle represent the interaction of two energies, called “yin” (black) and “yang” (white), which cause everything to happen. They are not completely black or white, just as things in life are not completely black or white, and they cannot exist without each other.”
What needs to be Emphasized
is the Dynamic nature
of the Symbol
The relationship of the Black and the White is always in Flux, constantly subject to Change over Time. That Change is good or bad as determined by the Observer who is interacting with it.
Which brings us to
( because in the Box our Mantra is everything looks like Sports )
The NBA is resurgent as we write. The current NBA Finals is drawing large audiences and national attention. This regular season the NBA set a new attendance record drawing more than 23 million fans for what on average the most expensive seats in Sports.
Players for the most part are Fat & Happy as well. Lots of record salaries and most significant the average salary of an NBA players is higher than that of their brethren in any other Sport. And they are Pampered. As well.
Time to Look this Gift Horse
in the Mouth
Things look decidedly Different if you look closely from an African American perspective. First the Good News. The NBA is best of the Sports by far for African Americans off the Court. There are more African American Coaches and more Black team executives in the NBA than anywhere else. But let’s also note of course very much the “minority” as always.
Good very Good
now Worry about the Future
The signs are Subtle ….
They always are in the Beginning. Also keep in mind that in Reality it is ONLY the dominance of African Americans in TWO sports Basketball and Football that accounts for virtually ALL the influence Black Americans can claim in the Sports industry. As we all know it was THREE not so long ago.
Now Baseball is a a Goner
for African Americans
There are Eerie similarities emerging in Basketball. First although it might be hard to notice there is a Decline in the Percentage of African Americans in the NBA. The first such decline since African Americans began being recruited.
The Percentage of African Americans peaked in the NBA at 82% in 1994-1995 season. Two years ago it was down to 76%. This past season the number is down to 73%. And the decline is not about to Stop.
This Trend could prove more insidious for African Americans than what has taken place in Major League Baseball. Granted the percent of African American players in the NBA may “never” drop to the horrendous 10% it now stands at in Baseball. Then again the percentage of African Americans playing in the Majors topped out at less than 30% of all players.
Still the trend in Baseball is
very instructive for
As one of BASN’s premier sports journalists wrote recently more to the point than anyone else ever has. The rise of Latino MLB players inseparable from the decline of African Americans is a “simple” matter of economics for Major League Baseball and all of its individual teams.
Baseball like every other industry constantly needs new “product” as the old “product” wears out combined with lots of “product” that proves defective and needs to be replaced. For Major League teams setting up state of the art baseball “farms” for young Latin kids, the best to be groomed for the Farm System and then their Big League team us far “cheaper” than …..
…… even the many white U.S. high school and college talent eager to play. And far far “cheaper” than going to extraordinary lengths to develop African American talent creating expensive sophisticated camps on American soil.
is not where the Money is
or the Fan Base
The result is the Decline of African Americans in Baseball may never end. Most teams have 1 or 2 African Americans on their Rosters. One notable team the Houston Astros had NO African Americans all last season. It would NOT be surprising to see 5-6 teams in a few years with NO African Americans.
The ONLY possible Stopgap here is
Baseball will not continue to Prosper
as it might if too many players
are Latin American either
Back to Basketball
And why the Problem of declining numbers of African American players may prove more Troubling. Because Black Americans are being replaced by WHITE players mostly from Europe. The NBA will not “lose” for putting more WHITE players on the Court. For their almost all WHITE fans in the Stands.
In those very expensive seats. And if the “cost” is that less Blacks watch Basketball on TV well that is a very small price to pay since more White fans will be drawn to the sport. And on average they are far more Affluent.
Then there is the NCAA BS
making things worse
African American basketball talent may not be “required” to put in time for FREE in NCAA colleges before gaining entry to the NBA ( see Lebron James, Kobe Bryant and a few others ) still the fact remains ever present most young African Americans who will play in the NBA must first prove themselves in college for 3 or 4 years without pay before getting Drafted in the NBA. They don’t have any alternatives let alone good alternatives. The NBA developmental league will not replace the NCAA anytime soon and probably never.
European and other players from around the World are subject to no such “expectation.” Often they go straight from the equivalent of high school to well paying jobs on European teams where they are “discovered” by the NBA.
And it can only get Worse
for African American players
Back to Baseball’s Latin American “model.” Already NBA team executives spend increasing amounts of their time outside the U.S. scouting talent in Europe, China and increasingly everywhere on Earth.
There is no doubt the next step is that NBA teams are going to set up their own sophisticated high tech training “camps” in lots of European countries. The poorer the Better. And very young Europeans in places like Croatia, and Bosnia who are tall and athletic, from the time they are pre-teens are going to get lots of special attention from the NBA team that “discovers” them.
The best who get invitations to come to America and play aren’t going to play for “nothing” of course but having been brought up by these teams they will be far more “reasonable” than born and bred Americans read AFRICAN Americans.
In the End even the somewhat good numbers in the NBA for Black coaches and executives may prove a very brief Phenomenon. As the number of African Americans playing in the NBA declines to LESS than 50 %
That is Right
you heard it here
LESS than 50%
( unless Black America wakes up )
Whenever you want to reach us with comments or better yet an idea for a topic for the Box ……. firstname.lastname@example.org
” HELLO AMERICA ” ( DIRK NOWITZKI )