Sep 10, 2010, 12:04 PM EDT
The White Shadow is a cult classic here in America, a touchstone for men (then boys) alive in the late 1970s. The television show about a white former NBA player whose career was cut short by a knee injury so he coached at a predominantly African-American high school was the Friday Night Lights of its day. Groundbreaking in some ways, glamorizing a sport in others.
Turkey’s rapid rise as a basketball power can be traced, in part, to “The White Shadow,” whose 54 episodes appeared on black-and-white TV here from 1980 to 1982.
“It made people aware of basketball in Turkey,” said Alper Yilmaz, a former national team player who works in the front office of Efes Pilsen, a club in Istanbul that has won 13 Turkish League titles since its founding in 1976.
“There was already basketball in Turkey,” Yilmaz added, “but after that show, everyone started playing.”
Another American cultural export takes hold thanks to television. You’re welcome, world.
- For two games James Harden has been brilliant, but that’s not what anybody is talking about 2
- Warriors survive James Harden in Game 2, take 2-0 lead in Western Conference finals 15
- PBT Extra: No DeMarre Carroll leaves Hawks in tough spot 3
- PBT Extra: J.R. makes case for hot hand theory, is loved in Cleveland 7
- PBT Extra: Draft Lottery winers start with Lakers 22
- Stephen Curry, LeBron James unanimous choices, lead All-NBA First Team 24
- Rockets vs. Warriors Game 2: Five things to watch 8
- Hawks face uphill climb after DeMarre Carroll injury 10