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Kevin Love brags about winning “the ‘White Guy’ award”

Oct 22, 2013, 6:23 PM EDT

Kevin Love

The NBA’s annual GM survey, analyzed by Kurt earlier today, contained few surprises.

Who will win the championship? The Heat, as usual.

Who will win MVP? LeBron James, obviously.

Who is the best center? Dwight Howard, of course.

Who’s the best coach in the NBA? Gregg Popovich, surely.

Which player makes the most of limited natural ability? A white guy, as always.

Kevin Love won that vote on a question that has been slightly re-worded. The previous six winners – under the wording, “Which player does the most with the least?” – were Love, Luis Scola, Mehmet Okur, Bruce Bowen, Steve Nash and Nash. This season, Marc Gasol, Matt Bonner, Jared Dudley, Nick Collison, Stephen Curry, Danny Green, Chuck Hayes, Roy Hibbert, Kyle Korver, Nash, Scola, Anderson Varejao and Greivis Vasquez received votes.

The voting doesn’t need to be unanimous along racial lines to see the bias. In a league where black players are a majority, these results stand out.

Love sees it:

And so does Steve Kerr:

Ethan Sherwood Strauss of HoopSpeak keenly addressed this issue last season:

There is that dumb notion, though, the notion of black talent as some kind of sorcery, “magic” if you will. Since white players are thought to lack this supernatural quality, they must be transcending their limitations somehow. By grit and by gumption, guile and “basketball IQ.” Whatever they’re doing, it’s not what Chris Paul does to be a top player at under six-feet tall. It’s not what Al Jefferson does to be lead-foot effective. It’s not what Kevin Durant does to be magnificent while leaping lower than a young Troy Murphy. And Kevin Love’s 35 inch vertical? He probably just outsmarted gravity for a second.Something feels wrong about this. Hey white player, your talent is actually wisdom. Hey black player, your wisdom is actually talent. I am not sure how to correct these stereotypes, but can we at least acknowledge their power?

My vote would go to Al Jefferson, who’s far from an elite NBA athlete, losing athleticism with age and a little short for his style of play. But he’s added a jumper, improved his passing and cut down on his turnovers. That’s the textbook definition of getting the most out of a limited natural ability.In a strange way, it’s insulting to Jefferson – and all black athletes – that he’s not credited more often for doing more with less, because few acknowledge that he has less. We must move past the paradigm that all black athletes are freakishly talented. It’s obviously inaccurate.We’ve made progress in this realm – the rise of the black quarterback is evidence – but there’s still a long way to go.

  1. timb12 - Oct 22, 2013 at 6:47 PM

    Kobe doesn’t get any recognition here? I don’t know if his athletic ability is still up there with his talent.

  2. mdkaton - Oct 22, 2013 at 7:05 PM

    Two phrases almost exclusively reserved for white players: “gym rat” and “scrappy”

  3. JHathwell - Oct 22, 2013 at 7:07 PM

    Where is Love’s award for overpaid faux franchise player whose career winning percentage is under 30?

    • eugenesaxe1 - Oct 22, 2013 at 7:14 PM

      It’s not his fault the team sucks, he didn’t put it together.

      • JHathwell - Oct 22, 2013 at 7:25 PM

        He’s an empty stat guy. Sure, he scores and rebounds but he’s one of the most indifferent defenders in a league full of them and lest the revisionist history confuses anyone, he was woefully out of shape his first two years in the league. He basically got in shape, put up numbers and then started demanding money.

      • eugenesaxe1 - Oct 22, 2013 at 7:30 PM

        He’s scored/rebounded because nobody else on the team could. And those two skills alone are enough to command big money. Let’s see how he/the team does this year when he should have a bit more help.

      • JHathwell - Oct 22, 2013 at 7:45 PM

        Don’t go holding your breath. based on his track record, he looks destined for a career of empty stats on lottery teams.

  4. ProBasketballPundit - Oct 22, 2013 at 7:13 PM

    It is a little ridiculous that Steve Nash ever won. He’s an incredible athlete. Vertical jump and wingspan aren’t the only two athletic traits a man can naturally possess. How about ambidexterity and balance for Nash?

    • asimonetti88 - Oct 22, 2013 at 8:29 PM

      He’s also just as fast with the ball in his hands as he is without it, which is not necessarily easy to do.

    • daddyghi - Oct 23, 2013 at 1:38 PM

      i agree with nash… would also like to add dirk nowitzki… a thin, 7-footer, runs like a duck, can hardly dribble, can get out rebounded by russell westbrook, wins an MVP award, a 12 time all-star and has a championship ring…

  5. eugenesaxe1 - Oct 22, 2013 at 7:16 PM

    They make it sound like one of those “participation” awards you got as a kid when you came in last.

  6. captainwisdom8888 - Oct 22, 2013 at 7:29 PM

    An NBA team comprised of the best white talent in the NBA would be quite formidable…

    Off the top of my head:

    PG- Steve Nash/Goran Dragic
    SG- Gordon Hayward/ JJ Reddick
    SF- Kevin Love/Andrei Kirilenko
    PF- David Lee/Andrea Bargnani
    C- Nikolai Pekovic/Jonas Valuncionas

    *Who am I forgetting…?

    • unfly - Oct 22, 2013 at 9:49 PM

      First off Kevin Love isn’t fast enough to be a 3…second an all-black team would eviscerate that squad.

      Chris Paul/Tony Parker
      Melo/LaMarcus Aldridge?

      • 00maltliquor - Oct 23, 2013 at 2:08 AM

        LOL @ LeBron coming off the bench!

    • mydoghasfleez - Oct 23, 2013 at 12:36 PM

      “Who am I forgetting…?”

      Shawn Bradley
      Mel Counts
      Christmas Laettner


    • franchiseplaya - Oct 23, 2013 at 2:51 PM

      HAHAHAH Bargnani?! Pek or Val over DPOY Marc Gasol? I love Nash but I’d rather take Rubio at this stage of their careers. Only AK and Goran are actually decent defenders the rest are matadors. I get the spirit of your argument but you defeated yourself with your lack of “wisdom”.

  7. jammer73 - Oct 22, 2013 at 7:47 PM

    If it were up to KG, white guys wouldn’t be allowed in the league.

  8. antistratfordian - Oct 22, 2013 at 7:52 PM

    That’s racist.

  9. meatsweat - Oct 22, 2013 at 8:03 PM

    Ethan seems to want to make the issue racist towards black people (who’d have thunk it?). This award is obviously a slight toward white athletes.

  10. longtallsam - Oct 22, 2013 at 8:57 PM

    Can you imagine the uproar if someone did a survey to recognize “those players who accomplished the most, with the least brain power”, and 90% of the list were black players. This is the same kind of crap, and most just think it is funny!

  11. zoomy123 - Oct 22, 2013 at 9:07 PM

    My obvious choice is Zach Randolph. That guy wasn’t blessed with any athleticism, lol. He can’t run fast, jump high, do any acrobatic dunks, etc. But he has footwork and fundamentals, so even if you know he’s going left you’re still gonna get schooled.

  12. beaverdam21 - Oct 22, 2013 at 10:04 PM

    As I recall when Dennis Rodman came into the league he got into all sorts of hot water for the simple observation that nobody would be making all the fuss over how great Larry Bird was if he were black.

  13. pike573 - Oct 23, 2013 at 12:00 AM

    I believe Isaiah said that about Bird

  14. pike573 - Oct 23, 2013 at 12:03 AM

    Like when got in a stink around draft time because all the write ups on the draft eligible white WR was essentially the same (possession WR, good hands, reliable, etc) then Ryan Swope blazed to a 4.24 40.

  15. ochospantalones - Oct 23, 2013 at 9:36 AM

    I would vote for 900 year old Andre Miller as doing the most with the least at this point. He’s got good size and strength for the position, but he wasn’t particularly athletic when he was young. To still be effective now is very impressive.

  16. thenew013 - Oct 23, 2013 at 12:01 PM

    I play alot of pick up games and the black guys always get picked first.

    • skinsfanwill - Oct 24, 2013 at 3:07 PM

      It would be just the opposite if you played pickup hockey.

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