NBA fans totally understand that African-American players dominate the sport. In 2015, 74.4 percent of the players in the NBA were black. Only 23.3 percent of the players in the NBA were white. Basketball is like hockey in reverse when it comes to race, but despite not having many superstar white players to market, the NBA has survived by having at least one iconic white player per generation.
There was Larry Bird in the '80s and early '90s. Then German Giant Dirk Nowitzki hit the scene in the late '90s and carried the torch for the white All-Star baller who could stroke it and slam it with the best of the brothers. Steve Nash had his run with back-to-back MVP’s in 2005 and 2006 and then the white pipeline of talent went a bit dry. Jason "White Chocolate" Williams wasn't a superstar but he was a flashy, fan favorite during his 11 years in the NBA.
(Photo Credit: basketballbloggers.com)
Most of the white players in today’s NBA are role players. In these playoffs, Kevin Love, whose superstar status and offensive freedom has been diminished since signing up with LeBron and Kyrie Irving, is the biggest name among white players. Love was considered a perennial All-Star in Minnesota, but he sacrificed to win in Cleveland and his game hasn’t been superstar worthy in a minute.
The only real hope for fans of dope white ballers this playoffs is one hard-nosed Slovenian guard who plays for the Miami Heat. When he combines his scoring ability with Dwyane Wade’s all-around dominance, Miami has a Top 5 killer backcourt.
Goran Dragic has been a solid NBA player, averaging 16.7 points per game for his career. At the age of 29, Dragic is still in his prime as a player and of late he’s really blossomed and asserted himself as someone who is easily one of the great white hopes of the NBA.
Dragic exploded for 25 points on 11-of-17 shooting, six rebounds and a block and stole Bronx-born Kemba Walker’s heart in eliminating the Charlotte Hornets from the playoffs with a 106-73 plastering on Sunday.
"Man, that's the Goran Dragic we all love," Dwyane Wade told Doris Burke after the game. "He just puts so much pressure on the defense, and it allows other guys to just chill out. We want Goran to understand that when he's playing that special for us, we're a tough, tough team to beat."
Dragic was obviously listening and he is balling so hard. The win punched Miami's ticket to the second round in the East, where Dragic scored 26 points and grabbed six boards while teaming up with a hobbled but game Wade to secure a 102-96 overtime win for Miami in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals on Tuesday night.
Wade took some nasty falls on his janky knees in that game. If Miami is going to advance to the Conference Finals, Dragic will have to continue to build his playoff portfolio and in the process disprove any premature notions about the demise of the white NBA baller.