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Newz Forum: BASKETBALL: Bird: NBA needs more white stars

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Ben

posted on Jun, 10 2004 @ 11:26 AM
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Larry Bird says he wants to see more white superstars in the NBA, but the legendary former Celtic has also revealed that nothing in basketball bothered him more than being guarded by another white player.
 

Bird made the comments during an ESPN special that will air Thursday at 7 p.m. ET featuring Bird's longtime rival, Magic Johnson, and rookies LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony. The one-hour discussion is called "Two on Two."

ESPN host Jim Gray asked Bird whether the NBA lacks enough white superstars.

"Well, I think so," said Bird, the Indiana Pacers' president of basketball operations. "You know, when I played, you had me and Kevin [McHale] and some others throughout the league. I think it's good for a fan base because, as we all know, the majority of the fans are white America. And if you just had a couple of white guys in there, you might get them a little excited. But it is a black man's game, and it will be forever. I mean, the greatest athletes in the world are African-American."

Johnson, a Lakers part owner, quickly added: "We need some more LBs -- Larry Birds. ... Larry Bird, you see, can go into any neighborhood. When you say 'Larry Bird,' black people know who he is, Hispanics, whites, and they give him the respect."

Cleveland's James and Denver's Anthony, both 19, were also asked about race during the sitdown, which took place in the tiny gym used as Hickory High's homecourt in the movie "Hoosiers."

Asked by Gray if race is an issue in the NBA, James said: "I don't think so. I think the fans look at the game, [they're] not looking at the race. [They're] looking who can play basketball. Or who's athletic. ... When you [were] a kid and you used to go outside, it didn't matter who was the best player in the league. If Bird was my favorite player, I'm out shooting threes. ... If Magic was my [favorite] player, I'm out there throwing my best passes. It's not the race issue. If you can play the game of basketball, you know fans are gonna love you."

Said Anthony: "Race is not an issue. Where I'm from, people love the Yao Mings, the Dirks, the Pejas. They love them guys. I don't think race is an issue right now."

Yet later in the discussion, Bird described being guarded by another white in his prime as "disrespect."

"The one thing that always bothered me when I played in the NBA was I really got irritated when they put a white guy on me," Bird said. "I still don't understand why. A white guy would come out (and) I would always ask him: 'What, do you have a problem with your coach? Did your coach do this to you?' And he'd go, 'No,' and I'd say, 'Come on, you got a white guy coming out here to guard me; you got no chance.' ... For some reason, that always bothered me when I was playing against a white guy.

"As far as playing, I didn't care who guarded me -- red, yellow, black," Bird added. "I just didn't want a white guy guarding me. Because it's disrespect to my game."

Said Magic: "His game, you see, Larry Bird was the only [white] guy that was mentioned in the barbershop. ...'Cause that's where all the talking in our community is, the barbershop or on the playground."

Bird has declined to comment further, according to a Pacers spokesman, and NBA commissioner David Stern said he would reserve comment until seeing the entire interview.




posted on Jun, 10 2004 @ 03:53 PM
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Originally posted by Ben
"As far as playing, I didn't care who guarded me -- red, yellow, black," Bird added. "I just didn't want a white guy guarding me. Because it's disrespect to my game."



I dont really understand this comment, what is disrespectful about putting a white guy to defend him? Did he think there wasn't one white guy who was able to defend him? What does the color of your skin have to do with it anyway? Sounds like a racist comment to me, but I guess it's ok because he's white, right?

One of the things I liked about Bird as a player was he seemed to let his game do the talking and appeared to keep his mouth shut. I didn't really like him as a player though because I am a Sixers fan and those rivalries back then with the Celtics were bitter but I respected him and his talent.

This just seems like a silly statement to make after being retired all of these years.



posted on Jun, 10 2004 @ 07:59 PM
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It seems this comment was made after a pointed question, (though I didn't see that part of the interview), but, it is a disturbing answer (and question). I'm a baketball fan. period. race doesn't come into play. there are great players of all races. It's silly that this was even brought up.



posted on Jun, 10 2004 @ 08:03 PM
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There are some stars that are white like Steve Nash and Dirk Nowitzky ( Yeah I like the Mavs) and tons of others. That is just a stupid question because it doesn't really matter whether they are white or black. Sure I think that more players coming up these days are black, but who really cares.

That would be like Willie O'Ree saying that the NHL needs more black players. There are only a handful of them, but nobody ever says anything. There are tons more white guys in the NBA than black guys in th NHL.


Ben

posted on Jun, 10 2004 @ 10:37 PM
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i think what bird was trying to say is that can you really name the white stars? i dont think i can name a lot of them.

Sure J-Kidd, Steve Nash, Dirk, and a couple of others, but there arnt that many why is that?



posted on Jun, 11 2004 @ 07:47 AM
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I think that white people are playing sports like hockey, baseball, cycling and others rather than basketball.

Oh yeah, and quarterbacks, i think there are only 2 or 3 black starters in the NFL



posted on Jun, 11 2004 @ 09:28 AM
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Originally posted by sniper474
Oh yeah, and quarterbacks, i think there are only 2 or 3 black starters in the NFL

Another racial misconception. There is no reason why a black man can't be a QB in the NFL, other than not being given the chance. As for starters, there is McNabb, Vick, Culpepper, Quincy Carter (for now), Aaron Brooks, Leftwich, McNair, and Anthony Wright (at least he was last year).
And there are numerous back up QB's who are black men. So why do people still say that the QB position is a white mann's job? I just don't understand.


Ben

posted on Jun, 11 2004 @ 09:39 AM
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are sports racical divided?

At times yes, but as it seems now black individuals are trying to use this as a power, saying that they arnt involved in nascar. And they are using this as an advantage to get more sports in their favor. But they have to prove themselves in order to particapate in that sport, but now they are going to go right ahead and be involved which i think is totally out of line to use this as their advantage.

But i do see were bird is coming from. He is saying that the blacks have just about taken over the league and for somebody to put a white person could be dis-respectful because blakcs have evolved as the majority.



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