The All Whitey Basketball Team
It’s one of those rules of basketball. Never pick the white guy. Wasn’t that the lesson of White Men Can’t Jump? When the United States won gold in Beijing this past summer, do you know how many white guys were on the team? Zero. When the Boston Celtics won the 2008 NBA title, how many white guys did they have on their team? Technically two (Scott Pollard and Brian Scalabrine), but neither played so effectively zero. But what if you had to construct a team entirely of white guys? What’s more, let’s not include any foreign born players. European basketball has helped prop up an ever shrinking production of white players from the U.S. So no Dirk Nowitzki (Germany), no Pau Gasol (Spain), and no Steve Nash (Canadian) among others. Here’s you current All Whitey team for the United States:
THE STARTING FIVE:
PG – Kirk Hinrich, Chicago Bulls
When the Bulls drafted Derrick Rose, Hinrich became a back-up on his own team. But he’s good enough to be the starter for this team and probably for another NBA team once he leaves Chicago. He’s an agile defender and a decent spot-up shooter, with the ability to distribute like a true point guard. He’s not a pure scorer, and that’s acceptable for a point guard, who should be more of a distributor. However, he’s not a great penetrator and his shooting has generally been lackluster in his NBA career outside of the 2006-07 season.
SG – Mike Miller, Minnesota Timberwolves
The former Florida Gator possesses one of the most gorgeous shots in the game, and is easily a successful shooting guard. At least on the offensive side of the ball. His size at 6-8 also allows him to be a force on the boards. Where he struggles is on the defensive side, where his lack of lateral movement is exposed as a shooting guard. He can play small forward as well, where his defensive short comings are less obvious. He’s on this team as a secondary scorer, making 40 percent or more of his 3 point attempts. Plus, he brings one of the worst hairdos in the league to the team.
SF – Mike Dunleavy, Jr., Indiana Pacers
Dunleavy broke out last season, showing good range and increased accuracy from both two and three point range. He’s a natural small forward, where his lack of quickness is covered up by his ability to recognize plays and take the occasional charge. His lack of strength also makes him more of a slasher/cutter type that can spot up when needed. Dunleavy basically gets by with a decent offensive game and the smarts to cover up any physical deficiencies. On this team, he’s basically our top scorer who will also help set up other guys.
PF – David Lee, New York Knicks
Another former Florida Gator, Lee is a high-efficiency forward who rebounds like crazy. He shoots well from the floor and from the free throw line, although he lacks a strong offensive game. He’s basically a player that can burn you if others draw the defensive focus. In New York he often rode the pine in favor of higher priced busts like Eddy Curry, but new coach Mike D’Antoni has give Lee a starting gig this year and he appears headed for his best season yet. His rebounding and high-percentage shooting are probably undervalued by many in the game. He’s starting here mainly to be a rebounding machine.
C – Chris Kaman, Los Angeles Clippers
Yes, I know Kaman represented Germany in the most recent Olympics. But he’s basically American. He was born in Michigan, holds dual citizenship (U.S. and Germany), and only acquired German citizenship last July in order to compete in the Olympics (his great-grandparents were German). So he counts for this team. Kaman’s developed over the past few seasons into a post scorer and one of the game’s best rebounders. He’s a force on the blocks offensively, and can actually shoot from the line. That’s rare for a big man. He’s also ambidextrous, making him strong with both hands and tough to defend. On the defensive side, his rebounding prowess comes into play and he’s an outstanding shot blocker. Unlike most players on this team, he’s not a defensive liability. And he can compete with Mike Miller for worst hair. Kaman’s basically the franchise with his offensive and defensive game.
C- Brad Miller, Sacramento Kings
Miller seems to be towards the tail end of a strong career, and had a bit of a career revival last season. How long he can keep that up remains to be seen, but for now he holds a spot on this team over guys like teammate Spencer Hawes. At his best, Miller is one of the most skilled 7-footers to ever play the game. He possesses a strong outside shot, solid ball handling skills, strong passing skills, and is a great free throw shooter. What he lacks is finish around the rim, a low-post game, and quickness or athleticism in general. This prevents Miller from being an elite player in the Robinson/Olajuwon mold and also makes him a mediocre defender. Miller’s our insurance for when Kaman gets injured.
SG – Kyle Korver, Utah Jazz
Every team needs a shooter coming off the bench, and on this one it’s Kyle Korver. Basically a Mike Miller-lite, he’s a long-range specialist, who came come into without being a terrible defender. Like Miller, he’s deadly from three point range and his size and active hands make him a passable team defender. Plus, an all white guy team isn’t complete without a member of the Utah Jazz. I think it’s just one of those rules that the Jazz have white guys and that one of them has to make this squad.
PG – Steve Blake, Portland Trailblazers
He’s started 195 NBA games, but he’s not really starter material. Still he does enough positives, without really hurting you. He distributes the ball without turning it over, he can knock down open jumpers, and can play just enough defense to not look horrid out there. Best used in a reserve role, Blake is this team’s back-up point guard, who can spell Hinrich for 15-20 minutes a night.
PF – Kevin Love, Minnesota Timberwolves
Only a rookie, Love makes this squad for his collegiate accomplishments and likely success in the pros. Standing a burly 6-10, Love has good size, but not great athleticism. What Love does possess is a bevy of basketball tools. He’s a strong long range shooter, as well as an accomplished post scorer. His greatest asset is probably his passing, where he’s described as an unbelievable outlet passer. He’s also a strong rebounder. Love compares pretty favorably to another player on this team, Brad Miller. Love’s end of the bench for now, but hopefully moving on up shortly.
SF – Wally Szcerbiak, Cleveland Cavaliers
Fun fact, Szcerbiak was born in Madrid, Spain. But don’t worry, he’s all American and plenty qualified for this team (his American dad was playing overseas at the time). Szcerbiak wins a spot on this squad at the expense of Jason Kapono. Szcerbiak’s game is, and stop me if you heard this before, being a deadly accurate outside shooter while possessing below-average athleticism. He struggles off the dribble, but can score spotting up and in the post. And unlike Korver, he’s more of a pure scorer than a long-range specialist. His defense is passable if not left in one-on-one situations. Szczerbiak’s claim to fame right now is probably his $10 million expiring contract, making him trade bait for teams looking for cap space. Szcerbiak backs-up Dunleavy.
PF – Troy Murphy, Indiana Pacers
Despite his 6-11 size, Murphy is a good three point shooter. He’s also a rugged rebounder and has become a good distributor. The bad? He’s terrible on defense. He’s slow, not much of a shot blocker, and at times a bit soft. Basically this left provides you with a quietly efficient offensive game mixed in with loudly sub-par defense. That should make a decent bench guy, and on this team he’ll be the scoring option if the starter are having an off night.
PF – Nick Collison, Oklahoma City Thunder
Collison’s only 6-9, but he’s a strong rebounder and a decent enough shooter. Collison plays a bunch of center for the former Super Sonics, but he’s undersized in that role and more naturally a power forward. His use off the bench will be for rebounding and defensive purposes. He’s not a scorer like Troy Murphy, but he can provide some inside presence without being an extreme liability on defense. He can also slide into the paint if needed. Amazing at it seems, Collison’s gotten consideration to represent the U.S. in various international events. Here Collison is a frontcourt back-up.
Honorable Mention: Luke Ridnour (Milwaukee Bucks), Brent Barry (Houston Rockets), Jason Kopono (Toronto Raptors), Luke Walton (Los Angeles Lakers), Adam Morrison (Charlotte Bobcats), J.J. Redick (Orlando Magic), Spencer Hawes (Sacramento Kings), Aaron Gray (Chicago Bulls), Joel Przybilla (Portland Trailblazers).
So there you have it. The best All White team one can come up with at this moment. The question is how good are they? How many games could they win in an NBA season? Are they even a playoff team? And can they defend anyone? What do you think?
And one more bonus for getting this far, whitey Chris “Birdman” Anderson in the dunk contest: