Race and the NBA: Top 3 Whitest NBA Teams.
Top 3 Whitest NBA teams and it’s not who you’d guess.
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Race and basketball have always been debated, argued, and pretented to be ignored. Here’s a look at the numbers.
Although basketball has become a hugely international game, many still associate it with Black America. People believe rightly or wrongly that the NBA is 99% black and that all the players that matter are black.
The numbers don’t lie. Last season 75.6% of all minutes played in the NBA were from black players, while whites only played 18.6% of the minutes. This is a powerful statistic that goes beyond simply what racial breakdown exists on each team and gets to the heart of who is actually in the game.
Here are the three whitest NBA teams based on the percentage of white players on their roster. Many people generally associate teams like the Utah Jazz and Boston Celtics with white players, but Boston and Utah didn’t even make the Top 10 this season.
Top 3 Whites NBA Teams of 2012
1. Milwaukee Bucks 38.3%
2. Minnesota Timberwolves 36.3%
3. Orlando Magic 33.7%
It is important to remember with these types of statistics that NBA teams are comprised of a maximum of 15 signed players and 12 suited to play. This means changing just a few players on any given team can make a significant difference to that team’s overall percentage. Also, statistics showed absolutely no correlation between race / ethnicity and wins. Teams with more players of any given race were statistically no more likely to win.
Some will say examining race within the NBA is wrong and that basketball is colorblind. There is some truth to this. Statistics show that General Managers across the NBA build their teams based on skill and not racial or ethnic considerations. With this said, race remains a significant component of the American and our athletic landscape. To pretend it doesn’t exist is perhaps the most truly blind and apathetic solution.
Notes: Data provided by UCF College of Business Administration: Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports. Here is a direct link to the full data set. The coding of race is by self-identification. The same method used by the U.S. Census. Additional Data Source: TIDES & A Screaming Comes Across The Court.