Where Have all of the White NBA Players Gone?

by February 04, 2009

by Marcel Mutoni

Inquiring minds on the Utah Jazz want to know, it seems.

No, seriously. For reasons not yet clear, someone on the Jazz approached Salt Lake Tribune hoops scribe Ross Siller and wanted him to figure out if the white American ballplayer was a “dying breed” in the Association.

Here are Siller’s findings:

There’s a perception that white American players are a dying breed, and this player was interested in whether that was the case. It took me a couple of days to go through all the rosters, but I don’t think the evidence necessarily supports the belief.

There are 46 white Americans out of 432 players on current NBA rosters. That’s 10.6 percent of the entire league and about 1.5 white guys on average per team. Only Atlanta, Detroit, Memphis and Washington have no white American players.

Another factor hurting the dying breed argument: Of those 46 white American players, 14 have played three or fewer years in the NBA. That group includes rookies Kevin Love and Joe Alexander, which suggests there are more players in the pipeline.

So, there you have it. Nothing to worry about, Utah: plenty of white guys to go around.

You may now return to your regularly scheduled programming.