Young Phil Jackson on white vs. black players in the NBA

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Young Phil Jackson on white vs. black players in the NBA 

Post#1 » by marcus_misc » Tue Feb 19, 2013 3:16 am

excerpt from his book "Maverick"

"Throughout the years the black players on the Knicks have possessed much better physical ability than the white players, being generally faster and better jumpers. I also think that they have always had superior one-on-one talent."

"White players are more often willing to run patterns and to work collectively."

"Because of the predominance of blacks in pro basketball, the sport is rapidly disintegrating into a one-on-one sport. There are only five or six NBA teams who play with more than a superficial degree of team unity."

On the Knicks: "The starting front court played white basketball while guards played black basketball."

"Black kids growing up want to be the superstar of their neighborhood. They want to be the toughest kids on the block, the richest or, once they get to the playground, the best one-on-one basketball players. White kids, on the other hand, usually are raised in a more homogeneous environment which provides other outlets for personal expression. They're also constantly being taught the principle of subordinating their own personal glory for the good of the group."

"The average player's career is a very short period of his life, and the minute he's through nobody knows who is. Twenty-five years from now the only people who will remember me will be a few trivia experts, and that's exactly how it should be. A lot of black players look at their careers differently. Many blacks have let themselves believe that being in the NBA is one of the greatest things a person can accomplish. I believe this type of feeling is ultimately very destructive, because the only way you can live with it is to get into a heavy fantasy trip. I've seen the process develop many times, and very few players ever find happiness that way."


couple questions

1) how come this hasn't gotten much attention? if someone (coach, player, media) were to say this today they would get absolutely blasted.

2) to what extent, if any, is what he's saying true? (back then and today)
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Re: Young Phil Jackson on white vs. black players in the NBA 

Post#2 » by warren4prez » Tue Feb 19, 2013 3:27 am

Keyword was "today" he is speaking from his perspective during that time. That's how I see it.
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Re: Young Phil Jackson on white vs. black players in the NBA 

Post#3 » by kakaman » Tue Feb 19, 2013 3:30 am

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Re: Young Phil Jackson on white vs. black players in the NBA 

Post#4 » by Sofia » Tue Feb 19, 2013 3:31 am

BREAKING NEWS! VINNY DEL NEGRO FIRED.

Sources suggest Donald Sterling will welcome Phil Jackson with open arms.
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Re: Young Phil Jackson on white vs. black players in the NBA 

Post#5 » by Viatical » Tue Feb 19, 2013 3:37 am

For reference, "Maverick" was first published in 1976. Jackson's words exemplify the racial politics and common stigmas held by members of the basketball community during that era. It's not surprising Phil Jackson wrote those words, and felt that way in 1976. What would be surprising--and highly unlikely--is that he felt the same way over 37 years later.
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Re: Young Phil Jackson on white vs. black players in the NBA 

Post#6 » by Heat3 » Tue Feb 19, 2013 3:40 am

As a player he talked down "black basketball" because he himself couldn't do it, but as a coach he only coached teams with the very best players of "black basketball" :lol:
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Re: Young Phil Jackson on white vs. black players in the NBA 

Post#7 » by EricAnderson » Tue Feb 19, 2013 3:40 am

Hes not completely off but in todays overly pc world we can never discuss or the differences between cultures races etc without people whining and being overly sensitive
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Re: Young Phil Jackson on white vs. black players in the NBA 

Post#8 » by LAKESHOW » Tue Feb 19, 2013 3:47 am

Many blacks have let themselves believe that being in the NBA is one of the greatest things a person can accomplish. I believe this type of feeling is ultimately very destructive, because the only way you can live with it is to get into a heavy fantasy trip. I've seen the process develop many times, and very few players ever find happiness that way."

There are some African American players who have shown this to be true. And have professed this admittedly out loud that this is a fact.
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Re: Young Phil Jackson on white vs. black players in the NBA 

Post#9 » by sir G Wallace » Tue Feb 19, 2013 3:47 am

Him pointing out the "me first" approach as compared to the team approach is certainly dead on. I guess the only thing that should anger anybody is the part where he divides it into Black and White.

His philosophy about the destructive and unsatisfactory nature of the selfish approach is pretty dead on. Too bad rap music wont let dumbass kids see through that soon enough.
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Re: Young Phil Jackson on white vs. black players in the NBA 

Post#10 » by EscapoTHB » Tue Feb 19, 2013 3:56 am

A lot of the "me first" stuff comes from being poor--not being black.
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Re: Young Phil Jackson on white vs. black players in the NBA 

Post#11 » by EscapoTHB » Tue Feb 19, 2013 3:58 am

sir G Wallace wrote:His philosophy about the destructive and unsatisfactory nature of the selfish approach is pretty dead on. Too bad rap music wont let dumbass kids see through that soon enough.


Seems like they're getting it fine to be honest. Lebron and KD seem to have a much better head on their shoulders than AI, T-Mac and that generation.
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Re: Young Phil Jackson on white vs. black players in the NBA 

Post#12 » by Illmatic21 » Tue Feb 19, 2013 4:00 am

If you view what he's saying as a cultural commentary and not an assertion of racial supremacy, there was probably a lot of truth in his statements at the time they were written.

Obviously none of that would hold water now, but during the '70s that was probably an accurate commentary.
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Re: Young Phil Jackson on white vs. black players in the NBA 

Post#13 » by jdub114 » Tue Feb 19, 2013 4:06 am

I remember reading an article by Scoop Jackson about different racially charged comments from Phil and it always left a bad taste in my mouth, but what he says here is true for the most part.

It can be black and white, but it could also boil down to class. In the inner city there's a dog eat dog mentality. Everyone wants to make it out the hood, and be that savior that takes everyone with them. That mentality translates to the playing field. I've seen it growing up and been a victim to it. Even to the mentality of thinking the NBA is the greatest achievement possible. Now as an adult, I can see NBA players for what they are: just basketball players. It would be nice to be lauded like them and have their money, but they're not changing the world or the way people think (aside from the theme of hard work).
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Re: Young Phil Jackson on white vs. black players in the NBA 

Post#14 » by reapaman » Tue Feb 19, 2013 4:09 am

I'm not offended by this at all and think theres some honest truth to this. The reality is during that time and its somewhat true today, there is a cultural divide among races for the most part. Whites often went to nicer schools, more likely to have both parents and also more likely to have people around them that were in the position to help them to suceed. From that stand point they probley developed a better sense of community and what not. Whites often had many oppurtunites avalible to them and probley occupided there time with things other than basketball. It was often the opposite for blacks and was often a "survival of the fittest environment and due to the lack of oppurtunties, you breath and sleep basketball if thats your craft (which was one of few options that most blacks saw for themselves at the time).

The idea of making it in the NBA for many whites was seen as an option where as for blacks, making it to the nba was often seen as a neccessity. You have to look out for yourself and your families best interest so you do develop selfish tendancies. You do have to work on being the best player you can be individually because there so many people that can go to the NBA (or ABA). Once you make it to the NBA, then you probley feel like you made it and accomplished the goal of providing for your family (and fame .. all that stuff that comes with it). Many black players are living it up and not thinking much about the future because they didn't have many oppurtunities growing up so they are trying to make the most of it while its still there and couldn't picture achieving that without basketball. Many whites on the other hand experienced and were exposed to many things growing up, plus they were probley handed oppurtunties that most blacks were not. This led to them thinking theres a life beyond basketball and if they were not playing basketball then they could be doing well doing somthing else.

Overall, I think theres something to what he said and people shouldn't get offended by it because its just his observation at the time. Its really a cultural thing and not specifically a race thing but it just so happens theirs a cultural gap among races that still lies today for the most part but it is closing and hopeful will continue to close.
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Re: Young Phil Jackson on white vs. black players in the NBA 

Post#15 » by sprint2thecup » Tue Feb 19, 2013 4:16 am

why would he get absolutely blasted? everything he said was in good taste. some of it is subjective, but it's not offensive or rude or anything.

black kids really do tend to focus more on 1on1 play, etc.

why do we have to crucify someone just because they discuss race? kudos to phil for having the courage to give what is a very taboo but totally innocent viewpoint. good read.
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Re: Young Phil Jackson on white vs. black players in the NBA 

Post#16 » by sprint2thecup » Tue Feb 19, 2013 4:16 am

why would he get absolutely blasted? everything he said was in good taste. some of it is subjective, but it's not offensive or rude or anything.

black kids really do tend to focus more on 1on1 play, etc.

why do we have to crucify someone just because they discuss race? kudos to phil for having the courage to give what is a very taboo but totally innocent viewpoint. good read.
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Re: Young Phil Jackson on white vs. black players in the NBA 

Post#17 » by [GR] » Tue Feb 19, 2013 4:35 am

He makes a lot of sense, and broke it down in a way I never thought of before.


I remember my HS coach showed a Five Star video, where Hubie Brown talked. He said that because of the black athleticism, the suburban white kids had to compensate by being better fundamentally.
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Re: Young Phil Jackson on white vs. black players in the NBA 

Post#18 » by xxSnEaKyPxx » Tue Feb 19, 2013 4:39 am

Actually a very good read.
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Re: Young Phil Jackson on white vs. black players in the NBA 

Post#19 » by Pimpwerx » Tue Feb 19, 2013 4:50 am

sprint2thecup wrote:why would he get absolutely blasted? everything he said was in good taste. some of it is subjective, but it's not offensive or rude or anything.

black kids really do tend to focus more on 1on1 play, etc.

why do we have to crucify someone just because they discuss race? kudos to phil for having the courage to give what is a very taboo but totally innocent viewpoint. good read.

:roll:

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Re: Young Phil Jackson on white vs. black players in the NBA 

Post#20 » by Frank Mulely » Tue Feb 19, 2013 4:51 am

in america, race = class
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