The NBA Draft brought about a lot of talent to the league and one thing it brought a few of were white basketball players. In a world where everything is still analyzed by race, the NBA is the one sport where race is looked at more so than any other in America.
The most recent scandal in the league was directly linked to race as Donald Sterling burping up racist comments all over himself led to the most severe punishment in professional sports history. Being banned for life, forced to sell his team and paying up $2 million in fines, Sterling’s racism showed that race is still a big deal in the country and in sports.
On a lesser level, race stereotypes certain athletes in certain sports as being white in the NBA is something that people feel they need to point out if they see it. This is the case when it comes to Nik Stauskas, who responded to criticism that he can’t defend and can only shoot — largely because of his race.
“I’m white and I’m a shooter, so that’s what happens. That’s basketball and there's stereotypes.” -Nik Stauskas on his defensive ability
— James Ham (@James_Ham) July 14, 2014
This is hardly anything scandalous, but the question in the post-Donald Sterling era is should it be. Should a player be stereotyped because of the color of his skin — black or white? J.J. Redick suffered this sort of criticism from Donald Sterling, who didn’t think a white player deserved a big contract.
Stauskas just has to prove he can defend, that’s a given and all NBA players should have to prove their skills. But no matter the skin color of a player, what they look like on the outside should have absolutely no influence on how they are perceived as a player.
Be sure to stay glued to FanSided’s NBA Rumors page to stay up to date with the latest happenings from the world of NBA Free Agency.