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Harvard's Hoops star is Asian: Why is that a problem?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
http://www.time.com/time/nation/arti...951044,00.html

It wasn't THAT long ago that people were throwing banana peels at Patrick Ewing when he played for Georgetown.

If you got game, you're gonna play.
post #2 of 16
From the article:
Quote:
Harvard hoopster with pro-level talent? Yes, that's one reason Lin is a novelty. But let's face it: Lin's ethnicity might be a bigger surprise. Fewer than 0.5% of men's Division 1 basketball players are Asian-American. Sure, the occasional giant from China, like Yao Ming, has played in the NBA. But in the U.S., basketball stars are African Americans first, Caucasians second, and Asians ... somewhere far down the line.

Whenever there is that kind of sparseness, there are going to be some prejudices. This is how the human mind works -- instinctual statistical analysis -- and you have to admit that aside from a small handful of Japanese in MLB baseball, Yao Ming, Nakamura, and Park Ji-Sung, there aren't very many east-asians competing at the highest levels of sport (there are more half-asians). Maybe Jeremy Lin will join the group. The on-court racial slurs are unfortunate, but I expect they are probably no more serious than typical trash-talking. It sounds like the kid is more than capable of dealing with it.

But seriously: do you expect an influx of east-asian talent into a sport where height is just as valuable as skill? Not likely.
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post #3 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by O-Mac View Post

http://www.time.com/time/nation/arti...951044,00.html

It wasn't THAT long ago that people were throwing banana peels at Patrick Ewing when he played for Georgetown.

If you got game, you're gonna play.

Can he dunk? Any Asian that can dunk deserves a gold star. I can say that because I'm Asian and 5'7" (and can't dunk).
post #4 of 16
Well, I'm white and 5'10" and can't dunk either.
post #5 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

Well, I'm white and 5'10" and can't dunk either.

Of course, you're below 6 feet and white! You have like minimal, almost zero chances of being able to dunk.
post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 
You can't teach height.

The high percentage of lack-of-talent in the NBA today is 100% proof of that.
post #7 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

Of course, you're below 6 feet and white! You have like minimal, almost zero chances of being able to dunk.

I think you could probably strip any ethnic connections, here. If you're below 6 ft and can dunk, you're a freak of nature no matter what ethnicity you are.
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post #8 of 16
It's pretty shitty that people still won't grow up. It doesn't matter where you are. Could be a private Christian school or whatever ... opposing fans will be unruly and try to get you off your game.

Frankly I'm surprised that an Asian is doing well. When you focus on a sport from the time you're in 1st grade on through school you're probably going to be good at it.

The only reason why you don't see more Asians in sports like Football, Basketball and other is just purely a numbers thing.

I remember watching last years Tourny and there was a team with a Mexican kid and he was lighting it up.

In order to be an International sport you have to have representation from all corners of the globe.
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post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

The only reason why you don't see more Asians in sports like Football, Basketball and other is just purely a numbers thing.

There are some hawaiians / samoans in football, if you want to classify that as asian. In baseball, there are of course some japanese. You are correct in asserting that it is a numbers game, however, the number of asians who are very large and strong is generally small compared to the number of blacks and to a lesser extent, whites. So for size & strength sports like basketball, US football, and baseball, I wouldn't ever expect to see asians dominate these. That said, there are plenty of sports that do not value size and strength above athleticism -- they are just not popular in the USA. For example, real football tends to value endurance and skill above size and speed. And it's the most popular sport in the world. The second most popular sport in the world, tennis, is more or less similar, although it does help to be reasonably tall (185 to 195 cm, or 6-0 to 6-4). Beyond that height, mobility becomes a problem.
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post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Splinemodel View Post

There are some hawaiians / samoans in football, if you want to classify that as asian. In baseball, there are of course some japanese. You are correct in asserting that it is a numbers game, however, the number of asians who are very large and strong is generally small compared to the number of blacks and to a lesser extent, whites. So for size & strength sports like basketball, US football, and baseball, I wouldn't ever expect to see asians dominate these. That said, there are plenty of sports that do not value size and strength above athleticism -- they are just not popular in the USA. For example, real football tends to value endurance and skill above size and speed. And it's the most popular sport in the world. The second most popular sport in the world, tennis, is more or less similar, although it does help to be reasonably tall (185 to 195 cm, or 6-0 to 6-4). Beyond that height, mobility becomes a problem.

I've seen some big asians. And the asians I went to college with weren't smaller than anyone else. I guess that's the advantage (or disadvantage) of the US diet. It is a numbers game...some of those guys were varsity football players in high school but they were like the only one.

Will Demps was a Raven a few years ago. I think he's half Korean. Haruki Nakamura is a Raven too. He's 5'10" and 205 lbs and plays safety. Busted his ankle not long ago. I'm gonna guess Japanese.

Probably a couple more around the league unless the Ravens collects an abnormal number of asians for some reason. (Yes, I live close enough to baltimore to follow the ravens).

China could field big guys. With 1B in the gene pool I'm sure they can find the poundage but football is an unknown sport more or less. i did a quick google and found that the NFL is pushing football into China. Millions of Chinese watched at least one game last year.

That should be amusing to see how that unfolds.

http://worldblog.msnbc.msn.com/archi...3/2194107.aspx
post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

I've seen some big asians.

I have too, but I've been to China, Korea, and Japan, and I also live in a very asian part of the USA. I've also been to various points in Northern Europe, the American south, midwest, etc. I'm 80 kgs / 186 cm (175 lbs, 6-1). I feel about normal among american whites and blacks on the coasts. In the midwest and south, I feel small. In Northern Europe, I feel even smaller. I've never been to sub saharan Africa, but we all know they come very tall there, too. In the far east I feel like a giant -- almost a freak.

The fact is this: for east asians, the bell curve is shifted to the left when it comes to size. To deny this is to deny reality. For most important elements of 21st century life (e.g. resource conservation), this is probably beneficial, but for strength sports it is not. I would guess one-third of the world is ethnically some form of east asian -- possibly a bit more. Maybe one-sixth is "white" and another one-sixth is "black." So it doesn't appear that the large Chinese population is anywhere near enough to overcome the extreme non-linearity of gaussian distribution. At this point, asian strength athletes are anomalies and exceptions. Sure, we can name a few, but how many hundreds more black strength athletes can we name?

Of course, this isn't really going to matter because, inevitably, China will become a soccer nation. Sports like US football are too inaccessible to low income populations. Soccer and baseball are hard to beat in accessibility. Everybody is trying to push their league into the Chinese market: NFL, MLB, NBA, EPL, UEFA... the list goes on. But when you start to look at the viewership numbers, nobody is holding a candle to the EPL.
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post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Splinemodel View Post

I have too, but I've been to China, Korea, and Japan, and I also live in a very asian part of the USA. I've also been to various points in Northern Europe, the American south, midwest, etc. I'm 80 kgs / 186 cm (175 lbs, 6-1). I feel about normal among american whites and blacks on the coasts. In the midwest and south, I feel small. In Northern Europe, I feel even smaller. I've never been to sub saharan Africa, but we all know they come very tall there, too. In the far east I feel like a giant -- almost a freak.

The fact is this: for east asians, the bell curve is shifted to the left when it comes to size. To deny this is to deny reality.

Eh what? Northern chinese are around 175 cm average height (5'9") and the Chinese are 2.7" taller in 1995 vs 1955.

http://www.isteve.com/2003_NBA_Heigh...g_Globally.htm

The height variation among asians isn't likely to be much different than that of europeans. Italians average 176 cm while the Dutch are 184 cm.

Given that nutrition in China still hasn't caught up to western levels I would expect that when it does they'll normalize to around the same average heights in the same general environmental conditions (northern chinese taller, southern asians shorter) as europeans.

I agree that today the bell curve is to the left but I argue that it's a nutritional bias as opposed to a genetic one. Well, unless you come from a northern european stock and visit southern asia. That's no different than visiting Mexico where they average 163 cm (Argentina is a 174 cm).
post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

I agree that today the bell curve is to the left but I argue that it's a nutritional bias as opposed to a genetic one. Well, unless you come from a northern european stock and visit southern asia. That's no different than visiting Mexico where they average 163 cm (Argentina is a 174 cm).

Asians in America are also shorter than whites and blacks.

It might be fun to think of the people of the world as equal in all respects, but it's just not true. Athletically, especially for strength speed, it's rare for non-blacks to be competitive at the highest level. I don't see this changing.
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post #14 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Splinemodel View Post

Asians in America are also shorter than whites and blacks.

The question there is whether or not they are south asians or from the north. I agree that genetics do matter.

Quote:
It might be fun to think of the people of the world as equal in all respects, but it's just not true. Athletically, especially for strength speed, it's rare for non-blacks to be competitive at the highest level. I don't see this changing.

Sure for the average and for certain regions that's going to be true. But you're talking about a large geographic range with the same environmental pressures that produces similar genetic advantages for certain body types and sizes. Pick the region in asia that corresponds to similar regions in africa and europe and you're likely to see roughly the same builds and physiques given the same diets.

The average NFL player is 6' 2" and 245 lbs. That's above the norm both here and in China but not so far outside the norm that Asians in that weight category are that hard to find. Even for 6' 3" 350 lbs linemen. Sumo wrestlers are 185 cm and 148 kg on average. That's in the ballpark.

Vietnam may not ever have many NFL players but the dudes from northern China, given the same diet as in the west, could if they played the sport.
post #15 of 16
Spliney, you're used to being tall. You are well above average (5'10") in all parts of the US. The reason you "feel" small is that you feel smaller than what you're accustomed to (which is being taller than most but not all). In Asia you are pretty much taller than all. Even in Hong Kong, where nutrition is not a question, at 5'10", I'm taller than 80% of the men. In Japan, where no one can argue nutrition is lacking (they live longer than anyone anywhere else in the world), it's even more pronounced.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Splinemodel View Post

I have too, but I've been to China, Korea, and Japan, and I also live in a very asian part of the USA. I've also been to various points in Northern Europe, the American south, midwest, etc. I'm 80 kgs / 186 cm (175 lbs, 6-1). I feel about normal among american whites and blacks on the coasts. In the midwest and south, I feel small. In Northern Europe, I feel even smaller. I've never been to sub saharan Africa, but we all know they come very tall there, too. In the far east I feel like a giant -- almost a freak.

The fact is this: for east asians, the bell curve is shifted to the left when it comes to size. To deny this is to deny reality. For most important elements of 21st century life (e.g. resource conservation), this is probably beneficial, but for strength sports it is not. I would guess one-third of the world is ethnically some form of east asian -- possibly a bit more. Maybe one-sixth is "white" and another one-sixth is "black." So it doesn't appear that the large Chinese population is anywhere near enough to overcome the extreme non-linearity of gaussian distribution. At this point, asian strength athletes are anomalies and exceptions. Sure, we can name a few, but how many hundreds more black strength athletes can we name?

Of course, this isn't really going to matter because, inevitably, China will become a soccer nation. Sports like US football are too inaccessible to low income populations. Soccer and baseball are hard to beat in accessibility. Everybody is trying to push their league into the Chinese market: NFL, MLB, NBA, EPL, UEFA... the list goes on. But when you start to look at the viewership numbers, nobody is holding a candle to the EPL.
post #16 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

Can he dunk? Any Asian that can dunk deserves a gold star. I can say that because I'm Asian and 5'7" (and can't dunk).

Yep.

http://www.thecrimson.com/image/2010...review-012910/
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