I'm a golfer, getting older now. In my prime I could hit golf balls 300 yards. I'm still in pretty good shape, 6 feet one hundred and seventy pounds but I can barely get the ball out past 240 yards . Couple of months ago I was playing with a guy who coached high school golf and he told me about fast twitch muscles and how they deteriorate with age.
For those of you who don't know, apparently we have three different types of muscles in our body, and one of the two fast twitch types are responsible for explosive power movements required for things like running, jumping and swinging baseball and golf clubs. It also turns out that different populations have different percentages of fast twitch to slow twitch muscles. I guess you can see where this is heading.
It turns out that the population with the highest percentage of fast twitch muscles originates in West Africa and athletes who can trace their roots back to that area hold about 95% of the world records in sprinting and jumping events and comprise the majority of players in the NBA and NFL. I refer you to a fascinating article on this subject.The Story Behind the Amazing Success of Black Athletes, by Jon Entine
So when we draft a player like Jorts, stereotyping leads to expectations of a slower, less athletic player more like Kevin Love Light (oh god please) than Blake Griffin. This, even though Jorts scores quite highly on the explosivity meter tests that most draft prospects take. By instinct we know what to expect and I think these expectations will be realized when Jort's gets his chance
I'm trying to think of some great white players who defied our racial expectations. Frankly, I cannot come up with any.
- Steve Nash, the ultimate white point guard, his lack of lateral quickness leaves him vulnerable on defense. He more than makes up for it with his passing and shooting skills. But still not at the athletic level of point guards like Chris Paul or Deron Williams.
- Larry Bird, the greatest white players ever. I'm not exactly sure how he did it. He was never going to win a track meet. Dennis Rodman created a storm of outrage when he commented that Bird wouldn't be so special if he was black. Back in those days the NBA needed a white star to help sell the league and Bird was it. I think Rodman made a good point.
- Bill Walton, greatest white center of all time. At his peak his size, and incredible skills. made him the most formidable white player ever. However, I don't think he was in the physical class of Kareem or Wilt or Russell but pretty close.