It's not hard to see that the NBA is comprised of a majority of African American players. With roughly 75% of players being African-American, the NBA of today has become arguably the most explosive and athletic sport in the entire world, and frankly, it can be a tough place for a white player to excel.
Things weren't always this way, however. Formed in 1949, the NBA had no black players at first, but within a few years, they did start getting signed. Still looking like the rest of America in the '50s, the NBA was filled with white players who could really shoot and play some serious defense.
Fans from today would say...boring! The league has since developed into an extremely entertaining game of high flyers who play above the rim, with dunks and ally oops that seem to defy gravity --areas where very few white players can venture. The outstanding white player has become more and more of an uncommon sight. If it were not for the European players who have increased in recent years, the sightings would be even fewer.
Throughout the years, there have been many incredibly talented white players in the storied history of the National Basketball Association. From "Pistol Pete" to Larry Bird and beyond, there will be white basketballers that excel in this game. Greatness is measured in different ways and playing above the rim is one measure, but there are other things that factor into greatness such as poise, leadership and the ability to perform under extreme pressure.
In this article, we will be looking at the greatest American-raised white players in NBA history. Now, this title comes with a few factors that need to be addressed before we can begin. This list is excluding all foreign born players such as Dirk Nowitzki, The player must be North American-raised. Although the stereotype may feel very real at times, some of the players on this list defied the rule that says "white men can't jump!"
Here is the top 15 greatest white players in NBA history. As always, feel free to let us know any players we missed that could have been included in this list.
15 "Pistol" Pete Maravich
14 Billy Cunningham
13 Kevin McHale
12 Bill Walton
11 Dolph Schayes
10 Dave Cowens
9 Rick Barry
8 Bob Cousy
7 John Stockton
6 Steve Nash
5 George Mikan
4 John Havlicek
3 Bob Pettit
2 Jerry West
1 Larry Bird
The "Hick from French Lick" is one of the biggest names in basketball history. Even though he didn't have the athleticism like many other players in the league, Larry Bird put his heart on the court every night, doing whatever he could to bring the Celtics to another win. Whether it be knocking down the last shot, passing it to the open man, grabbing a rebound, or getting an important steal, if it had to be done, Larry was the man for it. He won three NBA championships with the Celtics, as he battled the Lakers and Magic Johnson in one of the best rivalries in sports history. His career accolades could fill an entire book, and he did it while being an unathletic white guy. Now that's impressive.
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