Posted by Royce Young
Gilbert Arenas, who is never short of quote-worthy material, gave a good one to reporters Tuesday saying he and J.J. Redick are "the two best white shooters in the league." Everyone chuckled, the immediately started scratching their head trying to figure out exactly what he meant.
Well today, he clarified. Kind of. (Via the Orlando Sentinel)
Arenas said, “In practice I’m one of the best shooters in the world. I proclaim I’m the best shooter in the world in practice. It’s just not falling in the game right now. He’s a very great game shooter. When you shoot that good, you gotta be white. So he said when you guys ask him he’s going to be the best black shooter.”
Now I'm not really one for harumphing about non-issues, especially when the comment is done in jest, but I know someone out there is thinking what I am so I'll go ahead and say it. If you turn this around and have J.J. Redick say something like, "All the best dunkers are black," wouldn't he probably get a little Heat from that?
Besides, Arenas is kind of wrong. Reggie Miller? Ray Allen? Kevin Durant? Three very good shooters. And all not white. In fact, look at the top 10 in the league in 3-point percentage. Redick is the only white player in there. (besides Mike Bibby... but, um, I don't know where he falls. It's like that Seinfeld episode where Elaine's dating a guy she thinks is a mix but really isn't. Should we even be talking about this? )
But it is kind of a stereotype that goes with white basketball players. If you aren't "gritty" and "hard working" (like Nick Collison or Brian Cardinal) then your only reason to exist on the basketball court must be because you can shoot. There aren't a lot of high flyers of the white variety out there (Josh McRoberts, Blake Griffin... sort of) but there are a number of good white shooters (Mike Dunleavy, Redick, Luke Ridnour, Steve Nash). Stereotypes exist whether we like them or not and really, the reason it's a stereotype is because in most cases, it's actually true or close to it.
In the end, I don't care on bit what he says though. I get Arenas' point and come on, it's Gilbert Arenas. This is what he does. Says funny stuff. Because of him, the NBA is a little more fun than it would be without him.