The very hyphy Atma at brother site Golden State of Mind made a ludicrous claim yesterday about Troy Murphy being the best white American in the NBA. I felt I not only had to call him on it, but also study the matter in some depth.
The result is the March 15 draft of the 2006 Survey of White America in the NBA.
While there is no holy grail measure of player quality, John Hollinger's PER is probably the closest. That's what I'll use for this study.
So, a month before season's end, here are the standings in the PER category:
As expected, Brad Miller > Troy Murphy. Let's hope B-52 can hold off Wally World for the "2006 Christian Laettner Memorial Great White Hope Award." (It's being called that because, if memory serves, Laettner was probably the last white American player to enter the draft as 'a sure thing.' JWill had his attitude issues. Wally World was a mid-major gunner, not a cornerstone. Bobby Hurley could apply, but I feel his name would bring up improper assumptions about this particular award, likely about first-round tragedies. If any King gets that award named after them, it'll by Joe Barry Carroll. Len Bias probably has the best chance as getting said award named after him, though.)
While I have the database together - which took me all of 30 minutes to compile, dammit - here are the standings for some other categories to date (and completely stats thanks go to Knickerblogger):
True shooting percentage, or the "Fred 'The Mayor' Hoiberg Trophy," which has some youngsters at the top:
Rebounding rate, or the "Swen Nater Glasscleaning Award," which might already be decided:
Assist rate (assists per 100 individual possessions - the percentage of plays the player gets an assist), or the "Caucasian Admirers of Brevin Knight Society Award":
Turnover rate (turnovers per 100 individual possessions - the percentage of time the players turns it over), or the "Greg Kite Medal for Strides in Lackluster Ball-Handling" (a favorite award for those of us who value uncoordinated white-boy dorks, apparently):
And finally, our most prestigious award - the "Cherokee Parks `I Am Teh Suck' Award for Worst White American in the NBA," based again on John Hollinger's PER:
There you have it. (And yes, I'm shocked Pat Burke doesn't make an appearance in the top 10 for the Parks Award. He's actually #16. Upset of the year, really.)
(Also, note that Boston has a legitimate chance for three of the top honors (Wally with the Laettner Award, Dickau with the Knight Medal and Scabs with the Parks Award) and an outside chance for another (Wally with the Hoiberg Award). You really can't make this stuff up.)
Remember, there's still time for the Greg Ostertags and Luke Jacksons of the league to edge their way onto the medal stand. The awards ceremony will be held somewhere in Wyoming, I think. Our maybe Maine. I hear Maine is nice.
(One more thing: I was really hoping The Birdman would be leading a category. Maybe after the season's over, I'll invent an award just he can win. He deserves that, I think.)