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White Privilege: A Necessary Part of The NBA Machine

On a Warriors team that sports a bunch of higher caliber of All-Stars, sharp-shooters and bucket-stuffers, a guy from Georgia, a country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia, who is averaging 5.

On a Warriors team that sports a bunch of higher caliber of All-Stars, sharp-shooters and bucket-stuffers, a guy from Georgia, a country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia, who is averaging 5.6 points and 5.7 rebounds has the third most votes on the team trailing only iconic ballers Chef Curry and Kevin Durant. 

Zaza Pachulia, a serviceable,14-year journeyman veteran isnt even that ill a player, but he is crafty and the white pride of the Republic of Georgia. His international presence and his skin color is boosting him into a starting frontcourt position in the 2017 All-Star game based on the NBAs second returns of fan voting.  

“Im an All-Star because Im pretty sure my teammates that Im playing with in the starting lineup, all four of them are going to be All-Stars, Pachulia said. [So] Im playing in an All-Star Game anyway, right?”

This Pachulia phenomenon actually began last season. In 2016 Pachulia, was outpacing future Hall of Famer Dirk Nowitzki for a while. His Georgian faithful even made a song to boost his popularity.


Seeing that getting Zaza in that starting front is a real possibility, Pachulias countrymen have put on a full court press to stick it to the Americans in the NBA, use the internet to assert their influence and flood the ballot for Pachulia who owns a hotel in his hometown and is akin to a God in Georgia. A country located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is attached to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russia, to the south by Turkey and Armenia, and to the southeast by Azerbaijan.


Currently Pachulia is an impressive and incredibly unfathomable second among Western Conference frontcourt players in the latest NBA All-star returns. With 823,476 votes as of Thursday, Pachulia trails KD (987,479) and holds significant leads over far superior players such as Kawhi Leonard (630,766), Anthony Davis (567, 201), Draymond Green and DeMarcus Cousins, to name a few.  

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None of the players in the top 10 among West frontcourt players had changed position from last week. But Pachulias vote total had skyrocketed by 87.3 percent over Week 1. 

Georgia is making big noise in the voting, affecting one of Americas most beloved sporting events and breaking up the monotony of what would have been another segregated starting lineup.


While Pachulia enters the world of white (international) privilege in the West, Kevin Love re-establishes his in the East. We might even get to see these guys go head up in the All-star game. 

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Kevin Love became a disgruntled and devalued player in his first two campaigns with Cleveland, despite winning an NBA chip last year. Trade rumors dominated his social media standings and people often criticized him for being a shell of the baller he was with Minnesota.  


The past two seasons, Love couldnt buy enough All-star votes to get him into the Eastern Conference starting lineup. It seems all is forgiven this year as he has stepped his game up to the tune of 21.4 points per game and 10.8 rebounds per game.

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His popularity has returned dramatically and he has been reclaimed by the basketball community as a much-needed white superstar face at NBA All-Star Weekend, where he has strutted his stuff in the past (2011, 2012, 2014) as Minnesota’s Top Gun in the Western Conference.

Love’s presence is needed, particularly in the Eastern Conference, where just four players who are not African-American have made the squad since 2005; Zydrunas Ilgauskas (2005), David Lee (2010), Pau Gasol and Kyle Korver (2015).

League marketing is better with Love starting. Hes The Great White Hope and his game is on fleek city this season. Hes having those Minnesota moments, even with LeBron and Kyrie and a host of other specialists on the court.

Korvers a nice player, but hes no stud beyond his three-point prowess. Love is the only true white superstar in the NBA. Sure the fans could have voted for Jimmy Butler or Carmelo Anthony or the heroic Paul George or Phillys new funkster Joel Embiid. With the exception of Embiid, these monster ballers are averaging more points than Love and carry larger burdens as far as their teams success is concerned



But none of them can ever be the novelty that Love is; A white dude killing brothers in the league. To be honest and with all due respect to other noteworthy pill pushers, thats what everybody wants to see. 


JR Gamble joined The Shadow League in 2012. The Deputy Editor and Senior Writer is in his 23rd year of covering sports and culture professionally. He has covered a wide variety of major sports and entertainment topics across different mediums, including radio, magazines and national TV.

His passion is baseball, the culturing of baseball and preserving and documenting the historically-impactful accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans in baseball.