NBA finals MVP Dirk Nowitzki is being celebrated all over his native Germany for leading the Dallas Mavericks to the 2011 NBA title. (For example, the Hamburg paper Der Spiegel wrote, "Dirk Nowitzki becomes the ultimate German star … By vanquishing the detested Miami Heat — and their star, LeBron James, one of America's most hated figures in sports — Nowitzki became a bona fide American hero … And Germany finally has what it has wanted for so long: an indisputable global sports star as popular in America and internationally as he is at home.")
We're happy for them. Hooray, Nowitzki. And hooray, German sports fans. But Deadspin reports that a writer for another of the country's papers, Die Welt, is not just excited that the MVP is German but that he's white. But wait. Not just that he's white, but that somehow his whiteness has allowed him to do away with the "ghetto" in the sport. (Seriously, its title translates to, "Nowitzki Defeated the Ghetto Basketball.")
Of course, this has everything to do with important contributions to the game, like avoidance of "long T-shirts." We'd love to say the piece just reflects a cultural flub from abroad, but unfortunately, it probably doesn't stray too far from the views of many Americans (minus the reference to "schlabberige pants" — we'll all have to work on our "ghetto" vocabulary to figure out what those are).
Read some excerpts here:
That street ball, threaten Rap and ghetto chic and the commercial success of the sport, has recognized the league itself years ago. At that time the players were still dressed with gold chains and hung in the gangsta look: baseball caps, schlabberige pants, long T-shirts and sneakers were open standard.
The wide — white in the majority — aware American public takes this shoddy outfit but with street gangs and the mainly black rappers scene here. The organization wants the NBA, the basketball bothered as a family sports marketing for all. Therefore, a dress code was enforced. The players must now appear in a suit and tie the game.
The skin color is U.S. observers have noted that one of the causes that explain the success of the final series with the viewers. The fact that this is a white star while the throne conquer is certainly good for the commercial success, writes columnist Bill Foxsports Reiter. Even if it is a sad fact that the skin color in general still play a role.
Nowitzki is the man who would hesitate to the average American is not in his living room. He is reticent, has manners and is cultivated.
Read more at Deadspin.
In other news: Montel Williams Opens Marijuana Pharmacy.