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The White Bounce

2/25/2008

Bounce Magazine did something bold. They made their latest issue "The White Issue."

It's not some cute play on the Beatles "White Album." It's actually an issue of a streetball and playground-savvy magazine devoted to the notion of white people playing basketball. Pistol Pete, the Professor, and just about everyone who has ever been called "White Chocolate," -- they're all in there.

Race simmers beneath the surface of a lot of basketball conversations. But at Bounce, they just pulled it up to the top.

Editor in Chief Jesse Washington writes in the intro:

... when we step on the court, we're conditioned to think that black players are better than whites. It's as if that rectangle is the last place in America where it's OK to be racist.

These prejudices are are magnified where Bounce lives -- the playgrounds, rec centers, YMCAs and driveways of the world, where we play for pride and the pure love of the game. In organized ball, coaches value many traits stereotypically associated with white ballplayers, and Europeans are impacting the game as never before. Any coach worth his whistle is too smart to fall for any racial okey-doke. But if it's just me against you, on the concrete or dusty gym floor, my skills and heart and hunger against yours? The common perception is that's a black man's world right there.