2008 T-Wolves: Now 11% Whiter!

Categories: Sports

Next Wednesday the 29th, the Timberwolves tip off the 20th season in franchise history, hosting the Sacramento Kings. A second consecutive busy offseason has the ’Wolves appearing younger, improved, and by the looks of the roster -- a whole lot pastier as well.

On their present roster* (as of 10/21) , the Timberwolves sport five white players**. That’s 28 percent of their club, up 11 percent from ‘07, and above the league average of about 21 percent. A coincidence? It appears not. Of the NBA’s 28 American cities (eschewing Toronto; L.A. has two teams), Minneapolis has the 6th highest white population, according to numbers taken via the 2006 U.S. Census. The Borough of East Rutherford, New Jersey has the highest at 78 percent, although the Nets are set to move to the Borough of Brooklyn in 2010.

As a discussion point for your respective dinner table or next round of drinks, here’s a cross-reference of how the NBA not-so-coincidentally parallels rosters with demographic:

*NBA rosters located at NBA.com and ESPN.com. Regular season rosters not yet finalized.

**Said players are defined herein as individuals of white American, European, or white South American descent. San Antonio’s Manu Ginobili, for example, is generally considered a “white Argentine.”

Largest white populations in NBA cities:

1. Borough of East Rutherford, N.J. - 78 %
2. Portland, OR- 78%
3. Phoenix, AZ- 77%
4. Salt Lake City UT - 75%
5. Miami, FL- 71%
6. Minneapolis, MN- 69%
7 (tie). Denver, CO- 68%
7. Oklahoma City, OK- 68%
9. (tie) Indianapolis, IN- 66%
9. San Antonio, TX- 66%

Highest % of white players:

1. Indiana Pacers- 47%
2. Utah Jazz- 41%
3. L.A. Lakers- 35%
4. Portland Trailblazers- 29%
5. Minnesota Timbewolves- 28%
6 (tie). Milwaukee Bucks- 25%
6. New Orleans Hornets- 25%
6. Sacramento Kings- 25%
9. Memphis Grizzlies- 21%
10. Phoenix Suns- 21%

Cross reference count of 5.

Largest black populations in NBA cities:

1. Detroit, MI- 83%
2. Memphis, TN- 64%
3. New Orleans, LA- 59%
4. Atlanta, GA- 56%
5. Washington, D.C.- 55%
6. Cleveland, OH- 53%
7. Philadelphia, PA- 44%
8. Milwaukee, WI- 40%
9. Chicago, IL- 35%
10. Charlotte, NC- 34%

Highest % of black players:

1. Oklahoma City Thunder- 94%
2 (tie). Boston Celtics- 93%
2. Detroit Pistons- 93%
4. Dallas Mavericks- 89%
5. Washington Wizards- 88%
6. (tie) Atlanta Hawks- 87%
6. Charlotte Bobcats- 87%
6. Philadelphia 76ers- 87%
7. Denver Nuggets- 83%
7. New York Knicks- 83%

Cross reference count of 5.

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