ESPN: NBA Player Important Because He's 'Hispanic'

J.C. Arenas
ESPN has assisted David Stern, the Commissioner of the NBA, throughout his tenure with his fervent effort to globalize the game of basketball. As an NBA fan, I didn't think the effort to demonstrate the globalization of the game could sink to a new low, but with ESPN's report on the recently agreed upon contract extension between the San Antonio Spurs and Manu Ginobili, it did.

The San Antonio Spurs and guard Manu Ginobili have agreed to a three-year extension worth $38.9 million, a league source confirmed Wednesday.

The deal is the maximum the Spurs are allowed to offer Ginobili under the current collective bargaining agreement, based on Ginobili's current salary and age (32).

The contract will not be completed before Ginobili and the team return to San Antonio from their current road trip and the possibility remains the deal could fall apart. Whatever concerns the Spurs might have about Ginobili's injury issues over the last few seasons, though, have been allayed by his performance the last two months.

Ginobili said he has been physically fine since the start of the season, but that he had "a mental issue" to overcome about finishing around the rim.

Ginobili has been with San Antonio since 2002. He's averaging 16.6 points and 5.6 assists per game this season.

He could have become a free agent after the 2010 season ends for the Spurs, who are tied for sixth in the Western Conference standings entering Wednesday's games.

Ginobili's value to San Antonio is heightened by the fact that as a Spanish-speaking Argentine, he is immensely popular in San Antonio's Hispanic-rich market. (emphasis added)

Ginobili's value to the Spurs has to do with the fact that he's been an integral part of the team for seven years -- three of those teams won NBA championships. Moreover, during his career he has been selected to the Western Conference All-Star Team (2004-2005), awarded the league's 6th Man of the Year (2007-2008), and selected to the all-NBA's 3rd Team (2007-2008).

His resume speaks for itself, and because that resume makes him a valued commodity throughout the league, the Spurs were motivated to extend his contract now rather than risk losing him during the upcoming July free agent period to the open market---one which will have 9 teams with over $10 million available to spend on free agent talent.

There have been NBA teams in the past that have had players of certain nationalities in markets where those nationalities made up a large percentage of the total demographic, and those players we're let go because they weren't high caliber players -- for reference see the short-lived careers of Yuta Tabuse, a Japanese player and former member of the Los Angeles Clippers and Sun Yue, a Chinese player and former member of the Los Angeles Lakers.

That's not even the case here with San Antonio and Ginobili. Ginobili is considered an Argentine of Italian descent (he has dual citizenship in both countries), and over 80% of the Latino population in San Antonio is of Mexican descent.

I guess this wouldn't matter if you imagined there was no difference between Argentines and Mexicans, but with one nation being a part of the continent of North America and the other a part of the continent of South America, it's difficult to envision that you could plausibly do so.

But ESPN couldn't help itself.

We discussed this past December how the global leader in sports felt the need to make a separate player ranking system just for players of Latin American nationalities. Now ESPN is making the claim, that a player who's been a top-flight player in the league for years has "heightened" value to his team because he's an Italian-Argentine playing in a city with one of the largest Mexican-American communities in the country.

Da-da-da, Da-da-da!

J.C. Arenas is a frequent contributor to American Thinker and welcomes your comments at jcarenas.com
ESPN has assisted David Stern, the Commissioner of the NBA, throughout his tenure with his fervent effort to globalize the game of basketball. As an NBA fan, I didn't think the effort to demonstrate the globalization of the game could sink to a new low, but with ESPN's report on the recently agreed upon contract extension between the San Antonio Spurs and Manu Ginobili, it did.

The San Antonio Spurs and guard Manu Ginobili have agreed to a three-year extension worth $38.9 million, a league source confirmed Wednesday.

The deal is the maximum the Spurs are allowed to offer Ginobili under the current collective bargaining agreement, based on Ginobili's current salary and age (32).

The contract will not be completed before Ginobili and the team return to San Antonio from their current road trip and the possibility remains the deal could fall apart. Whatever concerns the Spurs might have about Ginobili's injury issues over the last few seasons, though, have been allayed by his performance the last two months.

Ginobili said he has been physically fine since the start of the season, but that he had "a mental issue" to overcome about finishing around the rim.

Ginobili has been with San Antonio since 2002. He's averaging 16.6 points and 5.6 assists per game this season.

He could have become a free agent after the 2010 season ends for the Spurs, who are tied for sixth in the Western Conference standings entering Wednesday's games.

Ginobili's value to San Antonio is heightened by the fact that as a Spanish-speaking Argentine, he is immensely popular in San Antonio's Hispanic-rich market. (emphasis added)

Ginobili's value to the Spurs has to do with the fact that he's been an integral part of the team for seven years -- three of those teams won NBA championships. Moreover, during his career he has been selected to the Western Conference All-Star Team (2004-2005), awarded the league's 6th Man of the Year (2007-2008), and selected to the all-NBA's 3rd Team (2007-2008).

His resume speaks for itself, and because that resume makes him a valued commodity throughout the league, the Spurs were motivated to extend his contract now rather than risk losing him during the upcoming July free agent period to the open market---one which will have 9 teams with over $10 million available to spend on free agent talent.

There have been NBA teams in the past that have had players of certain nationalities in markets where those nationalities made up a large percentage of the total demographic, and those players we're let go because they weren't high caliber players -- for reference see the short-lived careers of Yuta Tabuse, a Japanese player and former member of the Los Angeles Clippers and Sun Yue, a Chinese player and former member of the Los Angeles Lakers.

That's not even the case here with San Antonio and Ginobili. Ginobili is considered an Argentine of Italian descent (he has dual citizenship in both countries), and over 80% of the Latino population in San Antonio is of Mexican descent.

I guess this wouldn't matter if you imagined there was no difference between Argentines and Mexicans, but with one nation being a part of the continent of North America and the other a part of the continent of South America, it's difficult to envision that you could plausibly do so.

But ESPN couldn't help itself.

We discussed this past December how the global leader in sports felt the need to make a separate player ranking system just for players of Latin American nationalities. Now ESPN is making the claim, that a player who's been a top-flight player in the league for years has "heightened" value to his team because he's an Italian-Argentine playing in a city with one of the largest Mexican-American communities in the country.

Da-da-da, Da-da-da!

J.C. Arenas is a frequent contributor to American Thinker and welcomes your comments at jcarenas.com