White Gunner (wit gun'-ur) noun. A white basketball player who embodies the stereotypes typically associated with black players: natural athleticism, innate speed, superior leaping ability, a shoot-first mentality, and so on.

Usage example: Tom Chambers is the prototype White Gunner.

Word History:
Chuck Klosterman recently wrote an article called White Like Larry for ESPN Page 2. In it, he discusses how author Malcolm Gladwell developed the "White Gunner Thoery," which explains that there are certain "athletic" qualities traditionally applied to black players and certain "old school" qualities traditionally applied to white players. The following is is a brief summary of Gladwell's theory.
"The black/white stereotyping in basketball crudely breaks down somewhere along these lines: fast/slow; me-first/team-first; leaper/smarts and footwork; shooter/passer; ability/effort. The key psychological term here is attribution -- that is, 'What reasons do we use to account for someone's achievement?' So if we take a white player and a black player with exactly the same statistics, we might nonetheless explain their success very differently.

"More significantly, this means we ignore aspects of someone's achievement that contradict the stereotype. Hence the 'White Gunner' -- a type of player we struggle with because he is white yet simultaneously embodies all the stereotypes we've reserved for blacks. Tom Chambers is the White Gunner poster child. Rex Chapman was another example.

"In basketball, the 'face' we're familiar with is black. We code black players by feature, so we can make endlessly subtle distinctions between players: There is a David Thompson 'type,' which is quite unlike a Grant Hill 'type,' which, in turn, is quite unlike a Gary Payton 'type.' But I think we code white players by category. They are simply 'white,' and we don't make the same kind of sophisticated distinctions among them. So we miss the 'White Gunner.'"
The theory certainly explains why nearly every talented white player -- from Michael Smith to Tom Gugliotta to Adam Morrison -- has been proclaimed to be "The Next Larry Bird"...an almost guaranteed career-killer and possibly as destructive as being tagged "The Next Jordan."
0 Comments:
Links to this post:
Create a Link