- Sherman Alexie
- "The Last Great White American Player Syndrome?"
- 12/14/09 at 14:00
Micro Simmons: Tom Chambers was not that good. Oh, he was a great scorer, but I don't recall him as a great rebounder, defensive player, or passer. Could he have been something other than a scorer? Somebody look up the stats. I wonder if Simmons overrates Chambers because of the Last Great White American Player Syndrome. Of course, John Stockton was truly the Last Great White American Player, but I think Chambers might be benefiting from Simmons's nostalgia.
Recently, a friend here in Seattle extolled college hoops and said he'd stopped watching the NBA because it had become such a one-dimensional game. But then he fondly recalled the Tom Chambers years in Seattle. And I replied that I think Tom Chambers, a one-dimensional power forward, probably averaged four rebounds and one assist a game (I just looked it up; he averaged six rebounds and two assists during his career), and was hardly the symbol of holistic hoops skills.
Macro Simmons: I've been adding up all the weaknesses of Simmons's writing (his sexism, pop-culture addiction, lazy reportage, and mixed metaphors) and all of his strengths (his populism, obvious fandom, and obsessive-compulsive disorder), and I think it all comes out in Simmons's favor. But I've decided that his biggest problem is that he avoids sentiment. I think he uses his weaknesses to run away from displaying his unabashed, non-ironic, utter love for the pro game.