Or so says this opinion writer for the Orlando Sentinel.

What is it about white that makes us see red? Is there some sort of weird, whacked-out reverse racism on the basketball floor? Is it because we’ve become so accustomed to a sport being dominated by sweet-shooting blacks that we look at whites as cheap sugar substitutes?

Even the most renowned white player of all time — Larry Bird — was dissed not so much by fans, but by his own peers. Remember when Rodman called Bird “overrated”? Remember when Isiah Thomas said that if Bird were black, he’d be viewed as just another player? Translation: No way should a white guy ever be considered one of the greatest basketball players of all time.

Meh. This is far too simplistic.

Robert Samuel of The Chronicle wrote on this the best a few years ago.

In short, J.J. Redick is hated more than other players because he shares more characteristics with fans than similarly talented players.

At 6-foot-4 with a medium build and average quickness, not much separates Redick from the fans in the crowd. If Redick was placed within a crowd of screaming fans, he would blend in more than he would stand out. This could hardly be said of Blue Devil teammates Shavlik Randolph and Shelden Williams.

“I’m just a normal looking kid,” Redick said. “I’m not 6-10. I’m not the quickest guy in the world. I’m not an out of this world jumper. That could definitely be a reason why I’m hated so much.”

Another reason for the hatred is that much of Redick’s talent revolves around making field goals that many would construe as “lucky shots.” When Grant Hill and Jay Williams were dominating college basketball, few could deny their abilities, as they consistently made SportsCenter-worthy moves every game. Redick, on the other hand, takes shots three to five feet outside the range of most sharp shooters and splashes the ball through the net. While any objective analysis would show that Redick nails three-pointer after three-pointer because of his textbook form and because of the hundreds of shots he takes every day in the off-season, a biased approach to his shooting could easily believe that Redick is simply the luckiest shooter on Earth. After all, how could it be possible for a human to make shots five feet outside the NBA three-point line consistently, especially when opposing defenses know where the shooting-guard will take his shots? Such is the rationalization of bitter fans.

A third cause for the hatred of Redick is that he desires it and eggs it on. And once the taunting of Redick begins, he seems to use the jabbing as fuel to further inspire his play, encouraging more and more negative cheers.

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