At the beginning of each game, the NBA uses the player's last U.S. based school as part of their introduction. For foreign players, they use the country they came from.
A problem of taxonomy:
China, a country of over 6 billion people, is essential being presented as of the same object class as Lower Merion, a high school of roughly 1,500 students. That is a strangely incongruent and possibly denigrating way to frame our view of the world outside of the United States.
We can do better:
I understand that Americans love NCAA basketball, and this tradition is responding to that passion. But I would like to argue that as basketball continues its rise as a truly international sport, if the NBA is to remain the top draw internationally as the premiere basketball league, we should strive to expand past our provincial prejudices to fully embrace and respect what the rest of the world is offering to our beloved sport.
Two possible solutions:
- No references to school/countries
Discard this process all together. Just introduce the players.
"at guard, in his 5th year, number 3... Chris Paul!"
- A more relevant and balanced history
If we want to ensure a player's history/roots/past stays in the folds of the NBA story, where they grew up makes for a better narrative than where they played mercenary basketball for a college coach for a year or two. I think the fact that Dwyane Wade grew up in Chicago, is a lot more interesting than the fact that he played two years at Marquette.
"at forward, from New York City... number 37... Ron Artest!"
"...from Barcelona... number 16... Pau Gasol!"