Before we start let me try to make something super clear and easy to understand. If your first reaction to this is, "WHAT IF THE ROLES WERE REVERSED, HUH???" You're admitting you know this means nothing but the other way has hundreds of years of racism behind it. In fact if you get offended at being called a "bitch ass white boy" you probably are a bitch. The truth always hurts more than fiction, you know?
But the people pretending to be offended by this are few and far between. Most people have played sports before and have heard much worse than this generic, meaningless insult. I can't even fully call it an insult. Montrezl Harrell wouldn't have said anything to Luka Doncic if Luka was a bum. No one talks to bums. They don't matter. They stink and they're irrelevant thus unworthy of your time and efforts. But the larger, more interesting conversation to me is what we've all been called on courts around the country. It evolves over time. For example, when Brandon Walker was a teenager, Bob Cousy was the hottest name in the Association. He would shoot into his peach basket and retrieve the medicine ball with a rickety ladder and then spin that metal hula-hoop with a stick for hours and hours on end before settling in after supper with another one of FDR's fireside chats. That was young Cousy Walker. But for everyone under the age of 100, there was a select group of names you could be assigned.
There are four main categories these nicknames fall under: short, tall and bad, tall and good, and last but certainly not least - White Chocolate. If you were short you're getting something from the Steve Nash, Chris Dudley, JJ Redick, John Stockton grab bag. Almost always a good player regardless of whether or not you're good. I imagine now a days there are a lot of Ricky Rubios, TJ McConnells, and Alex Carusos in gyms and on blacktops across the country. This nickname had less to do with your skill level than it did your size and skin color. Height, and weight, is where the nicknames took a true divide. But before we get to that, the White Chocolate category.
To be White Chocolate you have to handle the ball and play with a flair. A panache. You wore a throwback jersey to the court. You're 15-years old and have a tattoo. You smoke Backwoods straight. You have everyone's respect and some people are even a little worried when you come around.
Personally? It was a rollercoaster of nicknames for the Mick Man growing up. Starting real young - late '90s to the early-aughts - I was Greg Ostertag. I fucking hate Greg Ostertag and it's specifically because of how many times I've been called Greg Ostertag. That's no disrespect to Greg Ostertag but also fuck Greg Ostertag. From there it transitioned mostly to Big Country Bryant Reeves. A tremendous nickname. Big Country is on the pantheon of great nicknames and you can't get mad at it no matter how hard you try. By the time I was leaving high school that transformed full into Kevin Love. Specifically fat Kevin Love. A massive upgrade. I wish he told me about the plans to get in crazy good shape and grow hair but I guess that's the one way to help you differentiate me from modern day Kevin Love.
If you were truly nasty, tall, the best on the court, and a white boy, you were Dirk. A true honor. Getting called Dirk means everyone in that gym respects the fuck out of you and your game. And to bring this full circle? Right now there are young hoopers across the country getting called Luka. And in an intense game with a lot of yelling, a lot of checking up, a lot of arguing about the score more and more as you inch closer and closer to game point, those same people are being called a bitch. Not because they are hated but because they are accepted. That's basketball.