Rand has yet to fill out a bio.
You wrote: "Just read your list of the Most Hated Players. Without arguing about any of your individual picks (I have enjoyed hating a number of those players and coaches along the way), I still wonder: why do you think such a high proportion of Most Hated Players are white? Basketball at the uppermost levels -- among Americans anyway -- is an overwhelmingly African-American game, yet just about half your Most Hated (15/34 players, leaving coaches aside) are white. What accoutns for this? Do we hate the striver and struggler (eg Ainge) who succeeds through sheer brute determination? "
My response: First, thanks for the read.
I found a 2005 racial demographic of D-1 college basketball that said that there was roughly 2/3 African-American and 1/3 (33%) anglo. Based on your calculation (15/34) my Most Hated list had 44% anglo. While that is a difference, I don't see it as an outrageous disparity.
In my opinion, we don't hate the striver or struggler. Or I should say that I do not.
But I do think that lots of people dislike the exaggerater, the pretentious players who are just a little too dramatic. You can be fiercely competitive (John Stockton, Michael Jordan) without all of the over-the-top theatrics.