If you haven’t noticed, the Warriors are humming like the well-oiled machine everybody thought they’d be when they added Kevin Durant to the fold last summer. KD has meshed well, and despite a few shouting matches with Draymond Green, the Warriors are sitting pretty at 43-8, atop the Western Conference and winners of eight of their last 10 games.
Still, that success is not without criticism, and one of the strangest attacks on the Dubs is their supposed softness. This, despite having Draymond as a polarizing tone-setter for the team and Zaza Pachulia in the middle knocking superstars to the floor. The Warriors’ stud reserve guard Shaun Livingston thinks he knows why the team has that strange reputation, and it’s a peculiar one.
“Maybe because it’s a bunch of light-skinned guys out there they thinking we ain’t as tough,” he told a scrum of reporters on Wednesday as the Warriors prepared to play the Chicago Bulls. “Whatever the appearance may be, you have to get over that because the proof is in the pudding after three years.”
The light-skin stereotype is common both in the black community and the NBA fraternity dominated by black men. However troublesome it is — it’s often a mostly harmless ribbing between friends and family — the idea that light-skinned black men are more docile and less rough around the edges is a prevalent one.
Last year, when Lakers guard Jordan Clarkson had a particularly powerful dunk he received some playful jabbing from Kobe Bryant centered around the light skin/dark skin trope. The Mamba told Clarkson he’d “been going to the hole like a light-skinned dude,” to which Clarkson responded “I have to start throwing down as a dark-skinned dude.”
So no, the idea is not new, nor is it new to the Warriors.
So Livingston knows it’s there and wonders if that’s why people perceive his team as soft, and he just might be right, and even if Zaza Bill Laimbeer’s a few dudes into the third row it’ll probably continue to follow the Warriors around.