(This story was published in 2001).
By Randy Boyd
One in Ten. Most of us have heard of this stat when it comes to estimating the number of gay men lurking about the population. But did you know that the figure is based on a survey done way back in 1938 AD?
That’s right. One in 10 is BT (before television), BWWII, B60’s, BMTV.
In short, 1 in 10 is BS. (for the children in the audience: that means Before ``SportsCenter'').
So, at the very least, assuming no higher ratio of closet cases have come out since the invention of the Internet—and we all know that hasn’t happened, right?—we’re 1 in 10 strong. At the very least.
Which means that each and every NBA team (basketball segue) has at least one man on their roster who’s either 1) been in an AOL m4m chat room, 2) seen an episode or three of ``Will and Grace,'' or 3) cringed for personal reasons upon hearing Allen Iverson call the world “faggot.”
Question is: who are these men? They might be married. They might be known as lady killers. They might be as uptight as Karl Malone. But, like the spirits in ``Poltergeist,'' they’re here.
Meet the Ballin’ 10 most likely to fit the bill, (in no particular order).
Legal Stuff: Ballin’ has no idea who’s gay and not gay in the NBA. This is pure speculation. Just for fun. Wishful thinking. You buying? OK, let’s go:
1. Iverson himself. This one’s easy. The man has faggots on his mind too much. Could it be the 160-pound mama’s boy is just a little too sensitive about things?
2. Dale Davis, Portland. Too tough to be real. Gotta be an act. Nobody puts on that much thug drag unless they’re auditioning for the TV show ``Oz'' or a real life Oz.
3. Magic Johnson, ex-Laker. Do you really believe he’s the most unlucky straight ho’ that ever walked the planet? Pul-lease. Cue the Thompson Twins …. lies, lies, lies.
4. Isiah Thomas, ex-Piston, current coach, Indiana. When’s the last time you saw two straight American guys kiss like Isiah and Magic kept doing during their NBA finals match-ups? The guy reeks “little bottom boy.”
5. Mark Aquirre, ex-Maverick. Eighties star who never reached ultimate potential and slipped away quietly. The third part of the Magic, Isiah triumvirate. Led the three in hugs, kisses, and slaps on the ass.
6. Vince Carter, Toronto. Take off the blinders that say “superstars can't be gay” for a second. Watch the dude talk. Then sing Madonna’s “my baby’s got a secret.”
7. Tim Hardaway, Miami. Not too different from the bruthas one might run into at any black gay club on a Saturday night. Opposite of Dale Davis. Not really trying to be tough. Just himself.
8. Penny Hardaway, Phoenix. Something in the Hardaway water? On a recent MTV ''Cribs'' episode, he gave a tour of his mansion in Arizona. Not a woman’s touch in site. You keep getting the feeling something was missing. Similar to the feeling one got watching the ``Ellen'' series before she came out.
9. Glenn Robinson, Milwaukee. It’s possible that Ballin’ has some actual evidence on the former Mr. Indiana basketball, but this is a light-hearted, fun, wishful-thinking column, right? We don’t really mean any of this; it’s all in fun, counselor Cochran.
10. Vin Baker, Seattle. His middle name is Lamont. Enjoys singing in his father's church choir. Not that we’re stereotyping or anything.