Is Sports Illustrated Making Any Sense By Acting Like Doug McDermott Is Larry Bird?

  • Matt Rudnitsky

Sports Illustrated featured one of the college basketball’s best players, Creighton’s Doug McDermott, on its recent magazine cover, with the NCAA Tournament approaching. That is not weird at all. But they strangely made it a reenactment of an old Larry Bird Indiana State cover, and that’s… weird. And a tiny bit… racist?

McDermott Bird SI Covers

I’m not saying it’s intentionally racist or even offensive, but it literally makes no sense unless you throw in the race card. I am very confused. Sports Illustrated’s cover explanation doesn’t explain anything.

Both guys are/were tall scorers that dominated college basketball. Sure. But so were dozens of other players. Why not… say, Allan Houston? Adam Morrison? It’s not necessarily a horrible comparison, but it is a weird one. Why Bird? Why such an exact replication? Why now? Maybe the editors forgot that Creighton no longer plays in the Missouri Valley? Last year, this would have made some sense. Two midwestern scorers at “mid-majors.” In the same conference! That would have made some sense. But Creighton is in the Big East. Why are they randomly comparing McDermott to Bird? I don’t get it.

It’s a really weird cover. And why is a 3,000 point scorer a “secret weapon?” I presume teams will prepare for Doug McDermott. As they did for Larry Bird.

I guess SI can’t really be racist, though, because they called a white guy “explosive.” Nolan Nawrocki is crying.