Stupid White Man of the Week: Paul Shirley. (WHO?)

Here's an extremely rare photo of Paul "Splinters" Shirley not sitting on the bench.

With a total of 33 points scored over a 18 game NBA “career”, Paul Shirley never did diddly-squat on the court worth mentioning.   The only reason to notice him now is because saying something dumb got him the attention that sitting at the end of the bench guarding the Gatorade never did.

While the rest of the world looks to do the right thing and help those in need there’s always one in every crowd whose contribution is demonstrate there’s no situation where selfishness and stupidity can’t be interjected.

In this case it’s Paul Shirley.  Insert one big “WHO?” here.

Paul Shirley, a  former NBA player whose greatest accomplishment prior to popping off about Haiti was being the tall stiff and 12th man holding down the end ofthe benches of the three teams he briefly “played” for.   Shirley took time out from picking splinters out of his backside to pen a long, boring and badly in need of editing essay about the world’s response to the earthquake in Haiti for

I haven’t donated a cent to the Haitian relief effort. And I probably will not.

I haven’t donated to the Haitian relief effort for the same reason that I don’t give money to homeless men on the street. Based on past experiences, I don’t think the guy with the sign that reads “Need You’re Help” is going to do anything constructive with the dollar I might give him. If I use history as my guide, I don’t think the people of Haiti will do much with my money either.

Shirley addresses a “letter” to the Haitians.

Dear Haitians –

First of all, kudos on developing the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Your commitment to human rights, infrastructure, and birth control should be applauded.

As we prepare to assist you in this difficult time, a polite request: If it’s possible, could you not re-build your island home in the image of its predecessor? Could you not resort to the creation of flimsy shanty- and shack-towns? And could some of you maybe use a condom once in a while?


The Rest of the World

The appropriate response to such craven stupidity should be who the fuck is Paul Shirley and why should anyone care about what he says about anything?

There's no crying in basketball, but Shirley isn't much of a basketball player.

Here’s the important numbers about Paul “Splinters” Shirley:  played in 18 games  in the NBA for a total of 121 minutes over three seasons for three teams and scored 33 (count ’em) points.  He’s bounced around to no less than 13 basketball teams in the NBA, to the Yakima Sun Kings to Greece, Russia and China.  Which just proves that as long as you’re tall (6’10”) you’ll get a shot even if you got no game.

If you’ve never heard of or it’s writers, don’t feel bad.  Neither has anybody else.   Subjects like “Glouchester Cheese Rolling: A Dying Breed of Fun” and “What the Fudge: The Burrito Line” aren’t the kind of  underrated literary masterworks that bring editors from Esquire, GQ and Vanity Fair running.   It’s  just the kind of self-indulgent bullshit that proliferates on these type of blogging collectives across the Internet.

Having no skills beyond being White and tall, Shirley garnered more notoriety by writing for about his journeys around the world playing basketball badly for numerous teams.   ESPN fired him for his “put on a condom” remarks.   Seems they didn’t dig what he had to say.

Paul Shirley is the personification of a non-entity.  Plus, he’s got the last name of a girl.  But at least Rush Limbaugh and Pat Robertson can say “Thanks, Paul” for taking some of the heat off of them as Stupid White Men saying incredibly dumb stuff about something they know nothing about.  A week from now when this all blows over Shirley can return to the obscurity he’s worked for, he’s earned and nobody can take away from him.

Then once again the response to anything Paul Shirley say will be, “Who?”

5 thoughts on “Stupid White Man of the Week: Paul Shirley. (WHO?)

  1. So a guy that no one has heard of has written a column disparaging folks who are still recovering from an earthquake?

    He’s not the Stupid White Man of the Week, Jeff. He’d be stupid in any color.


  2. If you’ve ever read Shirley’s book (did you even research enough to know he’s written a book?), you understand that he doesn’t define himself as a basketball player, so why do you? Having a differing opinion is fine, but trying to undercut Shirley’s statements by throwing out stats from a lackluster basketball career? What does one have to do with the other? Seems a cheap (and unimaginitive) way to attack him, if you ask me.


    • I didn’t ask you, but since you asked, yes, I do know Shirley wrote a book about his vagabond status as he bounces around the globe sitting on benches. I define Shirley as a nominal basketball player because that’s the only reason he has a platform at all. I throw out his statistics to drive home the point that this is a guy who has done nothing as a professional basketball player except hang around being tall. It certainly isn’t because he has any game.

      More to the point: Darlene Etienne, a 16-year-old girl, was pulled out of the rubble alive some 15 days after the earthquake. That is by any standard a miracle. If most people felt the way Paul Shirley does, they would just shrug and say, “So what?” Oh, and then he would hand her a condom and tell her to put it to good use.

      That’s contemptible and disgusting. Shirley should be ashamed for his callous and selfish statements. Even he can afford to cough up ten lousy dollars to help Darlene Etienne.


      • Couple of things;

        You can drive home the point that Shirley was an unsuccessful basketball player all you want, but the fact remains his status as an ex-NBA player has no correlation to his opinions of the tragedies in Haiti. Attack his opinions, not his ex-career. The two are unrelated. You were belittling his career in an overarching attempt at defacing his opinions, which i don’t see as fair. (or relevant.)

        Secondly, here’s a direct quote from Shirley’s article; “…children cannot very well control their destinies. And as far as sympathy goes, much of it should go to those children.” His whole point is that, while helping is a good thing, it has to be done correctly. The adults need to be kept acountable. Throwing money at the situation is a temporary fix that accomplishes nothing. The best thing we could ever do for the people of Haiti is to try our best to make sure this never happens again. That is achieved through knowledge and teaching, not paying the Haitian gov’t millions upon millions. Be the person digging up Darlene, not the person writing the check. THAT is his point.


  3. Uh-huh. So what was the point in “maybe use a condom once in a while?” All that says to me is some White guy whose minimal talent allows him to draw a nice paycheck is looking down his nose at poor Black people.

    Shirley’s joke of a NBA career is the only thing that gives him a platform above that of an obnoxious drunk in a bar. You consider referencing it besides the point. The way I see it that is the point.

    Oh, and if you know a way to prevent natural disasters such as earthquakes and hurricanes, you need to apply for the job of Mother Nature.


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