I remember sometime during the last NBA season being startled to hear a TV announcer refer to Manu Ginobili as a "prototypical European" basketball player. Why did this come as a surprise? Ginobili is Argentinian.
So you can imagine my double disbelief when the announcer in tonight's Milwaukee Bucks-Cleveland Cavaliers matchup describe Yi Jianlian as a "prototypical European" basketball player. Yi is from China!
Two scenarios present themselves: one, these announcers really have no idea that Argentina and China are not part of Europe; or two, for the rapidly globalizing sport of basketball and the (Trans)National Basketball Association with its production of American spectacle, "European" has come to be a synonym for "non-American".
Both are problematic, the latter perhaps more so.