Talking Points: Olympics are ruining the NBA
Monday, July 23, 2012
What's the buzz from the world of sports? Here are some items that will have people talking:
Said one reporter to another: "The Olympics are ruining the NBA."
The formation of the NBA's superpower teams can inevitably be traced back to the Olympics, where superstars from across the league gather in hotels for about a month -- with plenty of down time involved to hatch these plans of someday playing together on the same team.
It has been established that LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade first created the idea of one day playing together during the march of the Americans' "Redeem Team" to gold at Beijing in 2008.
Now Deron Williams is conceding he and Dwight Howard held similar discussions in Beijing.
They would've pulled it off and could've been teammates next season in Brooklyn, but Howard inexplicably waived his right to free agency this summer at the NBA's trade deadline in March.
Now as the Americans prepare for the London Olympics, it's fair to wonder: Who is whispering in whose ear now?
Somewhere between Team USA's gold at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and the Redeem Team's march to gold in '08, the culture inside the NBA began to change. Players were no longer adversaries, they were merely business associates forced to play in different cities — for the time being.
Pat Forde of Yahoo! Sports wrote Sunday that the Penn State sanctions were hastily reached by NCAA President Mark Emmert:
The most by-the-book institution this side of the IRS appears to have thrown the book out the window.
Instead, we have fast-forwarded through every customary phase of NCAA justice, alighting on something that seems to more closely approximate the NFL's current credo: In Commissioner We Trust.
Fact is, I don't trust Emmert or anyone else at the NCAA to deliver a punishment that fits the crimes of Jerry Sandusky and those who enabled him. As I've stated repeatedly, this is no place for the NCAA and its manual. This is for the criminal and civil courts to decide — and, if Penn State has the leadership and the courage, the school itself.
As I wrote last week, Penn State would best be served by playing football this fall as a non-profit entity. Every penny of profit over expense should be turned over to help victims of child sexual abuse in the State College, Pa., area, or to fund research into what makes (and could unmake) a pedophile.
The loss of profit should not be taken out of the budgets of non-revenue sports, either — whatever belt-tightening would occur from losing tens of millions of dollars in revenue must come out of the football program itself.
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