Rashard Lewis Statement(From Magic.com):
“First and foremost I take full responsibility for the situation and accept the corresponding penalty.Toward the end of the season I took an over-the-counter supplement which at the time I did not realize included a substance banned by the NBA. I apologize to Magic fans, my teammates and this organization for not doing the research that should come with good judgment. I hope this unintentional mistake will not reflect poorly on our team and its great character. I hope every athlete can learn from my mistake that supplements, no matter how innocent they seem, should only be taken after consulting an expert in the field.”
I am not here to tell you what to think. However, in all sports have we not heard a similar story to this before? Justin Walsh made some valid points on why steroids may not make sense for basketball players. However for the average casual fan of the sport will this not just lump basketball in with baseball and football? It has been a summer of steroids in baseball, Manny, A-Rod and most recently David Ortiz. This also has been an issue that has been addressed by the U.S Government. The 10 game suspension is light in comparison to the 50 game ban that baseball issues. 30.8% of the season missed for Manny and just 12.1% for Lewis.
If you had told me to pick someone who was going to get nailed for performance enhancing drugs or steroids don't think Rashard Lewis would have been in my top 50. The problem in this is not that someone got caught cheating. It is the shadow that is casts on the game as a whole. It is about the guys who are clean that get lumped in. Dwight Howard, Lebron James and others now may have to deal with the issue. If they are clean athletes and not cheating that takes away from their greatness. The fact I used the word "if" just shows you the difference. I have always wanted to believe for the most part basketball is a clean sport. That might be being naive in the world we live. If this turns out to be a one off event it may not matter. However it opens the door to things going down a very wrong path.
More gloomy news for a Friday. We also talked about Labor unrest last night on DNB Radio. David Stern is taking a hard line with things for the next CBA. He is said to want a 50/50 revenue split with the players. That number now is at 57% for the players. But he also wants to tighten up the cap. No more mid-level exception, a dollar for dollar tax for those that go over the tax threshold. It is a dark and gloomy forecast that could mean a lockout is coming. This is why it might play into hands of Cleveland, Miami and Toronto to keep their stars. Players like James, Bosh and Wade would be well advised to get as much as they can for as long as they can. That plays to the advantage of the teams they are currently with. That may go away in the new CBA as well the concept of "Bird Rights" could be gone. It is going to be interesting how the NBA (David Stern) is going to get what they want financially but still have player stability. It just might not be possible. Still love him or hate him if anyone can pull it off it is David Stern. You do not keep your job for as long as he has without being highly successful at it.
While the mood around the Raptors has been sunshine and lollipops the times ahead for the NBA could be dark indeed. So take some advice and enjoy the good times. You really can never be certain what lies ahead. Twitter can get hacked and you suddenly wonder how you lived life without it.
Back on the radio tonight in the traditional sense, for my weekly appearance on the Off The Bench on CJLO. Should be on at my regular time 12:15am. Thanks to all that checked out DNB Radio last night. I got positive response on Twitter from the show. Thanks to Justin Walsh and the folks that called into the show. We will do it all again next week at 11pm next Thursday. I hope folks enjoy it and get behind the show and help make it as successful as the Dino Nation Blog has been. Have a great weekend folks.