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Team Conditioning Systems:
You Can't Be Serious?

Friday, December 10, 2004

By Gregory "Graig" White
SJSports Physical Fitness Advisor

David Stern has lost his mind, and I hope all you young guys who are aspiring to become NBA athletes have taken notice. You have our youth working on their jump shots, crossovers and even in some remote places defense. They are looking to become the next big thing in the NBA, and when something like “The Incident” in Detroit happens and you realize one thing, you still aren’t in charge. I go around and do clinics and things with young athletes and one question I always like to make sure I ask is this. “If you could be one of these two people which one would you want to be, the person making $100 million dollars or the person who could pay someone $100 million dollars”? More often than not I am met with a pause, then the response, “The person who could pay someone $100 million dollars”. Which I think is a great call because if I’m paying you $100 million dollars how much money am I making?

David Stern is a man with his finger on what he thinks is the pulse of America, it’s his belief, and I am speculating, that there is a part of the population that may not come and support his product if that segment of the population thinks that the inmates are running the asylum. There is talk that the buying public is becoming a little disgruntled by these multi-million dollar conglomerates (NBA players) feeling like they can do whatever they feel they want, and now with the NBA’s popularity growing beyond the borders of the United States there is something that some of the home grown talent should take notice of. There are more and more athletes from other countries being taken in the draft and at some point you have to ask yourself where does it end?

Ok, back to “The Incident”. One of the things I think is truly ludicrous is not the fact that Ron Artest got suspended for 73 games, but the fact that Ron will be allowed to protest his suspension, well let’s look at who will be hearing the protest, isn’t it someone who works in the commissioner’s office, or for the league? What chance does Artest have? Whatever his chances are I don’t like them, that’s like your mom saying that you can’t have a cookie before dinner and then going to ask your dad, if he knows your mom already said no, what chance do you have?

People have asked me my opinion and I’ve said that I don’t have an opinion, well all that changed, I think Ron being a human being just “snapped” and I can’t imagine having beer thrown on me for no reason that could be considered good. The things that some of these players are asked to endure are mind boggling. One of my favorite players is Shawn Bradley when he was in Philly. The things he had to put up with were criminal, but the reason he is one of my favorite players is because one day I took my dad to practice and Shawn talked with him like he had known him for years, that’s the kind of guy he is. Listening to the “sports talk” radio station became a thing of the past for me because people were coming on killing the guy without ever knowing him. Please understand that I am not by any means trying to alibi this guys actions or for that matter any one else involved in the altercation (one thing I will say, that there are people who should consider themselves lucky that Rick Mahorn is no longer in fighting shape).

With the passage of time and having the opportunity of hindsight, this thing will only get worse before it gets better, sales of Ron Artest jerseys have spiked considerably and who knows he may even get a bounce for his CD sales. One thing remains true, in the light of the baseball steroid scandal and some of the other things athletes of today are doing I still think Charles Barkley had it right athletes are not role models and when people (parents) understand the concept that they should not give up the title of role model to a person who may be as immature as some of the kids who are looking up to him, incidents like this just may continue.

Do you have a fitness or conditioning question for Graig? Send it to If your question is used in an article, you will receive a free Team Conditioning Systems t-shirt.
For previous Winning Ways, visit Graig's Archives

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