"This problem" being an invisible, possibly nonexistent problem. Because baseball fans have been living in a PED nightmare for a decade, we NBA fans are supposed to be outraged and fretful all the same about a problem we have never seen even flimsy proof of? Give me a break.
No offense meant, but this passage from Smith is as about as irresponsible as you can get, outside of some TheDirty.com/Media Takeout style action:
[T]hese athletes are recovering from injury and age in ways no one has ever seen. Procedures that once put a career in jeopardy are now relatively safe. Recovery times are accelerated ten-fold, and players that seemed on their last legs suddenly seem to be as spire, nimble, and healthy as ever. If Dwyane Wade were a baseball player and experienced the sort of career rebirth and physical rejuvenation he has this season after his shoulder and knee looked completely spent 12 short months ago, we would be suspicious. Not so with basketball.There's a lot of bad water in here, not the least of which are the lack of citations on statements made out to be factual. ("Recovery times have accelerated ten-fold?" Reference, please. Just throwing out a completely fabricated estimate? Say so.) That someone could be shocked that "procedures that once put a career in jeopardy are now relatively safe" without realizing that, "Hmm, hey, science and medicine do get more advanced every day. Why, people live longer! Some forms of cancer are treatable! Heck, these doctors really do keep up on the latest techniques ... especially the doctors who treat multi-millionaire professional athletes!"
No, the fact that an injured player recovers more quickly today than an injured player could recover 10 years ago is not any sort of proof of PED abuse. Smith has other assertions -- that the solid record of Phoenix's training staff provides "smoke" which may indicate that the Suns doctors are handing out PEDs in the locker room. That the physiques of Dwight Howard and LeBron James have gotten too awe-striking to be the result of hard work, well-planned training and impeccable genetic luck. This is the proof we have a problem? Again, I need a break, and I need you to give it to me.
Murphy's response to this is to demand that the league police itself more forcefully, that players cave to invisible demands of blood testing, and that fans ... continue his own whisper campaign?
So what is a fan to do? Simply questioning the growing trends and pressuring the league to look into it is enough for now. This is tough, obviously, for fans to do, but the internet and spoken word are powerful tools. At this point, simply accepting the possibility is enough on the part of fans.Dude, we all accept the possibility that NBA players take PEDs. If anything, NBA fans might be more likely to be cynical about the reality of the league than their peers. (See: frozen envelope, MJ's retirement, Game 6.) I daresay (and maybe I'm wrong; am I wrong?) that asserting WE HAVE A PROBLEM and that the league should DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS PROBLEM and worrying our pretty hearts ABOUT THIS PROBLEM that we have no idea even exists ... well, I don't think this is the way to go forward. Whispering about Wade's knee and Phoenix's training staff and Dwight's biceps -- how in Hades does that get us anywhere?
Please, if anyone out there wants to assert the NBA has a PED problem, offer some facts, show an understanding of the situation, and stop making demands about fixing the problem until we actually know whether there is a problem. Sounding the alarm before you smell smoke (real, actual smoke) is a bad idea, boss.