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Thread: Kravitz: Steroids and the NBa

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    Default Kravitz: Steroids and the NBa

    http://www.indystar.com/article/2009.../1088/SPORTS04

    I try not to read many Krazitz articles, but I found this one interesting because of doubts I have had in the past about O'Neal. I would hope that I am wrong on this, but wanted to see what other fans thought.

    I don't recall Jermaine having serious knee problems early in his career when he playing at a weight of 226lbs. Then I remember him bulking up to 260lbs the season after Brad Miller was traded. I searched but could not find him ever listed at a weight between either of these two, which means that he gained 34lbs in one off-season. This was followed by his several injuries to his knee and sholder, as well as a decline in overall production.

    A-Rod said he felt a lot of pressure to prove he deserved his new enormous contract, so he turned to roids as an aid. Young Jermaine may have also felt a great deal of pressure after signing a max deal and being dubbed heir to Reggies leadership role with the Pacers. It doesn't seem unreasonable to me to think that O'Neal may have also turned to steroids in order to boost his performance so he could prove that he deserved the money and being considered a franchise player. (I am not accusing, just saying it wouldn't surprise me)

    Performance enhancing drugs in the NBA is something that I have wondered about for while because every other major sport has had problems with steroids, HGH, and/or EPO for several years now. What are your thought?

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    Default Re: Kravitz: Steroids and the NBa

    I wouldnt be surprised if theres some scandal soon regarding NBA players. Gaining 34 lbs in the offseason is a lot.

    But keep in mind, Tinsley managed to gain 40 lbs in the offseason a few offseasons ago (but im sure that wasnt muscle)
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    Default Re: Kravitz: Steroids and the NBa

    Jermaine is still listed as 226 on BBR.com, but he was heavier than that when he got here. It seems to me that he played between 240 & 250 in those first few years.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Kravitz: Steroids and the NBa

    I was having this discussion with a friend the other day, and it's something that has always been in the back of my head. As Kravitz points out, it would be naive for us to think that nobody in the NBA uses PED's. Furthermore, it's not uncommon to hear someone say "Well, basketball is a sport that wouldn't benefit steroid-users". But how can becoming bigger, stronger, and faster not end up helping in some shape or form?

    I was watching Lebron a couple nights ago alongside the great Newman8r, and commented on how fast he is for someone of his size. What Kravitz points out is something that has been on my mind since Lebron has entered the league. I don't mean to single him out by any means, but he is a physical specimen. One that has consistently got bigger and stronger each year in the league. Sure, it could be 100% natural (after all, the kid was young and still physically developing when he entered the league). I'll give him the benefit of the doubt. But when you watch him, particularly in today's steroid-age, it's hard to silence that voice in the back of your head saying "hmmmmm..."

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    Default Re: Kravitz: Steroids and the NBa

    Quote Originally Posted by MillerTime View Post
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    But keep in mind, Tinsley managed to gain 40 lbs in the offseason a few offseasons ago (but im sure that wasnt muscle)
    Havin the munchies will do that to ya...

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    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kravitz: Steroids and the NBa

    There has never been any allegations about steriod use by NBA players - past present or future. I just don't think steriods are part of the basketball culture in HS, college or the NBA.

    Does that mean that no one has ever used them - no of course not - but I don't think it is used to any large extent by basketball players, mainly because the prevailing thought is it won't help
    Last edited by Unclebuck; 02-11-2009 at 10:00 AM.

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    Default Re: Kravitz: Steroids and the NBa

    Quote Originally Posted by Evan_The_Dude View Post
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    Havin the munchies will do that to ya...
    <-- that was Tinsley coming into training camp
    "So, which one of you guys is going to come in second?" - Larry Bird before the 3 point contest. He won.



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    Default Re: Kravitz: Steroids and the NBa

    you have Lebron,Howard and Greg Oden, they all look like they are 40 years old, I never seen guys this young with such a big body.

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    Default Re: Kravitz: Steroids and the NBa

    Quote Originally Posted by vnzla81 View Post
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    you have Lebron,Howard and Greg Oden, they all look like they are 40 years old, I never seen guys this young with such a big body.
    They are freaks of nature. They only occur every so often.

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    Default Re: Kravitz: Steroids and the NBa

    What about Shaq? How about Wade's recovery? I hope this doesn't start a witch hunt.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Kravitz: Steroids and the NBa

    I've read that LeBron didn't start really lifting weights until this year. Do steroids help that much if you don't lift?

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    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kravitz: Steroids and the NBa

    Here is a really good article on this. Bob needs to read this- but then obviously he isn't around the NBA much at all. Reporters know what goes on in the locker room

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/column...arc&id=2035336

    Marc Stein
    ESPN.com


    Stern on steroids: 'It's not a problem we think we have'

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    By Marc Stein
    ESPN.com

    Tony Massenburg has played with countless teammates in four countries on a professional basketball odyssey that has taken him to 15 different teams, 12 in the NBA.

    Yet he doesn't need much of a pause when you ask him to rewind through his mental travel journal and estimate how many times he has heard a fellow member of the Spurs, Hornets, Celtics, Warriors, Clippers, Raptors, 76ers, Nets, Grizzlies, Rockets, Jazz or Kings say he wanted to give steroids a try.

    Never is the estimate.

    "It's hard enough to get guys in this league to lift weights," said Massenburg, who is back in San Antonio with the team that drafted him out of Maryland in 1990.


    Grant Hill and Tracy McGrady are prototypical basketball players -- long and lean.

    The NBA, like any other professional sports league, has faced substance-abuse scandals before, be it a growing cocaine habit that nearly ruined the league's reputation in the 1970s or a famed New York Times story in 1997 that alleged rampant marijuana and alcohol use among NBA players.

    But steroids?

    You really don't hear the word in NBA locker rooms unless reporters start asking questions about it, or until a congressional hearing on steroid use in baseball flickers onto a locker-room TV. Tuesday will mark another new and rare exception when detailed information about the NBA's steroid policy is formally presented to Congress, as requested by the same congressional committee that conducted baseball's steroid hearings.

    The overwhelming belief among those interviewed on the topic in recent days and months is that NBA players do not see steroids as desirable or performance-enhancing for basketball.

    "I can't remember even hearing anybody talk about it," said Orlando's Grant Hill. "You don't want to be naive, but we have our own issues, and steroids is not one of them."

    Said one veteran NBA athletic trainer who wished not to be identified: "In the basketball culture, players want to be long and athletic. They want to be lean, and they would be fearful that added bulk would affect their lateral quickness. The baseball player, the power lifter, the sprinter – they're looking for power in short bursts. Those sports are built around short bursts of activity with long periods of rest and recovery. Basketball is continuous activity with short periods of rest and recovery."

    Adds Dallas Mavericks team physician Dr. Tarek Souryal: "Steroids is really a factor in power sports. Football. Baseball if you're a power hitter. You're not going to see it in hockey, in soccer, in basketball. When you're playing every other night for 82 games, endurance is really what you're after, and steroids actually hurt that."


    Commissioner David Stern agreed with all of those sentiments during his semiannual state-of-the-league address at All-Star Weekend in February. Yet Stern has to know attitudes could always change, and also that the odds say that there has undoubtedly been some level of experimentation in a league with more than 400 players. So he's determined to toughen the NBA's current anti-steroid policy – by mandating more frequent testing – just to "eliminate that even as a question," hoping to shield the NBA from even a tiny fraction of the increasing fan skepticism toward baseball's record-breaking feats of strength in recent seasons.

    It's telling to note that the NBA Players Association has offered no known resistance to Stern's intentions in ongoing labor negotiations with the owners. The policy in place since 1998 calls for a five-game suspension for the first positive steroid finding, a 10-game suspension for the second offense and 25 games for subsequent positive tests.

    "Watching what's swirling around [in other sports], it just seems to be prudent to say, 'Let's just get that issue out of any possibility,'" Stern said. "It's not a problem at the present time that we think we have. But it's a potent issue as it relates to baseball and the media around it, and we think it would be smart of us to deal with it."

    There actually have been three steroid-related suspensions meted out by Stern's office since 1998, when the NBA introduced steroid testing. Yet all three of the suspended players – Don MacLean, Matt Geiger and Soumaila Samake – insisted at the time that they had merely taken supplements that included banned substances while recovering from injuries.

    “ Most guys' bodies are so lean that I think people underestimate how strong NBA guys really are. Because of the nature of our sport and the total body movement and the 82-game schedule, it's hard for most guys to carry a lot of muscle mass. ”
    — Spurs F Tony Massenburg

    The fact that the NBA makes its steroid suspensions public – a policy baseball has only just adopted – is a strong deterrent for any NBA player thinking about sampling steroids. There is also serious debate among experts in the field whether steroids really serve as a recovery boost during injury rehabilitation.

    "I think it's the other way around," Souryal said.

    The aforementioned athletic trainer adds: "Our guys are much more interested in learning about the negative effects of anti-inflammatories as opposed to asking about steroids."

    Memphis' Shane Battier echoed Massenburg's assertion that steroids are unlikely to appeal to NBA players, now or in the future, when weight training appeals to so few.

    "Something you've got to understand is that basketball players just don't like to lift weights," Battier said. "Most of us would rather be out playing ball. We all grew up either on the playground or in the gym. If we're going to spend time working on our game, we're going to be on the court."

    Hill remembers hearing similar views from a certain Michael Jordan when MJ returned from his dalliance with baseball in the spring of 1995.

    "During that offseason, we did the 'Space Jam' movie and I played with him a couple days on the Warner Brothers lot," Hill said. "I remember one of the things he said was that he got too big from weight training in baseball. He needed to lift to get stronger to hit and trained his muscles differently for baseball.

    "He got stronger, maybe a little heavier, and that may have helped him with his hitting. But I think it hurt him on the basketball court when he first came back. After 'Space Jam' he came back [the following season] not quite as big, not quite as heavy, and he was great again. Muscles and extra weight and extra size are not conducive to what basketball is all about."

    So if there's resistance to visiting the weight room, a serious anti-steroids sentiment among NBA players shouldn't be too surprising.

    "Steroids are not going to make you put the ball in the basket," Massenburg said. "And if you get real big and pumped up, you're not going to be able to move very well. And if you can't move, no matter how big and strong you are, in this league people are just going to be able to go right around you.

    "Guys in the league are strong without being really, really big. Most guys' bodies are so lean that I think people underestimate how strong NBA guys really are. Because of the nature of our sport and the total body movement and the 82-game schedule, it's hard for most guys to carry a lot of muscle mass."

    With a nickname like T-Mass, and all the different people and environments he has encountered in his basketball life, Massenburg should know.

    Marc Stein is the senior NBA writer for ESPN.com. To e-mail him, click here. Also, click here to send a question for possible use on ESPNEWS.
    Last edited by Unclebuck; 02-11-2009 at 10:08 AM.

  13. #13
    Jimmy did what Jimmy did Bball's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kravitz: Steroids and the NBa

    If I was looking for a roid suspect I'd consider Artest as a possibility. He had the body for it and maybe the roids could be looked at as a reason for his ummmmm temper?

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  14. #14

    Default Re: Kravitz: Steroids and the NBa

    I think Jermaine might be on HGH, due to how the size of his head has increased since he got here. Also, some steroid use is used to help in recovery, not necessarily to add bulk or power. In that case, I could certainly see an NBA player use it to come back from injury faster or heal up a nagging injury while playing through it. Dunleavy is a good example of a guy in a situation where it might be tempting to use something to help that knee heal faster.

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    Default Re: Kravitz: Steroids and the NBa

    Quote Originally Posted by King Tuts Tomb View Post
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    I've read that LeBron didn't start really lifting weights until this year. Do steroids help that much if you don't lift?
    No.

    They only one that I would think an NBA player would be tempted to take would be HGH. Studies are out showing that it helps injury recovery, but other than that there really wouldn't be a really good reason for it.

    The way basketball players are geneticly built, doesn't really make muscle mass a big priority. (In HS basketball, maybe, but how many kids have the cash flow for it?) Football and baseball players aren't "tall" A receiver is considered big when they're 6'4"-6'5". In the NBA, that maybe a taller PG but either average or short for any other position.

    There are some exceptions where increased strength, like a small post player ala Boozer/Brand, it would help. But, then again added mass has the potential to weigh them down on their moves. They don't out power anyone to begin with, and they shouldn't.

    Basketball just isn't a power sport, and you can tell because the players of old like DD and Anthony Mason are dying off. It's completely morphed for a battle down low, to who can beat who off the dribble or from the perimeter.

    Players shape their game around the type of body they have growing up. Players are going to be hesitant to change their body out of the fear it will change their game.

    Maybe with injury recovery, but other than that nope.

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    Default Re: Kravitz: Steroids and the NBa

    Quote Originally Posted by vnzla81 View Post
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    you have Lebron,Howard and Greg Oden, they all look like they are 40 years old, I never seen guys this young with such a big body.
    What are you talking about? Howard is just a big guy. His face looks like he is about 18.

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    Default Re: Kravitz: Steroids and the NBa

    This just reeks of Kravitz trying to make a story out of something that isn't there...again.

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    Default Re: Kravitz: Steroids and the NBa

    There are a definitely small amount of players in the league who steroids would help, but I think most players would get minimal benefits as compared to baseball or football.

    In basketball, a guy can show up bulked up and stronger, but does that neccessarily mean he's going to be that much better?

    In baseball, a guy who is of a given skill level who becomes stronger can really change the game. Just that extra bat speed can be the difference between a warning track flyout and a homerun. Even just the difference between getting jammed and popping the ballup vs. hitting a flare right over the shortstop's head is a big advantage.

    What if a guy like Adonal Foyle gets stronger through the help of steroids? Won't really help him because he'd just be a stronger guy with no basketball skill. OK, maybe it ups his rebounding average by 1 rebound . That's hardly game changing. And as mentioned, greater bulk is going to hurt a lot of players, as it's simply going to slow down your ability to change speeds and direction, which is a big part of what basketball is.

    Now if steroids helped you grow taller and changed a 6'2" undersized SG into a 6'6" regular sized SG, then they would have the same effect that, in baseball, can change a light hitting 2nd baseman into a 30 homerun powerhitter. But steroids don't make you taller, so that point is moot.

    Baseball players took steroids because they worked. They clearly improved performance. I just don't think you'd get the same kind of improvement from basketball players taking steroids and therefore, I don't think they have the same incentive to take them.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Kravitz: Steroids and the NBa

    Sorry, but long distance runners take steriods. Aside from other factors that may also help basketball (like vision improvement), steroids help you recover faster. Does faster recovery mean anything to a basketball player? Of course it does. These articles about how steroids aren't good for a basketball player remind me of all the articles that were written about how steriods "couldn't help you hit a baseball". We all know that is garbage.

    I have no idea if players are juicing, but lets not kid ourselves about whether there would be benefits.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Kravitz: Steroids and the NBa

    When will the talk of steroids end?

    Now that it is offical that ARod took them, like it should be a suprise, not only is that all anyone can talk about when baseball is brought up but they talked about it on NFL Live and now of course there is speculation on basketball players and steroids.

    You are going to have it in all sports. It is not right. Hopefully the use goes down. I just am tired of hearing about it. It is really sad when the President of the United State holds a press confrence on the economy and gets asked a question about it.

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    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kravitz: Steroids and the NBa

    Quote Originally Posted by Einstein View Post
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    . These articles about how steroids aren't good for a basketball player remind me of all the articles that were written about how steriods "couldn't help you hit a baseball". We all know that is garbage.
    They don't help you hit a baseball - they might help you hit a baseball farther and harder, they might help you stay healthy and get over injuries faster. But they don't help you hit a baseball.

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    Default Re: Kravitz: Steroids and the NBa

    Quote Originally Posted by Einstein View Post
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    Sorry, but long distance runners take steriods. Aside from other factors that may also help basketball (like vision improvement), steroids help you recover faster. Does faster recovery mean anything to a basketball player? Of course it does. These articles about how steroids aren't good for a basketball player remind me of all the articles that were written about how steriods "couldn't help you hit a baseball". We all know that is garbage.

    I have no idea if players are juicing, but lets not kid ourselves about whether there would be benefits.
    EPO and "steroids" really aren't the same thing.

    'Roids affect muscles and like hormones. EPO, which long distance runners and cyclers use, affects your kidneys and it's production of red blood cells to carry more oxygen to the muscles.

    There is no evidence that steroids affect eyesight. Muscles firing faster, due to being more efficient, yes. Eyesight? No.

    There are many myths about steroid advantages and complications out there. Improved eyesight is one of them.

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    Default Re: Kravitz: Steroids and the NBa

    Quote Originally Posted by Einstein View Post
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    I have no idea if players are juicing, but lets not kid ourselves about whether there would be benefits.
    If there are tangible benefits that clearly improve performance, there is incentive for players to take them and they will take them.

    If there was even a fraction of usage in the NBA that there is in baseball, we probably would have found out by now. NBA players don't have a Players Association as powerful as the MLB Players' Associtation, which for years worked proactively to keep the steroid problem under wraps.

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    Default Re: Kravitz: Steroids and the NBa

    Quote Originally Posted by Since86 View Post
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    EPO and "steroids" really aren't the same thing.

    'Roids affect muscles and like hormones. EPO, which long distance runners and cyclers use, affects your kidneys and it's production of red blood cells to carry more oxygen to the muscles.
    .
    Correct.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Kravitz: Steroids and the NBa

    I am not confusing EPO with steriods. EPO is the current doping preference for some long distance athletes now because steroids have been banned for a long time and EPO is newer and more difficult to catch. I dunno, EPO might be better too. That doesn't mean that long distance runners haven't been busted for steriod use. You just have to go further back to find it.

    As far as the eye site claim. I have definitely seen it for HGH and steriod use, both in ESPN doping conversations and articles. I have never taken the drugs so I couldn't tell you on that one.

    I did however, compete in athletics at an SEC university. A friend of mine was a distance runner and he took steriods. One night a party he explained to me how they made him a night and day better runner.

    The key to steriods is they help recovery and therefore make you better at virtually anything you do. He told me he could run his hardest, fastest workout in his life and come back the next day and feel great. His muscles didn't get huge because of the nature of his training. The muscles got better along the lines they were being pushed to get better -- in his case runner-type muscle.

    On another subject... Let me swing at a baseball harder and faster. Let me recover from my batting workouts quicker and more completely and...

    I will make more contact. I will hit it harder; hit it out of the park more. I will hit it by you more...

    I will hit a baseball better.

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