Friday, October 30, 2009

Roids and the NBA

I was flipping through the Boston Globe website recently trying to gather intelligence on the BB Davis situation and came across an interesting piece here about the role of medical professionals in administering steroids in the MLB.

Although the allegations of steroids in the NBA have come nowhere close to those in MLB, they did merit a congressional hearing (mostly overrun with denials), an uproar over failed tests by Rashard Lewis, Lindsay Hunter, and Soumalia Samake, and the issue continues to hum just below the radar given other problems the league faces.

Despite this limited attention, I'm left wondering how do we know for sure that steroids are not a big problem in the NBA? Are we to believe that the NBA players are somehow much better than their colleagues in other professional sports?

Unsurprisingly, my opinion on the matter became more cynical after reading Massa Stern's blanket denial of the problem. Seems like there must be something underneath this.


H.O.S.S. said...

I think there is an assumption that roids aren't an issue in the NBA because, at first blush, it does not appear that roids would help. Roids are great for building muscle mass but they also leave the athlete prone to injury. Given that basketball is a sport where the risk of injury is already high steroids would make that risk ridiculously high.

That said, I'm sure there will be some who would experiment with it. Especially centers or PFs who don't have to worry as much about being mobile (Ben Wallace or Carlos Boozer).

Bhel Atlantic said...

Steroids also help with endurance, as well as recovery from injury. (Why would steroids and other testosterone derivatives be so popular among long-distance cyclists if muscle mass were the only effect?) I would be surprised if no NBAer were using 'roids -- and you correct identify Ben Wallace as a good candidate. How did that guy get so jacked?

Having said that, pro athletes, including NBAers, have access to all sorts of differential supplements, training techniques, diets, and so forth. Why would we draw the line at anabolic steroids? Perhaps the argument goes that unlike other chemical supplements, 'roids have long-term deleterious effects, and everyone is better off if we exclude these from use. But what if steroids could be made safe?