Yesterday was weird. For the last year or so, one of the running jokes in the Dime office has been that the Magic are collectively too jacked for one NBA team. We’d already nicknamed Dwight Howard “The Centaur” for obvious reasons, then you got J.J. Redick looking like an MTV “True Life: I’m a Jersey Shore Bodybuilder” alum, Pietrus and Jameer on swole, Anthony Johnson dunking on cats at 49 years old, and even Skip seemed to get more cut-up as soon as he got to Orlando. When they picked up Brandon Bass, it kicked up the too-diesel talk all over again. But then yesterday, when news broke that one of the Magic players had tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug, it turned out to be one of the guys we never talked about: Rashard Lewis … The NBA suspended Rashard for the first 10 games of this upcoming season due to a positive test for DHEA, a testosterone booster that’s on the League’s banned-substance list. Rashard said he took an over-the-counter supplement and didn’t know it contained DHEA — a totally believable story since DHEA is found in a lot of over-the-counter stuff that’s legal to the general public … Just like the Alex Rodriguez case, however, you have to wonder why Rashard would even risk taking a PED. (If this was only a recent thing.) He already signed his monster contract, he already had All-Star status, and hasn’t really had significant injury issues during his career. Then again, with that monster contract comes monster expectations and monster pressure to perform … Coincidentally, just last week Dime’s Austin Burton wrote this column about the concept of “cheating” in sports and where PED’s fit within the NBA … From a team perspective, this is potentially disastrous for Orlando. The East is tough this year, and losing their 2nd or 3rd-best player for 10 games could cost them a division title, and/or valuable homecourt advantage at some point in the playoffs … So big was the Rashard story that it stole the headlines from LeBron James, even when LBJ spoke publicly for the first time about the LePruder Film and also talked about his 2010 plans. LeBron said he never told anyone from Nike to confiscate the tape of Jordan Crawford dunking on him (“You can go on YouTube and see me being dunked on by a lot of guys”), and when asked if he’d stay in Cleveland long-term, said, “I hope so.” Not that the staunch LBJ haters will let him off the hook for the dunk tape thing anyway, but at least it’s out there … Nobody really talked about it because it happened in the lower-profile Orlando league and not in Vegas, but Russell Westbrook was an animal this summer. Westbrook sat down for a Dime Q&A about his offseason explosion, his workout plan, and playing for Team USA … Marvin Williams, who is re-signing with the Hawks, had this in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: “The one thing you hardly ever see in professional sports is that loyalty and teams staying together. When you do see it, like in San Antonio or Detroit, you see championships.” If the Hawks keep this core together — Joe Johnson, Josh Smith, Al Horford, Marvin, and let’s assume they transition from Mike Bibby to Jeff Teague at PG — how close can they get to a championship? … Besides God or evolution or bad luck or whatever you believe in, is anyone really to blame for Yao Ming‘s latest injury? According to China’s vice minister of sports, it’s Rick Adelman‘s fault … Responding to a Philly newspaper story about Donyell Marshall likely being done with the Sixers and eyeing into retirement, one of the Dime crew said, “(Donyell) should go directly to jail for his thievery over the past 10 years.” Meanwhile, the new Donyell Marshall, Devean George, just won’t go away. Devean told the Contra Costa Times, “I didn’t come (to the Warriors) to sit on the bench. I can make open shots. I’m good at figuring out my niche, how to get playing time. [There are] a lot of the little things I can bring to the table that coaches like.” Such as? … We’re out like Donyell …
Smack / Aug 7, 2009 / 2:10 am
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