Author Topic: Are we being naive about steroids all over again?  (Read 6320 times)

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broadway joe

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Are we being naive about steroids all over again?
« on: March 15, 2009, 11:14:36 AM »
From an NBA story about Warriors forward Stephen Jackson, who says he added 15 pounds of muscle during the offseason, leading to the best season of his career. Sounds a lot like the stories we used to write about ballplayers who showed up at spring training with new found bulk. Given what we now know about them, shouldn't we be approaching stories like this with a little more skepticism? I'm not saying Jackson's dirty, but do we really think the NBA is immune from the PED issue?

http://www.mercurynews.com/sports/ci_11917203?nclick_check=1

Jackson was already as brash as they come. Now he has 15 pounds of added muscle, which has also bulked up his ego.
The ninth-year veteran with the help of assistant coach Keith Smart decided to dive into the regimen of Warriors conditioning experts Mark Grabow and John Murray. It's a big reason he has been playing the best basketball of his career, why he has been able to turn a hot streak into three months of steady production, and why 40.2 minutes per game isn't wearing him down.
Strength was never Jackson's strength. Knowing the Warriors would be expecting more from him, he tried something new this off-season. Members of the training staff visited him in Texas, and he hasn't stopped lifting and gulping meal replacement shakes ever since. Lifting a half hour before shootarounds and practices has become the norm...

"This is the most I've lifted," Jackson said. "The most I've been in the weight room my whole career. It's starting to pay off. I was thinking that I didn't need it, but as I see now, it's the most I've ever weighed in my life and I still have my speed, so it's definitely helped my game a lot."
Said teammate Kelenna Azubuike: "He's like a monster now."


Offline Evil ... Thy name is Orville Redenbacher!!

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Re: Are we being naive about steroids all over again?
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2009, 11:25:54 AM »
Totally agree.
This guy has been in the league 9-10 years, pushing 30-31 years old and he added 15 pounds of muscle strictly through the gym? ... Bull. Shit.

Remember the scene from "The Program" when they introduce Lattimer, who was bench warmer who "bulked" over the summer by hitting the weight room?

This should certainly raise some eyebrows.
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Offline mustangj17

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Re: Are we being naive about steroids all over again?
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2009, 11:53:50 AM »
Totally agree.
This guy has been in the league 9-10 years, pushing 30-31 years old and he added 15 pounds of muscle strictly through the gym? ... Bull. Shit.

Remember the scene from "The Program" when they introduce Lattimer, who was bench warmer who "bulked" over the summer by hitting the weight room?

This should certainly raise some eyebrows.

Adding that much muscle means probably working out for 1-2 hours more than he did before. No way.
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Offline mojo20205

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Re: Are we being naive about steroids all over again?
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2009, 01:22:47 PM »
Lattimer added  "30 pounds of rip with an attitude to match"

Offline GlenQuagmire

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Re: Are we being naive about steroids all over again?
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2009, 02:24:46 PM »
Totally agree.
This guy has been in the league 9-10 years, pushing 30-31 years old and he added 15 pounds of muscle strictly through the gym? ... Bull. Shit.

Remember the scene from "The Program" when they introduce Lattimer, who was bench warmer who "bulked" over the summer by hitting the weight room?

This should certainly raise some eyebrows.

Adding that much muscle means probably working out for 1-2 hours more than he did before. No way.

Or maybe he's eating a whole lot better and getting A LOT more rest between workouts. The biggest muscle gains are made outside the weight room during recovery. It sounds fishy to me, but most people fail to realize that you can't just gain muscle. There's always at least a little fat involved as you gain weight.
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Offline shockey

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Re: Are we being naive about steroids all over again?
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2009, 02:38:29 PM »
sad to say i have to believe he's guilty as charged. imho, anyway.

not that i give two shits about this jerk.

WaylonJennings

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Re: Are we being naive about steroids all over again?
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2009, 02:58:08 PM »
Also, keep in mind that guys lie about their weight all the time.

"Added 15 pounds of solid muscle" = "Added about eight pounds during the offseason, including about five pounds of muscle, two pounds of fat and one pound of water retention after scarfing down a large pizza the night before his best weigh-in."

Offline Ryan_Sonner

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Re: Are we being naive about steroids all over again?
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2009, 02:59:40 PM »
Also, keep in mind that guys lie about their weight all the time.

"Added 15 pounds of solid muscle" = "Added about eight pounds during the offseason, including about five pounds of muscle, two pounds of fat and one pound of water retention after scarfing down a large pizza the night before his best weigh-in."

Annnnnd, we have a winner.
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broadway joe

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Re: Are we being naive about steroids all over again?
« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2009, 03:19:46 PM »
Also, keep in mind that guys lie about their weight all the time.

"Added 15 pounds of solid muscle" = "Added about eight pounds during the offseason, including about five pounds of muscle, two pounds of fat and one pound of water retention after scarfing down a large pizza the night before his best weigh-in."

True, but it's not just a matter of taking his word for the muscle gain. He's playing ridiculous minutes without wearing down at all, and working out like a demon. He's clearly stronger than he's ever been, relatively late in his career. It seems to be making a difference in his performance.

WaylonJennings

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Re: Are we being naive about steroids all over again?
« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2009, 04:46:07 PM »
I got into it with a sports information director last year who was spittin' mad because I made fun of the head coach for going on this big soliloquy about how this guy has gained 30 pounds of "pure muscle" and this guy has gained "20 pounds of rock solid muscle, no fat!" And on and on. Like 10 guys. And of course evernyone writes it that way. This is between the end of the football season and the start of spring practice. So like three or four months, tops.

"We're not in the business of lying to you!"
"Well," I said, "either the weights are exaggerated or they're all taking steroids. Which would you prefer I assume?"

Offline GlenQuagmire

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Re: Are we being naive about steroids all over again?
« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2009, 08:49:44 PM »
He's playing ridiculous minutes without wearing down at all, and working out like a demon. He's clearly stronger than he's ever been, relatively late in his career. It seems to be making a difference in his performance.

My guess: He's been energized by the C-cup reference in the ESPN The Mag story about Candace Parker.
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Offline clutchcargo

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Re: Are we being naive about steroids all over again?
« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2009, 10:51:32 PM »
Back in the 1980s, me and a news reporter teamed up to dig up and write a pretty big series on steroid and HGH use among some high school athletes, a high school non-athlete and local bodybuilders several years removed from high school sports. It was one of those deals where we knew we were writing cutting edge stuff and, alas, not much reaction from readership. We were a bit ahead of our times.

The most interesting part of the series came a few months later, in mid-summer, when I went to visit the football coach of a fairly small school with a decent football program to interveiw him for the usual preview puff piece. School was definitely upper middle class with some wealth, and kids' families had plenty of money. Long story short, coach showed me his roster loeaded with familiar names, and across the board, his linemen had gone from average of 220-230 to 260 and above. I looked up from the piece of paper, looked at the coach, and said, "Coach, you have a problem. Your linemen are packing an extra 30-40 pounds from 12 months ago, and this has nothing to do with nutrition or, by itself, that wonderful weight room you have. I know you are going to tell me you don't know what I"m talking about, but I"m telling you these kids are getting their hands on stuff you need to know about."

He sort of shrugged his shoulders, and we moved on from there. About 9-10 years after that, I moved away from that football-heavy state and all that was a distant memory. But about 3-4 years ago, I returned to that state while working on a book and happened to pick up the paper and read a front-page story about how this same high school, which in the interim had won some state championships, was now in deep doo-doo because of rampant steroid use---and this was long after the coach I knew had left or retired or whatever. Finally, people were starting to care about PEDs.

Just had to get that off my chest.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2009, 10:53:25 PM by clutchcargo »

Offline clutchcargo

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Re: Are we being naive about steroids all over again?
« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2009, 11:01:39 PM »
One more thing---basketball remains the one marquee sport relatively untouched by the steroid/HGH/doping scandals in other sports.

Trust me, high school hoopsters are using them, college players to an extent are, and NBA players definitely are.

The sport at the NBA level has turned into one growing 'roid rage party. It's become a game where you get one ballhog and four thugs all hacking on one another and trying to get ESPN highlights. These guys playing the game today make Ivan Drago look like Gilligan.

Believe it.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2009, 11:12:18 PM by clutchcargo »

Offline Singapore Slim

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Re: Are we being naive about steroids all over again?
« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2009, 11:27:36 PM »
He doesn't look any bigger to me.
The NBA tests for steroids, regularly.
He's playing one minute more per game than he did last season.
He was known to eat popcorn and chicken fingers before games, in the locker room, so it is possible that he finally got into shape.
Steroids and fast-twitch fibers? Good luck trying to marry those opposites.

Offline Singapore Slim

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Re: Are we being naive about steroids all over again?
« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2009, 11:29:47 PM »
One more thing---basketball remains the one marquee sport relatively untouched by the steroid/HGH/doping scandals in other sports.

Trust me, high school hoopsters are using them, college players to an extent are, and NBA players definitely are.

The sport at the NBA level has turned into one growing 'roid rage party. It's become a game where you get one ballhog and four thugs all hacking on one another and trying to get ESPN highlights. These guys playing the game today make Ivan Drago look like Gilligan.

Believe it.

"Thugs."


Offline GlenQuagmire

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Re: Are we being naive about steroids all over again?
« Reply #15 on: March 15, 2009, 11:36:46 PM »
It's not just athletes. Actors and musicians (rappers), too. Stallone, 50 Cent, etc. So many of these people don't even look real anymore. Stay-at-home moms are taking HGH. It's leaked into every level of society.

I still think a big part of it is that Jackson is finally taking care of himself. But he very well could be juicing. We have to remember that not everyone uses steriods to get bigger. Some use it to recover quicker.
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Re: Are we being naive about steroids all over again?
« Reply #16 on: March 15, 2009, 11:48:51 PM »
It's not just athletes. Actors and musicians (rappers), too. Stallone, 50 Cent, etc. So many of these people don't even look real anymore. Stay-at-home moms are taking HGH. It's leaked into every level of society.

I still think a big part of it is that Jackson is finally taking care of himself. But he very well could be juicing. We have to remember that not everyone uses steriods to get bigger. Some use it to recover quicker.

so we should give athletes a free pass?

Offline da man

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Re: Are we being naive about steroids all over again?
« Reply #17 on: March 15, 2009, 11:49:08 PM »
He doesn't look any bigger to me.
The NBA tests for steroids, regularly.
He's playing one minute more per game than he did last season.
He was known to eat popcorn and chicken fingers before games, in the locker room, so it is possible that he finally got into shape.
Steroids and fast-twitch fibers? Good luck trying to marry those opposites.


Ever hear of sprinters juicing? Only all the time. That's 100 percent fast-twitch.

Every sport tests for steroids. Many of the biggest juicers don't test positive. Marion Jones and Tim Montgomery never did.

Just because someone doesn't test positive that is no proof whatsoever they are not taking PEDs.

Offline MartinEnigmatica

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Re: Are we being naive about steroids all over again?
« Reply #18 on: March 16, 2009, 12:07:25 AM »
He doesn't look any bigger to me.
The NBA tests for steroids, regularly.
He's playing one minute more per game than he did last season.
He was known to eat popcorn and chicken fingers before games, in the locker room, so it is possible that he finally got into shape.
Steroids and fast-twitch fibers? Good luck trying to marry those opposites.


Ever hear of sprinters juicing? Only all the time. That's 100 percent fast-twitch.

Every sport tests for steroids. Many of the biggest juicers don't test positive. Marion Jones and Tim Montgomery never did.

Just because someone doesn't test positive that is no proof whatsoever they are not taking PEDs.


Yeah, truth to that. Cyclists, some of the leanest athletes on the planet, have been pioneers in the doping world for decades. It was only when the sport's governing bodies got serious about developing better tests for newer forms of drugs and using better methods, and stopped relying on riders' buffoonish slip-ups, that it started to catch up to the dopers a bit. A couple riders last year were busted for using a new generation of EPO, probably to their surprise.
Luckily, they developed a test for that, but who knows what the latest undetectable drug might be?
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Offline Small Town Guy

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Re: Are we being naive about steroids all over again?
« Reply #19 on: March 16, 2009, 05:18:48 AM »
One more thing---basketball remains the one marquee sport relatively untouched by the steroid/HGH/doping scandals in other sports.

Trust me, high school hoopsters are using them, college players to an extent are, and NBA players definitely are.

The sport at the NBA level has turned into one growing 'roid rage party. It's become a game where you get one ballhog and four thugs all hacking on one another and trying to get ESPN highlights. These guys playing the game today make Ivan Drago look like Gilligan.

Believe it.

Clutch, I have no doubt there might be PED use in the NBA, but the one ballhog and four thugs comment sounds like someone whose only exposure to the NBA in the last five years comes from message boards. And what would steroids have to do with ballhogging? The first ballhog in basketball history probably appeared about seven minutes after Naismith put up his basket.

Offline 93Devil

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Re: Are we being naive about steroids all over again?
« Reply #20 on: March 16, 2009, 05:37:33 AM »
Everyone is a suspect.

From LeBron to Nate Robinson.

From Serena Williams to Lance Armstrong.

From Hulk Hogan to Ken Patera.

 

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WaylonJennings

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Re: Are we being naive about steroids all over again?
« Reply #21 on: March 16, 2009, 06:23:04 AM »
I don't think "thugs" in his context was racially tinged but instead related to the NBA style of play, i.e., a bunch of bruisers slowing down the game.

Offline clutchcargo

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Re: Are we being naive about steroids all over again?
« Reply #22 on: March 16, 2009, 06:29:25 AM »

Steroids and fast-twitch fibers? Good luck trying to marry those opposites.

Uh, hello.

Ben Johnson. Marion Jones. Dwain Chambers. Florence Griffith-Joyner perhaps?? Maurice Green??

This is the same kind of naivete that used to accompany the guffaws I'd hear from other sportswriters 10-15 years ago when subject of steroids and baseball was broached. "No way baseball players use them. It would make them too musclebound to swing the bat. Too thick. Not limber enough.""

Wake up, folks.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2009, 10:44:28 AM by clutchcargo »

Offline Small Town Guy

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Re: Are we being naive about steroids all over again?
« Reply #23 on: March 16, 2009, 06:32:11 AM »
No, I didn't think thugs was racial at all, sorry if it sounded like I thought that. I'm saying the idea that the NBA is a league full of slowdown, pound it inside ball is more about the game in, say, 1999 than today. Lakers have one of the best halfcourt offenses you could ever hope to see, ball movement, inside, outside, etc. Suns, hornets, Blazers, Spurs, Nuggets, Celtics, etc., all have pretty fun to watch offenses. Cleveland's can get a bit boring, but that's more with Mike Brown's lack of creativity than a bruiser pounding away down low. LeBron (PED, ahem) has the body of a bruiser but flies around like a 6-1 point guard. Even a bad team like the Pacers have a fun offense.

the Pistons? Still boring.

Offline daemon

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Re: Are we being naive about steroids all over again?
« Reply #24 on: March 16, 2009, 06:35:15 AM »
Adding 15 pounds of muscle strictly through the gym is not far-fetched, especially if you are talking about a guy who has never taken weight-lifting seriously before.