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Are we being naive about steroids all over again?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by broadway joe, Mar 15, 2009.

  1. broadway joe

    broadway joe Guest

    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?


    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."
  2. 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.
  3. mustangj17

    mustangj17 Active Member

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

    mojo20205 Member

    Lattimer added "30 pounds of rip with an attitude to match"
  5. GlenQuagmire

    GlenQuagmire Active Member

    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.
  6. shockey

    shockey Active Member

    sad to say i have to believe he's guilty as charged. imho, anyway.

    not that i give two shits about this jerk.
  7. 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."
  8. JackReacher

    JackReacher Well-Known Member

    Annnnnd, we have a winner.
  9. broadway joe

    broadway joe Guest

    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.
  10. 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?"
  11. GlenQuagmire

    GlenQuagmire Active Member

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

    clutchcargo Active Member

    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.
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