The league has suspended Rashard Lewis for the first 10 games of the season after a drug test revealed that he had an elevated level of testosterone. Now all the steroid use in baseball disgusts me, but this is what I find weird (and forgivable) about this whole incident: he was using an over-the-counter supplement. Something any shmoe might grab off the shelf like Echinacea or whatever. It seems odd, and actually kinda unfair, that he should be punished for something that any of us would/could do without thinking twice about it. I mean this isn’t even just crossing the street when the light is red — something we know is illegal but which we feel is harmless. This is crossing the street when the light is green, only to find that there’s a loophole that every Tuesday at 4:21pm you can only cross if the light’s chartreuse.
Now granted I don’t know jack about steroids or how many frickin’ pills he had to take to reach this elevated level. If, for instance, he took 57 of ‘em in one day and the bottle warns you not to take more than 3 a day, then okay, send in the hounds & cart him off. Personally, rather than just hearing his banal statement of apology, saying drugs are bad and he should’ve done more research on what he took, I wanna know the facts. The league doesn’t release specifics about drug violations because one can be suspended obviously for stuff like pot, coke, etc., and they wanna respect your privacy. Actually, probably the Player’s Union fought to make that a rule to protect their players, so it’s not even the NBA’s decision to follow that protocol.
However, in situations like this, if Lewis is amenable, I say make this a teaching moment. Put it all out in the open. Let us know specifically what he took and how much of it. And to be honest, if he did go the take-57-of-’em route, well I think we should know ‘cuz kids look up to him & they should know the truth. Likewise, if all he did was take a couple pills of some new agey root, but that was enough to do the trick, then again kids should know that relatively he didn’t do anything bad. And if just taking a couple of pills that anyone can grab without a prescription is enough to raise one’s testosterone level, should that even be illegal? How much of an effect does it really have on someone? Even if yes, just a pill or so a day does produce a huge effect, I still wanna know.
‘Cuz then I’mna go out and get me some of ‘em to improve my own game.