Wednesday, December 07, 2005


Jerry Colangelo and USA Basketball have planned that prospective NBA players would be signing three-year commitment memo to their international pursuits. This revamped format is destined to be a demanding assignment to fulfill since it will be difficult to censure those players who pass on the opportunity to wear the red, white and blue in international competition. Shaquille O'Neal’s tendency to break down has been well-documented the last six seasons. His massive body is hardly in any position to take the additional stress of an international event in the offseason. The extra workload is only one of the concerns before prospective players. The prospect of an injury, nagging or otherwise, is no small element either. It is also a fact that many of the players who make the early jump to the NBA already have been immersed in what amounts to a year-round basketball program, with the emergence of AAU exceeding the importance of the local high school team. Gilbert Arenas is the lifeline of the Wizards. God forbid, if he stumbles or goes down, there goes the franchise. The Wizards have millions invested in Arenas, and they will get the returns only when if Arenas and the Wizards play at a fan-appealing level. The U.S. ruled basketball as long as it did only because of global indifference. That changed with the Dream Team in 1992. The NBA might as well be called the World Basketball Association.


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