Chicago values might not include Chick-fil-A but this writer (Gerald D. Skoning) gets it right about the basketball! A few highlights:
Stern said he hopes to make the Olympics a 23-and-younger event, returning it to the college kids and NBA players with only a few years of pro experience. That would be a good start, but the best move would be to go all the way, returning the Games to college players and nonprofessionals only. That change would benefit the NBA professionals and college amateurs alike, while helping restore the true spirit of the Olympic Games.
Star college players complain about losing out on the precious opportunity to compete for their country in the Olympic Games. Donning a red, white and blue uniform and competing for the gold, bathed in chants of “USA, USA,” is commonly described as a “dream come true” that arrives once in a lifetime.
For these competitors to be denied that chance in favor of multimillionaire professionals is shameful.
Preach it brother Gerald!
Some argue that the U.S. Olympic Committee should always field the best players and best teams possible to compete in the Olympics. They say if that means the teams consist entirely of professionals, so be it.
But our teams have proved that we can win the gold with amateurs. The U.S. won the gold medal in hockey in the 1980 Winter Olympics with the “Do you believe in miracles” squad of college players who dazzled the world with their grit, determination and total commitment.
Is it better to be the Miracle on Ice or the Dream Team everybody wants to beat? I am sure the majority of the world outside the USA wanted LIthuania to win today (And I did too!) They will not do a major motion picture about the Dream Team but they did about the Miracle on Ice!
Eliminating dream teams and returning the Olympics to college players and other amateurs would restore the fundamental “competition-for-competition’s-sake” essence of the Games.
It’s hard to imagine even the most jingoist, patriotic American fans getting excited about watching superstars LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant and the rest of the powerful U.S. basketball “dream team” crush hapless Angola or Lithuania.
Dreams of Olympic glory shouldn’t be limited to “dream team” millionaires.
My fellow lawyer Gerald Skoning didn’t use the word “imperialism” but he said it nevertheless. There are a few voices out there saying no to sports imperialism. This will grow. There is a deep desire for justice in most people (God put it there) and the injustice of pro athletes in the Olympics will be more and more apparent to Americans as time goes by.