SportsProf

(Hopefully) good sports essays and observations for good sports by a guy who tries (and can sometimes fail) to be a good sport.

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Thursday, January 27, 2005

Anything For A Buck

The NBA players who were on the U.S. men's hoops team that played in the qualifying rounds in the summer of 2003 to get the U.S. into the 2004 Olympics must have given NBA Commissioner David Stern and his marketing minions a great idea. You know the old adage, that some of the best discoveries happen by mistaken (e.g., Charles Firestone and vulcanized rubber for use to make car tires), and that's what could have happened here.

You might recall that the U.S. Olympians were playing some games in NYC during the blackout of 2003. So, what did they do to kill time? They repaired to the lobby of their hotel, where, apparently, a big-stakes card game ensued. Five figures were won and lost that day. By players who were the biggest names in the sport, more so than the group that played on the 2004 Olympic team.

Well, fast forward to today, when the NBA announced that it is going to license its logo for use on poker items, such as chips. I suppose that if they can't change the quality of their product, make the games better, make the season shorter, have fewer teams to avoid a serious dilution of talent and have fewer teams make the playoffs, at least they can come up with more creative ways to make money off the average fan. I am sure that if you hurry you can be among the first fans to get your own set of this stuff.

Will they stop at nothing? Have they no dignity?

Apparently not.

What will they think of next?

Because you can be sure they're working on it as you read this.

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