Light the Boots and Files
Stop the madness, please! At least now I've realized that I only liked calling Kobe "the best" as an honorific, not an empirical distinction. Stop comparing people. Compare teams, and players like Chris Paul who are extensions of their teams (and vice-versa).
Let's revert to important matters, like Chris Andersen's return to the league. How long ago it seems that the Hornets were poised to move forward. . . with Chris Paul, J.R. Smith, and Chris Andersen. That makes even me nervous.
Anyway, welcome back, Birdman. You did drugs, I could care less, you're a funny player. What continues to fascinate me about Andersen's odyssey is the mystery nature of the substance involved. I told Billups earlier that Andersen + any drug makes a worthy punchline. But here, allow me to harken back to a post I wrote ages ago for FanHouse. The gist: As part of the CBA, the NBA goes out of its way to identify the substance involved when a player fails a PED test. I can't remember exactly how pot works, but I think that the punishment makes it pretty obvious what the offense is. Then there's that other class of drugs, of which Andersen is guilty of abusing.
So the NBA sincerely feels it has nothing to hear or hide from PEDs, so much so that it wants the particular chemical names out there. Perhaps it's because, as in the Lindsey Hunter instance above, some lend themselves (or are the result of) perfectly regular excuses. Pot is pot: Stuck in the league, tricky to crack down on, and only so offensive to so many people—and among those who would be pissed, a given even if no one's coming up dirty for it.
It's the other shit that the league's anxious about, exactly because they don't want imaginations whirring. Chris Andersen and his multi-cultural house of mirrors is a special case, but while pot's a mundane fact of all walks of American life, the last thing the NBA needs is drug exoticism on its hands. Stern does not want eyes wide at the thought of rivers of blow, pills in the pocket, or anything else that could add a whole new wrinkle to the league's image problems. And as much as I hate pot, it's the one truly universal drug. It's very nearly its own demographic, the way drinking is.
More me (everything's late this week because my hands broke):
TSN treatise on the forms of rebuilding
Snappy Deadspin column