In HOT BUTTON TOPIC, NBA, SPORTS, THE WORLD on August 12, 2008 at UTC.33.31.

So, maybe you haven’t heard the latest Olympic controversy. It involves an American basketball player who was overlooked for the U.S. Women’s National team invitational. She’s an WNBA All-Star an plays the most important position on the floor: the POINT GUARD position or the Coach on the floor. Why did Team USA snub Becky Hammond from tryouts? Why did the Women’s coach call Hammond’s actions “unpatriotic?”

Hammond is playing for arch-rival, COLD WAR rival, Russian Women’s Basketball Team. So what, she’s not alone, there are countless American players that play for foreign teams in the Olympics. On the contrary, no one has called tehm “UNPATRIOTIC.”

Here are some of the players that play for other teams: Patrick Mills, an American plays for the Australian Men’s Team; Coach Blatt, a Jewish American who coaches the same Russian team Hammond plays on. So, what’s up with the double-standard? Hammond, the All American girl is extremely talented and my guess is the powers-that-be are only so HOT because they no they screwed up and would rather have Hammond in the fold than on the other roster.

Still , I personally can’t blame Hammond. She’s been criticized for playing with Russia’s European League team. Though, the issue probably lies with the fact that she’s making 5 times more money to play in Russia. The American teams can’t afford to pay her what Russia does, so they spite her for taking care of herself financially. Becky, makes over a million $$$ a season. Big money for the marginalized WNBA league.

Its been well documented the numerous American players who have opted out of the NBA in search for bigger money (Mo’ Euros) over seas. For many players this is the only viable option to play primarily and to get paid well secondarily. No one can fault these young men & women for doing what they deem appropriate: Taking care of #1; yourself!!

Rather, than hating on Becky and others like her, people need to get a grip of what’s really going on. The NBA has an iron clad collective bargaining agreement which has a soft salary cap that each team must be under or else they will be charged a luxury tax dollar for dollar! So teams trying to stay under this cap will low ball players, trade them, cut them outright, or sign & trade them. Either way you slice it they are the real culprits behind this mass exodus of U.S. talent.

If they got rid of the cap or restructured it then they might have a better chance at retaining talent among the women & men. Ironically, when David Beckam came to the MLS (major league soccer) no one called him a traitor for leaving his native England for a chance at International stardom playing for a Los Angeles team. In fact, he was celebrated as a savior to pitiful ratings, and absolutely no mention to his being foreign born!

America has an ugly history with double standards when comes to Women & Men. Whether, it be equal pay, eor qual opportunity. I caution nay sayers who chide athletes like Hammond: DON’T HATE THE PLAYER; HATE THE GAME!!! Why? The game came 1st, players are just “playing the field” Get it?

  1. Just a little tip… Patrick Mills is about Australian as you can get considering he is both Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal (two of the oldest continuing civilizations in the world…. from Australia). Yes, he plays for a Californian College, but no, he certainly isn’t American – far from it.

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