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It is how you play the game that counts

Kareem_marionjones All last week I was reminded of the speed and great distance that a person can fill in such a short time.  The great track and field athlete Marion Jones had to surrender herself for incarceration at a federal penitentiary in Texas. I had admired her talent and poise as she dominated her sport.  She was a prominent face at the Olympics and undoubtedly served as a positive role model for young females who aspired to reach athletic greatness.  For so many of us who followed her career, the revelations that exposed her performance enhancing drug use and financial missteps were a shock and great disappointment.

The temptation to cheat has seemed to overwhelm a whole generation of athletes.  Football, baseball, track and field, bicycling and boxing have all been affected by this evil.  I feel that the only remedy is to return to the core values of sport that made them such a valuable measuring stick for humanity.  The dedication and discipline that was necessary to excel at sports seemed to give athletes a leg up on the rest of humanity.  Those inner forces seemed to indicate that any individual who possessed them was someone special.  Teamwork and willingness to play by the rules made athletes more capable of succeeding outside of the field of play and helped to shape many leaders in all walks of life.  If we can get back to these simple values, we may be able to give those who participate in sports a direction for their aspirations.  Hopefully the next Marion Jones will be a person to emulate and not someone we pity for her failure to make the right choices.

(photo credit: Sports Illustrated cover)

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Comments

Kareem,
Welcome to the blogosphere, Cap. Thinking sports fans really admire your wisdom and appreciate your thoughts.

I don't know about how it works in other sports, but in world-class cycling, much of the competition has become an ongoing race between the athletes' doctors and the doctors trying to find the cheats. Sometimes the riders are caught, other times we'll never really know...

One name always comes up regarding drugs in cycling: Lance Armstrong. Although he's never been caught cheating (and he happens to be my all-time favorite athlete in any sport), they say that where there's smoke, there's fire. Anyone who reads "From Lance to Landis," by David Walsh, willl see that there's a LOT of smoke around Armstrong.

The great Greg Lemond, the first American to win the Tour de France, once said about Armstrong's exploits: It's either the greatest comeback -- or the greatest fraud -- in the history of sport. As a look at drugs in sport, at least from one corner of the sports world, this is a compelling, but disturbing, read.

Well I get the whole potatoe but , i feel there are alot of people in life who find away to take advantage of others and it use to bother but not anymore. THE RICH run the world and the rest of us surfs just try and get by so i care what sports people did what either it be using drugs or enhancers. Those people are not real and they can go their own way for even the good guys have probably broken laws ( white laws that 99% of the world does everyday) so nobody is amune to all of this, so get off yoyr high horse mr jabber

Don't get me wrong Kareem i have always been a fan of your basketball.

The decline of good values in sports reflects the overall decline in society. We reward people for their achievements whether or not they are honestly attained. I was disappointed to learn of Jones' association with performance-enhancing drugs but she seemed to handle the revelation a bit more maturely then some of the baseball players.

What amazing hypocrites Americans, at large, are!

Marion Jones goes to jail for using illegal drugs and lieing about it, while the administration that lied about Iraq having WMD resulting in the death, casualties, ruin, torture, imprisonment and displacement of millions of "brown" (non-white) people are not only free, but enjoying the immense profits that this wholesale slaughter has wrought.

Justice is coming!

God HATES hypocracy!

Here here Rasheed

Kareem Abdul Jabbar is without question the greatest scorer in NBA history and that will never change. Kareem is forever the greatest NBA center. Kareem will make a great head coach in the NBA, because every star wants to be taught by the greatest legend.

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Captain Kareem

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is considered by many fans and sportswriters to be the greatest basketball player of all time. The 7-foot-2 Hall of Fame center, famous for his indefensible skyhook, dominated the NBA for 20 years, first with the Milwaukee Bucks then with the Los Angeles Lakers. Before that he was the star of the UCLA Bruins teams that won three consecutive NCAA championships. Kareem was the NBA's MVP six times, a 19-time all-star and set the NBA all-time records in nine categories. He is the NBA's all-time leading scorer with 38,387 points, a record that may never be broken.

Since retiring as a player in 1989, Kareem has balanced his love of basketball with his love of history. In 2002 he led a USBL team, the Oklahoma Storm, to a championship. Since 2005, he has been the special assistant coach for the Lakers, working with Andrew Bynum.

In 2008 he was chosen The Greatest Player in College Basketball History.

Kareem also remains intellectually active, authoring six bestselling history books intended to popularize the contributions of African-Americans to American culture and history. His books include "Black Profiles in Courage: A Legacy of African-American Achievement"; "Brothers in Arms: The Epic Story of the 761st Tank Battalion, WWII's Forgotten Heroes"; "A Season on the Reservation," which chronicles his time teaching basketball and history on an Apache Indian reservation in White River, Ariz.; and the current New York Times and Los Angeles Times bestseller, "On the Shoulders of Giants: My Journey Through the Harlem Renaissance."

His audio adaptation, "On the Shoulders of Giants: My Audio & Musical Journey through the Harlem Renaissance," is a four-volume compilation read by Bob Costas, Avery Brooks, Jesse L. Martin, and Stanley Crouch, and features private and fascinating conversations with dozens of icons, including Coach John Wooden, Julius Erving, Charles Barkley, Samuel L. Jackson, Maya Angelou, Quincy Jones and Billy Crystal. He has also been written to L.A. Times, under the Sports section.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has been appearing on various radio stations and TV shows, as well as the most relevant websites talking about his life and his new audio book, On the Shoulders of Giants.

All images are property of www.iconomy.com unless otherwise stated. All info copyrighted and owned by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is not replicated without permission.

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