Baseball's recent frenzy of steroid stories could be seen as good news for the the NBA, I suppose. The leagues compete, on some level. Perhaps some disaffected baseball fan would spend a few extra hours watching basketball, a sport that really has not been caught in this kind of scandal.
On the other hand, the dark cloud over baseball is threatening to rain a little on basketball, too.
For instance, here's T.J. Quinn's ESPN.com article on Curt Wenzlaff, who has served time for selling steroids, and details the exact recipe he says he supplied Mark McGwire (he adds, by the way, that if Paris Hilton took that regimen, "she could run over Dick Butkus"):
At his peak, Wenzlaff says he worked with "25 to 30" college and professional athletes, from Major League Baseball, the NFL and NBA. He has never named them and says he isn't ready to now. That will be in the book, he says, with details.
"When I took on a client, not only did I write them workouts; I worked out with them. I wrote them a diet to the point where it was so refined that I wrote what to eat and what time to eat," he says. "If I took you on, you agreed to do what I said. You came to me to become bionic."
Of course, someone trying to sell a book has an impetus to dress up such claims. But for what it's worth another baseball whisteblower, Kirk Radomski, who was a key source for baseball's Mitchell Report, is telling a very similar story. He has a new book out detailing his years supplying steroids to athletes. In The New York Times, Michael S. Schmidt writes:
Radomski also writes that he sold performance-enhancing drugs to an N.B.A. player for several years. He says the player, whom he did not identify, told Radomski that other N.B.A. players were using drugs, too.
“We have no comment about an allegation that an unnamed player bought steroids,” Mike Bass, a spokesman for the N.B.A., said. “But we have a comprehensive random-testing program for steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs.”
A handful of NBA players have been disciplined for failing tests for what the NBA calls SPEDS (steroids or performance enhancing drugs). But by and large it has been assumed that the League does not have this problem -- even as players have been getting bigger, faster and stronger.