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3 Stories: Knicks Fandom, NCAA Alternative And PGA Blood Testing

Kristaps Porzingis was the subject of trade rumors leading up to the NBA Draft (Elsa/Getty Images).
Kristaps Porzingis was the subject of trade rumors leading up to the NBA Draft (Elsa/Getty Images).
This article is more than 5 years old.

The 2017 NBA Draft was held on Thursday night. Knicks fans came away breathing a sigh of relief. That's where this week's edition of "3 Stories You Should Know" begins.

Will Leitch of Sports on Earth and Patrick Hruby of Vice Sports joined Bill Littlefield.

1. The Lowest Of Bars

Knicks fans have long suffered for their team's mismanagement. Despite decades of incompetence, many fans — including Will Leitch — have remained enthusiastically loyal. But when trade rumors started circulating involving beloved up-and-coming star Kristaps Porzingis, Will was ready to draw the line.

A fundamental tenet of my whole writing about fandom is that you don't switch teams. You don't abandon your teams. No matter how bad it gets, this is just something fundamental and core to who you are. And you can't drop that. Boy, did the Knicks press that this week. Whatever your thoughts about Phil Jackson — I think as a coach he has his bona fides; as a general manager, decidedly less so. There's one thing that all 29 of the other NBA GMs have in common: They would never trade Kristaps Porzingis, because they are not crazy people.

2. Bucking The NCAA System

Here's one idea for taking on the NCAA and compensating college athletes: Historically black colleges and universities start a pay-for-play basketball league. Patrick Hruby explains the reasoning.

To take on any cartel, you've got to look at people that are part of it who aren't really benefiting from it. And that's where the HBCUs come in. The HBCUs have fallen further and further behind as far as facilities, finances. And they have a lot to gain by trying something different. And it could really work. You really just need a broadcaster that's willing to pay for this and sponsors and investors. They figure the start-up cost to be about $30-50 million.

3. Blood And Drugs

The PGA announced this week that players will be subject to blood testing for performance enhancing drugs. The PGA already conducts urine tests, but blood testing is considered more invasive. Bill Littlefield is unsure blood testing in golf is really merited.

Over the past nine years, three players — count 'em, three — on the PGA Tour have been suspended for using performance enhancing drugs. ... Three suspensions in nine years does not sound to me like a crisis, and I wonder if this is absolutely necessary. It feels, to me, like one more solution in search of a problem.

This segment aired on June 24, 2017.



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