March 03, 2003

Either you're with us, or...: Karl Malone says Kevin Garnett and Shaq O' Neal have a duty to represent the US in the Olympics. Does he have a point? You'd think Shaq might get a bit of pressure from his Army father to be a good patriot... But to be honest, I'd rather we went back to amateurs anyway.

posted by vito90 to other at 11:01 AM - 8 comments

I think duty might be too strong a word here, but athletes who are invited should definitely feel compelled to compete in the Olympics. Being asked to play for your country is a hell of an honor, and itís sad that some athletes donít see it that way. You have to wonder if Garnett and Shaq are at all worried by the USís recent losses in international play. I suppose they can refuse if they want, but Iíll definitely lose some respect for them if they do. And vito, Iíd rather see the best in the world against the best in the world, regardless of pro/amateur status. ďOur non-professional athletes beat your non-professional athletesĒ just doesnít pack much of a punch.

posted by Samsonov14 at 11:31 AM on March 03, 2003

A beautiful thing about America is that you're generally not told what to do. Or shouldn't be. So no, it's not their duty to play. Nor (at the risk of being too serious here) do I think it's wise to equate playing for a national team with patriotism. Darryl Green, for example, may never have represented his country in sports, but he's a better man and better American than most of those who do. Not to mention non-athletic patriots more deserving of the term. That said, I don't see why anyone would turn down the Olympics even for purely selfish reasons (the Davis Cup, not so much). If you're not hurt or completely sick of the game you play, it looks like a lot of fun. You get to play with the best players. And there's crazy sex in the Olympic village.

posted by Mookieproof at 01:46 PM on March 03, 2003

I hope Shaq goes for the gold. If I have trouble understanding him sometimes, I'd pay money to see French reporters try to pull some quotes out of that linguistic trainwreck.

posted by wfrazerjr at 03:49 PM on March 03, 2003

I do remember one of the great Shaq-Fu quotes of all time is when he went to Greece as a college kid and toured the country playing basketball. A reporter asked him if he'd been to the Parthenon and he famously said, "I can't remember the names of all the clubs we went to."

posted by vito90 at 04:01 PM on March 03, 2003

That said, I don't see why anyone would turn down the Olympics even for purely selfish reasons Ask Patrick Roy!

posted by mkn at 06:18 PM on March 03, 2003

Yeah ... and ask Patrick's wife, while you're at it.

posted by wfrazerjr at 09:29 PM on March 03, 2003

With the way that Shaq's health has been lately, he may be on the shelf for good by summer 2004.

posted by jasonbondshow at 11:28 PM on March 03, 2003

I certainly hope Shaq's career continues for a long time. I'd hate to see the big guy with too much time on his hands. Kazaam Blue Chips Shaq-Fu II (Electric Boogaloo), anyone?

posted by wfrazerjr at 08:53 AM on March 04, 2003

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