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The Russell Report: Gator athletes heading to the Olympics, and the NBA’s injury problem

Updated: Jun. 21, 2021 at 6:35 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - A big shout out today to all the current and former Gator athletes who have made the U.S. Olympic team.

A lot of hard work and preparation goes into this, especially coming off a postponement of the games due to the pandemic. Florida will be well represented in swimming and track especially, and don’t forget the Olympic track coach is none other than Florida’s Mike Holloway. The Olympics are right around the corner and it will be fun and exciting to see how these Gators do in Tokyo.

Lebron James is a truly great player, probably in the conversation for the greatest of all time, but he’s also getting the reputation of being a whiner. He’s ripping the NBA for the rash of injuries that have occurred to some of its best players during the playoffs, and James isn’t shy about saying ‘I told you this would happen’.

Let’s just say he’s right, that the time between the end of last season and the start of this one was too short. Understand that when starting the season had to be approved by both the league and its players, they agreed. Both sides chose money over rest and now we’re seeing the consequences. If safety was such a concern, the league and the players should have put off the start of the season. But they didn’t. And now it’s the fans who cannot see great players play in the playoffs, in a sport that probably more than any other, needs its great players to perform in the postseason to keep fan interest high.

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Pitchers better not put any sticky stuff on their baseball or the powers that be in major league baseball will crack down on them.

With batting averages at historic lows and strikeout rates going through the roof, baseball has seen enough. Baseballs will be routinely checked for foreign substances and if any are found, it could be a 10-game suspension. Some pitchers have cried foul, saying these changes shouldn’t happen in the middle of a season. I say, why not? Cheating at the beginning of the year is the same as cheating in the middle of the year, isn’t it? But White Sox pitcher Carlos Rodon has another view: Why is baseball choosing to punish pitchers for this when it didn’t do anything to the Houston Astros when they mega-cheated to win a world series? He’s right, and as usual these days, baseball looks stupid and inconsistent to its most important commodity... Its fans.

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