Here is something I learned about the NBA today that I had never heard before — each team is required to hold a seminar for their players that teaches them the business of basketball, from ticket pricing to health insurance. Who knew? Education is a wonderful and important thing. Stay in school, kids.
Now knowing that, we can get in to this story about the Wizards having their seminar and turning it in to a classroom test situation where the team was competing for a pair of courtside seats. That happened and now there are serious allegations being thrown around about the winner, John Wall. From the D.C. Sports Bog:
“He cheated,” Trevor Booker told me when I asked about Wall’s victory. “I got them all right too, but I cheated. I didn’t get a prize, because I admitted that I cheated. I’m an honest man.”
Even while cheating?
“Even while cheating,” he said, with a straight face.
Emeka Okafor and Earl Barron shared similar suspicions of ungentlemanly conduct.
“It’s called the World Wide Web,” said Barron, when I asked how Wall was able to cheat.
“Courtesy of Google,” Okafor chimed in from the next locker over. “But he’s from Kentucky, so I’m not saying nothing.”
Oh snap, World Wide Web zing. Also, oh snap, University of Kentucky zing. These Wizards and their zings.
Though to be fair, it seems like this competition was kind of set up to be cheated on anyways.
Wall, who told me he’d be giving his prize to a teammate, took exception to the allegations of dirty play.
“How did I cheat?” he asked, when I told him about his teammates’ accusations. “They gave us the questions ahead of time. No cheating. I won fair and square.”
I think I’m on Wall’s side here. When you are given the questions for a fake test before the test is given, it’s kind of impossible to cheat since a) the test doesn’t actually matter and b) everyone except the rookie has the chance to get the same answers. That’d be like cheating at baking a cake.
Nonetheless, let’s hope this internal strife doesn’t destroy the Wizards’ winless season. A team this bad doesn’t need any more adversity to battle through, especially not in the form of a millionaire getting free seats to his own basketball game by dubiously acing a fake test for a required seminar that obviously no one cares about. On the bright side, no one pulled a gun in the locker room about it, so I guess things are getting better.