OJ Mayo: Where Do We Go From Here?

Will things get better for OJ Mayo before they get worse? What does his recent steroid bust do for his career? Better yet, what does it do for the future of the NBA? While steroids aren’t as prevalent in basketball as they are in sports such as football, or baseball, two prominent players have now tested positive for having performance enhancing drugs in their systems. Is this an issue that should just be swept under the rug?

So if you haven’t already heard, OJ Mayo was suspended on January 27th for testing positive for dehydroepiandrosterone (what a mouthful), better known as DHEA. He was suspended for 10 games. Add this to Mayo’s recent troubles this season. Mayo was taken out of the starting lineup, and also got into an in-flight fight with teammate Tony Allen over a card game. Mayo claims that the positive test was due to an energy drink.

I didn’t know it had any bad substances in it, and it caused a 10-game suspension. It’s not like I went to a GNC and got some Muscle Armor or ordered some supplement off the Internet or anything. It was just a local gas station that kind of got me hemmed up.

Really OJ, really? You thought you tested positive for DHEA because of an energy drink? What kind of energy drink contains steroids? That’s unbelievable. You have access to world class trainers, who provide legal supplements and vitamins, and you go to a gas station, to buy an energy drink?

The other fact of note, is that Rashard Lewis tested positive for the same substance. Lewis’ equally lame excuse, was that he took an over the counter supplement.

I hope every athlete can learn from my mistake that supplements, no matter how innocent they seem, should only be taken after consulting an expert in the field.

Really, Rashard, really? He’s been around the league a long time. He knows how things work. Does he really expect us to believe that excuse? He knew what he was doing. Want to go deeper? Let’s compare his number’s the season before, and the season after, his ten game suspension. He averaged 3.6 less points, 1.3 less rebounds, 1.1 less assists, shot worse from the field and from the line, and got to the line less often in 2009-2010 (post suspension) than in 2008-2009.

Comparing Rashard to Mayo isn’t much of a stretch. OJ Mayo has dropped of each year since his rookie campaign. It’s a little suspicious that his numbers have regressed since his rookie year, especially with his recent steroid bust. Could it be possible that he had been doing this since he was drafted? I don’t know, but I think the NBA needs to improve in finding these guys, since I’m sure there are many more in the league.

Here are some facts on DHEA, the drug that Mayo and Lewis tested positive for. It is used as a muscle-building, or performance enhancing drug, used by athletes. Mayo is also the seventh player to test positive for the drug, since the league began testing in 1999. And I’ll bet the other six all had excuses as lame as Mayo. The drug is legal in the United States, but requires a prescription in Canada.

So where does Mayo go from here? Personally, I think he’s done in Memphis. The Grizzlies should be looking to trade him. The Grizzlies would be wise to do this, since that would free up money that they could use to sign Marc Gasol, or Zach Randolph. I think the Bulls would be wise to inquire about a trade while his value is low. If you read my last article, you would know that OJ Mayo is a perfect fit for the shooting guard impaired Bulls. Perhaps a change of scenery is all he needs?

Let’s face it, OJ can still play. He’s been relegated to a bench role in Memphis, and is playing less minutes than he ever has before. Given all his troubles in Memphis, I think he would benefit from a change of scenery. I, for one, believe in second chances, and I believe OJ can thrive on a team like Chicago. Just no more lame excuses, alright OJ?

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Hardwood Paroxysm