Marion Jones is 34 years old, spent time in prison, used performance-enhancing drugs, had five gold medals stripped from her and had three kids. She was just signed to a one-year contract by the newly-relocated-from-Detroit Tulsa Shock to play basketball this year.
Her bid for a new career comes a decade after she starred at the Sydney Olympics, winning gold in the 100 meters, 200 meters and 1,600-meter relay, and bronze in the long jump and 400-meter relay. She was stripped of all five medals after admitting in 2007 that she was using performance-enhancing drugs — a designer steroid called the “clear” — at the time of the games. (via ESPN)
The Shock’s coach is Nolan Richardson, who previously coached the Arkansas Razorbacks to an NCAA title several years ago, so if anyone can reign her, it’s probably going to be him.
It’s a pretty smart business decision for the WNBA, if you think about it. The Shock just moved from Detroit and Oklahoma isn’t really what I’d call a prime location for WNBA fans, so they’re going to need some kind of a draw. Someone like Marion Jones could definitely do that.
If she ends up making the team and lasting through training camp, the Minnesota Lynx will be opening up the season in Tulsa on May 15th. Jones is 5’10, so she’s going to have to run the point and, holy balls, she’s going to be one hell of a person to catch on a fast break.
My boss mentioned this earlier today and I’d forgotten that I wanted to write about it. I didn’t read about it first on ESPN or see it on the news somewhere. I found out about this new acquisition via the few WNBA players that I follow on Twitter. And they’re excited about it, which makes me excited about it, too!