I first heard of this story a couple weeks ago and didn't really pay it much attention but now it's getting some more coverage and since it concerns America I figured it was time for me to weigh in.
Becky Hammon is one of the best players in the WNBA (so she would be riding the pine on any decent men's high school team) but she didn't make our Olympic team. So what did the South Dakota native do? Why agree to play for the Ruskies, that's what. Since Hammon plays in a Russian pro league during the WNBA offseason she has been granted dual-citizenship, which has allowed her to play for Russia in the Olympics.
Frankly, I'm pretty disgusted at Hammon. Some people might defend her saying that she just wants to realize her Olympic dream but I have a couple problems with that: First, basketball isn't like gymnastics or swimming or something that people only really pay attention to in the Olympics so I don't really feel bad about her not "realizing her Olympic dream." Second, say she were playing for Morocco or Barbados or Brazil or any other country besides Russia then this wouldn't be that big a deal. I know the Cold War is over but Russia is still one of our main rivals in the Olympics so I think her actions are inexcusable. Finally, and most importantly, aren't most people's Olympic dreams rooted in some sort of national pride? Isn't that the point? To bring USA the gold? I like to think so, at least.
So has Hammon turned her back on her country? Definitely. Has she disgraced herself? Most certainly. Should she be booed by the three dozen fans at every WNBA game? Absolutely. But is she, as the USA coach called her, a traitor? No. I don't think the T-word can be applied in this situation because that's about as low as you can go. In fact I think treason (real, serious, no-joke treason; not I-don't-think-getting-tangled-up-in-the-Middle-East-is-a-good-idea "treason") is probably the only crime that deserves capital punishment so I'm not a big fan of just throwing that word around. Still Hammon really needs to get her priorities straight. She's an American who grew up with all the privileges and responsibilities that that entails so I think it's pretty disrespectful to compete for Russia in the Olympics.
Also if Russia beats USA for the Gold then I say she loses her American citizenship. Seriously. She should be allowed in the country to play in the WNBA but she can spend her winters in Siberia if she loves Russia so freaking much.
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