Remember Marion Jones? Well, she’s back.
Apparently the IOC’s stripping of her 5 Olympic medals from the 2000 Sydney games, and a little prison time for lying to federal prosecutors, isn’t embarrassment enough for MJ. She’s signed a contract with the WNBA (Tulsa Shock). Yeah, the WNBA still exists…and they have a website and everything!
Really quick side note on Jones and the IOC: in addition to reclaiming her Olympic medals from Sydney, the committee also DQd her 5th place long jump finish from ’04 Athens. I love that. I often struggle to recall who took silver. 5th place? Marion Jones is now the only 5th place Olympian that I know.
So back to Jones and the WNBA:
"I'm extremely excited to join the team and the WNBA," Jones said in a statement on the WNBA website. See, I told you they had a website.
Apparently Jones is quite the baller – she attended North Carolina on a hoops scholarship, won the National Championship in 1994, and was drafted by Phoenix in 2003. She still ranks in UNC’s top 10 in career assists (5th), steals (3rd), and blocks (7th). She can play.
I’m not trying to deny Jones the opportunity at a second chance. But in all honesty here – who’s taking the bigger hit: Marion Jones for associating herself with a non-entity, or the WNBA for associating itself with a disgraced athlete?
Or perhaps this is a win-win. Desperate times call for desperate measures…and each side is equally frantic for a boost. And it just might work in the short term.
I can’t say that I’m at all hoping it succeeds, but I am marginally interested in seeing Jones play.