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Should players get paid to play in Olympics?

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Should players get paid to play in Olympics?

In 2008, Redeem Team helped bring world basketball bragging rights back to the homeland after failed attempts to throw NBA players on a roster with the conventional thinking that they could overwhelm organized teams with talent.

The players on that team honored a three-year commitment leading up to the 2008 games and none of them participated in the World Championship in Turkey in 2010.

Before 08, there was a problem getting the leagues best players interested in competing for gold and with a condensed season and many players from that roster set for long playoff runs, the roster for 2012s Olympic games in London might look completely different as rest will be a priority for many after their respective seasons are concluded.

As Boston Celtics Ray Allen told Fox Sports Florida, pay could be a way to entice guys to want to participate.

You talk about the patriotism that guys should want to play for, but you (need to) find a way to entice the guys, Allen said. Its not the easiest thing in the world if you play deep in the playoffs and then you get two, three weeks off and then you start training again to play more basketball where it requires you to be away from home and in another country. Its fun, but your body does need a break.

Everybody says, Play for your country. But (NBA players are) commodities, your businesses. You think about it, you do camps in the summer, you have various opportunities to make money. When you go overseas and play basketball, you lose those opportunities, what you may makeIf Im an accountant and I get outsourced by my firm, Im going to make some money somewhere else.

Allen makes a good point, especially with the toll this condensed season has already taken on a number of Olympic hopefuls for this years games in London, although its sure to be taken wrongly by many as players are already making millions and the belief that representing ones country should be done out of pride and honor, not financial gain.

The Celtics guard goes on to say that players should receive an unspecified amount from sales of the jerseys and other products that are sold with their names and likeness on it.

The U.S. Olympic Committee provides every American with 25,000 for winning a gold medal, 15,000 for silver and 10,000 for bronze.

The Olympics also allow athletes the chance to grow their own personal brands overseas, but not every player will have those marketing and branding advantages.

So, should players be paid for representing their countries?

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: Reacting to Round 1 of NHL Draft

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Blackhawks Talk Podcast: Reacting to Round 1 of NHL Draft

On the latest Hawks Talk Podcast, Pat Boyle and Charlie Roumeliotis recap Round 1 of the 2018 NHL Draft.

They discuss the pair of puck-carrying defensemen that the Blackhawks selected on Friday, Adam Boqvist and Nicolas Beaudin. When can we expect to see these first-round picks play in the NHL?

Boyle also goes 1-on-1 with Boqvist and Beaudin. The guys spoke with Stan Bowman and Joel Quenneville on Friday.

The guys also share their biggest takeaways from those interviews, which includes your daily Corey Crawford update and Quenneville appeared excited that the team has plenty of cap space to spend in free agency.

Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below:

It's only one start, but that's the Lucas Giolito that White Sox fans expected to see this season

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USA TODAY

It's only one start, but that's the Lucas Giolito that White Sox fans expected to see this season

The preseason expectations and the results have been drastically different for Lucas Giolito.

Expected to be the best pitcher on the White Sox starting staff, Giolito hasn’t come too close to that title, instead heading into Friday’s doubleheader with the most earned runs allowed of any pitcher in baseball. His walk total has been among the highest in the game all year long, too. And the calls from social media to send him down to Triple-A haven’t been at all infrequent.

But Friday, White Sox fans got a glimpse at what they expected, a look at the guy who earned so much hype with a strong September last season and a dominant spring training.

It wasn’t a performance that would make any reasonable baseball person’s jaw drop. But it was the best Giolito has looked this season. He still allowed four runs on seven hits — as mentioned, not a Cy Young type outing — but he struck out a season-high eight batters. Prior to giving up the back-to-back singles to start the eighth inning that brought an end to his evening, he’d surrendered just two runs.

Most importantly he walked just two guys and didn’t seem to struggle with his command at all. That’s a big deal for a pitcher who had 45 walks to his name prior to Friday.

“You know it was a tough eighth inning, but throughout the whole game, I felt in sync,” Giolito said. “(Catcher Omar Narvaez) and I were working really well, finally commanding the fastball the way I should. Definitely the best I felt out there this year, for sure. Velocity was up a tick. Just felt right, felt in sync. Just competed from there.”

Confidence has never left Giolito throughout the poor results, and he’s talked after every start about getting back on the horse and giving it another try. Consistently working in between starts, things finally seemed to click Friday night.

“It all worked today,” manager Rick Renteria said. “(Pitching coach Don Cooper) says that every bullpen has gotten better, from the beginning to this point. He sees progress. The velocity that he showed today was something that Coop was seeing in his work. You can see that his delivery is continuing to improve. He was trusting himself, really attacking the strike zone, trusted his breaking ball today when he need to and just tried to command as much as he could. Did a nice job.”

Giolito went through this kind of thing last year, when he started off poorly at Triple-A Charlotte with a 5.40 ERA through his first 16 starts. But then things got better, with Giolito posting a 2.78 ERA over his final eight starts with the Knights before getting called up to the big leagues.

This was just one start, of course, but perhaps he can follow a similar formula this year, too, going from a rough beginning to figuring things out.

“I’m not trying to tinker or think about mechanics anymore,” he said. “It’s about flow, getting out there and making pitches. We were able to do that for the most part.

“I’ll watch video and see certain things, and I have little cues here and there. But I’m not going to go and overanalyze things and nitpick at certain stuff anymore. It’s about going there and having fun and competing.”

Maybe that’s the secret. Or maybe this is simply a brief flash of brilliance in the middle of a tough first full season in the bigs.

Whatever it was, it was the best we’ve seen of Giolito during the 2018 campaign. And it was far more like what was expected back before that campaign got going.