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One Lesson From The McNair Case

In Tennessee, authorities seem to be closing in on Steve McNair's paramour, Sahel Kazemi, as McNair's killer before she turned the gun on herself.

We're interested in this story for the obvious human reasons - we always liked McNair, and it was shocking and sad to hear the news.

When you pair it with the problems Dirk Nowitzki has experienced recently, both cases should really be used as a way to warn young players.

Understandably, when young athletes (for our purposes young basketball players) think about getting to the league as early as possible, they focus on the money and not long after that, on the women.

It's true in all sports. You might remember the Gold Club trial a few years ago, when guys like Patrick Ewing and Andrew Jones were put on the stand and their sexual adventures were exposed. After Magic Johnson was diagnosed with HIV, various things came out, like his habit of enjoying a post-game whirlpool with an available groupie.

Our point? Anyone who has a teenage son and even the slightest shred of responsibility would think long and hard about exposing their child to this sort of thing. Yes, they're of age. Yes, they're wealthy.

It's equally true, however, that most young men are not prepared for that part of their professional life. If grown men like McNair and Nowitzki make such awful decisions, young men with hundreds of thousands of dollars of disposable income and too much time on their hand can't be expected to do much better.

No one doubts that the money is phenomenal, and if you like fame, that's there as well. It would be nice if it were clearer to young players that it comes with significant risks.