Becky Hammon’s not a traitor, she just loves basketball

Becky Hammon, WNBA All-Star, will be playing point guard for Russia at the Beijing Olympics later this summer.

Her critics namely US Women’s basketball coach Ann Donovan called her unpatriotic and a traitor. I feel that is way too harsh a word to use. 

After all we’re talking about a game, not espionage where lives could be endangered. Donovan needs to chill and tone down her rhetoric.

Watch the video, it will provide some important background into why I think Hammon has been wronged.

Her toughest critics are either too naive or living in a make believe world of the past. At at time when the Olympics used to only feature amateurs, a time when professional athletes stayed within their own borders.

Those same critics didn’t seem to mind or cry foul when the US men’s soccer team handed out citizenship to David Regis, a Frenchman or Preki, a Yugoslavian during the 1998 World Cup.

I believe if you love your sport, you naturally want to compete with the world’s best. If you weren’t given the opportunity by your national body, and you feel you’re not getting any younger, and another nation wants you, you have every right to say yes.

Bear in mind, the Olympics happens once every 4 years unlike the World Series or the Superbowl. So any athlete would be crazy to pass an opportunity like this. Of course there is the matter the big payoff. Hammon is reportedly going to be paid a cool $4 mil. More power to her!

CNN’s Ed Lavandera reports