Let's redraft the Olympic Games

The Sports NetworkFebruary 17, 2014 

(SportsNetwork.com) - Imagine LeBron James soaring through the air Sunday night like an Olympic ski jumper and actually playing defense instead of going through the motions at the NBA All-Star Game.

The numbers show there are some openings for LeBron, Kevin Durant and friends in Sochi.

You might notice the medal ceremonies at the Winter Olympics are fewer and farther between than the Summer Games, where we are bombarded with so many that your local Costco runs out of Kleenex.

Amazingly, the number of sports and disciplines at the Olympics is 41 for the Summer Games but only 15 for the Winter Games.

The Winter Games might as well be called the International Snow and Ice Festival. If you're living near the equator, your country is likely not going to be there.

There are more than 80 national teams competing in Sochi, but that pales to the 204 countries at the 2012 Summer Games in London.

So if IOC president Thomas Bach is on your speed dial, maybe you can get him to move some of the summer sports to the winter games and make it a little more balanced.

Of course, all of this would face backlash from the individual sports governing bodies, but the bellyaching would be worth the price of admission. If it's not political, it's not the Olympics. There could be judges to award medals to who squabbles the most.

There are so many possible switches among the sports. In fact, LeBron the Eagle would be in midseason form if the hoopsters were taking on Putin's finest this month. The NHL and European leagues take a break during their seasons, why should the NBA be any different?

OK, having both basketball and ice hockey in the same Winter Games might drain the Summer Games of one too many of the best team sports. But even if we decide not to disrupt the Hornets-Wizards matchup that we all anticipate each February, some of the sports that already take it indoors during the Summer Games should join the discussion for a move to the Winter Games.

A sport like boxing, which has lost its luster, might even get a lift from the focus brought on by a change. And a fun sport like team handball would get more notice if it moved around like it was the Houston Astros.

Few would even notice if synchronized swimming, taekwondo and trampoline were switched from the summer to winter games, so what's the hold-up?

And doesn't some behemoth weightlifter seem better suited for Sochi 2014 than Rio 2016?

If it's not basketball, then some other big sport has to be involved to make this endeavor worthwhile. Gymnastics and swimming are the obvious choices, but swimming, as well as diving, can be held either indoors or outdoors, so here's a vote for Gabby Douglas to come bouncing across your TV screen in February instead of August.

And if it's TV ratings you're after, the IOC could hold a lottery to pick the next contestants for The Price is Right (yeah, a little side money never hurt Olympic officials, eh?). There's fencing, judo, table tennis, volleyball, water polo and wrestling, both freestyle and Greco-Roman, to put in David Stern's, er, Adam Silver's lottery ball hopper.

And, lastly, beach volleyball.

Just kidding.

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