Two years ago

Zion's injury?

Apparently he's only suffering a knee sprain after blowing out his Nike's. They're copping flak for the blowout, but the enormous pressure of a 285 uber athlete would destroy most brands.
My question is there's conjecture that he should shut himself down for season as he's already top of most draft boards. Don't think it would happen, but is there business sense in doing so. He'd cop immense flak and be viewed as ultimate villain as teammate so may affect status. But could this ever be a trend, become top 3 pick and then sit out to avoid injury / bad form? Dante basically avoided college so it didn't expose his weaknesses and if he did knee there would have been lucky to be 1st rounder.
And will Nike now produce reinforced sneakers for him?

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Two years ago

He definitely doesn't need to play anymore to get that top pick. Even any blowback for sitting wouldn't be enough to stop a team taking him if they got a chance as its all about upside.

That's why I think Dante would still have been a first rounder, and likely even a lottery pick even with his weaknesses "exposed" as at the end of the day he was still a great athlete with a tantalising set of skills and plenty of upside.

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Two years ago

I would not be surprised so see more and more of players of his caliber choose to sit for a year between high school and the NBA. Just training. Why risk it?

I still think the college system works for 99% of its athletes. Its those top 5-10 players who are NBA locks who should start looking elsewhere.

Simple fix, remove the 1 and done rule and let the players and teams decide. One of the worst rules in professional sport.

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Two years ago

He has an $8M insurance policy if he slips below 16th in the draft. Yeah he could get injured but he's guaranteed at least $8M in earnings from basketball, either across the course of his NBA rookie contract or from that insurance policy. That's a lot less than if he stays healthy and gets an NBA max one day, but it's also way more than most people will ever make in a lifetime.

Zion was not the #1 prospect from this high school class and he wasn't the projected #1 pick before the season. I'm pretty sure he was 4th behind Barrett, Reddish and Nassir Little. So college basketball has been good for him. He's also learning and getting better, because this is a guy who hasn't had a ton of exposure to top tier competition, which is part of why he wasn't considered the top prospect.

The argument for Barrett having sat out a year is more compelling because everyone knew he was NBA ready from u19 Worlds and playing with the Canadian senior team.

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Two years ago

Gee I love to know how many of these high school graduates can genuinely afford an $8 million injury insurance policy. I don't think that is a realistic option for most, and the fact such a policy is even possible is evidence of a major problem...

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Two years ago

Insurance policy likely has an agreement to pay the premium from future earnings.

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Two years ago

I think the NBA needs to remove the 19 year old/one year removed from HS rule. If they're good enough to go pro, let em.

Yes, you'll get some kids who over value themselves and end up out, but surely even they'll end up in G league.

Protecting the NCAAs monopoly on 18 year olds should not be what the NBA is about. IF the NCAA feels they're not getting the quality players, let the schools openly pay the kids to get them there. Sure, it'll only be the big schools that can afford to do it, but its mostly the big schools who stand to lose the most with top picks skipping college and also get the kids that are in those conversations.

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Two years ago

I refuse to watch NCAA because of my opinion of it being a crook system exploiting young men. You only have to look at the salaries and luxuries around some of those teams to see it's criminal e.g. Coach K getting $8m per year (and trainers/assistant coaches making hundreds of thousands), $300m basketball stadiums, private planes etc, CBS paying nearly a $1b for the rights to the NCAA tournament. It's disgusting.

However, on the other hand, I do see the practical problems with trying to pay student-athletes (but let's be honest, the NCAA isn't refusing to pay because of those practical problems).

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Two years ago

Big money in ncaaw now too. Geno on a bit...

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Two years ago

I agree that the NBA should remove the age limit. The age limit wasn't put in place for the benefit of the NCAA, it was put in place to protect NBA teams from themselves by giving them an extra year of information about players before they can be drafted. But if teams want to gamble on 18-year-olds, they need to get systems in place to evaluate them better than they were last time we had prep-to-pros.

The college system has a ton of flaws. The money being made off top football and men's basketball players is obviously an issue. However, the NCAA is not JUST about the marketability of the players. College basketball is better for the fact that Zion is playing but it's not like no one watched because Lebron and Kobe didn't go to college. Duke, Kentucky, Kansas, Carolina, UCLA, plenty of schools have fan bases and funding that care more about their team than they do about the sport. We're not talking about basketball fans in those situations, we're talking about fans of the school.

So what percentage of the athletes are being exploited? And how much of it is the fault of the NCAA versus the NBA? MLB has a proper farm system available to kids but plenty still play college baseball. If the NBA put the money into the G-league, that would actually undermine the talent pool in college basketball because it wouldn't just be the lottery picks who might skip college, most pro prospects could go that route if they choose to. The NCAA is just filling a gap created by the NBA's laziness, in that sense. The money made from football and men's basketball funds every other NCAA sport. It creates opportunities for thousands of kids.

The part that's really screwed up is that the NCAA doesn't lack for options to make it fairer on kids like Zion without having to pay players in general. Allow kids to sign shoe contracts. Allow them to sell their likenesses. If the local pizza joint wants to pay them to film an ad, why can't they make a few hundred or few thousand bucks depending on their value? That's an easy fix that they don't want to allow because they can sell Duke #1 jerseys for $130 without having to give Zion a cut.

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Two years ago

It's worse than that. There have been cases where athletes were violated because the coach bought them lunch once. A lesbian track athlete got kicked out of home when she came out to her parents, her friends put together a GoFundMe for her, and the NCAA ruled her ineligible as a result.

The system is a joke.

Reply #735401 | Report this post

Two years ago

I think the "..but the athletes are getting free education" angle/argument kept a lot of people from being critical of the NCAA...but now, with the kind of money and commercialisation of the NCAA, people are seeing that that angle/argument is now complete nonsense.

It's no longer a fair deal.

NCAA are trying to control every part of the SA; it's a disgusting case of commercial control.

The final straw for me was the De La Haye case in Florida.

De La Haye makes a Youtube channel in 2011 showing his football prowess including drills, tackles etc (the channel is called "Deestroying").

He builds up a big following through his own time, expense and inconvenience (few hundred thousand followers). Gets some money from it for views/subscribers.

Joins University of Central Florida in 2015 as their kicker. He is kicked off the team in 2017 for apparent breach of NCAA rules.

Allegedly he breached a by-law that 'the NCAA prevents student expression, including when a student receives compensation in connection with a use of the student's name, image, appearance or physical attributes.

De La Haye offered to even turn off any monetisation ability from the videos before his scholarship was rescinded - but the school/NCAA said No, pack your bags.

Rules are one thing; but controlling basic human rights and profiting off of that is disgusting.

It's unquestionably slavery.

Reply #735419 | Report this post

Two years ago

Perhaps the NBA could look into reducing the draft age back down to 18 or graduated high school, whatever is lower and then just having a play age of 19.

Utilize the G-league as that stepping stone, so players are eligible to play in the G-league until they are 19.

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Two years ago

Baller#3, they are...

Reply #735433 | Report this post

Duke Fan  
Two years ago

The insurance policy he has was apparently paid for by Duke and is legal under NCAA rules. This surprised me considering the stupid rules the NCAA has a bucketful of as mentioned by Kobe

If you were a parent of a touted top 10 pick I guess sitting out a year might seem like an option. However it's just as easy to get injured doing a workout with a trainer as it is playing the game.

As a player I think it would be really difficult to do it. Who wouldn't want all the things you'd get from going to a highly ranked college. Duke for get coached by an all time great. You're almost certain to be in a winning team. You're guaranteed a tonne of media exposure and you're almost certain to go deep into the NCAA Tournament and what an experience that is. Who wouldn't want to do it

I think the calls for Zion to do it are silly. Does anyone know of anyone ever doing it? There's been lots of top 10 picks over the years and I can't recall anyone quitting on their team two thirds of the way into the season to do it

Reply #735434 | Report this post

Two years ago

"It's unquestionably slavery."

Holy bejebus, I didn't realise players were being forced to sign with universities to scholarships against their will!

Will someone please think of the children!?

"It's no longer a fair deal."

If the NCAA route doesn't present the best opportunity, go elsewhere. The best prospects will earn millions in Europe between their salary and endorsements before they're even drafted.

F'ing simple.

Reply #735437 | Report this post

Two years ago

In the past I think there was also a rule that you could be drafted but still play college ball as long as you hadn't actually signed your contract. Pretty sure Larry Bird did this (could be wrong).

Would allow players to test their value and if they don't get drafted, just go (back) to college.

There'd be details to work out for sure but it could work.

If a player gets drafted in the first round they could negotiate with their team if they don't feel like they're NBA ready (basically a college "draft n stash") but having that guaranteed contract waiting for them.

Gets trickier for second rounders, but I'm sure people cleverer than me could think of ways that it could work.

Reply #735438 | Report this post

Two years ago

It's unquestionably slavery.

This statement is unquestionably stupid. Then again what can we expect from Breakers supporters.

MACDUB go and do some research on what slavery is before spouting more BS. Or better still unplug your dialup modem for good.

Reply #735440 | Report this post

Two years ago

The NCAA is just filling a gap created by the NBA's laziness, in that sense

It's not laziness but historical - both basketball and gridiron in the US began through the amateur college system where only decades later businessmen formed professional leagues so the public could continue to watch their favourite athletes post-graduation. This is unlike baseball which has always been professional hence the existence of multiple divisions under MLB. NBA and NFL on the other hand being tack-ons to the college system is the reason why they are devoid of any adult pro or semi-pro leagues underneath them.

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