By Chris Le
Is the idea of college that repugnant?
Now, I can understand how NBA-ready prospects are pissed about being forced to make a one year pit stop at a college university before going pro. If they think they’re ready, they should be able to test the waters. But this long-debated issue is moot. Rules are rules—and kids now must be a year removed from high school in order to be eligible for the draft.
Boohoo. There are greater tragedies in life.
Apparently, getting an education (which would be free for most prospects with NBA aspirations), being treated like a god on campus, and national television coverage wasn’t very appealing to Brandon Jennings, scout.com’s top recruit in the country.
The current Arizona-commit is mulling over the idea of de-committing and playing in Europe, where it is rumored he could make up to $500,000 a year, before heading into the 2009 draft.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t blame anyone for trying to make money. The idea of selling out is just laughable in my mind; there is no such thing. Well, maybe there is, but there’s nothing wrong with it. Anyone who says otherwise is an idealistic, starving artist who hasn’t yet been given the chance to sell out. You gotta do what you can in this capitalistic world.
But I digress.
By all accounts, Jennings is projected as a top-5 pick in next year’s draft. He will become a millionaire. According to mynbadraft.com, lottery players are guaranteed at least $1,424,400. If Jennings does in fact get the $500K paycheck overseas (not necessarily a given he’ll make that much), it would hardly set him or his family for life. Delaying income for one year doesn’t seem so bad, especially seeing the potential earnings in the NBA.
However, I don’t know if his family is in dire financial straits. If so, he should by all means try to get paid. But that doesn’t appear to be the case. Going over to Europe seems to merely be an act of rebellion, a snub of the NCAA and its one-year rule.
If he does in fact just want to make money and maximize his dollar, wouldn’t proving himself against Division I opponents—a much better known product than Euro League players—ensure a higher draft slot, thus the amount guaranteed green?
Should Jennings go through with his international plans, could we possibly see more recruits follow suit?
I sure hope not. Those Euro Leagues would probably just teach American post players to jack up threes and flop.