Basketsball

Gilbert Arenas’ career reads like a Greek tragedy. Guy had a meteoric rise, peaked, and pretty quickly flamed out. Here’s the gun story I mentioned in the handicapping thread:

Gilbert was standing in front of his two locker stalls, the ones previously used by Michael Jordan, with four guns on display. Javaris was standing in front of his own stall, his back to Gilbert.
“Hey, MF, come pick one,” Gilbert told Javaris while pointing to the weapons. “I’m going to shoot your [expletive] with one of these.”
“Oh no, you don’t need to shoot me with one of those,” said Javaris, turning around slowly like a gunslinger in the Old West. “I’ve got one right here.”
He pulled out his own gun, already loaded, cocked it, and pointed it at Gilbert.

Dude was a bona fide star in the league at that point. Javaris is one of his teammates. On the Washington Wizards, which were formerly the Washington Bullets. Sophocles couldn’t make this up.

There is so much going on here.

Zion Williamson is the biggest deal in basketball right now. He is playing one year at Duke and will definitely go to the NBA next year. Most likely #1 draft pick. He is looking to be the next legendary player. The dude is a monster.

Last night was a huge huge huge rivalry game UNC vs. Duke. One of the biggest rivalries in sports. Reports were people were paying $10k for tickets, but that’s likely an exaggeration. Still, many many famous people and big names in attendance. Obama was there.

College players don’t get paid and can’t get paid because they are “amateurs”. Meanwhile, the TV networks, the school, etc. are all making huge money. The shoe company makes a deal with the school. The coach gets paid a fortune. Everyone makes a fortune except the actual players who get nothing. The people that fans are paying to see are the only people that get nothing.

So Zion is playing in the biggest game wearing a Nike shoe that Nike pays Duke to make him wear. He’s not being paid at all. A shoe probably made in a sweat shop somewhere. At pretty much the very beginning of the game, the shoe explodes and he gets injured as a result. His team loses.

We’ll see how big the injury is, but imagine if it is serious and his career is put in jeopardy because he was forced to play for free for one year because of rules the NBA and NCAA made.

Nike seems to be taking most of the heat in the media, which is ok, but let’s not pass up another opportunity to attack big time college sports and “amateurism.”

The NCAA is a scam as it exists today.

Except it is only a scam for the highest Division 1 level basketball and football programs.

For all the other programs in other sports and other divisions, the NCAA rules make complete sense. You have colleges who have true amateur sports teams consisting of student athletes. They compete against other colleges for fun. Schools might want to give scholarships to particular students, who are primarily going to college to study, but also participate in competitive athletics on the side. Just like they give scholarships to other non-athletic students for similar reasons.

However, it would be competitively unfair if colleges hired professional athletes to be on their sports teams. It would be just like the Simpson’s episode where Mr. Burns hires the pro MLB players to join the company team. That actually happened in the past, and that’s where all these NCAA rules came from in the first place. Therefore, it is against the rules for players to be compensated directly or indirectly. If a pro level player really wants to go to a college team for them to win, it must be because they are at the school primarily to get an education.

The problem is that they are applying all these same rules to the few top level programs that are clearly professional leagues that rake in billions of dollars from various sources. The main inconsistency is that if these are truly amateur leagues and amateur players, why are they on television in the first place? nobody should be allowed to make money off of them, players or otherwise. They should only be allowed to be broadcast on the local school networks for no money. No advertising. No shoe deals. The school should not be allowed to generate income from the sport beyond covering the cost of running the program itself. The coaches should be paid about what the professors at the school are paid, and not millions.

Either that, or they should just become professional teams in a professional league. Why does the Duke basketball team have to be an amateur team of student athletes participating in the NCAA? Why can’t there just be a professional minor league team of players, who might not even be students at all, but simply is owned by the school and uses the school’s name and logo? Imagine if instead of having a team of student athletes a school simply owned and operated a professional minor league team. Nothing wrong with that.

The other problem is on the professional side. The NBA rules say that a player must be 19 or one year removed from US high school to be eligible for the draft. Basically, it’s the “one and done” rule. To be eligible for the NFL draft a person must be three years removed from high school.

Those rules must be changed so that any 18 year old adult who has the legal right to seek employment must be legally allowed to seek employment as a professional athlete. Imagine if my company had a rule that said nobody could seek employment here unless they were 3 years removed from high school. Isn’t that age discrimination?

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Here’s what Zion can do, if anyone hasn’t seen. Look where he jumps from:

I might put it college players “don’t” get paid. :smirk:

There’s been increasing talk in the NBA world over the last year or so about how they could address this. A true minor league seems to be a possibility. The NBA already has something like that - the G league. Right now it’s mostly guys who don’t have a chance of cracking the rotation on an NBA squad. That should change though.

A few guys in recent years have played the one year professionally overseas, in Europe or China. They got paid. It seems like there really might be momentum to change it.

“This is what happens when everyone gets paid but the guy who’s really earning the money. If Zion Williamson was allowed to be paid like he damn well should be by Nike, a faulty sneaker would not be future-threatening, because, see, he was getting paid to wear it. It’s all very straightforward and simple. Pay him. But the men with no fingerprints won’t permit it, those athletic directors and presidents who have subverted college athletics into a rake-off while pretending to govern them.”

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Coach K says it’s a minor sprain. So it shouldn’t be serious, but still. Guys blow out their knees every year. Can totally wreck a career.

I’ve been checking out the highlights of the conference finals games as I wake up each morning. I’m really liking the format of this channel. Just the shots that matter and no bloat:

Also: omg warriors.