College / Dec 15, 2009 / 9:30 am

It’s Too Early To Anoint John Wall The Next LeBron

John Wall

Let’s face it, Kentucky freshman, John Wall, is just that dude right now. He’s Jesus Shuttlesworth in He Got Game. He’s LeBron circa 2003. Nobody in college basketball even comes close to generating the kind of excitement and hype as this 6-4 point guard. Wall is the best freshman (perhaps player) in the country right now and a near lock for the top pick in the 2010 NBA Draft.

It seems every year, there’s some phenom in college and high school that we as journalists love to over-hype and anoint the next Michael Jordan or the next LeBron, etc. After all, there’s papers to be sold and internet hits that need to be counted. The media did it with Blake Griffin last year, Derrick Rose in 2008, Greg Oden in 2007 and so forth and so on. So it gets a little hazy when you’re trying to gauge how good John Wall really is. Is he one of those “comes around once every 10 years” kind of point guards like Jason Kidd and Chris Paul? Or is he just a talented guard who can dunk really well?

Yeah, everyone has seen the YouTube clips of Wall dominating in high school with his left-handed spin moves, the And-1-style crossovers and the Harold Miner-esque slams. Even at Kentucky, Wall has the tendency to be flashy. But there’s also a lot of substance to his game. If he is just a SportsCenter highlight-reel, then why is Kentucky undefeated at 10-0 and ranked third in the country? You can’t argue with his buzzer-beater to beat Miami (OH) in his first college game ever. Or the 14 dimes he threw versus UNC-Asheville or the 26 point, 6 steal performance against UConn at Madison Square Garden in front of a national TV audience.

For the season, Wall is averaging 18.1 ppg, 7.1 apg, 4.1 rpg, 2.8 spg while shooting 54 percent from the field and 36.8 percent from the three-point line. He’s also been named SEC Freshman of the Week for the past three weeks.

“He’s great,” LeBron told the Associated Press last week. “His speed with the ball. He’s like (Chicago guard) Derrick Rose. Derrick is much stronger than he is, but he has some of the same athleticism that Derrick has and Coach Cal (Kentucky coach John Calipari) is going to let those type of guys play. He has shown why he came out being the top player in high school and is one of the top 5 players in college.”

“He’ll be the No. 1 pick in the draft.”

According to the scouting website NBADraft.net, Wall is predicted to be the top pick in next June’s draft. Already, teams like the Nets, Timberwolves and Jazz are probably drooling over the possibility of having this kid on their roster next season. You can also bet, the sneaker giants like adidas and Nike are already preparing their sales pitch to the 19-year old Wall.

“Wall has a certain flair and charisma to his game that few have,” says Aran Smith, president of NBADraft.net. “He’s got that media darling personality to ultimately carry his own line of shoes. His game still has a long ways to go, but similar to (Derrick) Rose he’s got natural passing ability and the potential to develop into a great point guard on top of the elite level speed and athleticism.”

While the hype around Wall is legit, he is still not on the same level that LeBron or Melo were when they were 19 years old. As explosive and fast as Wall is, at 6-4 and 190 pounds – he is still not physically ready to dominate at the next level. He doesn’t always make good decisions with the ball and can be erratic at times (he averages over 4 turnovers a game). His bravado at times might have GMs thinking another Nate Robinson rather than another Deron Williams.

“Wall isn’t in LeBron’s league in terms of potential,” says Smith. “But he does have the potential to challenge Paul, Rose and Deron Williams over the next decade as the top point guard in the league, which is really saying something.”

Bottom line, the college season is not even halfway done. Wall will continue to have big games, but there will also be times he struggles – especially come tournament time. While he will definitely be in the NBA next season, be careful not to expect the world out of him. He’s guaranteed to be good, but whether he’s going to be great, remains to be seen.

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  • Dee

    I totaly agree. There is no doubting his talent, however you can’t really tell how good this guy really is until he gets to the League. He is fun to watch, but it will interesting to see how he does when he plays Billups, Rondo, J Kidd, and Chris Paul next year.

  • BCap

    He’s the deal, but this year’s NCAA talent level seems to be down a little…

  • the_don_mega

    @ Dee – …and Deron Williams…

  • http://www.espn.com Sho-Nuff

    No he’s not. He’s very good, but not on the same LBJ level.

    My opinion.

  • http://www.facebook.com/loganlight loganlight

    Thanks DIME. I appreciate that there is at least one outlet holding their crown and anointing oil. No doubt that dude is good, maybe great, but you’re right, the season is not even to its halfway mark.

    Give Wall some time…


  • http://www.petsocietyhelp.com Pet Society Help

    The next Dejuan Wagner.

  • jay

    different player than lebron but i would rank him a cross between drose and flash..a little taller than rose not as strong..quick first step like wade..that being said..he has that “it” factor..as sonny vaccaro always said..bout fab five, kobe, bron etc..he has it! oden did not have it..i would say the wow factor like durant his freshman year! he just has it…we all want to tune in..his numbers are great but his shooting for a true frosh is very impressive!

  • Ducky The Truth

    @ 6: LMFAO (i hope not, i enjoy watchin him play).

    he is legit and im sold but i would also like to see how he fairs againt the NBA Stars. Plus its beyond unfair to name someone the next Lebron,Jordan, etc. i say give him a few pro yrs and then make REASONABLE comparisons.

  • jjankechu

    Forget comparing anyone to LBJ; he’s on a completely other level. He averaged 21/5/6 out of HS. He could have an honest shot at averaging a triple double one of these years if he gets into a faster system than Cleveland.

    …like say GS. If he started running with GS, we’d be seeing some Live 96 numbers for real.

  • Boogie

    Thank you for showing some restraint dime. Good to know someone believes in integrity over hype. Keep it up and you’ll have more loyal fans than any other spot… if u keep it up.

    Wall is hella nice tho. I think he can def play in the league now at his size, he is strong enough to keep playing his game, which is a solid combination of speed and smarts. Also derrick rose is almost the exact same size so not sure why u say he is not strong enough….. He seems to know how to play defenders with his speed and off his teammates positioning (although espn will continue to put down any bucket he gets to “he’s just soooooooo ‘athletic’….” he just needs to sharpen up his already good passing and learning not to force it, which is easier than learning how to make good passes, which he can already do. I’m looking forward to him making march madness and i hope he only gets better through the season.

  • sh!tfaced

    Got game like Shuttlesworth, the hype like a no. 1 pick, athleticism like Rose, quickness like Wade, dunks like Miner, and is an outside threat like Rondo…

  • Ekstor


    “…and is an outside threat like Rondo”

    LOL! Nice one.

    What’s the worst compliment you could give a player?

    …shoots like Rondo
    …has hands like Kwame
    …AI-type of unselfishness
    …looks like Kendrick

  • http://twitter.com/PoppiGEE POPPI GEE

    Hope he stays in college. I doubt it but it would be nice for dude to be that great and stay 4.

  • Tega

    LMAO @11, “outside threat like Rondo” give the kid some credit, he doesn’t have Deron’s stroke, but Rondo?

  • Ekstor


    While I understand your sentiment for John Wall to stay four years, he’d be foolish to do so. If he’s ready to play in the L, he’d be risking millions to stay at the college level.

    I laugh when I hear parents or mothers stress the importance that they finish their degree before moving on to the pros. What’s the reason we get a degree? It’s to get a job and make money! These elite players will make more in their first year than most people make in their lifetime.

  • SWAT

    @ ekstor u get a degree so u hv something to fall bk on after ball. the money will not last forever

  • Wolves Fan #1

    i’m a UK fan, and although i was pumped when Wall committed, i was a little scared. i saw those youtube high school videos, and i was scared that he was gonna just be a sweet dunker. but watching him play, he is an unselfish pure point guard. check the stats, second in the nation in assists, behind only some dude for siena. when i imagine him in the nba, right now i see him struggling for a year or two, then really coming on. i imagine at his peak he’ll be JUST below what chris paul and deron williams will be.

  • 45%

    i mean whats scary is he is only 10 games in he is gonna play another 20…. no one knew about melo until tournament time.

    so i think you still gotta give him time.

  • http://www.WhyCandaceWhySheldon.thatbastard.com Chicagorilla

    @13, Not likeley and thats too bad.

    You laugh at people wanting to get a degree? Ask Jonathon Bender how well NOT GETTING A DEGREE has worked out for him. His lack of an education caught up to him when those knees gave out. Now he’s scrambling to get into the L with the knicks? LMAO. the examples are all around you, yet you insist on repeating the same garbage you hear on radio or TV that sounds cool “don’t we go to college to make money?” No you fucking idiot. You go to get an education. People that go to college to become a teacher or a social worker aren’t going to make money, it’s about getting an education and doing a job you like. Not about making millions, spending it all in 5 years, then being broke for the next 30yrs and explaining to your grandkids how you USED to be a baller.

    Get some knowledge dude, before you post about shit like this.


    good job on not giving Wall the crown yet. He’s sick though. Watched him run n gun on the Tarheels and beat them at their own game. Caliparis system works perfect for him and whatever coach/team drafts him, I hope they use a similar system. I just noticed the Bulls finally started using the system for Derrick Rose.

  • SWAT

    @ chica- good post! i agree.

  • http://twitter.com/PoppiGEE POPPI GEE

    C-Rilla I think you talked about that one before and again I agree.

    Plus @15 I wasn’t just saying I hope he stays 4 for the purpose of education, but I was also thinking of the college game in general.

    From personal perspective only it has just fallen off for me. Aside from my squad I like (G-Town) it’s frustrating to now follow dudes in the college ranks that have the star quality and game that Wall has.

    Football even. While I can’t stand Tim Tebow I really admire dude for staying 4 and I wish others like Matthew Stafford or Sanchez would have also. That risk injury argument while in college doesn’t hold a lot of weight cause so much could happen in the game, outside the game and all that could prohibit playing.

    Granted this also has to do with colleges making it where students who are hurting for money can live and that is a whole nother issue. I am just saying the same way we “follow” dudes in the NBA, it’s fun to follow them in college and see the maturation, the consistent years against pure rival teams and otherwise.

    Education and helping the college game wise I wish dude would stay 4 and other star players coming up too.

    Again I know it’s a wish.

  • Name (required)

    will he even be the no.1 pick?
    If the Nets are adding a big time FA this year they wont be looking to add a rookie PG when they already have an All Star in Devin Harris, he isn’t taking over from D Will, the Wolves only just drafted Flynn and Rubio and the Wizz and Warriors already have a handfull of unmovable 6’4 scoring guards. There’s still Philly and Indiana who desperately need a PG.

  • Ekstor

    @ Chicagorilla

    You want me to get some knowledge? Here are some numbers. The per year wage scale for a top 3 pick is in the range of 3.1 to 4.1 million per year. That increases to a range of 3.8 to 4.8 million in their guaranteed third year.

    That means a top 3 pick is GUARANTEED between $10 to $13 million.

    If you even take just $2 million (just 20% of their overall guaranteed money) and invest it in something that gives you just 5% return (which is not hard). That’s $100k / year return… EVERY YEAR.

    Now… compare that to the likely salary that a “fallback” job would yield to a player if they suffer a career-ending injury in college when they could have gone pro.

    How do you like that knowledge?

  • SWAT

    @ ekstor-are u serious? do u really think its tht easy to pick a sound investment? former players/singers/actors for years have tried to invest in either their friends business, clothing line, car dealerships, restaurants, etc. jus to see thm blow up in their face. look at nic cage, look at Toine, look at latrell.
    Shit the only player i can think of tht comes to mind, tht has actually made money in his investments is Hakeem. He was in the real estate market and guess wht after he retired went to school to learn how to do it and has actually made more money thn he did hooping. Get a clue ekstor-people are destroyed because of lack of knowledge

  • http://www.WhyCandaceWhySheldon.thatbastard.com Chicagorilla


    thx, i’m eating shrimp and dont have the time to respond, but you summed it up well.

  • http://www.espn.com Sho-Nuff

    Wall is no question the #1 pick, right now it’s who’s #2…

    Say LBJ played one yard of college at Ohio State, what are his stats….

    I say 35ppg 12rpg 8 maybe 9apg….Sportscenter highlights on a nightly basis, wicked dunks, obscene dimes every night. NCAA tournament ratings through the roof for OSU’s games.

    Anyone else?

  • http://www.espn.com Sho-Nuff

    Not a “yard”, but a year….my bad.

  • Ekstor

    Yes, I’m serious.

    Any index fund that mimics the market (e.g. S&P 500)… while it’s taken a beating over the last few years with the down economy… over time, it averages greater than 5%… and closer to 10%.

    Even a long-term CD that gives only 3%… if a player can even put aside 40% of his overall guaranteed money (let’s assume $4 million) will yield $120k a year… EVERY YEAR until that player dies!

    Don’t go after high-risk investments (which most are tempted to do) and it can be done EASY!

    Let me put this into perspective folks!! Even someone who earns $100k a year (a solid salary in my book) would have to earn that for 100 years to make $10 million!!

    Now tell me again that it’s better to risk $10 million guaranteed for the opportunity to earn an average salary.

  • Ekstor

    Here’s more knowledge for you guys who think that earning an average income over a lifetime is better than $10 million guaranteed.


    From 1926 to 2007, S&P 500 has yielded an overall return of 9.22% per year… that drops to 7% with the recent economic downturn over the last year or two.

    This model fails if the US economy completely goes into the sink… but in that case, most everyone will be fighting an uphill battle.

    My advice to a young elite player… get your contract and finish your degree later (a la Vince Carter). But don’t risk guaranteed money so that you can earn standard salary.

  • http://twitter.com/PoppiGEE POPPI GEE

    First off that line of thinking has lead to the hard time many have had that called themselves going early and didn’t get drafted.

    Not to mention many players are not taught about money and how to use it and not just players but people in general that is why you have MC Hammer, Mike Tyson and numerous basketball player stories of those that were rich and are suddenly broke. Bad investments and not handeling money appropriately.

    Jetting of and forsaking college is not the perfect answer. Sure it is a nice answer that does work for some, but there is no substitute ever for bettering your mind.

    No since in being rich and stupid and then ending up being broke and stupid.

    Again for me it’s two fold because I want to enjoy the college game more and I think players do need to get a degree for knowledge, and an alternative plan, and accomplishing something instead of taking an easy way out that may not pan out.

    This way of skipping school has so many kids now with ambitions of being a player that literally say “I don’t have to study cause I am just going to play ball and (used to say skip college) play college 1 year and then go to the NBA.

    Every player ain’t Wall or LeBron and even for your Wall’s or LeBron’s it’s better to knowledge and money than just money alone.

  • http://twitter.com/PoppiGEE POPPI GEE

    Ekstor I can even live with getting the degree later, but many get the riches and never go back.

    Plus again leaving early just damages the college game to much.

  • SWAT

    @ ekstor ur simplifying an issue tht is anything but simple. im working off of assumptions here, but i dnt think the nba pays their players in lump sums, lets say for arguments sake its monthly. after taxes, bills, car notes, lawyer fees, agent fees, and lets say the player lives modestly (a la’ brandon jennings) the player saves money and trusts his financial advisor to invest in guaranteed returns, thn yes the player will hv money in the long run. but to have money for ur kids’ kids is the goal. thts wher education comes along to show u wht the right investment is and not to take an “advisor” at jus his word. show me the facts, numbers dont lie.

    like i said earlier look at nic cage trusted his financial advisor to make sound investments and look at dude. 20 mil a movie and now is broke.

    as far as ur long term CD idea again u have to trust ur advisor. on average the longest term cd is a 5 yr term payin at just about 3%, again on average, which means every 5 yrs u hv to make sure this dude is watchin ur money and gettn the best return/int rate out there. not to mention most banks only insure up to 250k, meaning if a bank goes under ur money is only covered up to the 250k. most people have accts overseas or at many diff financial inst so it takes hard work to see wher all ur money is.

  • johnsacrimoni

    @26- no way he would have put up those kind of numbers in the Big 10; especially since he couldn’t shoot then. I say more like 21 ppg, 7 rpg, 5 apg.
    Why is everyone already lumping Rose in the mix with D-Will and Paul? I’m sure he will turn out OK, but he has actually regressed since last year. He’s a great athlete but he needs to prove he can consistently run a team, besides that his shooting and defense are subpar. He isn’t anywhere close to those two and probably never will be. They both have a good chance to be top 10 point guards of all time.

  • Name (required)

    Ekstor is spot on. Guaranteed lottery pick money SHOULD be more than enough to last a person their entire life.
    Look at Greg Oden, if he had stayed 4 years in college, he may never have been drafted, never made his 15 million and right now be sitting on a degree from Ohio State University looking for a Job where if hes lucky he might take home 3 million before he retires. If a guy is on the fringe of being drafted or not, he should stay in school, but the elite young players should get their money as soon as they can.

  • BT

    Also your assuming that he has the intelligence to hire an actual financial advisor and not a friend. Consider the fact too that the original point being made was how wonderful it would be to college basketball as a whole if a talent like Wall did stay for 4 years, not that Wall should. As to your ability to accept a 5% return as God given, well good luck with that. Financial markets are volatile and an education helps you adapt to that.

  • http://www.WhyCandaceWhySheldon.thatbastard.com Chicagorilla

    “Ekstor is spot on. Guaranteed lottery pick money SHOULD be more than enough to last a person their entire life.”

    Again, lasting THEIR entire life is not the point, they have family (kids) who they should be taking care of for years on end. It’s like what Chris Rock says “Oprah is Rich…Bill Gates is WEALTHY. If Bill Gates wakes up tommorow with Oprah’s money, he’d kill himself”. Even Jay-Z said it himself “f^k Rich, lets get Wealthy”, and I hate quoting Jay.


    Funny, you seem to know alot about this investing thing. Almost as if you went to COLLEGE to learn something about it. No way would a NON-College student be able to digest what you posted. And lets say he hires some investors for him. He’d be paying money to someone, to manage his money and it’d be something he has no idea how to understand. Of course if he has some sort of business or accounting background, he’d be able to understand, digest, and perhaps even make suggestions in how to invest HIS money.

  • http://twitter.com/PoppiGEE POPPI GEE

    Oden brings up another point. Teams will also have a better feel for the player if they stay in school longer too.

    Cause say Portland had a chance to observe dude and all the injuries that come with him longer, then this allows teams to pick smarter, rather than going off of what is possibly a year of fluke, hype or what have you.

    The message of I am good enough to get money early is just wrong for the kids cause many of them won’t be good enough.

  • Name (required)

    @chicagorilla. You’re saying a college degree will look after their kids better than 15 million dollars will?

  • http://twitter.com/PoppiGEE POPPI GEE

    @Name(required). What happens when that 15 million dollars runs out (rather quickly) with such a young guy?

  • SWAT

    @ name-making sure the 15 mil is even there for ur kids is wher the degree comes into play. and really i refuse to acknowledge you until u come up w/ a btr screen name.

  • BT



  • Ekstor

    @ Chicagorilla
    So I went from being a dude that needs to “get some knowledge” to someone who obviously learned what I know from college?

    A player ONLY needs to know what I just shared. You don’t need four years of school to learn what I just shared (most schools don’t even teach that anyway).

    @ Poppi Gee
    You can live with coming back later to finish the degree? As if that’s still inferior to just staying in school?

    I understand the sentiment of wanting to preserve the college game, but who in their right mind would tell an elite player to risk millions in guaranteed money and the opportunity to support their family so that they can make the college game better?

    @ SWAT
    You think I’m oversimplifying? I was actually being quite conservative in my numbers. In reality, a player should be able to save even more and get an even higher percentage than what I’m quoting.

    I was not assuming they receive everything in a lump sum… and the overhead costs you point to are a reality to EVERYONE. We have all taxes and overhead costs of some sort that we have to worry about. It’s not like those overhead figures disappear if they go to their “fallback” job.

    Alas, let me simplify this to the ABSOLUTE simplest of terms. Less than 1% of the ENTIRE US population, will earn $10 million over their LIFETIME!

    If you took $10 million and decided NOT to invest in anything, you could withdraw $100k every year for 100 years.

    Anyone who thinks that the numbers I share are unrealistic, you should all give up completely on any retirement funds or 401k / IRA funds.

    There’s nothing magical here. It all comes down to numbers.

  • Name (required)

    We’re talking about 10-15 million dollars GUARANTEED as a worst case scenario. People with PHD’s from Cambridge university may never make that much money. Making 15 million last is not hard. Its a hell of a lot easier than finding a job that will ever pay that much money should you injure yourself and all you have is a crappy degree from a crappy university.
    But I understand your points, an education will defiantly help them look after their money, but it just isnt worth the risk when any day one trip on a staircase could cost them hundreds of millions in the long run.
    Not living an overly excessive lifestyle, taking an active interest in your own finances and hiring people with a good reputation too look after your money is all it takes, a college education wont teach you that, its just common sense.

    and SWAT if u wanna suggest a screen name ur more than welcome..

  • http://www.espn.com Sho-Nuff

    @33, name some big time BIG10 programs since 2003….none and none….you give the Big 10 too much credit. His jumpshot would not have a factor because off the dribble and on the break he’d be sick.

  • Ekstor

    Thanks for the backup Mr. Name (required).

    Here’s what a kid needs to know… save 40% of your guaranteed contract and at worst, you can live off of $100k a year for 40 years… or $80k for 50 years… or $60k for almost 67 years. Alternatively, if you put it into a 3% long term CD, they’ll have $120k / year and still be able to leave your children with $4 million when you die.

    All this assumes that the kid never goes back to school or get any additional job training… if they do (and they’ll have ample money to pay for that education), then you can add whatever they’ll earn ON TOP of the automatic $120k / year.

    This is NOT complicated.

  • BT


    If it’s not complicated then why do so many athletes go broke?
    Because college is not just about numbers and grammar, it’s also about maturity. At 19-20 I would have blown through millions with little regard or guilt. At 22, I, at least, would have felt guilty.

  • Ko_Peso

    @chicagorilla – Bender struggling? Only to make a team. In regards to his financial situation, Bender made over $30 million over his career and that’s not including the money Adidas gave him. Plus, there are tons of articles out there about his real estate investments in New Orleans. Looks like skipping college worked out well for him.

  • BT

    @Name (Required)
    Although your point is quite valid; in a simple risk-reward analysis the possibility of future failure and need of education would not be outweighed by the dramatic effect of an immediate accident. But my point is not that it would be a bad or good idea for Wall to stay, just that it would change the college basketball landscape.

  • http://www.WhyCandaceWhySheldon.thatbastard.com Chicagorilla

    I’m sure every 17-19 yr old kid knows all about long-term investing. Not to mention they also know about managing money. Or forget the fact that they aren’t mature enough to handle tons of money and non of their family has any idea of how to spend it. So they leave it in the hands of Ekstor Investment Comp. Who turns around and steals 50% of the profits because John Wall has no idea how to run a budget and left it all in the hands of Ekstor’s company. If you can’t understand that, then this convo is worthless. This is not something i’m making up btw, this happens ALL THE TIME to pro athletes. I won’t say the name, but I know them personally and he can attest to this.

  • http://twitter.com/PoppiGEE POPPI GEE

    @Ekstor no not that it is inferior at all to go back and finish, especially if they actually do it, that is awesome!

    Again it’s many of them that don’t though.

    And understand it’s not so much asking a player to stay to just “help” the college game. It’s more so the loyalty of it all. You sign to play for a school where in signing with that school it’s in the hope the person will play for the full term with that school (at least it should be that way).

    Now coaches sign dudes with low expectations of being able to keep them around to win it all with the same level of players year to year.

    How can you build a program when the building blocks keep leaving?

    If I am asking a player to stay, it’s to stay for yourself (college degree and futhering your game, cause even every top talent just ain’t “ready” to come into the L like that and take over a team.) I am asking them to stay for the players around them and the coach that recruited them (it’s called a team for reasons that go with the expectations of it staying a team for the duration of your stay, which should be the whole time). I am asking them to stay because the money will be there. I am asking them to stay because they will be sending a better message to the future generation.

    Supporting the family I understand and that is where the whole college needs to do better with the players part comes in I mentioned before. That and that alone is really the only purpose I can recommend someone leaving early.

    Otherwise I can’t support just chasing after money and denying so much just to have the money with nothing to go with it.

    A person may leave early and become super rich but to lack in other important and vital things does not justify.

    This reminds me of so many agents trying to get their clients to leave early so they can make millions now (plus the agent gets paid) meanwhile they don’t care about their player’s mind, body or soul honestly.

    If someone wants the dollar that bad that they don’t care about education what-so-ever or other aspects of life than just being rich, then have at it.

    Personally I feel you can be rich, smart and happy. You may not be as rich as you want to be, shooot I wish I was making more, but I am happy, content and blessed.

    If you say hey I am going to stay four years at my school and play and end up getting injured, miss on millions and make way less with what your degree gives you…YOU ARE STILL NOT A FAILURE.

    Can’t even say it was a dumb decision. I have no problems with a top player going after knowledge despite the pitfalls that may come.

    Would it be stupid for Wall to go to the L early to support his family, no.

    But if his family is ok, then would it be stupid to possibly miss millions to stay 4 and get a degree and enjoy college regardless of what happens, no, if that is the desire and decision then no that is not stupid either and rather smart I say.

  • Ko_Peso

    @ Chicagorilla – Is that the best you can come up with? A sweeping, generalized hypothetical? For someone singing the praises of staying in school, it may not hurt to go back there and learn how to make a real argument.

  • Ekstor

    Thank you Ko-Peso for the Bender update.

    Yes. I’ll concede that if a kid is going to blow all of his money immediately, then it’s better for that kid to receive less over a period of time than more up-front.

    As to the question why do so many athletes go broke? It’s NOT because what I stated is complicated. It’s because most of them live above their means and put no thought into saving…

    Care to disagree?

  • Ekstor


    You’re asking them to stay because the money will be there and because it sends a better message to future generations?

    If you’re speaking in terms of the best interests of college basketball, then I agree.

    If you’re speaking in terms of the best interests of the individual, then I disagree. The point of all of this is that the money is NOT guaranteed to be there… on the other hand, if they suffer a career-ending injury AFTER turning pro and getting their guaranteed contract, they can always come back and finish their degree later.

    In truth, while Vince Carter finished his degree, it was totally unnecessary assuming he had even saved a miniscule percentage (maybe 5%) of what he earned.

  • Ekstor

    @ Chicagorilla

    It’s an absolute shame that guys steal from others and those types of agents or finance managers should be captured and hung.

    That said, I’ll agree if these kids don’t know how to account for their own money, they’re sitting ducks and easy pray.

    I submit that the issue is not how complicated it is to simply save money, but how easily these kids trust men that they don’t know.

  • Tim

    Not sure how you can call him the Next LeBron…Lebron was 6″8″ and took care of business straight in the NBA. Wall is 6’4″ please compare him to someone of similiar size and position.

  • http://twitter.com/PoppiGEE POPPI GEE

    I have no problem with a player deciding to get their degree over going early and hope more players decide to do so. Again that is never a dumb decision as long as one is happy.

    If they decide to get their college degree afterwards then that is cool too.

    If they are supporting their family then leaving early I understand.

    Otherwise just going and not caring about little else except just being rich, well that I can’t condone.

  • nevacare

    Yeah the kid is pretty damn good. I like Xavier Henry too. They will make someone’s team alot better at draft time. the Rockets need to tank their season & get him

  • http://www.twitter.com/bfears bfears

    i have been saying this. the kid is good no doubt, bt he is overrated. point blank.

  • http://dime eyes

    It’s the system there in. They’re supposed to fail. A lot of the ones who go broke have parents and large families for who they’re the backbone. The longer you stay in college the more money you lose. Whose fault? Why is college basketball,High School,AAU a business. Not the kids fault? Why is there one seminar about the dangers of being a millionaire and investements when you’re a rookie. The system could actually care less about the players. Hopefully there are more success stories than failures. Remember how Vince got killed for going to Graduation & Playing the same day. That moment their should have been praised. People in general could care less how smart or dumb the person. It’s up to the person at the end of the day to manuever around all the bull. Which can be a daunting task.

    The better suited/off his family/friends & surroundings(Teachers,coaches,agents the better off the player off. Why do you think Mike Tyson went broke? It does has a lot to do with his education but more so the snakes who stole everything he worked so hard for. Some people are educated & broke while others are dumb & rich. I’d go for somehere in the middle.

    People can talk about all they want. Now we have this Ihoops and I’m wondering who’s this supposed to help. I’m pretty sure they want the players to take a decrease in salaries while the tickets,food,parking & everything continues to go up. How can the cost of living continually rise while pay goes down or subsides. The system is screwed in so many ways. It causes for a greater disparity than needed. We can tinker some of the salaries I believe so that some players in the DLeague could take care of let alone themselves. Basketball is a full time job.

    People that say all athletes are dumb. Have no idea. They could easily be taught as you were to conform. You could try your whole life to be as good as the worse player in the league. Chances are next to slim. We all have opinions on our others what are the opinions of ourselves. It sad to see anybody broke or unable to provide for their family. I sometimes feel all stars & celebrities are a high paid circus just waiting to be shut or shipped down. Again you would only know if you had to deal with some of the stuff these players actually had to deal. If you grew up where they grew up. Walked in their shoes.

    How hard is it for 2 parents who both have degrees & a strong supporting cast(family) to raise their own. Now start subtracting one by one and throw in some negatives and be the judge. Some of these guys money is there family. Would you like that? How about not being able to trust anybody? The pressure to perform every night at levels only you could understand?

    My opinion is always take the money & balance it with an education. It’s the most powerful tool no one will ever be able to TAKE FROM YOU. It’s also a cycle you should always want to acheive more than your parents. Continue the progress so our next generation is even more prepared for what’s ahead. More players should tell their actual stories. Wait who would want to hear that? It would hurt the image of the league. LOL. To make that much money of athletes & treat them as a whole. Is SHAMEFUL. In turn you reap what you sew.

  • http://dime eyes

    Also can we some how rid the ability to tank a season for a high draft pick. I think it wrong in all aspect. Especially the negative influence it could have on & usually does to our future. Look at Sebastian Telfair,Steph Curry, just to name a few. To ruin or halt a career before its started. THE SYSTEM NEEDS FIXING.

  • Amos Leak

    John Wall is taking basketball to another level. This kid really came out of the wood works..he is changing college basketball as we speak the idea and the thought of even realizing how much of a prime time player he is…the whole college basketball season is based off what he does..no body is looking at anybody even close..he’s keeping the game alive in college basketball. but he’s no lebron james…but he’s damn near there

  • http://dime eyes

    He can’t be the Next LEBRON JAMES. He’s played college ball thankfully. Not thanking Stern for the rule though. Just glad to see him succeed at this level. A few players who would have been decent pros & now have to find other ways to survive. Thank you. This rule can’t save college basketball nor can it save scouts who mostly just read blogs or go by hear say.

  • Ekstor


    That’s the first post from you (in this thread) that I’ll agree with. I never condoned taking the money simply for riches. If you notice, my arguments all center around being able to secure your future, whether for the individual himself or for his family (current or future).

    With a little education, they can provide themselves with a safety net that allows them to later pursue whatever they desire if their career is cut short… whether it be education, business, investment, etc.

    That said, the cynic in me tells me that most of these athletes treat school as a formality and could care less about an actual degree. People like Duncan and Carter are exceptions to the rule.

    I agree with your implication that there is far more to life than just money… and more power to the individual if they decide that getting their degree is more important than the guaranteed contract, BUT it’s would be an absolute travesty if a coach were trying to talk a player into doing it with false assurances like, “the money will be there”… “you owe it to your team and to basketball.”

    The decision should be both informed and based on hard facts… and from a financial standpoint, the fact is that an elite player has an opportunity to completely guarantee his financial independence if he leaves early and risks losing that if he doesn’t.

    @ Eyes

    Nice points.

  • http://twitter.com/PoppiGEE POPPI GEE


    Where aside from what we agree upon then the point of difference is I have no problems with a coach telling his players that the money will be there, cause it will. I think it’s a nice amount of players and even stars that have stayed all 4 gotten drafted and still made a very nice amount of money.

    Sure I do feel a coach should spell it out (I totally agree with your last paragraph) and make it clear that it is a gamble. Still for a coach to request a dude he recruited to stay for so many different reasons, for money that will still be around… I have no problem and in no way do I see it as an absolute travesty.

    I mean seriously who is it, who is, or who are the guys who decided to stay and got injured and didn’t make their money? Who are these injured masses who lost out on millions by deciding to stay? I’m just wondering?

  • Ekstor


    To your point, I have neither statistics nor examples of players who lost millions by staying, but the lack of actual cases does not alleviate the obvious risk.

    Career-ending injuries are far-and-few. For the pros, the situation is less impactful from a financial standpoint. Greg Oden could be a great example of someone who could have lost a lot had he stayed and suffered the kind of injuries we see today. The injury prone nature of other players like Grant Hill and Penny Hardaway would have been disastrous had they suffered any of those season-ending injuries in college (neither player was the same after their first significant injury).

    You misunderstand what I’m referring to as a “travesty.” If a coach wants to request his kid stay, that’s fine… but saying “the money will be there” is an ABSOLUTE irresponsible statement because the coach does NOT have the ability to guarantee the kid’s future, make up for a lost contract, or prevent freak injuries… and the NCAA doesn’t do any of those things either. If they want to argue that college will enrich his life in other ways. Ok. He’ll develop great relationships and memories. Fine… but don’t make promises that a coach himself is unable to guarantee.

    Don’t get me wrong. Money is NOT the most important thing in life… but it’s a terrible and oppressive master for those in debt or suffering stress from it. Thus, if you can guarantee your financial independence, it means you put yourself in a position where you can spend your entire life focusing on things more important than money itself.

    When considering the impact that has on both current and future family… that to me, is a more unselfish action than staying for personal enrichment or “the good of the game.”

  • http://twitter.com/PoppiGEE POPPI GEE

    Roy Hibbert
    Aaron Brooks
    Tyler Hansbrough
    Kirk Hinrich
    Luther Head
    Scottie Reynolds a senior now at Villanova

    Players who decided to stay and the money was there. Now they aren’t stars but the point is that them and others did it and still make pretty good money I think.

    Perhaps if Greg Oden stayed he might be better suited to deal with the rigor of the NBA.

    And even if he hadn’t and lost out on Millions but still have his degree and had still found joy then he is ok.

    Again I said that coaches should explain that it is a gamble but let us be honest the money is there, whether the player gets to it or not, and more times than not I do believe they get to it. It’s there. It is the chance you take but as you can see some have taken that chance and still reached the money.

    Hey though I do see your points. I agree with much of it aside from a little.

    I guess we can both say that if a player stays and makes it, it’s cool.
    If a player leaves early to support his family it’s cool.
    If a player leaves early and goes back it’s cool.
    And hopefully no player who stays will get injured and miss out on more money they could possibly have, and if they do lets pray they still get to a point where they are happy and well off.
    Coaches should inform their players fully regardless of their heart’s desire and at some point knowledge should be grasped to better deal with money and make good decisions, hopefully sooner than later.
    Also lets hope the youth of america can take the better message of always putting what is most important first.

    Ekstor nice debating with ya. I am out on this one.

  • spirow

    hes the best player in college no doubt. . . but NBA you play more games against more physical and stronger players. . . Your comparing him to lebron? he’s gotta get by the joes blows of the NBA first. . .

  • j

    articles like this are ruining college. Lebron? no, Not even as good as kevin Durant was in college a few years ago. The college game is getting weeker. you need to shut the f ck up with the hype

  • grammar police

    @post 68

    and apparently, the college education system is also getting “weeker”

  • Rummy Dummy

    I have just one question: have any of those sterling student athletes who have finished their four year degrees ever lost their ass financially after retiring?

    And make the college better? For who? The coaches? Why should someone with pro opportunities live hand to mouth so some administrators and coaches (who are amateur only in the pejorative sense) can live large off their efforts? These guys are only in college because the NBA forces them there.

    And for those of you arguing for staying in school: is that really a great role for institutions of higher learning, to be some kind of cheap ass farm system for the pros? I mean, look at college football.