When potential 2021 NBA lottery pick Jalen Green decided not to continue his basketball career at the collegiate level, instead opting for the NBA G League’s new developmental program, a few more followed suit.
And while this new team drastically could change college basketball forever, college coaches probably aren’t thrilled.
Especially Penny Hardaway, head men’s basketball coach at the University of Memphis — where Green says he would have played had he not signed a $500 thousand contract.
And though Green never actually committed to Memphis, other players have backed out of agreements with other NCAA programs. Hardaway had some strong feelings about the trend.
“I didn’t think the G League was built — and I could be wrong — to go and recruit kids that want to go to college out of going to college,” Hardaway said, via NBC Sports. “I thought they were going to be the organization that was going to be, if you want to go overseas or you absolutely did not want to play college 100 percent, that this would be the best situation for you before you go into the NBA.
“But taking guys out of their commitments (or) they’ve already signed and continuing to talk to their parents, it’s almost like tampering. I really don’t agree with that.”
It’s no surprise a college coach would have these opinions, but things had to change. The NCAA knows it, as it’s expected to allow athletes to profit off their names and likeness starting in 2021-22.
But for the guys destined for the one-and-done route otherwise, those elite prospects might as well be developing for the NBA.
Thumbnail photo via Justin Ford/USA TODAY Sports Images