Several interesting takes on the allegedly sleazy business of basketball.
The first one comes from Denise Bowman, mother of Jerryd Bayless, in an OpEd by Paola Boivin.
Bowman on the mixed up, crazy world:
"Jerryd's dad has a Ph.D.; I have a master's. But neither of us was ever taught anything about navigating this craziness."
Sometimes intelligence can work against smart people. The agent business certainly has thrived on athletes not knowing all that much. Hopefully Ms. Bowman will read Money Players!! (Another shameless plug: A nice review of book by Michael McCann, a noted sports law scholar.)
ESPN's Dick Vitale on the barriers to NBA entry:
"An absolute disgrace. An embarrassment to the student-athlete. It's a joke that they're being denied an opportunity to make a living. Look at the names in this draft. They have a similar ring."
A very forward-thinking comment from college basketball's biggest cheerleader. But keep in mind that the NBA is not forcing them to go to college; only that they are 19-years and one year removed from high school. The schools willingly accept these titular student athletes.
Apparently much ado about nothing
Don Seeholzer from Pioneer Press writes on OJ May and potential character issues.
ESPN's Jay Bilas on allegations against OJ Mayo impacting his draft status:
"He is the most NBA-ready of the guards in the draft, and I think is a really good prospect," Bilas said. "The idea that somehow he's tainted. ... First of all, if it's true, he's certainly not alone. He's just one of the guys that it's surfaced on. And second, it's hardly anything that the NBA would concern itself with."
Wolves vice president of basketball operations Kevin McHale on whether he was concerned about Mayo's character and the allegations that he violated NCAA rules:
"No, not at all. Tell you what, if you said that every person who ever took any money in college would not be drafted, it'd be slim pickings."
Wow. McHale's diss of college hoops makes Shaq rap about Kobe sound tame. Interesting on a couple levels. One, McHale believes most drafted players have (shocking) violated NCAA rules and, two, NBA personnel does not care. Let the debate begin.