NCAA WiretapFebruary 2018 NCAA Wiretap

LeBron James: NBA Needs To Expand G League As Alternative To 'Corrupt' NCAA

Feb 27, 2018 7:25 PM

LeBron James described the NCAA as "corrupt" and said the NBA should work towards further developing the G League to give prospects a viable alternative.

"I don't know if there's any fixing the NCAA. I don't think there is," James said Tuesday. "It's what's been going on for many, many, many, many years. I don't know how you can fix it. I don't see how you can fix it."

James went directly from high school to the NBA in 2003.


"I can't even talk about that, man," James said. "Me and my mom was poor, I'll tell you that, and they expected me to step foot on a college campus and not to go to the NBA? We weren't going to be poor for long, I'll tell you that. That's a fact."

James has two sons who are expected to be high level recruits and he also aspires to someday own an NBA team.

"We have to shore up our G League, continue to expand our G League," James said. "... I just looked at it like the farm league, like in baseball. Or you look at pros overseas; some of those guys get signed at 14, but they get put into this farm system where they're able to grow and be around other professionals for three or four years. Then, when they're ready, they hit the national team, or when they're ready, they become a pro. So I think us, we have to kind of really figure that out, how we can do that.

"We're worried about kids coming into the league early, but they're not ready, then out of the league because of that," James continued. "... We have to figure out if a kid feels like, at 16 or 17, he doesn't feel like the NCAA is for him, or whatever the case may be, [then] we have a system in place where we have a farm league where they can learn and be around the professionals but not actually become a professional at that point in time. Not actually play in the NBA, but learn for a few years. Learn what the NBA life is about, learn how to move and walk and talk and things of that nature. Then in two years, they're able to ... just like guys do overseas."

Dave McMenamin/ESPN

Tags: LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers, NCAA, NBA, D-League, NBA CBA

Barack Obama Suggests NBA Create Junior League Due To Issues With NCAA Structure

Feb 27, 2018 9:49 AM

Barack Obama spoke for an hour at the MIT Sloan Analytics Conference last Friday. The talk was off-the-record but some of his comments have since leaked.

Obama stated he believes the NBA would benefit from a junior league "so that the NCAA is not serving as a farm system for the NBA with a bunch of kids who are unpaid but are under enormous financial pressure."

“It’s not solely the NBA, but—the need to create a well-structured D-league, so that the NCAA is not serving as a farm system for the NBA with a bunch of kids who are unpaid but are under enormous financial pressure," said Obama. "It’s just not a sustainable way of doing business. And then when everybody acts shocked that some kid from extraordinarily poor circumstances who’s got potentially 5 or 10 or 15 million dollars waiting for him is going to be circled by everybody, in a context in which people are making billions of dollars... That won’t solve all the problems, but what it will do is reduce the hypocrisy, and the likelihood of people being like Claude Rains in Casablanca walking in and saying “I’m shocked that there’s gambling going on in here!” and these kids who generally don’t have a lot of resources are able to help their families.”

Robby Soave/Record

Tags: High School, NCAA, NBA

Stan Van Gundy: One-And-Done Rule Has Racist Element

Feb 26, 2018 9:25 AM

Stan Van Gundy was critical of both the NCAA and the NBA's one-and-done rule that prohibits American-born basketball players from entering the NBA directly from high school.

“People that were against (players) coming out (of high school) made a lot of excuses, but I think a lot of it was racist," said Van Gundy. "I’ve never heard anybody go up in arms about (minor-league baseball or hockey)."

Van Gundy's comments came in response to allegations that money was funneled to college basketball players with the assistance of several coaches.

“The NCAA is one of the worst organizations – maybe the worst organization – in sports. They certainly don’t care about the athlete.”

Vincent Ellis/Detroit Free Press

Tags: Detroit Pistons, High School, NCAA, NBA, NBA NBA Draft, NBA Draft General

Sean Miller Taped By FBI Discussing $100,000 Payment To Land DeAndre Ayton

Feb 24, 2018 9:18 AM

A conversation between Sean Miller and Christian Dawkins in which they discussed paying $100,000 to ensure DeAndre Ayton signed with Arizona was intercepted by FBI wiretaps.

Miller and Dawkins allegedly had multiple conversations about Ayton.

When Dawkins asked Miller if he should work with assistant coach Emanuel "Book" Richardson to finalize their agreement, Miller told Dawkins he should deal directly with him when it came to money, the sources said.

Ayton is one of the best freshmen in the country and is expected to be a top selection in the 2018 NBA Draft.

Richardson was one of four assistant coaches arrested by FBI agents in September. Richardson is charged with six felonies: conspiracy to commit bribery, solicitation of bribes by an agent of a federally funded organization, conspiracy to commit honest services fraud, wire fraud conspiracy, mail fraud conspiracy and travel act conspiracy. He has pleaded not guilty and faces up to 60 years in prison and $1.5 million in fines.

Mark Schlabach/ESPN

Tags: Deandre Ayton, Arizona Wildcats, NCAA, NBA, NBA NBA Draft, NBA Draft General

Dennis Smith Jr., Bam Adebayo, Markelle Fultz Received Payments From ASM Sports

Feb 23, 2018 9:15 AM

Dennis Smith Jr., Bam Adebayo and Markelle Fultz were identified as receiving payments exceeding $10,000 from Andy Miller's agency.

ASM Sports is under federal investigation and they have seized expense reports and balance sheets that list cash advances as well as entertainment and travel expenses for high school and college prospects.

Projected first round picks in 2018 such as Miles Bridges, Collin Sexton and Wendell Carter Jr. are also listed.

Kyle Kuzma and Malcolm Brogdon are also listed as receiving payments.

Smith received $43,500 according to documents, while another document indicates Smith received a total of $73,500 in loans.

Adebayo received $12,000 and a later reference indicates he received $36,500.

Smith, Adebayo and Fultz did not sign with ASM Sports.

Major programs such as Duke, North Carolina, Texas, Kentucky, Michigan State, USC and Alabama are connected to the latest round of documents.

Pat Forde, Pete Thamel/Yahoo! Sports


Michael Porter Jr. Fully Cleared For Return To Basketball Activities

Feb 22, 2018 5:11 PM

Michael Porter Jr. has been fully cleared for all basketball activities.

Porter has been out since November following back surgery.

Porter also tweaked his hip before suffering his back injury.

Porter is expected to be a high lottery pick in the 2018 NBA Draft.

Jon Rothstein/CBS Sports

Tags: Michael Porter, Jr., Missouri Tigers, NCAA, NBA, NBA NBA Draft, NBA Draft General

RealGM Radio: Sam Vecenie On The NBA Draft

Feb 14, 2018 7:55 PM

Host Danny Leroux (@DannyLeroux) and NBA Draft expert Sam Vecenie of The Athletic (@Sam_Vecenie) go in-depth on the 2018 Draft.

They discuss how the dynamics at the top of the draft have changed, Michael Porter Jr. potentially returning to the court this season, what players have improved their stock so far this season, what teams can affect both the draft and free agency and much more.

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RealGM Staff Report

Tags: NCAA, NBA, RealGM Radio

R.J. Barrett, Cameron Reddish, Zion Williamson In Top-3 Of ESPN's 2019 Mock Draft

Feb 12, 2018 9:31 AM

Jonathan Givony has released a mock draft for 2019, headlined by a trio of Duke commits in R.J. Barrett, Cameron Reddish and Zion Williamson. Nassir Little and Romeo Langford round out the top-5.

The 2018 high school senior class is considered to be a week one and there also appears to be a lack of depth at point guard in the 2019 draft class.

1. R.J. Barrett
2. Cameron Reddish
3. Zion Williamson
4. Nassir Little
5. Romeo Langford
6. Luka Samanic
7. Sekou Doumbouya
8. Quentin Grimes
9. Bol Bol
10. Louis King
11. Jontay Porter
12. Rui Hachimura
13. Justin Jackson
14. Marko Simonovic
15. Herb Jones
16. Zhaire Smith
17. Nickeil Alexander-Walker
18. Aric Holman
19. Gary Trent
20. O'Shae Brissett
21. Terence Davis
22. Kris Wilkes
23. D'Marcus Simonds
24. De'Andre Hunter
25. Jarrey Foster
26. Josh Okogie
27. Jerome Robinson
28. Brandon Randolph
29. Kyle Alexander
30. Donte Divincenzo

Jonathan Givony/ESPN

Tags: NCAA, NBA, NBA NBA Draft, NBA Draft General, NBA Draft Mock Drafts

Michael Porter Jr. Optimistic About Returning From Injury This Season

Feb 9, 2018 5:14 PM

Michael Porter Jr. intends to play again this season if he's cleared by doctors.

Porter has not played since the opening two minutes of Missouri's season opener on Nov. 10.

Porter underwent back surgery to repair damage to the L3-L4 spinal discs, a procedure that has a projected recovery time of 3 to 4 months.

“I think the doctors are going to be amazed at my progress,” Porter Jr. said.

“I’m hoping that next week, the doctors tell me I’m ready to start full on practicing. That’s what I’m hoping for. I don’t know if that’s what I’ll hear.”

Porter is expected to be a high lottery pick in the 2018 NBA Draft regardless of whether he returns.

Jeff Eisenberg/Yahoo! Sports

Tags: Michael Porter, Jr., Missouri Tigers, NCAA, NBA, NBA NBA Draft, NBA Draft General