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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Monday / January 22.
  • One-and-Done Unfair to Players Like Lance

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    Lance Stephenson will graduate from Lincoln High School in Brooklyn on Wednesday afternoon, his future awash in uncertainty.

    Just over 24 hours later, the NBA Draft will take place just 10 miles away at Madison Square Garden.

    Had Stephenson graduated in 2004 instead of 2009, he likely would be hearing NBA commissioner David Stern utter his name from the podium Thursday night and preparing for life as a young multi-millionaire.

    “Late lottery,” said draft expert Chris Monter of Monter Draft News, referring to where Stephenson would have been picked if he were eligible. “He’s talented but he has a lot of baggage and is perceived as a selfish player.”

    Read the full story here.

    Written by

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.

    • Allow me to save Pasta some time:

      Lance is going to Memphis because: Memphis is the best program in the country; JP is a HOF-er already; Memphis could beat any NBA team; Maryland and Arizona are washed up; Memphis could win the world cup if they wanted; JP has found the cure for cancer; Memphis has already won two National Championships regardless of what anyone says; They would sweep conference play in the ACC if they played there; Ditto for the Big East, and NFL for that matter; and Duke, Carolina, and Maryland’s coaches suck.

      • AZ,

        MoMo is going to ARIZONA.

        That makes TWO from NYC.


        Lance…..make sure your attorney clears up the court thing.
        He should of not allowed the delay for educational reasons.

    • Oh c’mon Kelly stop being ridiculous …..there’s no way a bunch of basketball players could win the World Cup of soccer.

    • You must admit Pastaboy – we’re all starting to know you.

      Would you agree that Memphis would win the World Cup if Calipari was still coaching there?

      • ……….Good stuff! How’d I miss THAT one….?

    • Cal could recruit guys from Brazil with one Name ……Renaldo etc… doubt about it ……

      • And Renaldo would not have to take his own SAT test either, because coach Cal already has the people at SAT office whipped! Did any Memphis player have to take their own SAT test ? Can they read and write at Memphis at all? Or education at University of Memphis is just a mirage?

        Those are the questions that inquiring minds want to know!

    • “Renaldo etc… doubt about it ……”

      Cal could recruit an old retired player? Even your hyperbole is idiotic.

      • Cal can surely recruit anyone with their name ending in a vowel if recruited and qualified an entire roster of players who couldn’t qualify for any institution with any kind of academic requirements. JC said, “thanks for the home grades cookin’, Laurinberg Prep; thanks for the home grades cookin’, Patterson School…

        Memphis has the highest academic standards, no?

    • Sidenote Rastaboy:

      Italy won the World Cup in 2006, donk. Who needs Brazil’s heartless players. Cal would have had a field day recruiting the defending World Champs and bringing them to Memphis!

    • Lets see. One and done rule unfair? Lets take kid who has troubled past and maturity issues and give him millions of dollars. Great idea! THere are jobs in my company that I am more than capable of doing but cannot get because I do not have a college education. Hell, I would like run for president of the united states but I cant until I am 40. Thats not fair. All companies have requirements for jobs and the NBA is no different. David Stern recently this is a business decison not a morale or social change decison and it is turning out to be a good one. Do you think I would care about Tyreke Evans if he did not go to memphis. No but now I will follow his career no matter wha nba team he is on. Finally please do not use tennis as examples in stories, they are two completely different sports.

    • LittleJ,

      You better pray Tyreke even has a littlej. I don’t think he has an accurate outside shot to speak of. If his shooting percentage even approaches 45% in his NBA career I will be shocked.

      On the other hand, I will not be shocked if Tyreke winds up being one of the 60% of NBA players filing for bankruptcy 5+ years after retiring from the NBA with the 1 quality year he received from Memphis. Anyone giving odds. I put it at 1 to 2 he goes belly up 😉

    • Were these the same people who said he should go to college because he isn’t ready for Europe?

    • Wonder how long it will take ZAG to post the AZ got MOMO

    • BB purisI,

      First I never said Tyreke would be a great pro(even though almost everybody except you thinks he will). My point was that because he went to memphis and I am a memphis fan I would most likely follow his career. If he gets drafted by say Scramento I would watch their games which I wouldnt do if he did not play for them. This is what makes the one and done a smart rule for the NBA. If cant understand what someone wrote dont respond to it.

    • littlej,

      I read what you wrote and comprehended it. You are now going to follow Tyreke Evans’ career out of some blind loyalty to him for serving a one year NBA sentence at the U of Ahem-phis. If you think he’ll now know how to “handle” his millions because of one fine year at the academic bastion of higher education know as Ahem-phis, dream on. The odds are more in favor (60%) he’ll be bankrupt 5+ years after retiring.

      (N.B. – The Constitution requires presidents to be natural-born citizens of the United States who are at least 35 years of age and have resided in the United States for 14 years – I learned that before college)

      And if you’re going to watch a Sac-town game because of Tyreke, you’re either a lunatic or a masochist. He’s not going to be LeBron. Maybe you’ve been drinking the JC juice these past 8 years!

    • purist,

      You are really a negative guy. I’ll bet Tyreke earns more in his NBA career (no matter how long it is) than you make in your life. Not too bad for a 19 year old.

      • There is a lot of dummies who earn a lot of money but can not keep it and Tyreke is another one of them. He is another Cal guy who perhaps can not read , write or take his own SAT test. And now Josh Pastner is going after the same kind of recruits – please see Latavious Williams!

    • Memtiger,

      Am I negative, or merely stating a fact regarding the 60% of NBA players that will file for bankruptcy 5+ years after retiring? The odds are in my favor, and I have better odds than any game in Vegas.

      Regarding your comment that he will make more than me in his lifetime, it will most likely be true in terms of pure salary earned. However, I also will bet Tyreke will spend and waste much more money than me in his lifetime, unless he surrounds himself with a solid group of altruistic businessmen, or just flat out solid, hard-working, honest businessmen (an oxymoron these days?). I am willing to bet my net worth at age 65 will be more than Tyreke’s net worth, even spotting him the time value of money in his favor. I hope Tyreke will have donated more than me to good causes that touch his heart – I would like to be beat in that area for sure.

      More importantly, I hope Tyreke and I closely compete in our positive contributions to society. His physical and mental gifts give him a wonderful opportunity to give back to society in a very big way – will Tyreke squander that chance, will I squander mine, will you squander your chance? I hope we all compete admirably in that most impt area that is just an afterthought to the salaries and championships and all-star games the players shoot for. Good luck to us all…and bless all those we assist and comfort.

    • Michael Wilbon has a interesting new column up where he actually makes the case for a two year “apprenticeship” period.

      • Good piece by Wilbon. But I still believe the rate of bankruptcies filed by the 5+ years retired NBA players will remain about 60% even with a two year apprenticeship unless certain business aspects are incorporated into the program. These guys have basketball smarts, but do not know how to invest wisely, or just flat out get ripped off by business associates, friends, and even family. Having much more training in business, as well as a healthy dose of fiscal discipline (i.e., Steve Smith, just spoke about that in a radio interview w/ the Junks) will go along way towards the players achieving long term financial goals.

    • Admit it pastaboy, you are 13. Probably sit around listening to Eminem all day in an old Penny Hardaway jersey. You probably refuse to play a video game system because it reminds you of Super Mario Brothers, then you just thinking of the name MARIO MARIO MARIO….and you scream at the top of your lungs in pain cause Mario Chalmers killed every Tigers dreams with his shot in the natl title game. You remember that game right? You guys blew a lead late and couldnt make free throws, and KU finally started playing at the end and in OT and won 75-68. Am I starting to refresh some memories now?


      Memphis is a Never was. A couple good seasons helped tremendously by playing in that high school conference, CONF USA. But, when you guys get in the real tournament with real teams, you just cant win the big one. Cant even cheat and win the big one.

      Memphis glory days are over. KU’s never ends.



    • Looks like Elliot Williams will transfer to Memphis …..the family is currently talking ……the situation is sensitive and shouldn’t be treated as a recruiting coup but the fact is EW changes the entire outlook for Memphis next year ….a combo guard who is legit as opposed say to a USC refugee who at best is a 3 star.

    • If Pastner gets Derrick Williams and Lance Memphis is ranked about 8th ….. although DW wouldn’t start at Memphis ….. he may be better off going to AZ …and play Sean ball ….zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    • Rastaboy,

      No matter who is on your team I’d be willing to bet you (gentleman’s bet of course) Ahem-phis loses at least 3 games in Conf-USA next season. Rankings, schmankings… 3 losses – put up or shut up…

    • Even Cal admitted that during the win streak there were 7 or 8 games Memphis should have lost but were lucky to win …… Utep , Uab , and Tulsa on the road are tough games for any team …. a 15 and 3 conference record by Pastner would be a great year ….Ku could lose 2 or 3 in Cusa …..besides Memphis is a national power ….no one cares which conference Gonzaga plays in …or Xavier …..these non BCS schools ..Memphis included…. are bigger than their conference . Your bet has no merit …. a meaningless statistic….. I’ll bet you Memphis wins Cusa ….. even the tournament in Tulsa .

      • I’d even bet 5 losses or more – don’t hedge now – 5 losses for a team that didn’t lose last year in the Conf. + JP has all these HS superstars coming in – c’mon, 5+ losses – you and your boys will lose this bet too…

      • I’ll take one that they’ll not win the C-USA Tourney. Take the less than 5 losses… you’ll lose that one too…

        • I’ll take that ….. God you’re dumb ….if we get Lance Pastner may run the table in Cusa …..with EW and no Lance …about 15 and 3 ….maybe 16 and 4 … idiot

          • Basketball is more than rattling off past stats. Bring in a new coach, and now you will learn the difference between one initial – JC and JP – light years difference. Give JP a 13-5 conf record for 2009-10, and he’ll take it and run with it. Get ready to see the boy wonder begin his learning curve.

            You can go ahead and think I’m dumb now, but remember Sir Thomas More’s quote – “I never saw a fool yet who thought himself other than wise…If a fool perceives himself a fool, that point is not folly, but a little spark of wit.” At least I’m aware I do not know everything – you rasta, on the other hand, have hit the ganga one too many times w/ past stats – all we have is the upcoming season – let it begin!

    • KU damn near runs the table in the BIG XII every year. Well, they did Drew Gooden’s junior year. KU would be on a 100 game unbeaten streak in conference if we played in that JV conference, conference usa.

    • Its not really Memphis’s fault Cinncinnati ( under Huggins) , Louisville , Marquette , et al bolted the conference ….. what Cal did after the conference was gutted is one of the greatest coaching jobs in history …… win every conference game and more games than anyone in ncaa history ….and yes that includes blowouts of big teams ….. anyone can coach a BCS team with a history of basketball greatness …… my cat could coach KU ….it takes a great one like Cal to do what he did in a mid major conference ….. and now the wrath of BIG BLUE will be upon the Ncaa ….. its gonna suck if you hate KY. …Memphis looks like it will continue to be a top 5 program under Pastner …. maybe better ….. I look for him to blow out Ku in Nov.

      • I never have been on record as saying JC cannot coach. He’s a better recruiter, but he can coach too.

        Hopefully UK’s Sandra can keep the program clean and help UK not revisit it’s sordid past.

        If you love JC so much, you’re looking for him to get blown out by JP and your boys in November? Good luck to your (C-USA top 5) program.

        • coach cal cannot coach. he got good players to play well in a good system.
          a good coach calls a timeout with a lead in a nc game with less than 6 secs left. a good coach gets his team prepared for a sweet sixteen game. coach cal was a good recruiter. not a good coach. hope uk sees that when cal and www don’t get the best talent.

          jp is a good coach and recruiter. he learned from one of the best coaches in the history of ncaa basketball. memphis will run more, and look like a track meet this year. and we also finally have some plays against a zone. which is something cal could never do

          • Be sure to post in here in 4 years when Pastner is 136 and 13 ….. with 2 elite 8, a sweet 16 , and a final game ……oh and never losing a Cusa game …Lol ….the doughnut eaters are out in force.

    • Ku is Kansas

      • yes, you were answering jhawkfan – I was focusing on your bo JC, because your cat could coach UK too I suppose?