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.
Bill Self isn’t a fan of players skipping college for the NBA G League
By ADAM ZAGORIASAN ANTONIO — One day after former Syracuse commit Darius Bazleyannounced he would skip college and play in the NBA G League instead, Kansas coach Bill Self said he’s not a fan of such a move.
“I do believe kids should be able to go out of high school,” Self said here on the eve of his team’s national semifinal against Villanova.
“I don’t believe that they should be able to go to the G League out of high school. To me putting themselves in a situation in the G League where they’re not eligible to be an NBA player, there will be a percentage of kids that make that decision — whether it be academic, whether it be whatever decisions — that will never ever experience being an NBA basketball player. And then what do they have when that’s gone?
“Do you go overseas? What degree do you have to fall back on or any education and things like that? So college is good. College has done so much for so many. And you don’t have to look at four-year guys to believe that college is good. Malik Newman is a prime example.
“There’s a lot of kids out there that are really talented that aren’t ready, and college provides them an opportunity to mature, to become ready. And to be honest with you, if they can’t mature and become ready in college, then all you have done is put them in a situation where you gave them an opportunity because if they weren’t ready in college, they certainly weren’t ready when they’re 17 or 18 years old.”
The 6-foot-9 Bazley will make a maximum salary of $26,000 in the G League. But instead of putting himself in a position to be an NBA lottery pick after a year at Syracuse, he will now have to work his way up from the G League.
His decision seemed to be fairly abrupt.
Earlier this week, he told FloSports.com that he was looking forward to playing at Syracuse, although he also said players should be able to go straight from high school to the pros, which he is now doing.
“If I had good feedback, I wouldn’t just go because,” he said. “But if coaches were telling me, ‘Hey, you’re a one-and-done, you could play in the league right now,’ then yeah, I would because my ultimate goal is to play professional basketball so going that route, that would be great for me.”
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.