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.
LSU coach Will Wade is now trending on Twitter under, “Will Wade. American Gangster.”
Jon Rothstein Tweeted the phrase Wednesday, and a day later Yahoo released its latest report linking Wade to a wiretap discussion regarding payments to a recruit with would-be-sports agent Christian Dawkins.
Wade refers to this “Smart thing,” would could be a reference to current LSU freshman guard Javonte Smart.
“Dude. I went to him with a f***ing strong-ass offer about a month ago. F***ing strong. It was a f***ng hell of a f***ing offer. Hell of an offer. Especially for a kid who is going to be a two or three-year kid.”
Speaking with reporters Thursday, Wade declined comment several times and said he would have to look into the report. He said Yahoo contacted him for comment about 20 minutes before the story broke.
LSU head coach Will Wade was talking to fans today at a luncheon when the Yahoo Sports report broke regarding further phone calls with Chris Dawkins that the FBI is investigating. We spoke with him immediately after and here’s what he said. #LSUpic.twitter.com/b0vZ003wNi
On Monday in New York, Dawkins was sentenced to six months in jail after he was convicted last fall of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud in the Adidas trial. He and his co-defendants, Jim Gatto and Merl Code, are appealing the sentencing and won’t go to jail until the appeal is finished.
Dawkins and Code are due back in court on federal bribery charges on April 22, and Wade and Arizona coach Sean Miller have been subpoened for that trial.
Steve Haney, Dawkins’ attorney, said Monday that more coaches are expected to testify then.
Wade was also the subject of a phone call the defense tried to enter into evidence during the Adidas basketball trial. On that call, Wade tells Dawkins “that he can get him what he needs, meaning money, if a high school player in Florida, Balsa Koprivica, agrees to play for LSU,” defense attorney Casey Donnelly argued.