Pick a League, Any League

Photo By Edgar Chaparro (find more of Edgar’s work at https://unsplash.com/@echaparro)

October 9th, 2020

By Monty South

Podcast Summary

Usually to get to the NBA you have to go through College basketball to reach your goals. Recently however, other options have become increasingly more popular, with the most popular of these options being the NBA G-League and going to play overseas in other professional basketball leagues before joining the NBA. On this podcast, Mishal, Sam , and Eli talk about all of these options.

To start the podcast Sam quickly mentioned the traditional college basketball path to the NBA. Specifically, Sam explained the history of the NCAA path to the NBA, and how this path has changed over the years. He specifically mentioned the development of the one and done path that is so common now, and the changing of rules throughout the past to impact the ability of players to jump straight to the NBA out of highschool.

Following this, Mishal talked about the overseas route to getting to the NBA.In this discussion, Mishal looked at the major pros and cons of this route. To drive home these pros and cons, Mishal took us through the specific case of Emmanuel Mudiay and the precedent that Mudiay set for future players. The group specifically compared this route to the college route and the various factors that could make one path more beneficial than others.

After talking about the abroad options, Sam then led the group in a more in depth analysis of the College Basketball route. He mentioned the one and done path that is usually taken as well as the some of the pros and cons of this route. Specifically, he mentioned the increased development, but also the lack of pay through this route. The group also went on to discuss many other aspects of the college basketball path to the NBA during this portion of the podcast, such as the potential future changes to the NCAA’s rules against paying athletes.

For the final discussion part of this podcast, Mishal led the group in talking about he G-league route to get to the NBA. Like the other portions of the podcast, this route was compared to the other available routes with the pros and cons of the G-league examined. Specifically they discussed the new “Path-to-the-NBA” program that the G-league has created. While this is mostly a temporary option going forward, this is still a major current option since this can allow the players to better develop their skills without the “glitz-and-glamour” of playing at the top basketball schools in the NCAA.

My Thoughts

Personally, I think that the variety of options that are currently available for players who hope to get to the NBA is good for the players. It provides a variety of options that allow players to consider what their specific needs are and what league fits them best. That being said, I am a firm believer that the NCAA should allow college athletes to at least make money off of their likeness, and I think the NBA should allow players to go straight from high school to the NBA. While these two changes would greatly limit the viability of going abroad or straight to the G-league out of high school, I think players can still get all the benefits of these other options just from going straight to the NBA or to college. If you want to really focus on building your brand and your following, but aren’t quite ready to go to the NBA straight away going to a large college basketball program can help build the same notoriety. However, if you really want to focus on developing your game while also being able to make a full salary vs. money off your likeness, going straight to the NBA would be a great option for you. The only group of players that this doesn’t quite address are the mid-tier college basketball players who are fringe NBA players in the first place. 

Beyond this podcast I did want to leave a quick note. While this won’t be the last content that I was involved in that you as the audience will see, it will be the last piece of content I work on chronologically. Over the last few months I have had a blast working on this project with the rest of the group and I wouldn’t have done it any other way. However, as the podcast and website begin to take on a stronger identity, I have found that I am not as passionate about the topics as I need to be in order to do them justice. To be specific, I don’t feel motivated to do the vast amount of research it would take for someone like me to feel comfortable talking about the more serious topics we have been talking about as of late and I don’t want to half-heartedly do anything in life. As a result of this, this is my goodbye to the listeners and the pod. I plan on being a loyal listener going forward and I know this podcast is going to continue to talk about a variety of important and interesting topics going forward. Thanks for reading, and for all of the support. – Monty

Sources for podcast and this post

  1. https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/college/columnist/dan-wolken/2020/04/16/college-basketball-risks-losing-top-freshmen-new-g-league-program/5146920002/
  2. https://bit.ly/2GMdLS2
  3. https://www.si.com/nba/2020/04/24/nba-mailbag-g-league-college-basketball
  4. https://www.sbnation.com/college-basketball/2019/8/8/20753788/nba-draft-college-basketball-recruiting-lamelo-ball-rj-hampton
  5. https://theundefeated.com/features/the-perks-of-playing-basketball-overseas/
  6. https://aminoapps.com/c/nba/page/blog/g-league-vs-college-vs-overseas-pros-and-cons/MQZ6_vJJfkug1V3WP24vJRB6WMrl07EWGd2
  7. https://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/29043828/sources-top-high-school-player-jalen-green-enter-nba-g-league-pathway 
  8. https://bleacherreport.com/articles/2883321-no-1-prospect-jonathan-kuminga-to-join-g-league-forego-duke-kentucky-offers 

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