On Thursday, Oct. 18 the NBA’s G League opted to offer “Select Contracts” worth $125,000 to elite high school prospects that are at least 18 years old, but not yet eligible for the NBA draft.
This serves as an alternative to their one-and-done rule that has caused various other problems within the NCAA. The popular opinion is in favor of this move by the G League with anticipation that the college one-and-done rule will completely dissolve in 2022.
Although he won’t get his due credit and very few people beyond this article will acknowledge the fact that this new agreement was fueled by the threat of LaVar Ball and his JBA League.
The JBA has their flaws for sure and may not be an ideal league for top prospects to play in today, but the fact is: Ball gets people talking. So much so that he’s become an influential voice in the basketball community and an unorthodox but genius businessman. It’s the fact that Ball spread this idea to the masses that frightens big businesses like the NBA. His original idea drove the NBA to make this decision.
In Laymen’s terms, the NBA is capitalizing off Ball’s idea which happens every day in corporate America. Most ‘cutting edge’ ideas by big businesses are not original thoughts or concepts. More than less are ideas sparked from someone else’s idea. That’s what is happening here and that’s why LaVar Ball, as vexatious and sometimes inappropriate as he can be, is an undoubted NBA legend without playing one minute in the NBA.
Ball’s JBA league is a raw idea, with many holes in player’s contracts that have been pointed out multiple times by those in the legal field as well as media members. There are many blemishes within the inner-workings of Ball’s league that lends one to think that it won’t sustain for an extended period of time.
The talent the G League offers significantly outweighs the JBA thus effectively put LaVar’s business, and innovative idea to rest. The G League offers rookies a chance to play against elite talent with experience at highly-touted Division 1 programs. Heck, often times successful NBA veterans in the terminal years of their career play in the G League, which is also better than what the JBA offers at the moment. Going up against talent like that presents a greater challenge than going to play college ball, which is still a greater challenge than the competition the JBA, who didn’t pull a top-100 recruit provides at the moment.
The G League’s ‘professional path’ for 18-year-old prospects who aren’t draft eligible is a no-brainer in comparison to the JBA League. The G League has a proven track record and the JBA does not. Unfortunately, another original idea has been jacked and that’s one more point for big businesses.