The Golden State Warriors haven’t played a game in eight days, and with the rest of the NBA being off for the All-Star break, other organizations got their chance to be in the spotlight.
On Wednesday, it was the NCAA that was in the spotlight, and not in a positive manner. Less than a minute into the highly-anticipated rivalry affair between Duke and UNC - a game where the average ticket resold for more than $3,000 - Zion Williamson injured his knee in a freak play that saw his entire sneaker destroyed.
Thankfully the injury doesn’t appear to be serious, but it resurfaced a common discussion. Williamson is putting his future nine-figure paydays on the line every time he steps on the court, and while Duke and the NCAA cash multi-million dollar checks as a result, the consensus number one overall pick in the upcoming NBA draft doesn’t get to see a penny of it.
DeMarcus Cousins is, understandably, upset about it all. Boogie knows just how much an injury can impact a player’s career. He was set for a payday of around $150 million this past offseason before tearing his Achilles - as a result, he ended up with a $5.3 million prove-it deal with the Warriors.
Thankfully, Cousins has already cashed some huge checks in his career, but Williamson obviously hasn’t, so a serious injury could be even more damaging for him. At Thursday’s shootaround, Boogie addressed what he, and many others deem to be a corrupt system. Thankfully he didn’t pull any punches.
DeMarcus Cousins: “Knowing what I know now, college basketball is bullshit.” Advises Zion Williamson to get ready for the NBA. pic.twitter.com/k3B1JA0E42— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) February 21, 2019
“Knowing what I know now? College is bullshit,” Cousins proclaimed. “College basketball - the NCAA - is bullshit. My advice to him is do what’s best for you and your family. Obviously college, it does nothing for you at this point. You’ve proven you’re the number one pick coming out. You’ve proven your talent. Get ready for the next level, because it’s happening. That’s my opinion, knowing what I know now. Obviously when I was at that age - you enjoy the moment, you enjoy the experience and all that - but there’s so many risks involved to get to the ultimate goal, which is this level. So just do what’s best for him and his family.”
Cousins’ comments come after speculation that Williamson may shut it down for the rest of the season, and not risk further injury before entering the league. Boogie, who played one year at Kentucky before being drafted fifth overall in 2010, noted that college was a wonderful time for him, but his perspective has changed.
“I loved my experience in college,” Cousins remarked. “That was some of the best years of my life, playing basketball. But with that being said, just how crooked the whole NCAA business is.”
Cousins then mentioned the absurd ticket prices, rhetorically asking, “Who does it go to?” and “How does it benefit any player on that team?”
The NBPA is fighting to end the one-and-done rule that forces prospects like Williamson to play for a year after high school before entering the draft. Unfortunately, it looks like 2022 is the earliest that we may see a rule change.
Even with the knee injury, Williamson - one of the best prospects in NBA draft history - will surely be the top pick in June’s draft.