Bre Moorer is now a graduate student at Bowling Green State University, where she is studying sport administration with a specialization in sport psychology. She is a proud Akron, Ohio native. Her primary sport interest is basketball – at the amateur and professional levels.
Starting in summer 2019, the G League, minor league of the NBA, will extend contracts worth $125,00 to top-notch prospects who are at least 18 years old as a substitute to going to college. In what some are calling a motion “that could challenge the NCAA’s monopoly on elite talent,” new or soon-to-be high school graduates can skip the one-and-done drama to develop on and off-court skills at a level that is more comparable to the NBA (Givony, 2018, para. 1). Major media outlets have been too caught up in the NBA’s opening week to deeply cover this announcement, but there are media figures who have made their viewpoints clear.
Adrian Wojnarowski, ESPN insider, believes that it is highly unlikely that elite players will choose the G League route as opposed to competing under the bright lights of big schools (Clay, 2018). The decorated gyms, popularity on campus, and school gear are attractive, but Wojnarowski is leaving a group of athletes out. The glitz and glam of being the campus hero does not mean much to young players who live in poverty and need to support their families. The stipend, and even free education, they would receive in college does not have the same instant impact as the opportunity to get closer to the NBA and the millions it has to offer. Other members of the media are critical of the select contracts, but for different reasons.
Natalie Weiner (2018), sports writer for SB Nation, is not fully opposed to the idea, but wonders why the WNBA is not getting the same investment from the NBA as the G League. In Weiner’s case, select contracts are savvy and strengthen the NBA’s hold on the basketball market. The problem is that players that have just graduated high school with no professional experience will make more than veterans in the WNBA. This angle on the NBA’s program, unlike Wojnarowski’s, compares the NBA’s treatment of two organizations it controls. Weiner dismisses outside factors and dials in on a parent organization showing more love to one of its children.
Overall, there has not been much coverage on the NBA’s latest announcement. Perhaps, more popular media outlets will analyze the select contracts when the excitement of the NBA starting dies down. It will be interesting to see who turns to the hot topic of WNBA salaries and who keeps it education-based.
Clay, J. (2018, October 19). NBA’s G League salary offer is market competition for college basketball. Kentucky.com. Retrieved from https://www.kentucky.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sidelines-with-john-clay/article220293140.html
Givony, J. (2018, October 19). G League to offer $125K to elite prospects as alternative to college one-and-done route. ESPN. Retrieved from http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/25015812/g-league-offer-professional-path-elite-prospects-not-wanting-go-one-done-route-ncaa
Weiner, N. (2018, October 18). G League’s $125,000 select contracts underscore how WNBA players aren’t paid what they deserve. SB Nation. Retrieved from https://www.sbnation.com/wnba/2018/10/18/17996350/g-league-salaries-select-wnba-pay-players