Yesterday the news of Darius Bazley spurning the Syracuse Orange to opt for the NBA G-League hit Syracuse fans like a wet blanket. The ominous cloud that seems to follow Syracuse basketball off-seasons around like a shadow turned a bit darker yesterday, but just know that the sky doesn’t actually ever fall. Keep in mind that sunny days are on the horizon.
But while we deal with the rain in the interim, Jim Boeheim had some funny comments on the G-League during the NCAA Tournament. Kudos to Chris Carlson over at the dot com for digging this one up. Humor is what we do best around here, so we might as well just laugh at the madness in the meantime.
“I mean just look at Trae Young for example,” Boeheim said. “He can be playing in Idaho someplace this year riding the bus. This whole thing about, ‘Oh, yeah, let’s get them in the G-League.’ Have you ever been to the G-League? Have you gone to a G-League game? You ever lived where those guys live? They’re adults. 23, 24-year-old guys. Now you’re going to be 17-year-old guys there? You’ve got to be crazy.”
It’s not crazy. It’s just someone’s personal decision and at worst it might just be naivety. But Boeheim is onto something there. While he wasn’t talking about Bazley directly at the time, the comment does hold water and it does apply in this case. Instead of flying with the Syracuse team to every game and having access to The Melo Center, access to solid trainers and getting world class treatment during the season, an ordinary life awaits for Bazley, at least according to SI.
“If nothing else, the G League will offer Bazley a realistic, blue-collar basketball education. The underlying factor with G League competition is that every player on every roster is battling teammates and rivals alike for a finite number of spots in the NBA. Travel quality is akin to what mid-major college programs offer, and commercial flights and ordinary accommodations await. The facilities don’t hold up against the shiny palaces many high major programs boast. The life can be a lonely, unglamorous experience, and being a touted high school player means nothing between the lines.”
So while Bazley will be counting beans (salary cap at $26,000 before endorsements) instead of playing on national television every night and living a more ‘blue-collar’ life, there’s nothing wrong with that and nobody should begrudge a young kid for trying to make a decision he thinks will be best for his future. Maybe he does blaze a new path for the next wave of kids to follow. The competition will undoubtedly be better and Bazley will have the chance to play a defense that will be played exclusively at the next level.
Besides, technically Bazley was headed to Ohio State before de-committing there too. Syracuse has won recruits just as they have lost them over the years, so just take it all in stride and wish him well. There’s no need to hold receipts. We already do that too well.
But still. Boeheim’s comments are funny as all hell.