...and this is why even borderline players leave for the NBA

  • Mitch McGary to have season ending surgery


    He should have left after his great run at he Tournament, now his future is uncertain; this is why even fringe players will opt for the draft. I am sure McGary has insurance through the NCAA for just this type of situation, but it probably covers only a portion of the money he will likely lose.

  • @JayHawkFanToo–copy an paste, though i still like slayr’s reasons for staying.

  • McGary’s probably faking it.

  • I guess EJ’s hit was harder that we thought… 😉

  • @JayHawkFanToo Great post. Back surgery for a big guy is always a scary prospect. Had he gone last year, he likely would have been a first round pick, meaning his contract would have been guaranteed for two years and a team would have a few million dollars invested in him. Instead, no NBA team has anything invested in him, so if they aren’t sure he is 100%, he’s a second rounder and there’s no financial investment. There isn’t any insurance in the world that can cover the potential losses there.

  • It’s a tough call. I like to see kids stay in school, but when reading stories like McGary, it makes me wonder.

    I’d feel a lot better if the NBA would require these kids to have financial advisers, and these advisers had to be certified by the league and were under constant scrutiny. I hate to add rules and regs to most things but these kids are not ready to handle the responsibilities associates with the kind of money they are paid in the league.

  • @justanotherfan

    The NCAA has now the “Exceptional Student-Athlete Disability Insurance Program”, known as E.S.D.I., which provides coverage of up to $5 million for a projected first-round pick in the N.F.L. or N.B.A. Players are also allowed to buy additional insurance provided their family can pay for the premium, otherwise it would be considered an improper benefit.

    It might not provide full compensation for a career long earnings, but will get the players started in life with an education and a few million dollars…which is a few million dollars more than most of us start.

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    The problem is that most NFL or NBA first rounders will make well over that much money over the course of their careers. Plus, how many can really afford the extra premiums, which are in the thousands of dollars for that type of coverage.

    Let’s look at a guy like Michael Olowakandi, often cited as a bust (rightfully so) earned over $35m in his NBA career. His first contract was for over $14m. He made over $5m in his first two years, which is what all first round contracts are guaranteed at in the NBA. That’s a $30m difference

    Remember Shaun Livingston? He of one of the worst knee injuries in the history of the NBA? That happened in his third NBA season, when he would have been a junior in college. He missed what would have been his entire fourth season, but because his option had already been exercised for his fourth year, earned $4.4m for that season. He had already earned nearly $10m for his career by that point. He’s rehabbed his way back into the NBA and has made another $10m plus, but that probably would not have been possible if that injury happens in college, as most teams wouldn’t have risked more than a training camp invite on someone with that injury history.

    Or take Jonathan Bender. He had a degenerative knee condition. His most effective pro years came before his 22nd birthday. In his first three years, he made $7m, with another roughly $3m to come in his fourth year and, because it appeared he was developing into a budding star, signed a contract extension worth another $20m+. He played in less than 50 games total after his fourth season in the league.

    I like the fact that the ESDI exists. Unfortunately, the cost of insurance is beyond what most of these guys can afford and they lose quite a bit in future earnings.

  • @justanotherfan I used to think this way too but now I realize there is so much more to life than money. First I can’t feel bad for any 20ish man who has five million dollars. He should do well if he just a little financial sense. So what if he doesn’t get another thirty mil?

    Second he also won’t get physically punished for several years. He won’t have to travel all over and be away from home.

    I don’t mean to minimize his bad luck and he will have a challenge adjusting to losing his dream. But five years from now he may well be thankful.

  • @Careful you

    There is a lot more to life than money. I can certainly attest to that. My argument was based only on the fact that the ESDI exists as a way of protecting the athlete in case their athletic career is jeopardized by pointing out that the protection is actually a very poor estimate of the amount of protection necessary for almost every student athlete that would be eligible to obtain the protection. The ESDI is supposed to eliminate the risk associated with a career threatening injury, but it covers maybe 25% of the likely earnings.

    I look at it in the same way that someone would look at attending medical school. Yes, there is a lot of hard work, late nights, student debt, residency, etc. that goes into becoming a doctor. There are undoubtedly many that choose other professions because they don’t (or can’t) endure those rigors. But there are certainly non-financial benefits associated with becoming a medical doctor - prestige, lifestyle, intelligence, social status, the people you meet, etc. We can’t begin to measure those.

    In the same way, we can’t begin to measure the change in someone’s life that occurs if they lose out on a pro career due to an injury. Imagine if Jay Williams (former Duke star) has that motorcycle accident in college rather than the pros. Is he an ESPN commentator now? This isn’t about the money he made as a pro. This is about rewritting not only his basketball career, but his life after basketball. That would change everything about his adult life.

    And that is why the advice I would give would always be to go. A shot at the pros is a life changing event. Not just because of the money. It’s life changing because of everything that comes with being a pro athlete, both the good and the bad. That’s not promised, and that chance may not ever come back.

    I don’t know that you can compensate that at all, insurance or not.

  • @justanotherfan

    I guess you missed the part where I wrote:

    “It might not provide full compensation for a career long earnings, but will get the players started in life with an education and a few million dollars…which is a few million dollars more than most of us start.”

    You have to consider that the player will get this money and will not have to do anything else. If you invest $5M wisely, you can probably live very well of the interest and not have to work the rest of your life. Again, this is a hell of a lot more that most of us start with and we have to work the rest of our lives too.

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