Embiid Did The Right Thing

  • Gosh I’m going to miss Joel next year. It’s not just for selfish Jayhawk reasons why I would have like to see him return to make us a definite title contender next March. I will miss his effort, attitude, and his crazy footwork. We’ve all questioned effort and motivation on this year’s team from time to time, but no one questioned Joel’s hustle. I’m sure he often masked his pain so coaches would let him play on. He did that as long as he could, until the pain took over. He did everything in his power to try to help us win. No question about that!

    Historically, I’ve sat on the other side of the fence on this OAD topic. I sat on the side that makes the fight for kids to stay in school. These kids aren’t ready for the ‘No Boys Allowed’ league in every possible aspect. They don’t have the mental or physical maturity to hang with long seasons, gold diggers trying to snag their wealth and fame, lonely travel schedules, all the money and financial burden it places on them, and all the hot/cold interactions they will have with fans and media. And most important, their bodies are not developed enough to take the physical assault that will be unleashed on their bodies. NBA seasons (and other games) typically cross over 100 in a year (when adding in playoffs). These young kids will go up against big, physical men who know many tricks for gaining advantages, or pushing young players to their limit. Teenagers are not prepared to face all of this, period.

    But I’ve jumped over to the other side of the fence with Joel. I didn’t change my opinion based on all the money he will make, or all the money he puts at risk by returning to Kansas for another “non-profit” year of basketball. Of course, that plays into decisions, and it should, but that isn’t what made me change my mind.

    What convinced me that Joel needs to move on is the fact that there is no fall back in college basketball when it comes to health insurance. Joel is fully-covered as long as he wears a Jayhawk uniform. But what about after that? Fact is, he will be on his own. So any injury he incurs during this playing days at Kansas are not covered after he leaves. Most of the time, injuries follow players for the rest of their lives. Often, they require medical treatment indefinitely. This fact puts Joel at risk in a situation that could create serious hardship in his future regardless if his parents are financially stable or not. If he were to go down with an injury that ends his potential in the NBA, he’ll have to move forward without it, and he will carry forward his injury to face after KU.

    This fact should help many of us change our minds about players leaving early. They just simply have to risk too much by staying at Kansas. Personally, I’m not the kind of guy that chases wealth, so I hardly relate to the types of income numbers we read about if these guys get signed early in the draft. But I have experience with sports injuries. I’ve been dealing with several of mine ever since they happened. One particular injury has created great hardship in my life. I’ve been fortunate to be able to do well enough (financially) to take good care of myself, but everyone doesn’t have positive outcomes from being in this situation.

    Joel will never have his jersey number raised in AFH. So be it. But he will be remembered and held in high regard for what he gave in the short time he wore a Jayhawk jersey. We all know his real dream to come back next year. He’s just been fortunate enough to have the right people around him explain the risk, and he’s been mature enough to do the right thing under the circumstances.

    Fairwell, great lion hunter! You will be missed and you are always welcome back because you are now a lifetime Jayhawk! Best of luck in the league!

    Rock Chalk, Joel Embiid!

  • @drgnslayr here here

  • @drgnslayr Your post is very heartfelt and I can see that you are sincere about it, but I just don’t wholly agree. I think a guy with 2 1/2 - 3 years of ANY basketball is not ready for the pros. True, he’s going to make a butt-load of money, but he would have (probably) been the premier player in all of college basketball next year.

    Anyway, we could debate it till next year’s OAD’s come and go and we’ll both be convinced that we’re right. And we both are !

  • @drgnslayr - Very nice post.

    It appears that the new NBA commissioner is intent on making some changes. That is good.

  • Don’t worry about the jersey raising.

    If KU participates extensively in the OAD phenomenon, or even if not, but Joel becomes one of the five greatest centers of all time in the NBA, KU will find a work around.

    If the OAD phenomenon endures, the standards for admission will be changed to enable the school to have the great, short times jerseys hanging.

    Count on it.

  • @jaybate 1.0 Maybe we could just have some little handkerchiefs with their name and number on them.

    Possibly a little embroidered slogan -

    "When you think of what he could have meant to KU, please wipe your tears with this commemorative hanky"

  • @drgnslayr But thanks to Obamacare, whether they go on to the leagues or not, all college athletes will be able to afford good, low cost health insurance even with pre-existing conditions. And BTW, I have some property south of New Orleans that never floods for sale.

  • @nuleafjhawk

    I agree with everything you say… but what if that back injury becomes more serious next year when he’s a Jayhawk? Let’s say serious enough to can his career. It could happen. Then what? After the season he will no longer be a Jayhawk either and he’ll be out in the health care free market, fighting for himself.

    You should know me by now. Previously, if it had been my choice, I wouldn’t let any of these kids go until they achieve a real diploma, and could at least grow facial hair before getting mugged in the league!

    I’ll change my mind on this the second I know these kids aren’t left in the dark on health care. That should be a crime, and Emmert should do time!

    @jaybate - perhaps we can have a special OAD section of AFH for the best-of-the-best OADs (and their jerseys). Just to bring home the message on rank of importance, we make sure their jerseys are hung much lower than the greats. Or how about the OAD jerseys be made into a collage? We can hang one collage for every 4 OADs, symbolizing the reality that it takes 4 of them to match one of our old greats. 😉

    @brooksmd - not to be political… but I was thinking about the same sarcasm as you mentioned as I was writing this thread. Obviously, I was sarcastic enough in my thoughts on it to keep going with my post, knowing full well that there is no guarantees on the federal level for proper care.

  • Gosh… imagine if our entire starting 5 were OADs? New team every year.

  • @drgnslayr We might get to the Final Four!!

  • @nuleafjhawk

    And you weren’t even being sarcastic! That’s the upsetting part of all this!

  • @drgnslayr So true…

  • Correct me if wrong, & certainly someone will, but isn’t the meat & potatoes issue of this entire process the potential risk of NOT getting somewhere in the area of 12 million GUARANTEED for 3 years as a top 3 pick? Is simply a no brainer. If not then the first 3 GM’s selecting should positively be terminated…

  • @globaljaybird Its not just the money on the front end. It’s the money throughout the career that is at issue. I did a comparison between the careers of Kevin Garnett and Rasheed Wallace (picks 4 and 5 in 1995). Garnett’s last contract was much bigger than the final contract of Wallace’s career, because Garnett was 2 years younger than Wallace. At the end of your career, being 34 is much different than being 36. It affects your free agency earnings because if you are getting peak years (years 26-31) people will pay a premium for those years, vs. paying for 2 peak years and some declining years. It could be worth $10-$15m at the end of his career, ignoring the $3m it is worth on the front end.

  • @justanotherfan I recently read an article somewhere that stated that 60% of retired NBA players are bankrupt 5 years after they leave the game.

    Maybe they should stay in college four years and get a business/finance degree.

  • @nuleafjhawk Or not listen to Alen Iverson for advice. Here was guy who was making millions every year, so he would fly into Denver for a game without luggage, go buy new close and leave them there and fly to the next city and do it all over again… Lets be honest he wasn’t shopping at Target or Kohls either, probably very elite places.

    Athletes get drafted by a team, that owner pays them. They go buy a car, probably a dealership that the owner has his hands in, that money comes back to him. That player decides to buy a house, the neighborhood he wants the land is owned by the owner, money back in the owners pocket again.

    The owners keep getting richer and the players just keep spending.

    Darrin Revel has wrote some great things on players financials along with owners too. Very good stuff.

  • @nuleafjhawk

    Excellent point. This is why I favor the baseball rule that requires players to stay 3 years ins college if they don’t got to the League directly from HS. In 3 years many players can and do graduate and, if basketball does not work out, they can go back and finish their degrees and have a career to fall back on.

  • @JayHawkFanToo I made the remark in jest, but honestly they need to stay, as you say, at least 3 years.

    This is a lot deeper than wanting to keep our favorite players around campus. This is just one aspect of our crumbling society (don’t mean to be too melodramatic, but I honestly feel that way). Very few people want to plan and do things the right way - we have to have it all RIGHT NOW.

    But we keep doing the same thing over and over. We make these teenagers filthy rich and 10-15 years later they’re broke and/or in trouble. The ones that stay and get a degree FIRST know the value of hard work. And at least if things don’t pan out in the NBA, or if they retire, they will have that degree.

    Regardless of the money situation, I commented on another thread that these OAD’s just don’t register in my brain as Jayhawks that I will always love and revere. I need to get to know them for more than a few months for that to happen.

    Anyway, sorry to rant - it’s one of those subjects I just need to learn to let go of.

  • I made the remark in jest, but honestly they need to stay, as you say, at least 3 years.


    I remember being 18 and away from home with only me to hold my self responsible for the things I did.

    I can’t imagine being 18 or 19 even 20 years old, a couple million in the bank, hanging around 25 to 30 year old men traveling all around the country.

    Wait let me imagine that…oh, hummmmmm. OH! WOW!! Yikes. Cool. ouch! Cops. Yeah probably a good thing that didn’t happen

  • Congratulations to Embiid!

    Guess you are taking your lions share somewhere else next season. All the best to you!

  • By the way, Joel if you read this site.

    If you ever land in Milwaukee, come up sometimes and I will introduce some Cameroonian friends of mine to you. 🙂

  • @nuleafjhawk Commemorative hanky: O MY! Nuleaf, this post is of Hall of Fame prominence!

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