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Our Take On Mrs. Carter’s Latest

She’s not entirely wrong but she’s not entirely right either.

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MLB: Minnesota Twins at Chicago White Sox
Will Wendell Carter be a home run for the Chicago Bulls?
Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

Wendell Carter’s parents spoke out again about college basketball, saying, among other things, that the players are not respected and not allowed to show their full range of talents.

We’d just respectfully make a few points here.

First, if you feel like an environment is horribly disrespectful for or to your child why would you put him in it? There are other paths to the NBA besides college basketball.

Secondly, if she thinks the NBA is more respectful of players, well maybe in some ways, but it’s a job and you’re useful until you aren’t. If Carter for whatever reason doesn't make the Bulls happy, then he won’t be a Bull for long.

The other key thing about the NBA is this: look at any roster, say Houston, a highly successful team.

Houston employs James Harden, Chris Paul, Clint Capela and Eric Gordon and only those guys average double figures on a team that put up 104.9 ppg.

Everyone else is a role player and even among those four there’s a clear hierarchy.

We think Carter is going to be an outstanding pro, but don’t expect him to do whatever he wants to do on the court. He’s a 6-10 interior player with a nice package of skills but Chicago already has one Unicorn. They’re most likely going to want him near the basket.

Finally, there is one other type of exploitation around the NBA that should be worrisome to any concerned parent of a young player and that’s sexual exploitation.

After any NBA game in any city there are hordes of women who want to, shall we say, spend some time with the players and of course the players don’t object.

However, it’s a fast environment for an 18 or 19 year old to navigate. Aside from the coarsening this can do to one’s opinion of women, there are STDs including a brand-new drug resistant gonorrhea, paternity suits and the psychological cost of dealing with those who are willing to exploit a rich and famous teenager. It’s a very old story. There’s not much new under the sun.

The Carters have done a wonderful job with Wendell, but he is a teenager and there are levels of naivete in even the most hardened teenagers. You can have lived a tough life by 18 but you’re still 18 and no matter how you cut it, there’s a million things you can’t know yet.

We hope she’s happy with his overall situation and that Wendell is a brilliant success, but the idea that he won’t be exploited after college is just foolish. The late Duke star Phil Henderson understood this well when he said that of course Duke exploited him, but that he just exploited Duke right back.

Reciprocity, as Dudley Smith pointed out in LA Confidential, is the key to all relationships.

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