Zion Williamson has made it really plain that he wants to finish playing ball for Duke this season, preferably with a championship.
Apparently some people feel like he’s being used and would rather he be used to support their point of view and are getting a bit cranky that he’s not doing what they want.
Take Terence Moore over at Forbes.
Clearly he thinks Williamson is being used and is more than happy to tell him what he should do.
First of all there’s this stupid statement: “In case you haven’t been paying attention, Williamson is nothing more than a hired hand working overtime without pay for a Duke program trying to make at least $8.5 million for reaching the Final Four in search of a sixth national championship for Mike Krzyzewski.”
You could validly say that about someone who is not a pro prospect - if he didn’t graduate. Take Justin Robinson, who is clearly not going to follow his famous father, David, into the NBA.
You could certainly argue that he should be paid for playing for Duke. You could also argue that he’s going to receive a lifetime of deferred compensation through his degree and the prestige of having that and having played for Duke. How useful would it be to go into an interview for anything and chat about Zion Williamson, RJ Barrett, and what you learned from Coach K?
If he was say, just taking paper classes and getting passed through without doing any academic work and then turned out and forgotten when his career was done, that’d be shameful, wouldn’t it? Right, UNC?
In Williamson’s case there is also going to be deferred compensation. An NCAA title would add a lot to his bottom line but even if Duke doesn’t get that (and news flash, odds are they won’t, which is the case for the other 68 teams too), he will have leveraged his year at Duke into a huge amount of endorsement money. He’ll get a hell of a lot more than $8.5 million. Zion’s biggest job after the tournament will be deciding who to turn down. He’ll need an endorser enforcer.
Is it worth it?
That’s a question for Williamson to answer, not Moore, and not the rest of the clown car writers who want to bend him to their will and cynically exploit him to achieve their own ends - which is exactly what they’re accusing Coach K, Duke, the ACC, the NCAA and ESPN of doing.
And this has been said before, but what do they think he’s going to between now and signing his contract? Will he stay out of the gym to protect his future? Not lift weights? Not play ball at all?
The whole argument, frankly, is idiotic. Larry Bird got injured playing softball. Michael Jordan sliced his finger with a cigar clipper. Sammy Sosa injured himself sneezing.
He’s going to train, he’s going to exert himself and he’s certainly going to work at the sport he will make a living at soon. He’s going to live his life on his terms.
The idea that he should just stop doing everything until the draft is, well daft. By his own logic, Moore should not use his fingers for anything other than typing because finger injuries would greatly limit his professional career (insert joke of your choice here).
We just wish people would let the kid follow his dream and, to borrow from the great Frank Sinatra, let him do it his way.
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