What Jalen Green's Announcement Means for the NBA
Nba Season is suspended indefinitely because of the corona virus pandemic. But where's off? Court is still going. I'm Kinda turn out. And even though I'm sheltering in place in my apartment in Alameda I'm still bringing you the news about the warriors and the NBA. How players like Steph Curry and Klay Thompson are handling the shutdown? How the corona virus crisis will change the team's plans and how basketball can get back to normal. It's all here on warriors off court which can be found on your favorite podcast APP on today's episode of wears off court. I'm joined by Kevin Danna the longtime play by play announcer for the Santa Cruz. Warriors to discuss Thursday's news that top recruit Jalen Green will forgo college to join a reshaped. Nba Professional Pathway Program. That's partnering with the G. League. During our conversation we went in depth. On how this program could change draft evaluation for that matter college recruiting as we know. Kevin. Thank you so much for joining me on the PODCAST As you know as our listeners know at this point you're my Go-to guy for everything. G leak and the G. League is come up quite a lot. This season The warriors lead very heavily on Santa Cruz. A lot of pertinent storylines going on down there and today there was G. League related news. That could have a massive impact on not only the NBA. Not only the G. League but recruiting in general NC double a. Other Professional Leagues Overseas Kevin what when you heard that. Jalen green the top her crew in the twenty twenty class projected number one pick and the twenty twenty one drafts. We're GONNA go to the G. League enjoying this new player development program through the G. League. What were your initial thoughts? The phrase Kinda came to me initially was. It's a monumental moment for this week now. Kind of last year rebellious seat said he was GonNa go play in the of course. Step that internship with like a million dollars. I believe in the hotel for him in personnel to with Oklahoma City. But this is kind of fun. Tears that G Week. I think was hoping to cross the news. Juicer that was really kinda legitimize. It is people who don't work. Let's you and I think people recognize its value in order to kind of legitimize to the public's things I think need to happen. One of them was j all Stars. Doing Rehab assignment. Injury Games nachos practice was very proud. Steam with Golden Sakes definitely. Santa Cruz is the next step would be for that. All starts playing a game and then the other one was get these five star top five ish crew out of high school to play in. Cuba for a season I was going to get. That was Bazeley last year. Reseda and green this year and now they're reports with US guys. Ahah taught his name as you might be part of this then. There's other names that those things could be part of this news nearly this new G. League affiliated team kind of not exactly a G. League team for salesforce for a title but It's its own. It might not change. They live for Jiri players and coaches. Who aren't affiliated with this exposure. That can get as a result. I mean it's there to serve and this is a seuss. Things kind of better develop process or further ten days mission statement of developing young talent losers. I Give Adam Silver Truth. Guru Sri who's Busy the president. Did she leave? He's the yeah. The president's really former CAL guy A lot of credit for how they went about this because They they basically saw that there was a need and they needed to fix it You know the fact that guys like Lamelo Ball and RJ Hampton. Were traveling all the way across the world to play in the Australian League for one season before going to the NBA. Just doesn't really reflect well on the developmental system that the NBA was trying to build in the G. League. And and I think the problem was even though they have good intentions last year when they initially unveiled this pro pathway And I think that you know there was a good idea there with this guy's making one hundred twenty five thousand dollars and things like that. I think they realized pretty quickly that they needed to do. Much more to entice these high level guys because these guys have a lot of options they could They could go to one of many different professional leagues overseas. They could go to the Blue Book. Blood College programs or they could just sit at home and sign endorsement deals and and wait until drafty and those are all honestly viable options for for someone like that and I think the problem with the last model of this pathway was that you know there were a the money probably wasn't good enough one hundred twenty five is not near. We'll guys were getting paid in Australia and some other overseas leagues. The other thing is that I think there were a lot of concerns from these players and their families about being thrown into some random. You know small market small town type team where you're living on your own and say Sioux Falls South Dakota or Or Stockton California or something like that. And you're you're forced to be an adult right away and go up against high level basketball players who might not have the greatest reputation because they're not in the NBA. But you and I both know having been around this league that a lot of these guys who are in the G. League or guys who just as good as you know a quarter of the guys currently in the NBA. So if they're not if they're not holding their own against these guys physically. Maybe they're not ready. I think a lot of Outsiders might look at that and think it reflects really poorly or they're not live up to the hype given just the reputation of the G. League so I think there were. There were a lot of understandable trepidation and that's ultimately why Bazeley backed out into Paul his agent Convinced him not to go forward with that plan. So I give I give Sirri Fedora. Hime and Adam Silvera a ton of credit and looking at what do these guys want? And what do we need to do to make this a viable option? Yeah No I. I agree with that assessment. One hundred percent because yeah. It's one thing you know playing playing against you know top five recruits from Kentucky. Who could project to be very good players or they could project to be is a play two to three years in the NBA and then playing against say like a thirty three zero point guard. Jeremy Cargo who we know has NBA level down these Chaudhry Golden State this year. There's a spot full time for him. Going up against a guy like that who was in his prime. Just a little bit task describes. Who's playing at a very high rebel? I mean those kind of guys. Those veteran guard soon veteran players could expose eighteen to nineteen year old so I think yeah. I think how they have kind of set. This up is well. Maybe it's not like Helix leksand's perspective for for those who do you follow the G. League Rather regularly like all right probably wish you could see them. Play Fifty Games a season again and be like monitoring for like a local market but it doesn't necessarily make sense. These high school kids to do it like that for the reasons you mentioned so I was reading some. Espn article looks like maybe ten. To Twelve Game Attrition Thousands League team and you play against the International Academies or other national team from from what I read I I. I think that's a really nice setup for these guys and do something a little bit different to make sure that you're getting these guys here in the first place the money I know they're i. I read one report that Sam. Mitchell is a candidate to be a coach for for this team. I mean we'll see if that happened but still like a coach like that entering the eighteen nineteen year old. It makes them with veterans and I. I think it's a great setup For the top high school process are GONNA be one year out of the secondary. Yeah there's still a lot of questions. But if let's say they can get five six high level recruits Put Him on this team. Jalen which seems realistic given The top level guys who have yet to commit anywhere Guys like High Soto On makers younger brother you know these are guys who would make a Lotta sense. Obviously todd that you mentioned earlier would make a lot of sense to go this route if you can put those guys on the team. Jalen and then round out that roster with kind of the Jeremy Part of the world with those guys who are well aware that you know. They're in being ambitions are probably over but they have some NBA experience and they have some high level Extended professional experience. Those guys can come in and mentor. You know these these future potential stars in the NBA on a daily basis to me. That sounds like an amazing opportunity for everyone involved. I know talking to someone like Jeremy. He seems like the type of guy that would really enjoy that type of opportunity. You know to cause a lot of these guys who been through the ups and downs. They WANNA get back. You know they wanna they wanNA help bring along that next generation. I think a lot of these guys would be really Excited about that kind of opportunity. And there's also those guys out there who maybe know still feel like they want an opportunity in the NBA or want some bigger professional opportunities and there's going to be so many scouts and so much attention on this team. You know not only. Are they going to be at every game or exhibition that that this team plays? But I'm sure there's GonNa be open practices and a Lotta things like that and so you know this is GonNa be Assad after team in a lot of ways and from what we're hearing is probably going to be based on La we've seen his not Hidalgo Texas. It's not Stockton it's not too old. It's not Irri Pennsylvania so To me this if I'm someone like lingering if I'm someone like cassette or a five star guy with definite lottery potential there is minimal downside to this past. I mean I know it's new and and so there's always some risk involved with anything that's new but three of our team and silver. I've done such a good job of eliminating every concern. These guys could possibly have. Yeah that's a good point. I the the one thing I answered. Now we're talking about how it deposits for veterans. Who WOULD BE HONEST? I am curious as to like the hypotheticals that is attracted to US offer of we end up playing with Jalen Greens and So saying makers potentially world is. Is it going to be a guy like Jeremy Parker who was thirty three and you know thinking about a potentially your wife after basketball coach or something? Is it going to be twenty four twenty five year old guys who are looking for their first shot in the NBA has their best arts? Twenty six twenty seven year old guys to move past years experience? They see it as a as route back to the NBA. And I'm like how much veterans with get paid. 'cause all right they're saying five hundred thousand dollars for these eighteen nineteen year old kids. Now you're GonNa have a you know a thirty year old or twenty six year old seeking standard Jewish contract thirty five thousand dollars without an MBA. Ason I I think that's part is GonNa be really wants us to see how that plays out because you out there aren't going to be a lot of is on their games that they're gonNA be playing sooner games and so. I think that's an interesting straight off that betters. We'll have to live. Yeah you bring up a really interesting point but you know one of the things that I definitely thought about when you know. They initially announced this pro pathway last year and obviously didn't get really much. Traction was just the locker room dynamics and the G. League the just delete environment is a fascinating environment It's part of why I love writing about it. there's so many Different personalities people who have different types of stories and a lot of a lot of guys you know in the G. League or are striving to make it to the NBA and that can mean that they want. They want shots. They want minutes. You know and I think that's the hardest part about being a coach and the G. League is learning. How is figuring out how to have some sort of roster and encore cohesion when you have all these guys trying to get numbers up to make it to the League and It would have been fascinating and potentially disastrous. I think to have a eighteen year. Old Kid who's never played professional basketball. Go Into G. League Oscar Room with guys who've been fighting inclined just for an opportunity to be seen by NBA Scouts and be making exponentially more than them And potentially be taken away minutes from guys who are two guys or or trying to land in. Nba contract That would be. I think that'd be tough. The thing about this situation and this pro. Pathway is that whoever ends up what whoever ends up going to. This team is not a recruit you know if we keep bringing up. Jeremy pocket but those types of guys who ended up deciding to go to this team. They're gonNA know what the situation is before they go there so they're gonNA signing on in a green to it knowing that. Jalen green is making way more money than they will be making And so there. I think that that that can help. Mitigate potential issues Because everyone involved knows the situation whereas if there is basically ended up going to the G. League whatever team he ends up on a lot of those guys didn't necessarily sign up to be playing with areas basically so they basically shows and it's like over like you know I'm actually even better than you and you're making five times what I'm making. That's really not cool. There's no doubt about that that's true. I guess I'm too like who are the kinds of veterans that like sign up for this like how how many how many veterans would be interested in an opportunity. Like this as like they're gonNA need if they get five or six players Like from you know the class of twenty twenty. They'RE GONNA be. You know four to five veterans like. Is there going to be a line out the door of these kind of veteran players or is it going to be a much smaller pool? I I'm just curious to see like kind of how that breaks down more of my conversation with Kevin Danna right after the break. Hey Audrey Cooper here editor in chief of the San Francisco Chronicle and we've ramped up the news coming at you from fifth emission except not the physical that the mission since we're all working at home the fifth and mission. That is our flagship news. Podcast were interviewing anyone with anything to say about the corona virus so that you have the latest information as soon as we know it so check it out the mission wherever you get your podcast. One thing that's interesting is how this whole thing kind of came together Normally when you have A major announcement like this you would you would just you know. Have a big press release. Maybe have a news conference. I know that would be tough given the current state of things. But you could do it on zoom or what have you You would have something to to to to get out in front of it. But what happened was Jalen green announces that he's going to the G. League. He says that he's going to this. This this player at this Pro Pathway thing and when he said it you know I I've written extensively a big feature on Jalen recently. I've spent time with him. I was even confused by what exactly that. Man. I'm thinking. Is he going to a team? Is there is there? Is this something else like I know. I know that there was the pro pathway but the way he's announced it kind of made it sound like he wasn't going to an actual team that exists. Currently so I was confused and then shortly thereafter yes. Pin Drafts a report with full quotes from three from door. Game and other guys. You know that it already reported this detailing the intricacies of the situation so my understanding and this is just an assumption based off the series of the time on events is that G. League decided we need a guy who's GonNa be the face of this guy who can bring excitement to this in legitimize. This jailing green is the perfect player to be that guy because jalen green is one of the best high school prospects in the past decade. He is he's drawn comparisons to Lebron James to Kobe Bryant. I've watched all his highlights. I've spent time with them. I've seen him shoot. Seen him play he is a guy who I honestly think that help an NBA team. Right now And he is to me a sure thing and a lot of these other guys were talking about the cash sodas in the world. I have no idea if they're how if they're ready for even a G. League Environment Jalen Green will if he was playing just in a normal G. League schedule next season would be probably the best player in the G. League. I think he is a future. All Star that type of Guy So he is the perfect person to be the first and I think what happened was they recruited him. He said they said. Hey you gotta be the start of this new thing the face of this exciting new program. We got going and then you know what since we? We want to be as minimal to you as possible. So we'll let you have your little moment. Let you announce this you know on your instagram live. And and and and get it out there before we even released details this and Oh yeah by the way you know how everyone has been saying. We're only paying one hundred twenty five. Yeah we'RE GONNA three five hundred thousand dollars and you can also because you're going to be a real. You can start sending endorsement deals. It's already coming out that he's getting seven figure. Offers Shoe deals so You know how how is an eighteen year old? Can you turn that down? Yeah I mean what he could be. May I know? But that's seven figure shoe deal at three million dollars Messer. No yes and and that was a good point. You bring up house announcing on why he said. I'm doing the new something like I'm joining the new league team for the only thing right when he? Yeah when you check out I'm like wait has like at first. I was like he he's He's got something wrong about this. There is no nothing announce a new team outside of the team in Mexico City right there I hope the God who Jackson and then of course All all the stuff comes out. And I see the shops ron okay. All right that's what you're talking about and then it's like oh there's going to be inserted in California. The first thing I'm thinking about well they used to have this place. Where the Bakersfield Jam Player? They'RE GONNA play they're like Oh then it's in La. I'm like. What are they gonNA play? Where the Lakers old practice facility is like? I'm trying to think about the personalized and all that stuff. And then of course all that goes with windows. Ten to twelve exhibitions potentially. I'm not sure if all those details are official official yet but Yeah stuff's came about like the yeah. It was interesting to kind of get all this information in about forty five minute span. Where like someone like me? I had no idea that all this was Kinda the word I think they did their best to make this. You know exciting to make this year's Eve They tried to keep this a secret. The best they could but obviously this had to have been in the works for a while. I went to Napa three or so weeks ago. It's been an afternoon with Jalen and his parents and his sister and for a bigger than that bigger profile I talked about earlier and You know whenever right talk to him about his decision. He was very reserved. Not Not giving up a lot of details but talking to the people around him It sounded like what I was hearing was. He's probably not seriously considering going overseas. But you know when I when I say these people We'll Jalen said that he's there's the thing about going pro us. And in retrospect I'm really mad at myself for not connecting the dots there But the reason I didn't is because this was not considered a viable thing for players of jalen caliber until now Under the heaviest model. I don't think the G. League would made sense for someone like Jalen And so but but now it's like okay. Well he's not going overseas going pro so I guess you would. Have you know the obvious thing? And he he he He kinda he kinda tried to throw people off the past yesterday. He had a an instagram video. Where he's a big decision. Come in and you had the Memphis hat auburn sweatshirt and then. Nbl shirt not nothing and someone had actually gone back into his his instagram and found a picture of him in his apartment with Geely cat on the on the table and actually went out and circle the hat instead. Someone's photo shopping stuff into my pictures. And then when he made the announcement today he was wearing that hat Yeah I know I was talking with. David Resnick He's less veteran takes products. Asir Guy Friend of mine. He's like I didn't even know they made she leaked faster those you got a collector's item there but You know it was really interesting to see how that all played out any kind of like what you were saying. I mean the Guy Kinda get your back on this like even I who protested the G. League for eight years I but to say there are. I kinda got professional tactics because no one was on it and Oh okay. I guess this didn't work. Maybe it will work in the future like I literally think about it for for a good. Wow because if it wasn't us and so I think a lot of people could be forgiven for like not really thinking about that seelig often all that seriously L. WanNa take it out there for quite high. Yeah and you know I think that that had to be disappointing for the G. League and for for the NBA. And you know as a top league in in the world. That's not even debatable. And I think there was a little bit of embarrassment. When RJ Hampton Lamelo Ball went to Australia and and you know everyone's streaming their games online. That got a ton of attention. I'm sure out. Silver was privately steaming thinking it makes literally no sense that someone would need to go across the world to do this when we should have every thing in our disposal to create that opportunity for them stateside and you know spent eighteen year olds you know. Generally speaking they. They want to do with what they're comfortable with. And I'm sure the average eighteen year old between going down to La and and getting a nice apartment or House with their family for for a year As opposed to going to Australia or country where they don't speak English. I'm sure they'd much rather go. Yeah exactly and forgiven Greenwood. Was that a two three hour time. Fresno where he's originally from so yeah I mean it's even Even more convenient for for a guy like Jalen Green and from an NBA perspective. And this is one thing that I've been saying for a while. And then you know as you lead players tried to get higher salaries and there has been progress in that with The the salaries to thirty five thousand dollars. And hopefully that's an he needs to know if you're the MTA the bachelor world she wants to have all the best assets under your umbrella and so what. What's the way to do that? Is You know one thing is to raise the pay. Puff that up to five hundred thousand dollars for for the professional pass for this new team for the school guys in and Yeah you want to have the best prospects. Possible the best you know. That's not gonNA be Declared Street wants to help for them under your belt. Many of them as possible is so today was definitely a big step in the right direction. And I'll be honest with you. I'm I'm happy about this because I feel like Hollywood sports college basketball in particular has become such a mockery It's such a Sam. I mean you have especially with these one and done guys you have these these five star guys now a Lotta them as as has been reported now as FBI. Investigation revealed are getting money under the table and from different back channels. And you know what to go to school for a semester. You as you know being in college you can. You can fail. You can literally not go to class and also master and you can still survive that semester in fail out and then just move on and go prepare for the NBA. So the entire entire ideas these one and done has really in a lot of instances become a charade and it gets to a point where it's like if we're if we're just going to if we're gonNA just let's stop pretending that these guys are student athletes and let's call it what it is if you. WanNa go if your goal is to be in the NBA and you've proven and showing that you have the potential to do that can just go pursue in. Do in let's not let's not let's not playing games here you know and so. I I respect someone like Jalen coming out and saying I want to be a pro and I'm I want to do what's best for me and and I'm not gonNA pretend like I I wanna be going to classroom. I mean if I had to do the exact same thing. Yeah Yeah I hear people say oh. You can't put a price on the college experience. Well it's like well you're you're not gonNA make a million dollars is a twenty year old or whatever like you need to go to college. I. It's like college experience. I mean these guys are literally there for a semester. You know they. It's a lot of them. Don't even really have to go to class. Because they know that you know. They know what their future is. You Know Kevin. Love has openly said. He's like I guess I was technically accommodate. Ucla but I never went to class. It's like why would you? You know you knew you were going to be a lottery. Big Yeah Yeah. And it's like another thing is i. Don't think this is the death knell of college basketball if people are still going to want to cheer on their modern. There's still like a lot of really good players who need to you. Know who can't develop into prose until they're twenty two twenty three years old like I think I think in some respects call this vassals he better off not having You know be clear. Cut Pros In their system with you know you know but came along with with the FBI investigation and all that not to say that won't continue of course will but Yeah I think you know as someone who does look around five worked in college basketball for plenty years. That's GonNa be just fine. I wouldn't be worried if I was in J. Fan but at the same time. It's good that the top caliber guys can be pros eighteen year old. Don't have to deal with that kind of charade as you say for that is pretty small. Section here Actually the there's a lot more over top in the world and there are Jalen Greens and by that I mean guys who are late blooming guys who you don't start to look like NBA prospects until they're twenty twenty one twenty two years old So we're talking about free. Smoker for people in their rowdy is the NBA. The Geely are going to be discerning about who they give these contracts to They're not yet. Have some three star guy is like hey I wanna I wanNA do this there. I highly doubt the G. League is GONNA say hey. We're going to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in you and one more thing I just. I think the timing of this is interesting in that. Nba is losing tens of millions. Hundreds of millions of dollars potentially over a billion dollars. They don't play any more games this season. There's so many questions about About the corona virus. The fact that they're doing this right now just shows you how serious they are. I mean this is quite a major financial investment at a time when finances are a real concern. Yeah no that's a great point and it. Kinda shows the immediacy of this 'cause like well people think that the twenty to twenty twenty drafts he year where you can country High school like that's not gonNA be your even. Yeah like that could happen but it could also not happen so You know you wanNA cover your basis and Yeah no it is interesting to see the M J KINDA. Go all out with this right now. I mean I. I love someone who works in the G. League don't only GonNa make things You know put more give more exposures for everyone Yeah it's it's really good me like a real like obviously we can't predict any of this stuff and it's like all right cool. It can be a little more hope for next season. There is one all right. Maybe just maybe there's a better chance. Obviously we can't say that we're not helpless but they gave me more hope that there would be next season Someone like Jalen to go bank on there being the G. League season next season as opposed to fly home across the world and moving to Australia. Right so I think that also It was kind of a perfect storm factors but I think that also helped the G. League case is a strong case to see these guys who might have been seriously looking at going overseas So Now it'll it'll be fascinating and the reality is that this is at its core really kind of an academy system so even if they couldn't play the full ten or twelve exhibition slate. They're gonna be able to you. Know hopefully potentially be training with high level professional basketball coaches and getting mentorship from high level professional basketball players. And you know at the at the very least you would think that Scouts will be coming to their practices. And that sort of thing so thanksgiving man I appreciate it. Yeah Yeah thank you. Yeah really enjoyed our thanks to Dan for joining me on the PODCASTS. Always appreciate his inside on the G. League were awkward is a production of the San Francisco Chronicle Support Warriors in the newsroom. That creates it by signing up for chronicle membership s of chronicle dot com slash pot.