In Choosing to Play Overseas Ahead of His Draft Year, RJ Hampton Made Quite the Argument on Behalf of Giving the Middle Finger to the NCAA
Huh. So you mean to tell me that, by unexpectedly steering clear of the college route, RJ Hampton will be making himself some money, better preparing for life as a professional athlete, and avoiding the distraction that is an inevitably abrupt and empty education before entering the NBA Draft? Well, when you put it like that it almost seems as though the NCAA shouldn't feel quite so comfortable about continuing to exercise what was thought to be a unlimited amount of power in profiting off high-profile players who figured themselves to have no other legitimate alternative to the money-making scheme of a scam that clings to the most disingenuous definition of amateurism.
In all seriousness, one premier prospect having the balls to try to his hand at overseas ball, while giving up the publicity that comes with being exploited by a college basketball blue-blood, isn't going to serve as the dam-breaker for a wave of high-quality high school kids to follow his lead to Australia, or New Zealand, or wherever else. Especially since we've yet to see in which direction his draft stock fluctuates after doing so. Still, even one player of his caliber betting on himself by more or less telling someone with the prestige of Bill Self to shove it is a relatively huge step in the right direction.
Slowly but surely, the sports' world is at least trying to distance itself from an institution as demonstrably dumb as the NCAA. It might be moving at a snail's pace, but basketball needed an American-born phenom to go global in shooing the seductiveness of an objectively unjust "developmental" system. They finally got one, and hopefully that leads to two sooner rather than later. Simply put, it's a small victory, but a victory nonetheless.