NBA Prospect Scores Million Dollar ‘Internship’

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

David Hookstead Smoke Room Editor-in-Chief

Basketball star Darius Bazley is about to be one of the highest paid interns we’ve ever heard of.

The New York Times reported the following:

Darius Bazley, a top basketball prospect, is skipping college and charting a new path for draft prep: earning $1 million as an intern for New Balance.

The internship, to be precise, is folded into a handsome shoe contract Bazley, 18, has landed with New Balance on the lure of his pro potential. According to Paul, Bazley’s multiyear deal will pay him $1 million “no matter what happens” with his N.B.A. career — and can pay up to $14 million if he reaches all performance incentives.

This is absolutely absurd; skipping college, taking a year to prepare for the draft and getting paid more money than most people make in a couple years as an intern. (RELATED: LeBron James Signs With The Lakers)

I’m not the person running New Balance, but handing a kid at least a million dollars before he’s played a second of professional basketball seems a little risky. One torn ACL and he might never play again.

He looks like he has a ton of talent, but he’s still just a young man. How are you gonna keep a kid focused as an “intern” after handing him this much cash? There’s a very real possibility that you don’t. Tons of people would get their hands on that type of money and all hell would break loose.

I certainly hope the guy in charge of handing out these contracts for New Balance knows what he’s doing. This is the type of decision that seems like it could cost you your job if it goes south.

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