Editorial

LeBron James Says His Family ‘Wouldn’t Have Benefited At All’ By Him Playing College Basketball

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

David Hookstead Smoke Room Editor-in-Chief

LeBron James had some harsh words on Monday about what college basketball would have been like if he had decided to play.

King James famously was the first pick in the 2003 draft right out of high school, and has dominated the NBA ever since day one. Now, he’s pushing hard for college athletes to be able to get money for their likeness, which California just passed a bill allowing. (RELATED: Ron Artest Says LeBron James Was Dominating NBA Players As A High School Kid)

When outlining what playing college would have been like, the three-time NBA champion said his family “wouldn’t have benefited at all” in a video posted by Ben Golliver.

You can watch his full comments below.

I understand the point King James is making, and the Los Angeles superstar is pretty much correct. Yes, if he had played in college back in the day, he wouldn’t have been able to get a check cut to him.

Outside of the value of the education, housing, food and personal trainers, he wouldn’t have gotten much. That’s a conversation worth having.

 

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Having said all that, let’s not pretend like basketball players don’t have other options available to them if they don’t want to play in college.

Europe is full of leagues willing to pay top Americans, and you can make some serious cash overseas. However, the reality of the situation is that even the best American prep players aren’t ready for the pro leagues overseas.

Brandon Jennings was a superstar in high school and was great in the NBA. He still struggled mightily his first year out of high school in Italy.

Is there money to be made over there? Yes, but most guys just aren’t ready, which means college is the route they have to take.

If a guy doesn’t want to play in college and wants money ASAP, then there’s avenues for that. Not so much for football players.

 

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Of course, the age restrictions in the NBA might soon be a thing of the past, and this won’t even be an issue anymore.

As for LeBron James, I think it’s safe to say he’s made plenty of money in his career. I think he’s going to be just fine.