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Marcus Smart: does he hate money?

marcus smart dive


What if this dive had ended in a serious injury?

Being Kentucky fans under the magnificent reign of John Calipari over Camelot, we’ve grown accustomed to the benefits and the pitfalls of the one-and-done rule. We’ve seen insanely talented teams all head off for greener ($$$) pastures and we’ve seen young talent struggle to live up to pro-expectations. But the most important thing we’ve witnessed is 15 (+2 including Archie and Nerlens) kids reaching their dreams via Lexington. And that’s a great thing to see.

Now, we’ve got the news that sure-fire top 5 pick Marcus Smart will return to Ok. State for his sophomore season and forego the NBA. While Travis Ford and (apparently) Jabari Parker couldn’t agree with the decision more, I must question it. I am all for kids loving the college experience, despite its amateurism, and wanting to stay. But at what point does saying no to the NBA become a gamble with guaranteed money? I think turned down a top 5 pick is akin to playing blackjack and hitting on a ‘soft 20’ when the dealing is showing any number 2 through 9.

You would think that any player this season had two very strong reasons to turn pro if they were a sure-fire top pick: (1) next year’s draft with Wiggins, Randle, and company is going to be so deep and (2) Nerlens Noel’s injury. Throw in the fall of Cody Zeller from lottery pick to question mark and the raised expectations for Smart next season, and it seems that overstaying your welcome in the NCAA after this season is a risky move. I’ll spare you but for more, Alex Kennedy makes a good argument for turning pro if you are a top prospect.

I’d be overjoyed if top picks stayed at UK for longer than a year, but I’d simultaneously fear for their future earnings every time someone leapt in the air. I applaud Marcus Smart for wanting to win a title and not being all about the money, but I am a gambler at heart too.

What do you think: foolish or noble move by Smart to stay?

Article written by Chris Thomas

49 Comments for Marcus Smart: does he hate money?

  1. tdogg40330
    6:08 pm April 17, 2013 Permalink

    It does sound pretty silly to return if he’s a top 5 pick, but
    he’ll get rich either way. If an injury was to happen, he’ll still
    got a lot of insurance money. I’d have to go ahead and take the big
    pay check though ….

  2. Mike
    6:09 pm April 17, 2013 Permalink


  3. really?
    6:10 pm April 17, 2013 Permalink

    Does he REALLY think he’ll win a championship at OK St. ? Not saying it can’t happen but….

  4. real world
    6:11 pm April 17, 2013 Permalink

    Probably doesn’t hate money. Just wants to develop his game, and get an education.

  5. Nah
    6:17 pm April 17, 2013 Permalink

    @4 nah, he hates money…

  6. mudcreekmark
    6:18 pm April 17, 2013 Permalink

    People bitch when a young kid is a one and done and they bitch when they have the chance and turn it down.

  7. Mack
    6:18 pm April 17, 2013 Permalink

    Travis Ford is the man and besides there is some pretty big money behind the OSU athletic programs.

  8. mudcreekmark
    6:19 pm April 17, 2013 Permalink

    T. Boone Pickens may pay him more than the Cavs can.

  9. tdogg40330
    6:19 pm April 17, 2013 Permalink

    6) They just bitch at Calipari for havin 1 and done …. haters gonna hate !!!

  10. mudcreekmark
    6:21 pm April 17, 2013 Permalink

    Jabari Parker hating on the one and done. Well when your dad made millions in the NBA maybe you don’t need the money as money as someone who grew up in the ghetto with no father and or mother around.

  11. Serious question
    6:23 pm April 17, 2013 Permalink

    If Smart got injured and completely gave up basketball, forfeiting his ncaa status forever, couldn’t Pickens give him 10 mil and ok st be spared any penalty? Unless of course they had proof of an agreement…but that would be legit wouldn’t it?

  12. Reality
    6:25 pm April 17, 2013 Permalink

    Maybe he likes being a kid and going to school. Some kids don’t want to just be pushed through the system. May not be the case with Smart, but about half of the first round picks end up in the D-League. Why not stick around and mature and maybe take a few personal finance and business classes before going to the NBA. I mean, 70% of NBA players are broke within 4 years of playing their last game.

  13. brain
    6:26 pm April 17, 2013 Permalink

    Very foolish but T. Boone has extremely deep pockets.

  14. El Guapo
    6:29 pm April 17, 2013 Permalink

    No guarantee he’ll even go lottery in next year’s draft. You can take online classes while you play for money if you really want a degree that badly. You can always go back to school. You can’t always get guaranteed lottery money. You just need a few years of that money and you can retire for life if you invest it soundly.

  15. SexnNursinHomes
    6:30 pm April 17, 2013 Permalink

    He doesn’t hate money. He’s scared of money.

  16. real world
    6:30 pm April 17, 2013 Permalink

    5) Nah? I guess that means no. Looks like someone should have stayed in school instead of “loving money.”

  17. here ya go
    6:32 pm April 17, 2013 Permalink

    maybe the kid wants to prepare himself for a career instead of a job.. maybe he takes pride in walking into the nba with a solid foundation instead of a 1 year apprenticeship and the money grab.. kudos to you Mr. Smart.

  18. Larry
    6:35 pm April 17, 2013 Permalink

    You can’t generalize. It’s different for each individual. He may not need the money and wants to enjoy college life a little more.

  19. SexnNursinHomes
    6:36 pm April 17, 2013 Permalink

    Nike: We wanna sign you to a $30 million showe deal.
    Smart: nahhh, I think I’ll pass on that.
    Nike: But it’s $30 million
    Smart: That’s ok, Mr Nike, I got an athlete’s food card and to be truthful, I’d rather be writing papers in English 101

  20. Hathead
    6:41 pm April 17, 2013 Permalink

    Stay in school, be treated like a king, play 30-35 games a year, or play 82 on an NBA treadmill, getting picked apart by the media, criticized by your boss, treated like a pawn by the company. Sometimes I think Boogie wishes he’d stayed.

  21. Thane of Denmark
    6:42 pm April 17, 2013 Permalink

    I motion for a vote of “real world” earning the title of “KSR Troll of the Day.”

  22. Rich
    6:44 pm April 17, 2013 Permalink


  23. stupid
    6:46 pm April 17, 2013 Permalink

    What a silly blog. We shouldn’t criticize a kid that wants to stay in school.

  24. bosshog
    6:46 pm April 17, 2013 Permalink

    Reality check for Marcus’ title aspirations: there very well could be 3-4 players who go ahead of you next year…..on the UK roster.

  25. Rich
    6:46 pm April 17, 2013 Permalink

    Guess that’s a good decision since he was sooo close to winning the NCAA championship this year.

  26. Rich
    6:49 pm April 17, 2013 Permalink

    Right on 23, he should stay in school so he can get a good job and get paid well.

  27. atticus
    6:49 pm April 17, 2013 Permalink


  28. Really?
    6:52 pm April 17, 2013 Permalink

    As a huge college bball fan, I love the fact that he is staying. He enjoys college, so let him keep enjoying it. I dont understand how someone can fault him for wanting to stay. Yeah I know money is involved, but no matter what happens he will be a millionaire at some point. A freak injury happens, well hopefully has insurance like Nerlens did. He goes pro next year and gets picked after some of the incoming studs, oh no, he only gets a cpl of million. Even the craziest, say he stays 4 years and has the best time of his life and has to wait being a millionaire for 4 years and becomes even more of a beast. Personally I’m glad he doesnt play for the tards or gators, but I dont see how as college bball fans u cant embrace this.

    I was always broke in college and make decent money now, but I wouldnt have traded my 4 year college experience and being broke to get what I have now… and I dont make anywhere close to what he will make.

  29. Rich
    6:56 pm April 17, 2013 Permalink

    Right on 20, I agree. Bet Boogie is kicking himself for not staying and finishing up that chemistry degree he was working on. Not only is Smart taking a huge chance on falling in the draft and/or an injury but he is also passing up a year of prime earnings that could be banked and invested. That’s one year longer to even bigger money after the initial contract is up.

  30. maverick
    6:58 pm April 17, 2013 Permalink

    does anyone really think he’s not going to the nba? someone’s blowing hummingbird juice up his ass. as soon as he realizes how much he stands to get as the #2 pick, he will wake up and take the money. take it to the bank

  31. stillHere
    6:58 pm April 17, 2013 Permalink

    A more serious question – Can Lebron come back and play college once he retires?

  32. What about me?
    6:59 pm April 17, 2013 Permalink

    Do you think I hate money too? I was late lottery at worst.

  33. Deacon
    7:02 pm April 17, 2013 Permalink

    Quick, name a player who was projected as a lottery pick, got injured, and ruined an NBA career. I’m sure someone can come up with one, but it’s rare. I went to school with Tim Duncan, he stayed four years to develop his game and grow and mature as a person. The additional years prepared him as a player and person for what will be one of the top 5 NBA careers ever. And I guarantee in 10 years he won’t be on Outside the Lines talking about how he lost all his money.

  34. Dash
    7:13 pm April 17, 2013 Permalink

    I do not appreciate you Chris Thomas. I’m sorry.

  35. Jen
    7:22 pm April 17, 2013 Permalink

    All of the philistines who think that money should decide everything are the fools not Smart.

  36. Dane Brammage
    7:24 pm April 17, 2013 Permalink

    Its a bo nrainer.

  37. SexnNursinHomes
    7:27 pm April 17, 2013 Permalink

    33- Greg Oden. I just read your post at 7:25. Sorry it took me a couple minutes to respond.

  38. Deacon
    7:38 pm April 17, 2013 Permalink

    37, he was still picked #1 and got a second NBA contract. He made tons of money. It did not cost him NBA money. Career was a bad choice of words, I should of said cost them NBA money.

  39. Money pro
    7:39 pm April 17, 2013 Permalink

    When I was at UK I couldn’t wait to get the big time job. Now that I have it I would do anything to go back and be a poor college student having fun.

  40. Deacon
    7:41 pm April 17, 2013 Permalink

    Also, Oden didn’t come back for a second year and get hurt. He went after his first year.

  41. SexnNursinHomes
    7:59 pm April 17, 2013 Permalink

    38- thanks for clearing that up. I read your post wrong.

  42. Jackson Purchase
    8:52 pm April 17, 2013 Permalink

    Good decision stay and enjoy the college experience. Smart will only improve and will still be a top 5 pick next year.

  43. Jackson Purchase
    9:12 pm April 17, 2013 Permalink

    #42. Seriously doubt that he will be a top 5 pick next year. There are great players coming up to the college level. Probably much better than he is. He may not even have as good of a year next year as he did the last. He may get hurt or who knows what could happen. My opinion: very stupid decision. You won’t win a championship against the U of K CATS! TAKE THE MONEY while you’ve got the chance!!!

  44. Jackson Purchase
    9:13 pm April 17, 2013 Permalink

    #42 Kinda weird how we got the same name huh?

  45. Reality Check
    10:03 pm April 17, 2013 Permalink

    bad decision…period…not even debatable…weak draft this year…next year’s draft loaded…the risk of an injury is always a real one…whoever advised this kid is King Dumbass

  46. SeoulCat
    10:25 pm April 17, 2013 Permalink

    Love it. If I were a top pick, I’d stay all four years and then go for my doctorate before turning pro. Wait, I’d be too old to be selected at that point, and I’d have to accept a job that pays me 90,000$/year! Who cares??? There is far more to life than money. Our priorities as Americans are really messed up.

  47. El Guapo
    1:33 am April 18, 2013 Permalink

    Trust me: you can still party with college girls if you’re in the NBA. Hell, ask Larry Eustachy; you can still party with college girls when you’re a middle-aged head coach at another school.

    Whoever said money isn’t what it’s all about…is dead wrong.

  48. putinrichie
    5:25 am April 18, 2013 Permalink

    The reality check is that these career threatening injuries that people always talk about almost never happen. Even Noel had a major injury and he’s still projected to be a Top 3 pick. In the real world, tbere isn’t even a 1% chance of having a career threatening injury. The real percentages are far less than that.

    I won’t debate that this years draft provides a greater opportunity since next years draft is loaded. I also don’t question any one and done who leaves as a likely Top 10 pick, or even someone trying to provide for their family. It’s very hard to turn down guaranteed money. That said, leaving early is not the right decision for everyone and we don’t know his family situation. Maybe his parents earn a good living and don’t need the money. Maybe he wants to be more NBA ready when he gets to the league, so that he can make more money for his second contract.

  49. tampa satchel
    8:46 am April 18, 2013 Permalink

    Who cares? What business is it of ours? If the kid wants to stay that’s his choice.