The internet really is a funny place sometimes.
Yesterday, I wrote an article detailing why I didn’t think it was the best move for RJ Hampton to spend next season in New Zealand playing in the NBL Australia’s professional basketball league. Honestly, at the time, the article didn’t feel all that “controversial” to me. Hampton’s stated reasoning for going to Australia was that this league would “best prepare him” for the NBA in 2020 and beyond, and I simply didn’t believe that. I simply didn’t buy that playing in a league with a 28-game schedule, against good, but not elite international competition was the “best” way to prepare him for the NBA.
And yes, the competition is good, but not elite. With all due respect, the last two Rookie’s of the Year in the league have been Isaac Humphries (Kentucky) and Harry Froling (Marquette), two players who literally couldn’t get off the bench for major colleges.
To be clear, I never said the level of competition in college is better than Australia. But again, Hampton’s stated goal was to do what will “best prepare him for the NBA.” And as I said on my podcast (though unfortunately not in the article), part of the “best way to prepare” is to play against the best possible competition. Therefore, playing in the G-League (which is an option for elite high school players) or in a top European league seemed like it would be better preparation. Beyond that, if it was really about “living a pro lifestyle” I believe that college was just as good of an option, you know, since colleges actually play more games, over a shorter stretch of time than the NBL.
Now call me crazy, but to me, that doesn’t feel all that controversial of a take. You can disagree, but my argument seems relatively simple and logically thought out.
Or, so I thought.
Because apparently I caused an international controversy by simply stating that I don’t believe Australia/New Zealand is the best option for RJ Hampton next season – which it isn’t.
In essence, I got the entire country of Australia mad.
There were so many tweets that my thumb got tired scrolling through them all. But here are some of the best ones:
This is the most laughably dumb thing I’ve read in a couple of days. Do yourself the favour and give him the clicks he desperately wants. You’ll enjoy the hell out of reading it. https://t.co/XOa7v1YIcR
— Mark Gottlieb (@MarkGottliebFOX) May 29, 2019
Sometimes, you read a story and decide that is enough internet for the day. This is that story.
— Scott Pryde (@sk_pryde) May 29, 2019
— Brayden Heslehurst (@bheslehurst) May 29, 2019
Tiago’s tweet doesn’t really make sense, which is disappointing since he has “writer” in his bio. I do appreciate the effort of casually dropping an f-bomb in however.
This how you fucked up being a writer without consulting good sources… Smh https://t.co/1k90fIF6rj
— Tiago Magalhães (@tiagomag12) May 29, 2019
For those who tried to defend the league (which isn’t necessary), they argued that the league has produced several future NBA players the last couple years. You know, the same amount that the big-time colleges (Duke, Kentucky, UCLA, Kansas) produce every season:
Wow what a piss poor article ! Torrent Craig (Nuggets) Bogut (Warriors) T Furgeson (OKC) played NBL last 2 seasons n are on NBA rosters. This is why the US is a laughing stock when you can’t even use the Internet properly https://t.co/unw3UztgRP
— ?Geoff Scott (@Insane_Itchy) May 29, 2019
Over the past two years playing NBL looks to have worked out well for:
So there doed appear to be 'a shred of evidence' playing NBL can develop your game in readiness for NBA.
— Millsy (@swooper_16) May 29, 2019
Heck, Harry Froling, last year’s NBL Rookie of the Year even got involved. Yes, the same Harry Froling who averaged three points per game at Marquette two years ago.
— Harry Froling (@HarryFroling) May 29, 2019
There are more and more and more and more, but we’ll just stop here. Especially since this whole story ends with a happy ending.
Although, I have pissed off every fan and media member in Australia, the folks at the NBL, the league Hampton will play in, couldn’t have been nicer, even if he called me Adam.
Think you are grossly underestimating the NBL Adam. Happy to chat further however!
— Nick Johnston (@nick_nbl) May 29, 2019
After a few DM’s with Nick, it appears as though the head of the league will be appearing on the next Aaron Torres Sports Podcast to discuss my article.
And sorry to all of Australia for making you mad.
Even if what I wrote was true.