Oct 15, 2013, 2:06 PM EST
One of the most interesting, and underreported, aspects of Andrew Wiggins’ decision to enroll at Kansas instead of Florida State, North Carolina and Kentucky had little to do with basketball and everything to do with shoes.
Wiggins came up as a Nike kid. He played for the CIA Bounce, which is affiliated with Nike. Huntington Prep, Wiggins’ high school, was sponsored by the swoosh as well. But Kansas is an Adidas school, which more or less goes against everything that we’ve ever been told about shoe companies and recruiting.
How could Nike let the most hyped prospect in years end up at an Adidas school?
Perhaps more interesting: Who will Wiggins sign with when he gets out of college, and how much will that contract guarantee him?
Well, according to this story from Jared Zwerling of Bleacher Report, Wiggins could be looking at a 10-year deal worth somewhere between $140 million and $180 million. That’s a lot of money.
Zwerling’s story is a fascinating look at certain aspects of the shoe industry. For example, if Nike shelled out that kind of money for Wiggins and made a push to turn him into one of the bigger names in the company, would that anger their two biggest stars, Lebron and Kevin Durant? What about Kobe? Would he take kindly to the swoosh making a bid to bring his defacto replacement under the company’s wing? How would Kyrie Irving feel, seeing as he may be passed over as the next big thing?
Zwerling also points out that something that I never realized about the shoe business: the companies don’t profit off of these massive contracts. Lebron didn’t become profitable under his ninth season with Nike. That’s not exactly a great business model.
More than anything, however, here’s the takeaway you should have when reading those numbers: it’s a joke to say that college athletes are getting a fair deal with a scholarship when Nike would be willing to pay Wiggins somewhere around $15 million a year to wear their shoes. Granted, Wiggins is an exception, not a rule; his value is rooted in how unique he is as a prospect.
But what about a guy like Marcus Smart? He’s an all-american that returned to school and he has a future in the NBA. You don’t think there’s significant value there? Or what about a guy like Alex Len? He played at Maryland, where Under Armour founder Kevin Plank went to school. Under Armour is trying to break into the basketball shoe market. You don’t think they would have been willing to spend some money to get him under the UA umbrella once they realized he had a shot to make the league?
This is an argument that takes a lot more than just a 400 word blog post to make, but it is worth pointing out just how much value some of these “amateurs” and “student-athletes” actually have.
Dec 20, 2013, 2:35 AM EST
NEW YORK — UCLA will be worth the watch every time they take the floor this season. That’s just what happens when you have as much talent as the Bruins do. Kyle Anderson and Jordan Adams are both going to find themselves in the conversation for being all-americans and first round draft picks by the…
Dec 20, 2013, 1:44 AM EST
GAME OF THE NIGHT: No. 8 Duke 80, UCLA 63 Jabari Parker finished with 23 points, 10 boards and five assists to lead the Blue Devils to a win over UCLA at Madison Square Garden on Thursday night. As good as Parker was, however, the real star of the game of Rasheed Sulaimon, who shook…
Dec 20, 2013, 1:09 AM EST
After winning its season opener against Hawaii Pacific, Long Beach State lost nine straight games in a variety of ways. There were blowouts, and there were also close defeats like their one-point loss to Loyola Marymount on November 14. Dan Monson’s team has traditionally played a brutal non-conference schedule, with the goal being to enter…
Dec 20, 2013, 12:30 AM EST
In recent years there have been many examples of servicemen and women surprising family members at sporting events, with their loved ones unaware of the fact that they’ve returned home from active duty. Master Sergeant Chris Campbell, who’s stationed in Tucson at Davis Monthan Air Force base, surprised his wife and two children during a…
Dec 19, 2013, 11:27 PM EST
Top-ranked Arizona remained undefeated on Thursday night, pulling away in the second half and beating reigning SWAC tournament champion Southern by a 69-43 final score. With starting center Kaleb Tarczewski out after spraining his ankle in the Wildcats’ win at Michigan on Saturday freshman Rondae Hollis-Jefferson moved into the starting lineup, meaning that Arizona needed…
Dec 19, 2013, 9:24 PM EST
NEW YORK — There was nothing memorable about the shot. It was one of six threes that No. 8 Duke made and one of 18 that they hoisted up in the first half of their 80-63 win over UCLA on Thursday night in Madison Square Garden. It was the kind of play that gets taught…
Dec 19, 2013, 8:18 PM EST
Over the years music has been used as a way for teams and their fans to discuss their excellence in a way that is far removed from the standard media interviews or, in the case of fans, a sign brought to a game or a few moments of screaming in the background of a television…
Dec 19, 2013, 6:55 PM EST
Just days before the start of the season, 6-foot-6 junior wing Andrew Smeathers announced his decision to leave Butler at the end of the fall semester. Having played an average of just four minutes per game in two seasons at the school, Smeathers made the decision based upon his desire for more playing time. On…
Dec 19, 2013, 5:20 PM EST
Last season interior play was an issue for Nevada, as they lacked the pieces needed to supplement what Deonte Burton, Jerry Evans Jr. and Malik Story provided on the perimeter. As a result the Wolf Pack struggled in their Mountain West debut, winning just three conference games and finishing with an overall record of 12-19.…
Dec 19, 2013, 4:08 PM EST
Andrew Wiggins, Joel Embiid, Julius Randle, Jabari Parker. Those are the names that pique the interest of NBA fans and GMs alike. They are part of the reason that ‘tanking’ and ‘freshmen’ have dominated the talk about basketball throughout the fall. But they aren’t alone. There is Marcus Smart. And Aaron Gordon. And Noah Vonleh.…
Dec 19, 2013, 3:42 PM EST
GAME OF THE DAY: No. 8 Duke vs. UCLA, 7:30 p.m. at Madison Square Garden Two blue blood programs squaring off in the world’s most famous arena? Yes, please. By now, we know what we’re getting from Duke. They are a team with a loaded perimeter attack that can beat anyone when and if they…
Dec 19, 2013, 2:33 PM EST
Assembly Hall has a new name. Thanks to a $40 million donation from Cindy Simon Skjodt, the place where the Indiana Hoosiers play their home games will now be called … Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. Cindy has donated millions to Indiana over the years, and the money will be used to refurbish and improve Indiana’s athletic facilities,…
Dec 19, 2013, 2:21 PM EST
In a new series here on College Basketball Talk, every Thursday we’re going to have a discussion about some of the hot topics in college basketball. Today’s installment? The 12 teams still left undefeated. Who is the first to lose? Can anyone actually make it to February without a loss? Will we ever see another…
Dec 19, 2013, 1:40 PM EST
Michigan State isn’t the only team in the state that’s currently banged up. Michigan is as well. Star center Mitch McGary is not yet healthy, according to John Beilein. He missed the entire preseason and the first two games of the season a back injury. He’s had a thigh contusion. He’s tweaked his ankle a…
Dec 19, 2013, 12:57 PM EST
On Tuesday night, with two minutes left in Michigan State’s blowout win over North Florida, Tom Izzo got on the microphone and honored longtime referee Ed Hightower. It was a great moment, and another reason to love Izzo. But it wasn’t his idea. He stole it from Tom Crean! Check it out: I’m mostly kidding.…
Dec 19, 2013, 12:27 PM EST
New Mexico will be without starting guard Hugh Greenwood against Marquette on Saturday in Las Vegas. Greenwood has been battling a wrist injury for a couple weeks. He initially injured in when the Lobos took on New Mexico State in their first matchup on December 4th. It’s his right wrist, his shooting wrist. Greenwood took…
Dec 19, 2013, 10:30 AM EST
It wasn’t quite a buzzer-beater, but LIU-Brooklyn’s Gerrell Martin buried a three to break a 79-all tie and given the Blackbirds a win over Lamar.
Dec 19, 2013, 9:15 AM EST
Saint Louis seems like a fun team to play on. I want to know how many times they had to try that before they finally got it right.
- UCLA has a lot to learn if they are going to be a contender in the Pac-12 0
- Rasheed Sulaimon climbs out of the doghouse in No. 8 Duke’s 80-63 win 0
- CBT Weekly Roundtable: Who will be the next undefeated team to lose? 2
- Texas hangs on to beat No. 14 North Carolina in Chapel Hill 4
- The Chase for 180: Nic Moore’s hot start 0
- Report: Former North Carolina guard Will Graves arrested on drug charges at home owned by head coach Roy Williams (20)
- Kentucky is a flawed team, but does that mean they can’t contend? (12)
- WATCH: Southern Illinois coach Barry Hinson unloads in press conference (9)
- Leslie McDonald has been cleared, while reports say P.J. Hairston unlikely to play this season (7)
- Weekend Preview: Iowa-Iowa State highlights a rivalry-heavy weekend slate (5)