A couple of days later Dan Majerle—former Suns star, current college coach, no Googling required—came up during a camp game and said, “Nico, Grand Canyon University is offering you a scholarship. Now go back to the game.” San Francisco came next, sight unseen, followed by Utah State and Utah, Pace’s alma mater. This meant Nico had six scholarship offers before he’d played a game in high school, which Pace deems “crazy” but is not all that uncommon. High-profile middle schoolers have been targeted for years, going back to 2003, when Taylor King accepted an offer to UCLA before his first high school game. More recently, LeBron James Jr., who is 10, reportedly received college offers, which understandably pissed off his dad. And there exist websites already covering “The Class of 2027”, also known as second graders. The fact that all this happens does not make it right, much less beneficial in any way to the still-developing boys, only legally allowable.
Speaking at his annual state-of-the-NBA address on the eve of Sunday’s All-Star Game, Silver was asked about the age minimum and if it’s an issue that doesn’t need a collective bargaining agreement negotiation to revisit. “Well, first of all, we absolutely need the union in order to revisit the age,” Silver said. “The current age minimum of 19 years old, but something Michele and I discussed directly — and this is different than last time we negotiated a Collective Bargaining Agreement — is that rather than say to you that talk to us in seven years when we sit back down to negotiate a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, I think she and I both agree that it’s the kind of issue that needs to be studied, in essence, outside of the bright lights of collective bargaining.”
President Trump will not fill out an NCAA tournament bracket and offer analysis on March Madness as his predecessor Barack Obama did on ESPN during his time in the White House. ESPN spokesman Mike Soltys tweeted the network’s official comment: “We expressed our interest to the White House in continuing the presidential bracket. They have respectfully declined.”
Still, Nico grew some and kept getting better until, one afternoon in eighth grade, his dad handed him a cellphone on the way back from practice, and the voice on the other end was Cal State–Northridge coach Reggie Theus, who said he just knew that Nico was going to be his kind of player, and that he wanted to make him a scholarship offer right there, on the phone, without even seeing him in person, because that way Nico would always remember that it was Theus, a former NBA star, who offered first, way before all the big schools. And upon hearing this, Nico freaked out a bit but tried to look supercool, because one of his teammates was in the car and, besides, that’s what you do when you’re a real baller.