So far, the bribery scandal rocking NCAA men’s basketball has not directly touched the NBA. Yes, former NBA Rookie of the Year Chuck Person was one of the people arrested, and prominent NBA agent Andy Miller reportedly had his office raided by the FBI (one of the people arrested in the probe was a former employee of the firm, but he had been fired previously). Still, the scandal has not landed on the league’s doorstep. Yet.
At his press conference Thursday after the NBA owners meetings, Silver was asked about the scandal.
“But I would say both as a fan of college basketball and of course from my capacity as Commissioner of the NBA, it’s disconcerting to say the least, when you see those kind of charges being made.
“I think as I step back and look more at the larger basketball community, there are things that we’ve been doing over the last several years to become more involved in youth basketball… I would say I’ve watched sort of what’s been happening in college basketball, and maybe at the end of the day, it’s not so surprising that the incentives become skewed. The amount of money is astronomical in terms of what’s being generated by these programs, what’s at stake for these young players coming into the NBA.
“So, where historically it’s been an area, particularly AAU basketball, that the league has stayed out of, I think these most recent revelations are just a reminder that we’re part of this larger basketball community. I think ultimately, whether we like it or not, need to be more directly involved with elite youth basketball.”
Silver has said this before, that he wants the NBA to be part of, and maybe spearhead, changes in the youth basketball landscape. That sounds great, but changing how things work would be about as easy as changing the electoral college — it’s how things have been done for a long time and there are a lot of people profiting from it, people invested in the status quo.
The league may not do anything with this scandal, but the players’ union — which certifies agents — is taking a long hard look at it.