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Show 'Em The Money


If there was ever any doubt this from SB Nation — LeBron James, Kentucky And The AAU Revolution — should lay it to rest: From the beginnings in spring and summer AAU competition to college (now nearly mandatory due to the one-and-done arrangement) to the NBA the driving force is the almighty (not so much these days) dollar and not so much for the young man and his family.

However, basketball players are kept in the dark through most of their adolescence, prevented from using their talent to increase their social capital. In the name of amateurism, a concept invented to make it harder for lower-income kids to compete with the sons of privilege in the early 20th century, a firm barrier is ruthlessly enforced between the families of top players and people who could help them manage and handle the money.

The piece contains all the characters one would expect: Lebron, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, and other NBA stars, Wes Wesley, John Calipari, Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Marquis Teague, Terrence Jones, Darius Miller. From this it appears that Calipari's "players first" program is on the leading edge of a revolution.

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