J. Cole’s professional basketball career has been, for lack of a better term, pretty modest. As a player for Patriots Basketball Club in the inaugural season of the Basketball Africa League, Cole has scored five points in three games. He’s looked like, well, a person playing professional basketball for the first time, although he does certainly have some skill on the court.
The biggest thing Cole’s done is bring attention to the league, although for one player, that trade-off is not worth it. Terrell Stoglin, a guard for AS Salé who averages 31 points per game, certainly sees the benefit of “a lot of attention, and, I guess, money” coming in because of Cole, but generally thinks he is disrespecting the game.
“I think there’s a negative and a positive [to J. Cole’s presence],” Stoglin told ESPN. “The negative part of it is: I think he took someone’s job that deserves it.
“I live in a basketball world. I don’t live in a fan world. I know a lot of guys that had their careers stopped by COVID and they’re still home working out and training for an opportunity like this.
“For a guy who has so much money and has another career to just come here and average, like, one point a game and still get glorified is very disrespectful to the game. It’s disrespectful to the ones who sacrificed their whole lives for this.”
Patriots chief operating officer Haydee Ndayishimiye unsurprisingly disagrees with this assessment — “We made a basketball decision which can be justified by our performance so far,” she said — but it is fair to point out that someone who has put their life towards playing ball professionally lost out on an opportunity to someone who recently started pursuing a basketball career. Still, the only rule is it has to work, and the brain trust with Patriots seem to be happy with Cole’s performance on the floor.