The best player in college basketball, Zion Williamson, also happens to be the presumptive No. 1 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. On Wednesday evening, Williamson and the Duke Blue Devils entered arguably their highest-profile contest of the season with a home date against arch rival North Carolina but, less than a minute into the proceedings, Williamson suffered a knee injury that transpired as the freshman ripped through his shoe on national television.
In the aftermath of the incident (one that happened in front of former president Barack Obama, who was sitting courtside), many reached out with well-wishes for Williamson and, to this point, the severity of his injury (and how the shoe implosion happened) is relatively known. With that said, the injury also prompted all kinds of takes from around the sports world, with many using Williamson as an example to share their opinion on the NCAA/amateurism model.
One such viewpoint came from the mouth of Golden State Warriors big man DeMarcus Cousins, who starred as a college player for one season at Kentucky. In short, Cousins doesn’t take kindly to the NCAA at this point and he used profanity to address the situation with the preface of “knowing what I know now.”
The full video is certainly worth watching for full context, but Cousins began by advising Williamson to “do what’s best for you and your family.” Beyond that, the former All-Star big man took aim at the NCAA, saying it “does nothing for (Williamson) at this point” and that he should “get ready for the next level.”
To be fair, Cousins did say that he “enjoyed the moment and enjoyed the experience” when he played at Kentucky and went on to reference his time in college as “some of the best years of (his) life playing basketball.” That was a brief reprieve, as Cousins almost immediately came back to referencing “just how crooked the whole NCAA business is” and lamenting the funds created and how they do not filter down to the athletes themselves.
Cousins is far from the only person in the basketball world that disagrees with the current model and, as noted above, this situation has prompted many opinions to fly around. Still, it is noteworthy to see a very high-profile NBA player operating with this level of candor about the NCAA and it is food for thought as a result.