2016 No. 1 NBA Draft Pick Ben Simmons tells us how he really feels about his one year of college before going pro.
When it was announced that Simmons would be getting his own Showtime documentary, One And Done, we didn’t know he was going to keep it so real. But alas, here we are with Simmons spitting some volatile ether at the NCAA.
The documentary covers Simmons’ journey from being a top high school player in Austrailia to being the top player in college at Louisiana State University to becoming the No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft. He only played at LSU for one year, an obvious pitstop to the NBA since players must be at least 19 years old to get in the league.
He describes his one year of playing college ball as a waste of his time.
He says [per ESPN]:
“The NCAA is really f—ed up. Everybody’s making money except the players. We’re the ones waking up early as hell to be the best teams and do everything they want us to do and then the players get nothing. They say education, but if I’m there for a year, I can’t get much education…I don’t have a voice. … I don’t get paid to do it. Don’t say I’m an amateur and make me take pictures and sign stuff and go make hundreds of thousands of millions of dollars off one person. … I’m going off on the NCAA. Just wait, just wait. I can be a voice for everybody in college. I’m here because I have to be here [at LSU]. … I can’t get a degree in two semesters, so it’s kind of pointless. I feel like I’m wasting time.”
Is he lying though?
Ever since the NBA made it mandatory that high school players turn 19 before entering the league, players have virtually been forced to go to college to play at least one season, hence the term “one and done.” Some players, like Brandon Jennings, found loopholes in the rule and opted to go play professionally overseas and get paid for a year, instead of play for free in college.
Some, including Simmons’ sister, have called the rule unfair since in other professions, 18-year-olds are allowed to enter the work force immediately.
The NCAA has been accused of exploiting players for decades, but Simmons’ comments are perhaps the most direct we’ve heard from a player so young. Simmons has yet to play in an NBA game since he got injured before the season started. But he’s still finding a way to make his presence felt.