by Charlie O. Mallonee
Multiple reports have the name of Marvin Bagley III appearing in transcripts of wiretaps that indicate payments were needed to steer him to USC to play his college basketball. The money would have come from an athletic shoe company and would have been funneled through an assistant coach or a “wannabe” agent trying to establish himself in the representation business.
It is very important to note that Bagley III is not a person of interest in the case. He is in no way a subject of the investigation. There is no implication that Bagley III ever knew that any proposed payments were being offered for his services as a college player to align him with a specific shoe company as he transitioned into the NBA.
Marvin Bagley Jr. may be a focus of the investigation. It was reported that the Bagley’s filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2008 and appeared to have lost their home in Phoenix to foreclosure. In 2012, the family moved into a very upscale gated community in Southern California while Bagley III enrolled in a very expensive private school.
The implication is that Nike was very kind to Bagley Jr. and his club team Phoenix Phamily in Arizona. High-level AAU club team being supported by apparel companies for travel and shoes etc. is no secret. It has been done in the open for years. The fact that it has bled over to college recruiting is a logical progression.
This investigation is being driven by some junior assistant Federal Prosecutors who have seen the chance to make some big tabloid headlines because some big name basketball stars and their families are involved. This whole situation should be turned over to the NCAA to deal with and adjudicate. The Federal Prosecutors should be concentrating on things like Russian meddling in our elections.
In the meantime, the NBA could help stop this chaos by allowing 18-year old players to enter the draft without having to play a “sham” year at the college level. If the players do not get drafted, let them play in the G-League and develop their skills in the minor leagues like baseball has for years. It’s time for the NBA to step up and pay to develop their talent.
For Kings fans, do not fear. Marvin Bagley III is not going to go to jail. He is an innocent bystander in this situation. Marvin Bagley Jr. may have some legal issues. Only time will tell if he will have to deal with Federal Prosecutors for his actions.