Skal Labissiere is signing with an agent and will remain in the NBA Draft, Kentucky announced on Tuesday afternoon.
“I want to thank my family, my coaches, teammates and most importantly I want to thank God for the opportunity that he gave me to represent and play for the University of Kentucky,” Labissiere said. “I also want to thank the fans for their support through everything this season. I am excited to announce that I am entering the 2016 NBA Draft.”
This is unequivocally the right decision, and understanding why is quite simple: Skal had a pretty bad year all things considered, and he’s still projected in many spots as a lottery pick. That means that he’s guaranteed to making many millions of dollars while he works out with coaches and trainers and professional teammates to get better at the things that he needs to improve on.
The other option?
Return to school, pretend to care about whatever English 101 class he’s taking, work to get better with coaches that aren’t quite as good, trainers that aren’t quite as good and teammates that aren’t quite as good all while having limits on the amount of time you can get with those coaches. Oh, and he’s doing it for free in a situation where, if he struggles again, he could see all those guaranteed millions evaporate.
Here’s the other thing: Labissiere is from Haiti. His parents spent years living in a school after the earthquake in 2010 destroyed their house. His family needs the money he’s about to make.
So if your critique is that he isn’t “ready” for the NBA, you’re missing the entire point. No prospect is, and no person — basketball player or otherwise — is turning down millions of dollars so an employer can train you for a job that you’re totally unqualified for.
Just stop before you start.
You’ll save yourself the embarrassment.