One of Wisconsin’s favorite pastimes is hopping on the Internet to tell young people how to handle their futures.
Vander Blue. Diamond Stone. Sam Hauser. Joey Hauser. Tyler Herro. The list goes on and on and on.
It’s happening again, and it needs to stop.
Duke freshman and Wisconsin native Jalen Johnson is opting out of remainder of the college basketball season.
He’s forgoing his team’s final 6 games to turn his attention to the NBA Draft, where he’s expected to be a lottery pick.
Let’s use our brains here.
Duke is in 9th place in the ACC.
They’re 8 and 8 overall, 6 and 6 in conference play. They’re not going to the NCAA Tournament.
Their season is effectively over.
Jalen Johnson’s lifelong goal is to play in the NBA.
How does playing down the stretch help him in any meaningful way?
I’ll answer that for you…it doesn’t.
There’s very little to gain and everything to lose.
By playing, he risks his long-term health.
He’s been battling through a foot injury all season long.
He’s got the support of his family.
He’s got the support of Coach K.
What’s the problem?
This all seems pretty straight forward.
Yet, still, I see people…smart people…firing up their Twitter fingers.
Calling Johnson a quitter…selfish…talking about how this decision is just a continuation of a long developing trend.
So you can look right if he turns out to be wrong?
I get the feeling it’s probably because he chose to go somewhere other than your favorite school.
Stop criticizing a kid for making a decision that he believes is best.
Jalen Johnson is 19 years old.
Let him do what he thinks is best for him.
He’s not opting out of the now.
He’s opting into his future.