John Calipari on G League path: “Thousands of 9th and 10th graders think that’s how they’re going to make it when you and I know it’s going to be 2%”

Photo: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Kentucky Wildcats head coach John Calipari isn’t too thrilled about the new NBA G League path which is an alternative to college.

“My issue with the G League trying to entice players by giving them more money is not the kids that you’re getting,” Calipari said this week. “It’s the thousands of ninth and 10th graders that think that’s how they’re going to make it when you and I know it’s going to be 2 percent. We’re not talking 50. It will be thousands and thousands and thousands.”

Calipari has been an advocate for allowing players to enter the NBA draft out of high school if they’re talented enough, but he thinks that those who aren’t should still attend college.

If most high school prospects play in the NCAA, players will have to remain focused on getting high enough grades to attend those colleges.

Charles Barkley, who was a guest on Calipari’s Coffee with Cal web show, agreed that the G League is not the best option, but disagreed that players should go straight from high school to the NBA.

“People look at Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant and LeBron (James),” Barkley said. “They don’t look at the rest of the (high school) guys who sucked who came to the NBA. They’re not physically, emotionally or mentally ready to play in the NBA. I think they should have to go to college for two years.”

G League commits Jalen Green and Isaiah Todd were recruited by Kentucky and also had offers to play there.

Kentucky did not offer a scholarship to the most recent G League commit Daishen Nix.

Calipari did however back out of all three prospects before they signed to play in the G League.

Nix stated that he chose the G League path because “It’s just one step below the NBA.”

An NBA GM echoed the same sentiments as Calipari, as relayed in the tweet below by basketball analyst Jeff Goodman: