LeBron James was at his son’s game yesterday, a game that was nationally televised by ESPN. Sierra Canyon has more nationally televised games scheduled than some NBA teams, and Charles Barkley has a problem with it. Barkley thinks these games shouldn’t be televised, not because the games aren’t good or the kids don’t deserve it. Sir Charles thinks it is exploitative.
“We always talk about college players being exploited. This is the ultimate exploitation. What is the financial incentive other than the network making money on these high school kids? You’re making money on college kids; now you’re making money on high school kids.”Charles Barkley, Inside the NBA
Chuck is using the same reasoning as is used behind the NCAA criticism. Someone is making money on these games, and it’s not the players. Of course, this particular game is getting attention because Bronny James and Zaire Wade are on the team, and we know they are financially set for life. But kids are playing in these games that don’t have that security in life and are not getting any compensation. Kenny Smith agreed with Chuck.
“You’re saying that this is an amateur sport, you want kids not to get paid, and think about money. Then you can’t make money on them! It doesn’t make any sense.”Kenny Smith, Inside the NBA
High school games will draw national attention only when there are individual stories behind them, whether it is a player like Zion or someone like Bronny and Zaire. Whether it’s national or local, if games are being televised and money is made on them, then kids playing and their families should get some of the action.