As they say around the way… Team Final is FLEXXIN’!
Over the past fifteen years, quite a few NBA players have emerged from the Team Final camp. Off the top of my head, I think of Tyreke Evans, Dion Waiters, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Rondae Jefferson, Mikal Bridges, Davon Reed, Malachi Richardson, Donte DiVincenzo, Mikal Bridges, Louis King and Cam Reddish. I may have missed a couple… I apologize if that’s the case… I certainly don’t want no smoke with #FinalFam… Real shit…
Team Final is NOT in the mood…
In the face of this year’s stampede into the already jam-packed NCAA Transfer Portal, Team Final has, very publicly, established clear parameters for college basketball programs seeking to recruit kids playing under the Final umbrella.
At 1:30 PM on March 14 the official Team Final twitter account issued the following tweet:
declaration: “Attention all college coaches!! If you push any of our players into the transfer portal, you can NOT recruit any of our players again! #TeamFinalFamily”
With that edict, Team Final is attempting to provide some cover and leverage for young men that played in their EYBL program. The NCAA transfer portal has resulted in a significant increase in the number of D1 and D2 (scholarship level) transfers in Men’s basketball. While many young men initiate the transfer process themselves, a significant number of student-athletes are pushed into the portal by coaches looking to free up scholarships.
These guys are vulnerable… Coach comes in and says “It’s not working… we’ll help you find a spot…” it’s over. Every day young men are being pushed into the portal.
Team Final has decided that they will implement consequences for college coaches that push their players into the portal. Any coach that runs off a Team Final player is forever banned from recruiting other players in the program. Given Team Final’s track record, that’s a consequence with bite. Team Final produces a steady flow of Division 1 prospects and occasional NBA lottery picks.
This move by Team Final is significant. They are asserting that Team Final is in a position to impose consequences for actions they deem unbecoming by college coaches. Can Team Final actually prevent college programs from recruiting players in their program? What if college coaches goes through the high school coach? Or the workout guy? Or the shooting instructor? Or the strength coach? Or the principal? Or the pastor? Or the uncle?
How will Team Final actually stop the college coaches?
Having raised these questions… Let me say, I actually think any AAU/grassroots program can fairly easily create a narrative and shape the perspective of it’s players and parents. It’s doable… I’ve seen it done…
Moreover, Team Final is asserting that it is appropriate for grassroots clubs to impose consequences. Suppose… just suppose… the kid is a “asshole”? Suppose the kid is non-compliant with team rules and expectations? Suppose the kid deserved to be dismissed from the program?
Suppose another kid in the program really likes the college and wants to play there? Does Team Final actually prevent his enrollment? If so, how?
Can Team Final block college programs? Yup
Should Team Final block college programs? I dunno
Will Team Final block college programs? Absolutely… They aren’t bluffing.