The story of Darius Bazley’s pre-NBA journey has been an interesting one. In March, the former five-star recruit decommitted from Syracuse to enter the G-League. On Monday, he opted against that decision with his focus geared towards the future. According to many, Bazley will spend his time training for the NBA Draft while basketball season takes place.
Bazley seemed to value the input of others while making his decision. For instance, he stated that agent Rich Paul was crucial in helping him realize the benefit of pursuing other pre-draft ventures. Paul, who also represents LeBron James, has garnered a great deal of respect throughout the basketball world, especially from young players heading to the NBA. Bazley himself said that “whenever he [Paul] speaks, my ears perk up.”
If Bazley stood by his decision to enter the G-League, he would have been the first high school recruit to take that path to the NBA. People will have to wait to see the effectiveness of the G-League path, but Bazley’s journey still makes him a trailblazer. By electing to forego college, Bazley is taking a stand against something that many other top high school recruits oppose, not being able to go pro straight from school.
Whether or not Bazley’s journey ends how he hopes, there is no denying that his amateur career has differed from most, and his latest decision is just another example of that. All told, if Bazley winds up being a top pick in this year’s draft, many others may attempt to mimic the steps he took. Only time will tell, however, as Bazley looks to break barriers en route to fulfilling his dream.