Blog Entry

Sometimes it hurts to not be affiliated with Nike

Posted on: June 8, 2009 4:04 pm
Edited on: June 8, 2009 4:09 pm

Martavious Newby is one of the better young prospects in the city of Memphis.

He had an interesting quote in Monday's newspaper about Memphis' Elite Camp.

"I was about to go to Tennessee's camp up there, but I changed my mind," Newby told The Commercial Appeal . "I mean, I like Tennessee, but I had to come over here and see how it is, because I like Memphis. That's where I might be going. So I told my high school coach I changed my mind."

Changed his mind?

"I love him to death," Newby's AAU coach, Keith Easterwood, told on Monday. "But he never had a mind to change."

Before you can understand this story -- and, specifically, how Memphis ended up with most of the top local players on campus last Friday and Saturday -- you need to understand the back story, that Easterwood coaches the best Class of 2011 and 2012 prospects in the area. You also need to know that his team is funded by Nike. And that Memphis is a "Nike" school. And that Tennessee is an "Adidas" school. And that both schools held Elite Camps this past weekend.

OK, you got all that?


Now I'll let Easterwood tell the story.

"I polled my kids after a game," Easterwood said. "I asked 12 kids: 'Do you want to go to the Memphis Elite Camp or the Tennessee Elite Camp?' ... And all of them, to a man, said they wanted to go to Knoxville. Well, that was good for me. So we did what we had to do to get prepared to get them up there, talked to parents, one thing and another."

And then ...

"I got some calls, some were shoe-affiliated," Easterwood said. "Nike, Adidas, you can connect the dots. ... Memphis is Nike. I'm with a Nike AAU program. And it was expressed to me that it would be in my best interests to stay home and not make the trip to Knoxville, which is what we ultimately did."

Easterwood declined to name the person who called him, but promised it was a "person of influence" with Nike ties. He said he was also told that one of his players, Andre Hollins, might not get an invitation to this week's prestigious Nike Hoop Jamboree in St. Louis if he attended UT's Elite Camp instead of Memphis' Elite Camp.

"The kids didn't know the behind-the-scenes stuff," Easterwood said. "But I had to let [Hollins'] parents know what was at stake if they made that trip."

Once Easterwood told them, they didn't make that trip.

And Hollins' invitation to the Nike Hoop Jamboree subsequently arrived, as expected.
Category: NCAAB

Since: Feb 6, 2009
Posted on: June 9, 2009 8:52 am

Sometimes it hurts to not be affiliated with Nike

Excellent reporting, Parrish. Now, if Nike would care enough of the slave labor as they do the perception of their brand, they would fund a school in Indonesia to educate the children they currently exploit.

Since: Jun 9, 2009
Posted on: June 9, 2009 8:34 am

Sometimes it hurts to not be affiliated with Nike

There are a lot of rules governing how and when a college coach is allowed to contact a high school basketball player but I guess there are no rules for shoe companies. "Just Do It" is the worst slogan ever devised. What does it really mean? That a kid should do whatever he wants no matter what the consequences? No matter that his parents are against it? No matter what the teachers say? No matter what the laws say? Of course Nike has done a good job of being recognized with their slogan and I suppose that is all they care about. Akeem Alajuan (spelling correct?) once allowed his name to be associated with a basketball shoe only if the shoe was an affordable one, not one that one might lead an unscrupulous teen to mug someone and take his shoe for his own. Now Nike is in the act of controlling kids summer activities, threatening them that if they do what they want they will not be invited to the Nike camp. What happened to "just do it?" I guess it's been replaced with YOU VEEL DO WHAT I SAY!!!

Since: Apr 20, 2009
Posted on: June 9, 2009 1:42 am

Sometimes it hurts to not be affiliated with Nike

Not trying to be mean or a jerk here, but it's sponsership of these programs by businesses like Nike that gives these kids a chance to play. If the sponser wants you to play somewhere on their dime, then yes, they should have some say on where that is. To suggest that this is some kind of corruption is short sighted and stupid. It's also just plain wrong. When local businesses sponser a team those business owners have some say in what they want to pay for. How is this different?

Since: Apr 21, 2008
Posted on: June 8, 2009 11:35 pm

Sometimes it hurts to not be affiliated with Nike

This is the kind of reason I have to laugh when I read articles about how the coaches just "love" their "kids" and how tne NBA wants the kids to wait before turning "pro."  Heck, the good players have been pros since the 6th grade any way.  Just follow the trails of some of these coaches that go from school to school and left havoc.  Like Sampson and Calipari and so forth.
That's why I support the system that's used all over the world except here.  That school and sports should not mix.  The teams should be community supported or business supported like they are in Europe.  Real Madrid just spent $92 million to get the right to sign a player.  I don't think they were thinking about his education.
Go through the NBA now and make All Star teams of 1) foreign players--2) players who never went to college--3) players with at least two years of college.  I think I know the order of finish.
If we stop the hypcritical practice that runs rampant in sports today.  We would be a lot more honest and give the athletes the respect they deserve and not all the lies and games that occur today.
This guy Easterwood doesn't sound like much of a stand up guy.  One he didn't stand his ground and two, he should have blown the whistle on the jerk to called him.
So Memphis and Southern Cal and all these other schools who keep getting the top players will just keep on trucking.
Next stop for a story is Kentucky.  Their top kid got busted for breaking and entering, but that won't affect his playing time.
Not only are SATs and grades fixed, but most of the top players take rinky classes and even if they make it to the pros, they are so ill equipped to deal with "life", they're broke within five years due to all the "takers" they connect themselves with.
Come on LeBron, what do you need a custom Maserati for?  To trip down to McDs?  Yeah sure.

Since: Mar 6, 2007
Posted on: June 8, 2009 10:11 pm

Sometimes it hurts to not be affiliated with Nike

Boys this is the name of the game, I officiate basketball and have done AAU tournaments in Arkansas and the last few years called the REal Deal on the Hill in Fayetteville, the coaches and players tell you they get money and products, some of those teams rolled into town in chartered greyhounds and two teams had cameramen and commentators selling videos of the players, it was unreal! The NCAA and coaches all know whats going on and are right in bed with um in the corruption, it is out of control.  Like one of the posters earlier said it starts as early as 6th graders, a team from Indiana had all 6th graders playing in a higher division all with Nike stuff from head to toe and all parents had Nike gear, they said their hotel and meals were paid by Nike to participate in tournaments all over the country!

Since: Dec 20, 2008
Posted on: June 8, 2009 9:09 pm

Sometimes it hurts to not be affiliated with Nike

Then why call this amateur athletics??  If why is paying for this how is it amateur anymore?  I agree if Nike's paying they damn well deserve to say where the team goes but the problem is that they are paying!

Since: Sep 13, 2007
Posted on: June 8, 2009 8:25 pm

Sometimes it hurts to not be affiliated with Nike

Nike is in business to make money. That doesn't make them evil. They don't own slaves either. Their employees are being paid. How happy do you think the people in China would be if Nike left? How many people would be without jobs over there? I would love to see their shoes made here, but they couldn't afford to pay a union wage and be competitive. Can you imagine how expensive a pair of Nike's would be if they were made in the U.S.? No one could afford to buy them, which would put Nike out of business. That doesn't make much business sense. These young atheletes don't turn away from Nike because Nike gives them Free shoes and clothes. Notice the article said Nike affiliated team. How could Nike afford to sponsor these camps and teams if they didn't make a profit. We always hear about how much these companies make, but we never hear about how much they give away.

Since: Dec 19, 2006
Posted on: June 8, 2009 8:21 pm

Nike makes a poor product.

Buy American, Buy New Balance. They make a much better shoe anyway. 6 factories in the USA. 45% increase in US work force in recent years, while others are leaving the country.

Since: Apr 13, 2009
Posted on: June 8, 2009 8:21 pm

Sometimes it hurts to not be affiliated with Nike

If you knew a lick of the English language, you'd know that there are two definitions for organic... 1. food not treated with hormones, steroids, or pesticides. 2. Anything that contains Carbon... which we as humans are as well. So, while you are correct, you are also wrong! 
You get nothing, you lose, good day sir!!!!
FYI, I refuse to buy Nike products as well.

Since: Sep 16, 2006
Posted on: June 8, 2009 7:47 pm

Sometimes it hurts to not be affiliated with Nike

Adidas is even worse.  They go after kids in 5th, 6th & 7th grade

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