mobile app bar

Phoenix Suns’ Former $70 Million Asset Points Out the Trouble NIL Deals Bring to the Table

Sourav Bose

Phoenix Suns' Former $70 Million Asset Points Out the Trouble NIL Deals Bring to the Table

The courageous move of introducing NIL in July 2021 has undoubtedly disrupted collegiate sports. However, despite contributing to increased player retention in the NCAA circuit, it has become a source of worry for the teams over time. A former Phoenix Suns star, Anfernee ‘Penny’ Hardaway, shed light on precisely those struggles, outlining how the challenges outweighed the benefits.

During his latest appearance on Point Forward, the 52-year-old mentioned, “I, as a former player, am obviously happy that the guys are getting paid for that. But this thing is turned upside down to be very honest with you… You can win a national championship and lose your entire team the next year because of NIL. Everybody knows they gonna get more money.”

The 4x All-Star pointed out how these deals were negatively impacting young athletes. Because of the significant inflow of cash, the expectations surrounding them have also increased. Over the years, several have failed to live up to those standards, leading to severe under-confidence.

This has also resulted in attitude problems from the players’ side, as Hardaway mentioned, “You can either get that much money and go, ‘I’m gonna go all out’…or you can bail and say, ‘Hey, I got the money that I wanted…You can’t take the money back and I’m just gonna ride up in the sunset'”.

Penny portrayed the truth in a simplified manner while revealing all the sides of the equation. The accumulation of unfathomable fortune at a young age has often led to the players sacrificing their values, creating problems for the college. That said, numerous athletes have utilized the NIL deals in their favor to set up a strong foundation for their professional careers.

No matter which side of the coin someone is on, Hardaway remains well-equipped to guide them. A former NBA All-Star turned coach, the Memphis-born had witnessed and gone through each of these situations. Yet, he never lost his bigger perspective, leading him to secure $70 million in his six years with the Suns [as per Sportac].

However, for this to happen, the youngsters must be willing to listen to him. But this is where the root of several problems lies, as the players are often not the ultimate decision-makers.

Gilbert Arenas highlights parents’ role in finalizing NIL deals

Earlier this year, NIL deals became a key area of discussion in one episode of Gil’s Arena. Consequently, Gilbert Arenas delved deep into the matter, revealing the lesser-known facts. As per the 3x All-Star, the parents of the rising youngsters had a major role in manipulating the business model, stating:

“The vulture is gonna come cause the parents are thirsty. This ain’t no kid problem. A kid don’t have no expense…So, when you’re sitting there talking, you’re talking to a parent. These vultures are coming to the parents cause they know the parents are selling their kids and they’re gonna keep selling their kids”.

Thus, the greed in the hearts of the guardians often fuels the indiscipline of the players. While both Penny and Gil have valid points, the NIL deals have provided life-changing money to athletes who grew up struggling to make ends meet, and for them, taking the deals away would be a huge disadvantage.

The best way forward is to come up with some solution that can underline the current problem with the NIL deals, and improve them in a way that both the athletes and the colleges benefit.

Post Edited By:Sameen Nawathe

About the author

Sourav Bose

Sourav Bose


Sourav, a seasoned NBA journalist at the SportsRush, discovered his profound love for basketball through the brilliance of Stephen Curry and Steve Kerr with the Golden State Warriors. With over 600 articles in his career, he has established himself as a dedicated and prolific writer in the field. Influenced by 'The Last Dance' documentary and the anime 'Slam Dunk,' Sourav's passion for basketball is marked by insightful observations and a comprehensive understanding of the sport's history. Beyond his role as a journalist, he delves into the strategic dimensions of sports management and explores literature in his spare time, reflecting a well-rounded approach to his craft. Sourav's journey is characterized by a commitment to unraveling the intricacies of basketball and sports in general, making him a reliable source for NBA enthusiasts and a seasoned observer of the sports landscape.

Read more from Sourav Bose

Share this article