Not everybody is happy to see rapper J. Cole playing professional basketball in Africa.
AS Sale guard Terrell Stoglin told ESPN that the rapper’s presence in the league is “disrespectful.”
“I think there’s a negative and a positive [to J. Cole’s presence],” he said, via ESPN. “The negative part of it is, I think he took someone’s job that deserves it.”
The 36-year-old joined the BAL’s Rwanda Patriots BBC and made his debut earlier this month and dropped three points, three rebounds and two assists in his debut. The former high school standout in North Carolina walked on to play at St. John’s University before he eventually left to focus on music. That turned out to be an outstanding decision.
“I live in a basketball world. I don’t live in a fan world. I know a lot of guys that had their careers stopped by COVID and they’re still home working out and training for an opportunity like this,” he said, via ESPN.
“For a guy who has so much money and has another career to just come here and average, like, one point a game and still get glorified is very disrespectful to the game. It’s disrespectful to the ones who sacrificed their whole lives for this.
“The positive side of it is: it brings a lot of attention, and, I guess, money. I don’t really pay attention to that type of stuff. I’m more [concerned that] he took someone’s job that deserved it.”
Patriots chief operations officer Haydee Ndayishimiye more than defended their decision to include Cole on the team.
“Of course, someone as famous as him will bring a lot of attention, but one thing the BAL, Patriots BBC and his team have committed to do is to treat him like any other player,” she said, via ESPN.
“He’s a great basketball player and wants to play the game like everyone else. We understand some other teams may feel this way [as Stoglin does], but we made a basketball decision first.
“We put together a team that we think can win the BAL championship. We have a roster of over 20 players that were ready to compete, but the final roster could only be 13. We made a basketball decision which can be justified by our performance so far.”