|Silliman on Sports
By Stan Silliman
GEM PURCHASE BY DUKE GYM RAT NOT SO JIM DANDY
Duke basketball might be in trouble due to a $ 100,000 jewelry purchase by Lance Thomas, member of their 2010 championship team. What’s wrong, you ask? Dukies have a lot of money, don’t they?
Uhhh, no, college students in their senior year do not, especially scholarship basketball players who can’t take a job during the school year. No, most of them do not have $ 30,000 cash to down payment a set of diamonds and get 15 days to come up with the rest at A + A Diamonds in Manhattan. Most college students don’t trade at the same store as Carmelo Anthony and Jamie Foxx. Most college students, even basketball players don’t entertain the question of “What should I do over Christmas break when I go home?” with the answer being “I should stop by that ritzy store for a black diamond necklace, a diamond-encrusted watch, pair of bling-bling studs, a diamond cross and a black-diamond pendant in the shape of Jesus’ head. Yes, good idea!”
So here’s the rub, one of many: Thomas bought this stuff in 2009, halfway through the championship season and if A + A Diamonds, aka Rafaello & Company, loaned him the almost $ 70,000 for two weeks, that’s a violation of NCAA rules and Duke might have to forfeit every winning game Thomas was in, including the finals.
Here’s another rub, Thomas never paid the $ 70,000 forcing the jewelry company to sue him two years later, which is now. Rafaello is the same company suing Dez Bryant for $ 240,000 in jewels he bought while at OSU in 2010 but after he declared for the draft. These jewelry guys are keeping their Texas lawyers busy (Thomas is playing for USDL Austin Toros.)
Story time out. I’ve got something to say to Rafaello: Cash!! Quit selling these athletes on credit! Or do you want me to introduce you to Eddy Curry?
Here’s another rub: Dez Bryant, everyone knew he would be a high draft choice, get a big contract, but Lance Thomas? Sure, he started for Duke but not everyone who starts for Duke is a star, much less makes it to the NBA. Thomas averaged under 5 ppg for his entire Duke four year career and never made one three point shot. The odds of Thomas being drafted weren’t high and he didn’t get drafted. Where’s your due diligence, Rafael Aranbayev?
Rafael, I know your clients include Amare Stoudemire, 50 Cent, Rihanna, Dwight Freeney and Justin Beiber, just to name a few, and I know this because you list a bunch of famous clients on your website, or as jewel thieves like to call it – the prospect list. But, do you need to sell to all the college athletes, also? I know you came to America from communist Russia and am extremely proud Americans have equal opportunity to buy your expensive bling but… shouldn’t you have cleared it with Coach K? I know he’s not the K in the KGB, but, as free as we are, we still have rules.
Let me add this, Rafael Aranbayev, I know you’ve dealt with some bad hombres back in your homeland, but you haven’t seen growling or a scrunched up snarling face until you’ve seen Mike Krzyzewski mad. The guy has not one but two z’s in his name separated by an inquisitive y (as in why do I have to be here) and when you add West Point-Bobby Knight very yelly training, you’ve got someone who might go off on you. And when he does, heaven help you.
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|Silliman On Sports
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