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And that’s the tea

Basketball

New Orleans Pelicans star rookie Zion Williamson is in some hot water. And he’s taking the NCAA down with him.

May 14, 2020
PATRICK SMITH/GETTY IMAGES
PATRICK SMITH/GETTY IMAGES

The GIST: New Orleans Pelicans star rookie Zion Williamson is in some hot water. And he’s taking the NCAA down with him.

Sounds drama. What happened?: Last April, first-overall NBA draft pick Zion signed a five-year contract with sports marketing agent Gina Ford of Prime Sports Marketing. A month later, he was allegedly poached by rival agency CAA (aka the biggest talent agency in the world), and in an effort to void his Prime contract, he sued them.

  • Ford didn’t want anything to do with it, so she countersued Williamson and CAA for $100 million, citing breach of contract, among other things. Ford’s team knew they lost a golden goose in Zion, so they planned to do whatever they could to make that money back.

So how is the NCAA involved?: Well, Ford and Prime Sports just submitted a new filing in the lawsuit, and they want all the tea spilled. They’re asking Williamson to admit that his parents accepted money and benefits from Duke University (where he played for one year before being drafted), Nike and Adidas. All of which was, at the time, very illegal.

  • To make matters worse, Ford’s legal team is now looking to depose legendary Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski (the winningest coach in men’s NCAA Division I basketball history). With Coach K under oath, a lot of secret info on the dirty money dealings of an NCAA dynasty could be dished. Sounds like a case for Jessica Pearson.