“Imagine you have a kid who’s 13, 14 years old, and you’ve got a grown coach who is 40 years old hitting your kid,” the coach was quoted as saying. “We’re part of that. The NBA is part of that.”
NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum told ESPN that only a “handful” of complaints about abuse had been received — but added that the league is “re-evaluating” the academy program.
“One of the lessons that we’ve learned here is that we do need to have more direct oversight and the ability to make staffing changes when appropriate,” Tatum said.
“We don’t have oversight of the local coaches, of the academic programs or the living conditions,” he added. “It’s fair to say we were less involved than we wanted to be.”
The report, by Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Steve Fainaru and his brother Mark Fainaru-Wada, who covered the BALCO steroid scandal, comes at a time of fraught relations between the NBA and China.
State broadcaster CCTV stopped screening NBA games last year after a Houston Rockets executive tweeted in support of pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong.
The NBA, which will restart its coronavirus-halted season later Thursday, says the row has cost it hundreds of millions of dollars in lost revenues.