While Brian Gregory was was being introduced as Georgia Tech’s new basketball coach, his best player, point guard Iman Shumpert, tweeted that he is going declare for the NBA draft. He later tweeted that he had made up his mind before meeting Gregory at 4 p.m. Monday.
However, he said he hasn’t hired an agent, which means he can remove his name from the eligibility list. Former Tech player Gani Lawal did the same thing after his sophomore season before he went pro after his junior year. Underclassmen have until April 24 to declare. However, the NBA and the player’s union are facing a collective bargaining situation that could threaten the 2011-12 season.
Shumpert, a second-team All-ACC player, averaged 17.3 points and 5.9 rebounds last season. He also made the conference’s defensive team.
Shumpert didn’t tell Gregory that he was going to put his name in for the draft. Gregory didn’t seem too aggravated afterward, saying that issue will be discussed between he and the team.
Shumpert tweeted the liked the new coach, “he’s a phirst class guy.”
He later tweeted, “I repeat…my decision was not a diss to th3 n3w coach people! Just all happened th3 same day”
During his press conference, Gregory said that he has a responsibility to help players who think they are ready to leave school early and play basketball professionally. He said the players who think they can are in a much better position than the players who need to leave school early.
– Doug Roberson, AJC