A touted 4-star freshman announced he is leaving the Kansas basketball program this past Sunday. Marcus Adams, Jr. posted on Twitter a heartfelt thank you and intent to decommit not too long after it was announced that Kansas was actively pursuing Australian guard Jack Furphy. Furphy was intended to be the final roster piece for the program, but now they will be potentially looking for one more piece to fill the void left. Many speculated that Adams, Jr. was leaving due to the recruitment of Furphy. We've now debunked this rumor. I, for one, was concerned that Adams, Jr. felt that the task of reclassifying from 2024 to 2023 and playing against competition that may have been too high level for him at this point was too overwhelming for the 17-year-old star. I may have been wrong myself, it's okay to assume these types of things, it's not okay to do what I am about to mention in this next paragraph. Nonetheless though, KU is without another incoming freshman, noting fellow 4-star Chris Johnson's departure a few weeks ago.
Now, this absolutely does not mean that KU fans reserve the right to go out and harass Marcus. Quite the opposite actually. Adams, Jr. later gave a statement detailing why he felt the need to leave: "I felt like it was a bit odd with the team; I (didn't) feel like it was the right fit, so I left when I had some time..." Adams told the Kansas City Star. This statement is a perfectly rational reason for a player to leave a program. It wasn't playing time, it wasn't NIL, it was simply the matter of Adams, Jr. felt like he did not belong. 17-year-olds are allowed to feel like this, especially in the face of the amount of pressure he will face at a program like Kansas and ability he will have to keep up in order to maintain playing time. Not only that though, but maybe he didn't feel like he didn't fit in personally with the group of guys KU had. He's 17, did you have your identity all filled out when you were 17? Whatever the case, it is not our place to pass judgement on a young man, a CHILD no less, whenever he makes a grown, mature decision such as this. As a KU fan and alum, myself, I respect Marcus and it brings me great disappointment others in the fanbase do not feel the same. It's what drives players away from programs, a toxic culture brings about nothing but losing and outright ineptitude. Yes, KU is a stalwart program in college basketball, yes, it would take a monumental shift for KU to fall from the graces of blue blood-hood and winning, however it is certainly not impossible and fanbases have much bigger impacts than you think in regard to how programs fare.
In the end, again, I wish Marcus the best. Who knows, maybe he sticks around the area. Missouri is recruiting him and could very well end up there when all is said and done, and to Jayhawk fans who believe that that is not okay, please take a look in the mirror. Sports are incredible, there's a reason I write about them for free and have such a deep love for them, however in situations like these where sports fans become toxic human beings in the name of their respective team, I can completely see why some people tend to not like sports. When a fanbase stoops to bullying literal children, especially a fanbase that I'm a part of, that makes me feel great shame upon one of my biggest passions. Do better, people.
Burn Notice: 8/10 Bullying in the name of sport really lights a fire in my belly, if you can't tell.