Several players have been in the midst of big controversy in sports through its entire history, and of course; the NBA isn’t an exception to that rule, with big news and gossip always surrounding the greatest athletes on the globe.
Over the course of the years, a lot of NBA players have been surrounded with controversy regarding their true origins, as sometimes there are some discrepancies regarding their alleged records, due to the nature of the native country of the prospect, which can sometimes make it very difficult to obtain faithful information, especially when it comes to the player's age.
But why on earth would a player lie about being younger than he actually is? Because he’d definitely have a bigger chance to be drafted with a higher pick, which would eventually mean a bigger paycheck. Having said that, we’ll talk you through the 5 NBA players that lied about their age.
Maker had to convince the league that he had graduated a year early from his institute in order to avoid a year of college in one of the most bizarre stories the league has seen over the last few years, finally being drafted 10th overall by Jason Kidd and his Milwaukee Bucks.
Nonetheless, there were (and still are) a lot of doubts regarding Maker’s situation, and several reports state that the South Sudanese-Australian Center isn’t 20 years old as he vows to be, and considering how much of a dominant player he was over the past few seasons, it wouldn’t be a surprise.
Apparently, the father of the California native lied about his son’s age in order to create a lot of hype around him with scouts, managers, schools and pretty much everybody else, something that definitely worked considering how much of a beast Muhammad was during his NCAA stint.
So, just 3 months prior to the NBA Draft, the truth about the guard/forward out of UCLA’s age became public, really hurting his draft stock and falling way back to the 14th pick after being one of the top 2 prospects in that class. Needless to say, Shabazz isn’t half the player everybody expected him to be.
“The new Yao Ming” was one of the biggest flops in NBA draft history, being drafted 6th overall in 2007 by the Milwaukee Bucks before also playing for the Nets, Wizards and Mavericks, completely struggling to settle in the league before going back to his native China.
The Chinese center was reportedly 20 years old when he decided to declare for the Draft, something inconsistent with China’s policy of not allowing their athletes leave the country before they turn 22. Nevertheless, they revealed later that the 20-year-old was in fact 23 years old, which would actually make sense.
The Turkish stretch four also makes our list, as apparently when he was drafted with the 36th pick in the 2005 NBA draft, he was actually three years older than he reported to be, but his bizarre story doesn’t end there.
As a matter of fact, apparently Ilyasova didn’t only lie about his age, but about his entire life, reportedly being born in Uzbekistan under the name of Arsen Ilyasov before crossing the border to Turkey way back in 2002. In fact, there are records of Arsen entering Turkey, but apparently he completely disappeared, while a couple of months later, Ilyasova was registered as a Turkish baller. This doesn’t add up at all, especially if you consider the fact that Ersan’s early life is pretty much a complete mystery.
Although there isn't conclusive proof that completely incriminates the defensive specialist of Frank Vogel’s team, there are a lot of strange things surrounding the youth of the Congo native, and considering the history of African players with their fake records and ages, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Biyombo’s mystery gets unveiled anytime soon.
During his NCAA tenure, some reports stated that the Center was actually “somewhere between 23 to 26 years old”, way more than his reported age of 18, and it wouldn’t be hard to believe if you compared his physique with pretty much everybody else’s during college ball.