ANBL: NBA Commissioner Adam Silver 'jealous' over RJ Hampton signing with NZ Breakers

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver says he's "jealous" teenage basketball star RJ Hampton made the decision to play for the New Zealand Breakers in the Australian National Basketball League (ANBL) rather than the NBA's G-League.   

The NBA is offering $US125,000 (NZ$191,947) contracts to elite players coming from high school to play in their development G-League for a year, before entering the NBA draft.   

On Wednesday (NZT), Hampton, an 18-year-old point guard from Texas, spurned the G-League and scholarships at top colleges, including Kansas, Memphis and Texas Tech, to announce he would play for the Breakers in the ANBL.   

"I am a little jealous, because we are, in our G-League, trying to create our own professional track," Silver told ESPN on Wednesday.   

"I haven't talked to him yet or his advisers, but to the extent, he decided he was better off in Australia than our G-League.

"I think I'm going to talk to Commissioner Shareef [Abdur-Rahim] of the G-League and say, 'What should we be looking at differently?'"   

Silver was full of praise for the ANBL and Australia's junior development programmes, including the Australian Institute of Sport.

"First of all, Australia has a fantastic development system," Silver said.   

"Australia, I may get this off a little bit, but I think their population is around 24 million.   

"For a country of 24 million, they have around a dozen NBA players in the league right now, so, pound-for-pound, they're one of the best basketball countries in the world.   

"We have studied the Australian academy system.   

"They take their young players and they move them. I don't know if they call it a professional track, but they become fulltime ball-players.   

"Once they hit 14 or so, they are designated, based on aptitude they have shown."   

Silver said the NBA was so impressed by Australia's development system, it inspired the NBA to create its own basketball academies in China, India and Africa.   

The commissioner said he understood Hampton's decision and paid Australia, New Zealand and the NBL a major compliment.   

"If I had a son or I was advising someone, and said, 'Where are you going to go to develop?', Australia is one of the best places to do that," Silver said.