"It's a lot easier being a drug dealer than an AAU coach - you know what you're dealing with every day when you're a dealer."
I'm thinking a lot today about Sports Illustrated's profile of Curtis Malone - D.C. Assault's infamous (and now incarcerated) founder & CEO. The quote above comes from a phone interview Malone gave SI's Pete Thamel from jail.
Malone's story is obviously a tragic one - but this quote speaks volumes about the AAU lifestyle. Traveling around the country with the Compton Magic's Etop Udo-Ema gave me a first-hand feel for how dynamically unpredictable any given day is in AAU circles. There is no such thing as an "average day". Moreover, there is no off-season. Operating an elite AAU team has become a full-time, year-round enterprise for the biggest programs. Flourishing on that level requires such a dizzying array of skill-sets - and the range of different tasks on any given day is staggering. I'm excited to share "At All Costs" with the world for so many reasons, but in particular because of the inside-look the film provides at what it takes to run a top-flight AAU program.
If you're curious or missed it when it was originally published, you can read the whole Malone article here: http://www.si.com/college-basketball/2014/08/20/curtis-malone-aau-basketball-drug-arrest