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LISTEN: Will Wade admits to making "strong-ass offer" to Javonte Smart on FBI wiretap

Jack Pilgrim04/01/20

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Article written by:On3 imageJack Pilgrim
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In March of last year, a 2017 wiretapped phone conversation between LSU coach Will Wade and former basketball agent and middleman Christian Dawkins was brought to light by Yahoo! Sports.

In the conversation, Wade spoke openly about making a “strong-ass” offer he made to current Tiger guard Javonte Smart, along with the fact that LSU “could compensate [players] better than the [NBA] rookie minimum.”

Yahoo! Sports has had the transcript of the conversation out for over a year now, but now, the audio has officially surfaced.

In the HBO documentary The Scheme released last night, Dawkins tells his story of the role he played in the FBI’s recent investigation into the corruption of college basketball. In the process, several FBI wiretap conversations are shared, with his talk with Wade in 2017 being one of the key moments in the two-hour program.

“I was thinking last night on this Smart thing,” Wade told Dawkins in the audio clip. “I’ll be honest with you, I’m f***ing tired of dealing with the thing. Like I’m just f***ing sick of dealing with this s**t. … What do you think? Because I went to him with a f***ing strong-ass offer about a month ago. F***ing strong.

“The problem was, I know why he didn’t take it now, it was f***ing tilted towards the family a little bit,” Wade continued in the video. “But I mean it was a f***ing hell of a f***ing offer. Like, hell of an offer. Especially for a kid who is going to be a two or three-year kid. I’ve made deals for as good a players as hm that were f***ing a lot simpler than this.”

Prior to the back-and-forth about Smart, Wade also added that he could afford to pay a player “better than the [NBA] rookie minimum.”

“We could compensate him better than the rookie minimum,” Wade said in the wiretapped audio. “We’d give him more than the D-League.”

Check out the entire clip below:

After the airing of the documentary, LSU athletic director Scott Woodward released an official statement on the matter, per Amie Just of NOLA.com.

Will the LSU head coach be fired after the damning release? Not at this time.

“We are aware of the documentary first aired on March 31, 2020, on HBO,”  Woodward said in the announcement. There is no change to Coach Will Wade’s employment status at LSU and we will continue to cooperate with all reviews into this matter.”

Back in October of 2018, Wade said in a press conference that it was “surprising” to hear his name brought up in the FBI investigation and that he has “never, ever done business” with Dawkins.

“It was a little bit surprising,” Wade said at the time. “I’m not really going to react to what the defense attorney said. I certainly get it. I know the judge didn’t let it in. I will say, I’m very proud of everything I’ve done as LSU’s head coach. I’m very proud of what we’ve done at LSU and I, or we, have never, ever done business of any kind with Christian Dawkins. That’s what I’ll say about that and we’ll certainly move forward from there and I’ll take any questions that relate to our team or our season.”

The proof is in the pudding, Mr. Wade.

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