This came out a bit sooner than I expected. I figured we wouldn't hear from Steven Adams about his decision to leave Pitt and head for the NBA Draft for some time. But lo and behold, a New Zealand newspaper/website, the Dominion Post, got to him.
So the big question is 'why'? Adams answered that, and as has been widely speculated, it's to help his family out:
Adams came home from the United States to see his family in Rotorua and didn't like what he found.
"I don't like seeing them struggle. It's quite sad to see your family struggle, you know what I'm saying," said Adams, who is now back under Kenny McFadden's wing for a training stint in Wellington.
"I don't want to see that any more."
Adams says that was actually the plan all along - to help family:
"It's just like everyone else going to college for four years or whatever, getting a degree so they can eventually help their family. So I'm just doing it in a different way, on a different path. That's been the plan ever since I started off, just to help my family financially."
That's a bit different than what we've heard before. We'd heard that Adams wanted to stay in school ... that there was even speculation he wanted to stay for four years. But as I said before, getting pressure to jump from family is a lot different than getting pressure from fans/agents. Adams may have been able to fend that stuff off. Family? Not so much.
And while weather maybe wasn't a factor, Adams did acknowledge he was a little sick of the cold:
He's not fussed about a possible destination, although after experiencing Pittsburgh's winter a different climate would be preferable.
"I'm sick of this cold, I'm so sick of snow, bro, so hopefully somewhere warm. But I just want to get the best training possible, really. It's just such a great opportunity so I want to make the most of it."
Look, I've got no beef with any of this. Some fans are bitter about his leaving, I know. But the kid sees a golden opportunity to help his family and thinks this is the best way to go about it.
According to the article, Adams is in New Zealand now and plans to stay for about a week before returning to the US to get ready for the draft.