Tristan Thompson of the Cleveland Cavaliers says he paid for Texas guard Myck Kabongo’s trip to Cleveland last spring that is being investigated by the NCAA.
Thompson is represented by LeBron James’ long-time friend and agent, Rich Paul, who called NBA teams about Kabongo’s draft stock after last season — another concern for the NCAA.
As for the trim, Thompson said to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, “Did I pay for him? Well, yes and no. You know, I actually had to pay for it and then had his brother reimburse me, which is totally fine with the NCAA. We discussed that. Again, we want to respect the process. I think everything’s going to work out. I don’t see no eligibility issues, but that’s for the NCAA to work out.”
NCAA investigators have questioned Kabongo about his relationship Paul.
Yahoo! Sports reported that Paul called NBA front offices on behalf of Kabongo before the 2012 draft. Kabongo chose to stay with Texas instead of entering the draft.
Yahoo! Sports also reported the NCAA has been investigating whether Paul was involved in the trip to Cleveland last spring that included at least one workout with professional trainer Jerry Powell.
Thompson said he has spoken to the NCAA about the trip.
“I told the truth to them,” he said. “They also know me and Myck’s relationship. If you go back in history, me and him went to high school together. We’ve been through a lot. They’re not knocking the friendship, they understand that. They just want to make sure no outside sources are financing that trip. But no one else did and we have the proof to show them. That’s what I provided to them and they’re going to go from there.”
Kabongo started 34 games for Texas last season. He was third on the team in scoring with 9.6 points per game and led the Longhorns with 5.2 assists a game. He has been projected as a possible first-round 2013 draft pick.
He could be declared ineligible if the NCAA determines he received improper benefits from an agent.