Badgers support Kobe King's decision

MADISON, Wis. (WTMV) -- Just 24 hours past Kobe King's announcement that he is leaving the Wisconsin men's basketball program still leaves many questions left to be answered. If you ask how his former team feels, they provided the answer to that, compassion.

Wisconsin's Kobe King (23) drives against Nebraska's Dachon Burke Jr. (11) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020, in Madison, Wis. (AP Photo/Andy Manis)

Head coach, Greg Gard, redshirt junior guard, D'Mitrik Trice and senior guard, Brevin Pritzl met with the media on Thursday and all voiced their support for King's decision.

"He's entitled to that opinion and he's entitled to those choices. And that's the part of our position is to help people navigate through life's obstacles and he came to that conclusion, that he needed to make a change. Then you support that and help him the best way that you can." Greg Gard shared.

"He's another brother another friend." Added Trice, "We treat him like family. Whatever he decides to do with his life, it's his business and we just gotta continue to support him in anyway we can."

In Kobe King's announcement via his Instagram on Wednesday evening, he stated "I have realized that this program is not the right fit for me as a player and person."

King also wrote, "I have decided that the best step for my future basketball aspirations, as well as my love for the games is to immediately step away from the University of Wisconsin Men's basketball program. King has since deactivated his Instagram account.

Stating that his love for the game, which earned him a scholarship to Wisconsin, was affected during his time in Madison raised questions, especially for if his teammates noticed this. D'Mitrik Trice pointed out that he noticed Kobe King with tears running down his face at halftime and after Wisconsin's loss at Purdue.

The team was then notified by King on Saturday that he would transfer. Greg Gard had one final meeting with Kobe on Tuesday before the former Mr. Wisconsin Basketball out of La Crosse Central announced his departure from the program.

Gard and his two players mentioned that they are still looking forward to prepare for #14 Michigan State on Saturday as Wisconsin seeked to end a two-game skid.

The Badgers will not only do so without their second leading scorer in Kobe King, but also without their leader in Brad Davison as the junior guard was handed a one-game suspension by the Big Ten for the flagrant-one foul he committed late in the Iowa game.

Davison has since caught fire nationally, being labeled as a dirty player.

Greg Gard had minced words when asked about Davison's national criticism, "He's been made to this 'villian' so to speak, and we're trying to legislate intent or malice. That's where I will draw the line and go to bat for my guys and have their back. That, and any of the guys that are coming in the future, the nine that are going to roll in the next two years... no. We play within the rules when there's a violation, he fouled, I agree with that. Adjudicated as appropriately defined. But, let's not cross the line and trample on somebody's character."