Age Limit Redux
I am sorry to basically post this again, but I felt like it was eaten up by one word postings and subjects that are in syndication. So, please read, please reply, please discuss:
With congressman Steve Cohen saying to the NBA that they should disband the age limit in their next collective bargaining agreement, I just wanted to gauge opinions and see what folks here had to say. I also wanted to throw in my couple pennies, as I have talked about this quite a bit, and really see this from both sides of the coin. Ultimately, while I feel it is a players choice as to what they would like to do, especially as an 18 year old and therefore an adult, I can not help but like the current age limit for a few reasons. Lets put this in the perspective of major league sports, the four major American leagues being the NBA, NFL, NHL and MLB. The NBA is honestly the one that takes the most flack for the age limit, while the other leagues all have systems instituted to go around this discussion. With the NFL, people seem to have no problem with its age limit, as they feel that with 3 years of post high school education, a players body has had time to develop, and that is very valid, so their is not much talk of that system being unfair. I also feel the other two leagues, NHL and MLB, have systems in place for younger players to develop until their time comes. While the NBA has minor leagues and other venues, it just does not work as a system of farming players until the teams feels they are "ready." I guess the NBA does not have this because players have contributed out of high school, and it honestly would not make sense to start a true farm system, as most players would rather ride the pine the go down to the D-League. Ultimately, the age limit system is not overly fair, it is not at all flawless and the NBA is using it for their best interests. But, as a fan of NBA and college basketball, I have to admit that the age limit is a guilty pleasure.
Ever since the age limit was instituted, their seem to be very few proponents of the good it provides. People say the age limit takes away scholarships from deserving basketball players as it promotes one and done players. It truly did make the draft of 2006 much weaker overall, which it would have done regardless of what year it was instituted. The biggest complaint seems to be with the fact that overall, many of the players that entered the NBA out of high school are some of the best players in the league. James, Bryant, Howard, Garnett, McGrady, Jermaine O'Neal, Stoudemire, and their are more All-Stars and solid players I left off of the list. The reason the list is so long is very simple, many of the top players in their high school class were going pro every single year. Guys even started doing pretty well right from the get go, two won rookie of the year, one was close and than came the age limit. The reason I see the age limit as such a guilty pleasure though, is what it has done to both the NBA and college game that people do not seem to be pointing out.
Tim Duncan was, and most likely is, the last player to willingly to go through all 4 years of college as a franchise type player (Brandon Roy needed his 4 years, worked out very well for him). But, the way I see it, is that for these guys preparing for a career in basketball, college is just a way to get better at playing basketball until they can get to the next level. College is the NBA's minor league system, and as a fan I have accepted it and honestly enjoy it. College players used to have to sit out freshman year and play with JV, now they play freshman year and go to NBA varsity. Was kind of ridiculous than, is more than ridiculous now, but I am sure that it was fun to see people finally lace'em up with that year of seasoning under their belt. One and done players existed before the age limit, they would exist after the age limit, the only difference being is that we get to see the best of each high school class play a year of college ball! As a kid, I used to love reading about statistics, I would love it when a new player came into the league and killed it from the get go. When I would see a guy not putting up great numbers right off the bat out of high school, I would say "Man, what would they have done in college this year?" Now, we actually get to see that! Kevin Durant and Michael Beasley put up ridiculous numbers. Greg Oden was a first team All-American, Derrick Rose lead his team to a few foul shots away from a championship, I do not think people can deny that college basketball has been pretty cool with these guys suiting up even for one year. Plus, I do not think people will argue that when guys come to the league, they are now going to be more prepared, have that year of seasoning and more ready to play out of the gate. Imagine if LeBron James started off his career averaging 27.5 points per game? Take off LeBron's first year and he is at 28.8 points per game for his career, which would put him a lot closer to the likes of Michael Jordan and Wilt Chamberlain as far as career scoring average. This may not mean a lot to some people, but to me, it would be amazing if LeBron cracked 30.14, and his first year is honestly his lowest by far. Again, might not matter to most people, but high school players commonly had this boom from first year to second year, and I think it would have been pretty awesome if they could have come in at that second year clip.
I feel that competition level also plays a factor, and that maybe college is not there anymore on that front. I also commonly here the other side, that people who skip school to play pro (NBA, Europe), will never reach their full maturity level because they will have missed the valuable experiences which college provides for you to blossom into the man you are supposed to become (paraphrasing what I have heard from people I have discussed with). Well, I went to college, did not play sports, and I honestly do not which side is the truth. But, from my standpoint, the players under this age limit are on the career path of a basketball player. I think they would want to do whatever they would think is best for them, whether it is going through the environment that a college provides or maybe playing against better competition and thrusting yourself into your future career by going to Europe. I feel that the congressman's theory that the NBA's age limit was adding to the corruption that was already rampant with the college system is ludicrous. However, if he feels like the guys should just straight up have a right to play out of high school, and is looking at the players best interest, than he may have a point. But, selfishly, I love what the age limit provides, and if they NBA chose to disband, I guess I would be slightly disappointed (Until I realized that whatever draft would be STACKED with the best players two classes had to offer, but that would just be fun for one year).
Well, I am sorry for blathering about this, would love to hear others opinions on the age limit, whether they like it or not and what they would want to happen to it or think might happen to it. I honestly feel like there are many things to discuss on this topic, plus feel free to agree or dispute with what I have just outlined.
This blog was very interesting, as it explains both sides of the tale and how in the end your in fact in favor for the NBA limit. I am as well for those exact same reasons, the fact that overall competition does in fact increase in the college basketball system (which im sure every university likes because it helps generate more ticket revenue). Seeing guys that are one-year dominate players in college doesn't necessarily mean they are going to translate all there success into the pros, but its fun to imagine.
There are a couple problems however, that are posed towards this idea of 'one-and-dones' that I have. The biggest problem that I see is the devalue of the education in the college system. That bugs me, because now the sales pitch from coach at a university translates from (figuratively speaking) "if you go to this school, you will get a top-notch education" to "if you go to this school, I will help with you to make that step from college to pro with that one year you give our program". And I understand that some athletes don't take education as seriously as others, but with that transition, we're going to start seeing more and more corrupted universities that are willing to pull strings just so they can get there star player. Recent cases (Derrick Rose at Memphis, Floyd at USC) will happen more often with this rule still applied, so the average college fan seems to be caught in a conundrum: College basketball is great because it provides the best prep athletes to compete with college players, but college basketball's credibility will be destroyed because of the cheating scandals that will happen more often. To sum it up in a different analogy but same context: "Do you care if the MLB players used steroids", because the players are cheating (more drastically, yes, but still cheating), but the game is still being played at a high and entertaining level.
Again, I am in support of the rule that there is an age limit to be in the NBA. But I wouldn't mind even making it a "2 year requirement", only because it not only gives the one-and-done players time to develop to there full potential (players that jrue holiday, bj mullens, etc., should have done), but it gives the players that dominated their first year to expand their games as well.
Good debatable topic.
From a legal standpoint it is wrong and it was wrong from the NFL to but most people feel that it is best to give a player a good time for their body to develope. Also to be honest there have been more success stories with high school to pros than unsuccess and the thing is with the NBA so people will not make it no matter if they come from high school or College. Also it took Durrant a year of the NBA to get comfortable with it as well and he did a year in college. Every player that comes in even from colleges normally has a big jump from 1st year to second because most dont know what to expect. You have a few that did 4 years that have been playing so long that they have picked up enough basketball instincts to not make as many mistake but even Tim Duncan came in and had to adjust to the game. He played well but had a lot of turnovers his first year. The NBA is using this rule so that they dont have to actually have a better minor system that helps develop players that are that young. I do like the fact that now with a little push from Mark Cuban they have a lot more assistant coaches and some can help the young players like Ewing to Howard to develop their game.
I think rookies are always going to struggle, and many big men have their most turnovers that first year when they are still making the adjustment. I also totally agree that many rookies have that tough first year of adjustments. But, what I feel is that by Kevin Durant having that year in college maybe helped him have a better rookie year than he would have otherwise. KD came in and averaged 20 ppg, but he shot 40% from the field, and if he came in out of high school, I bet both of those numbers dip (Which still might have made him Rookie of the Year in '06 over Brandon Roy who missed a bunch of games, that is if KD played the whole season). I just like the fact that the one year rule seems to bring a player in a little more prepared than before, and I believe it has deterred guys that might have entered straight out of high school and not been in that group of successes to try and get their game right.
Apeizner, I see where you are coming from with it detracting from what college is supposed to be about, which is education. But, honestly, I think the NCAA had this problem even before this system was instituted, and it would be their even if players could not leave as underclassmen. I feel that the NCAA system has become a problem for players, their rules are outdated and the whole idea of "amateurism" seems to be a mostly American concept. I think people cheating/getting paid/being looked at by agents was much more prevalent even before all of this happened. Heck, I even think people used to get suspended more for it than today, where it seems like investigations happen after someone is collecting social security. The NCAA makes money off of these kids going to a school to play basketball, not to get an education. I think as a coach you use the "I am going to make sure you get the best education possible" approach, but we know why kids go to the schools they do, to play basketball in the best environment the feel prepares them for the next level. For some, the level deals with the application of their college degree, but for the kids that are planning on going to the NBA, it deals with whatever best prepares them for that path.
With your steroid analogy, which is something I have also debated about quite a bit, I say this: it is all about precedent. I feel that the MLB set a precedent that steroids were acceptable, even with the harmful after affects it had on their athletes. It made the game more marketable, brought them more revenue, why would they care? But, when the media and public found out what was happening, they decided to change their entire position. They are entitled to do so, even if it is slimy, but they set no real precedent on what happened during this time. Asterisks aside, those are still records those players are holding, and if Bud Selig or whoever had the balls, they would say "every record this player has in that time is now bull&$#%#&@!." That would be setting a precedent, that would be taking a hardline, not suspending players now accordingly. The NCAA taking a hardline would be saying "Hey, OJ Mayo is going to USC for no real &$#%#&@! reason. Lets check this out!" Not after he was done, not after Derrick Rose has won rookie of the year, but before they even had a chance to play. Also, as far as these allegations go, I see them as not being harmful to the players, I think they got to play a year of college ball, and for all the recent stuff said about Robert Dozier's SATs, it appears he has a college degree. I do not know how it works in other schools, but at mine, athletes went to classes when they weren't playing, had to go to study hall, and otherwise were practicing. Being a player is a full time job when you are in school, and as many perks as you receive, you have to do a lot of work to be a college basketball player. As far as preparedness goes, two years would help, and would make college basketball a lot more fun, and may feign the NCAA's interest in these kids receiving an education rather than just training for the pros. But, as far as the current age limit goes, it looks out for the best interest of the NBA's teams, who I am sure are happy that a player comes to their team with a year of experience under their belt which could lead to a more immediate contribution.
Mike, IMHO you posted a very intelligent, challenging summary of the issue which deserves some thoughtful responses from other participants.In the end, I think one's opinion depends upon what your priority is.
If you place a premium upon education, then you will probably be opposed to this stupid rule.
If you believe 18 year olds, who can elect to fight for freedom in Afghanistan and Iraq, but can't play professional basketball, deprives young men of the right to earn a living, then you are probably opposed to the rule.
If you are interested in seeing the best players in college basketball and providing a minor league scouting service to the NBA, you will probably be in favor of the rule. I'm guessing most guys in this forum support the rule because they are looking at it from the perspective of the NBA.
However one feels, the end result are guys going to college for one year who have ZERO interest in getting an education. They take Basketball 101 and 102 and then quit. They are using college basketball as a one year scouting service for the NBA. We've already seen several problems and we'll see a lot more as long this stupid rule is in place.
Yes college basketball already had many problems in terms of education, but the "One and Done" guys take abuse of the rules to a new level.
The NBA invoked this rule because their GMs were having a hard time assessing the draft value of high school players. Why? Because they are phenomenal athletes competing against inferior talent on the high school level. Now GMs can watch them play against top flight competition at the college level, giving them a better opportunity to make a smarter choice.
These "One and Done" guys make a mockery of college basketball. College isn't for everyone, if they want to play basketball for a living after high school, let them do it. If they want to go to college after high school, they still have that option.
Thank you, and very well put. I tend to think that for most top flight recruits out their, that college was already just a stop on the trip to the NBA, or a way to get scouts just to see them. Even if the age limit was removed, than I still think it would be popular for freshman to go straight to the pros. More than one person here has stated that the people who get the most out of the age limit system are the GMs, and that is very true. Still, I would have to say that ultimately, it is up to the league to serve its best interests, but it is up to the players to get what they can out of the new CBA. It will be interesting to see what happens, either way I will be satisfied, but I will not so secretly be wanting the age limit to stay the way it is.
This is racist. Google the issue
Mike, as I said above, one's perspective determines how you feel about the rule. If you're an NBA GM or looking at it from the perspective of pro basketball, you will like it.
If you think "One and Done" players make the term "student athlete" completely laughable, you will probably be against it.
Look at USC and the Derrick Rose case, I think that is only the tip of the iceberg. Until this rule is changed, you will see more and more problems come up.
The solution is simple, if a guy wants to go straight to the NBA out of high school, let him go. Nobody's forcing anyone to do something against their will. With the current rule, guys are being forced to do something they don't want to do and that's go to college.
Whenever you force people to do something they don't want to do, there will be big time problems.
I like you post but one thing...
Duncan went back to college because he made a promise to his mom
Roy went back to college because he got injured.
Tim Duncan could have been the first pick in the draft after his sophomore year. A lot of people come out early and still obtain a degree, Duncan chose to stick around to play and work on basketball. Also, Brandon Roy may have gotten hurt, but dude was straight up not the player he was until his senior year, so again, it was his choice, and he made the right one for basketball.
This is something that made me take how I look at the NBA to a whole other level. Now mind you Kevin Garnett is in my mind the greatest player of my generation (I started watching ball when I was 5 and I'm 20 Now,) to hear what this rule has done to all levels of competition is a joke.
Let's break this down individually:
To High School Kids:
Is it really a fault to anyone to go out and declare yourself and collect millions of dollars on a guaranteed contract when your 18 years old? According to the NBA it's wrong and hurting the integrity of the game. Please.... If Lebron James can go to war for his country why can't he shoot some hoops for a few million a year. I think every year you have a handful of maybe 7 players max that can come in from High School and outright contribute in the NBA. I'm not saying every player that declares is going to be Lebron James, but let's really look at why this rule came into place with the 2004 NBA Draft.
Players that declared and were drafted: Dwight Howard 1st, Shaun Livingston 4th, Robert Swift 12th, Sebastain Telfair 13th, Al Jefferson 15th, Josh Smith 17th, JR Smith 18th, Dorrel Wright 19th.
Now lets break this list down.... 3 of these 8 players have or are on the verge of becoming stars in this league. Those three players being Al Jefferson, Dwight Howard, and Josh Smith.
When you take a step down to the second tier of these players, JR Smith, Shaun Livingston, and Sebastain Telfair, you see where each of their careers have gone. Smith if given the minutes could be one of the most dominating shooting guards in this game next to Carmelo Anthony. Sebastian Telfair is finally turning his career around and becoming a serviceable point guard in this league. Then theirs Shaun Livingston who baring injuries and lack of weight gain could have been the second coming of Magic Johnson.
The Last tier of guys baffles me in Robert Swift and Dorrel Wright. I think each of their stories can be spoken as followed. Swift received some terrible draft advice and was made a lottery pick. Was it a bad idea for a lack luster high school player to declare and become a lottery pick? I don't know. I don't know how much more college could have improved this guys game. Yet what we do know is that he will never amount to the player the Sonics thought they had when they drafted him. When it comes to Dorrel Wright, I personally think Dwyane wade killed his career. He's a very talented guy in his own right, but even with little minutes he had to play behind Dwyane Wades Shadow.
All in all I don't think it's the leagues choice on when a player can and cannot declare. Some players are more than ready to come out and compete out of high school. So why should we stop them. This isn't the NFL where the pace and the recklessness of the game is that much greater from level to level. There's some what of a learning curve for these kids coming from HS, but don't you think it's the same for College kids as well? It shouldn't be a players fault for going out and getting whats entitled to them. It's a GM's fault for over or under analyzing these players. I'm sure when a GM selects a player they ask themselves is the Juice worth the squeeze. Their sticking their necks out for regardless of who they take.
For The College Game:
For anyone that knows me I am not the biggest fan of the college game. I think the NBA game is a more enticing level of competition over the college game. I want to see the best of the best out there every time I watch a basketball game regardless of competition, but this one and done rule is a joke.
While it may help a players draft stock; Derrick Rose, and Kevin Durant much more than others, it really hurts people who could have declared with the previous rule but didn't. Guys like Greg Oden, OJ Mayo, Michael Beasley, Thaddeus Young, Eric Gordon, Jerryd Bayless, Deandre Jordan and Donte Green would have all declared out of HS given the option. Instead these players were forced to spend one year in college for "Proper NBA Seasoning." Give me a break on this one guys, but players who are one and done are not helping the college game at all. Their hurting it much more than helping it. A one and done guy takes some bogus courses makes up a major he knows he'll never have any business doing and maintains a decent GPA to play for that semester. Once the games are over they stop going to classes and focus on playing in the NBA.
Take Kansas State for Example and their record before, during and after Michael Beasley,
You get a solid combination of Beasley and Walker for one year and then they just roll bounce on your program. It's not good for the NBA or NCAA. It's sending the wrong message to it's players making them go to the college ranks for the year instead of giving them an option. I am 90% against players being mandated to play college basketball unless it's tweaked in the following way.
A player has the option of declaring out of HS outright, but must keep his name in the draft. That way were not teased with all of these pull outs.
A player who declines to come out of HS and plays in the NCAA must stay for a mandatory of two seasons with the completion of his degree.
I think these two simple amendments help all three parties out. The college ranks are getting a two year player over one that is a much mature guy who if he doesn't pan out into the NBA has something to fall back on. A College Basketball coach has a player set in stone for two seasons over one and if he decides to declare his second season the couch isn't utterly shocked by his decision. These guys bring more fans into the game knowing they are going to have a player of say a Michael Beasley caliber for two seasons over one. Some guys need the college game to advance their NBA careers, but a hand full of players don't.
For the NBA Game:
For HS kids coming in you are taking a huge gamble on drafting on of these guys in the Lottery. I don't understand why most of these lackluster franchises do it when they are on the brink of failure. For every player from High School that comes out to becomes a Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant, Darryl Dawkins, and Lebron James just to name a few theirs equally if not more of a list of Kwame Browns, Ndudi Ebis, Korelone Youngs and Jonathan Benders. The NBA draft over the latter years has become more of a guessing game over a crap shoot of actual talent. Potential is the deadliest word in sports right now and more people are basing their decisions of taking a guy on that over actual talent.
I don't like the NBA using the college game as it's own farm system. I think it's insane and unpractical. We have the NBDL for that so if you plan on drafting a guy out of High School leave him there for some time and let him get a feel for the transition of the NBA Game.
All in all to me making players suffer by playing a year in college is just an utter joke for me. If a guys got talent out of High School and thinks he can make the step why not let him see what he's got. If he doesn't pan out It's a mistake of bad couching, poor scouting, or a terrible pick by an NBA GM. Then again if he does we praise this GM as if he were a god for making such and such the next super star in the NBA. The system needs to be fixed and I'm all for dropping it or amending it come the next collective bargaining agreement.
Auber, was that a Master's Thesis or a post in the NBA Draft forum? You did a fantastic job and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.
I did a final paper on this topic in my sports and management class for my senior year. I won Honorable mention for the piece through my schools newspaper back when I was writing. It's not the same article, but it brings a long the same points.
This was the rule that truly made me much more than the casual NBA Fan. It made me have passion for the game and I couldn't believe David Stern thought he had the right to do this to his players to put more money into the pockets of College Programs.
Auber...what school did you go to? Did you go to CNS?
No I went to Liverpool, I graduated in 07 and was a Column writer for the newspaper. Here's a pic of when I graduated, I'm on the far left.
Oh Ok. I wanted to say something and wanted to see your opinion.....
I think The HS ballers should be able to enter the draft. IMO, I think the NBA should have 3 rounds in their draft and then allows the kids to enter and be drafted but assigned to D-League teams. I'm tired of hearing, most HS guys go due to financial issues. I think they pay in the D-League, so why not restrict them for 25-30 games for development?
Also, I think Stern made the college rule because it doesnt only effect the kids, it affects Coaches, Gm's , Scouts and even teams....
cool pic man...
I think you took a fair approach from all angles on this issue. However, that whole first paragraph from the highschool perspective and your overall perspective on this issue I have to totally disagree with.
your quote: "Is it really a fault to anyone to go out and declare yourself & collect millions of dollars on a gauranteed contract when you're 18 years old? According to the NBA it's wrong & hurting the integrity of the game. Please...if LBJ can go to war for his country why can't he shoot some hoops for a few million a year."
I was'nt sure if you yourself felt this way, or if you were just giving the argument from a highschool kids perspective. But since your final summary of your opinion seems to be in agreement with this perspective, I'm gonna assume this is how you feel on the subject. With that being said, let me disagree with you.
The NBA is not saying it is wrong for kids to make money and the league is not arguing that the drafting of kids out of highschool is hurting their "integrity". If you cut through all the bs about wanting kids to mature and keep GM's out of highschools and get to what this all about, you'll see it is about GM's not wanting to invest money in unproven players. So they make them play at a higher level of competition to better gauge their talent. It is about money and what's in the best interest of the league, not integrity or because the legue thinks it's wrong for these kids to make millions.
Secondly, whenever I hear people bring up the "if they can go to war..." comment, it makes my ears cringe. The NBA is a billion dollar corporation, and last time I checked billion dollar corporations are allowed to base their hiring standards on whatever best benefits the corporation. I can't go be lawyer without taking the BAR exam and then complain when they don't hire me by saying "If I can go to war, why can't I...". The kids are more then welcomed to go to the NBDL or overseas straight out of highschool for that one year if they like and they could make money, even millions in Jenning's case. So enough of the arguments how the poor athletes are being kept from working, making money, bettering their lives yet they can go to war crap. It's ridiculous.
Also, it's just one year. In that one year, the kid will be able to get all the exposure he wants, and if he is good, then his draft stock won't go down from when he had left highschool. I'm sorry if I don't feel bad for these future millionaires while they live like kings on some campus for a whole entire year. Now, if the league tried to extend it past a one year, then I would be very against it.
The NBA will advertise days on end Kobe Bryant and lebron James, but in the same aspect they agree that it's wrong for how they came into this league? It's a two way street dude. I am against the way the Age limit is being instilled because I think a handfull of guys year in and out can play in this league from the get go. I don't see this rule doing what it intended to do by helping out colleges generate more revenue and increase interest by bringing in one and done guys.
Georgia Tech is prolly the team that's gone after this the most with Thaddeus Young, Javaris Crittenton, Gani lawl and now Derrick Favors. Take it from a Syracuse native who watched Carmelo Anthony win a national championship. I don't think it helps a program having a guy come in one year, do his business and say peace college I'm going to make some serious money.
I understand peoples perspective that the NBA is a job, but it's a job of entertainment and people want to see some seriosu excitement and these HS kids give it too us. We wan't to know if they are everything that they are advertised.
The age limit rule just throws the whole Student-Athlete idea out of the window and makes it an Athlete-part time student gig. I think it's a joke how many 1 and dones take advantage of this.
You need to give people the option to declare or if they don't make them 2 year players at the NCAA level. That way everybody wins. The HS kid has the opportunity to jump from prep to pros, the same kid has a chance to stay in school and get his degree and lastly the NBA get's a much more polished product.
If it was just kids like LBJ and Kobe coming out, then they would have never changed the rule. The NBA did'nt do this for the colleges to increase revenue. They did it to benefit themselves. The kids are not being forced to go to school, they can work anywhere they want including other basketball leagues.
Too many unprepared kids was absoultely hurting the NBA because coaches were being forced to train kids at basic skills and give them enough playing time to mature, and many still did'nt develop. The one year of playing at a higher level simply allows the teams a better tool to evaluate the kids. And they are entitled to look out for their best interest just as any other corporation can.
I could care less about whether the colleges benefit or not. The players can still make money, and if they are any good and don't get exposed in college or wherever, then they will be millionaires after just ONE year. And I don't think there is any question the league is benefitting from this.
I'm not trying to go back and forth with you, just wanted to discuss this with someone who has sound opinions on most basketball topics. We just disagree on this particular one.
I think there are too much Hype surrounding HS prospects...I think The HS ballers should be able to enter the draft. IMO, I think the NBA should have 3 rounds in their draft and then allows the kids to enter and be drafted but assigned to D-League teams. I'm tired of hearing, most HS guys go due to financial issues. I think they pay in the D-League, so why not restrict them for 25-30 games for development?
It's all good, but I'll continue.
The problem isn't the players, It's the GMS, The Scouts, Organization, and Coaching Staffs.
A coach needs to do his job by making sure these guys can play in the NBA. He needs to train them harder to make them better players. The last time I checked coaches get paid to do this and more. If you can't put the vision of the game inside someone elses head you have no basis coaching period.
The Scouts need to look long and hard to break down a players pros and cons. Too many people are blown away by uber athleticsm over actual talent. If you cant give the fundamentals on the basketball court you have no business playing. If Gerald Green had an ounce of fundamental in his genes theirs no doubt in my mind he'd be a star in this league. Sadly that's never going to happen.
When It comes to the Ogranization they need to base the draft process on need rather than potential and desire. Take Memphis, my team for example. If we drafted on need we would be taking Tyreke Evans, or Jordan Hill second overall. Now to many people that's much too high for those players so what were working on is seeing if we can move down and compensate by taking one of these players in a lower spot in exchange for the second pick. Although Rubio is gushing with potential he isn't the right fit for this team with Conley at the point guard.
As for GM's who have the biggest burden of them all, they have to evaluate talent from top to bottom to see whats best for this team. Is Hasheem Thabeet really able going to play next to Marc Gasol, Can OJ Mayo play point guard, and is Jordan Hil worthwhile at the number two if nothing gets done.
You stick your neck out gambling on a High School guy in the lottery and it's either boom or bust. I don't think theirs too many guys that have hit middle ground. It's not something that should be taken away from them. You are sole responsibility for player development and increasing your skills the minute you step into the NBA.
I'm just not sold on the 1 and done rule at all. It just hurts the college game much more than it helps it in the long run.
It seems like you did take a lot of time to make your argument, and you do provide some good points, but also I think your argument is flawed when it comes to your view on the college game. I honestly think college had nothing to do with improving Derrick Rose and Kevin Durants stock, as they were in the same position before and after they played their one year (At least they seemed to be on this site). Also, why make people stay in the draft out of high school? "That way were not teased with all of these pull outs." Why would you care about that if you actually cared about players to begin with. Also, having to stay in college for two years otherwise would not just destroy a couple rookie classes, but also would be kind of a joke. The only way for a player to get a degree would be to give them four years of college. Otherwise, if you have ambitions or intentions of leaving early, education simply will not be your highest priority. Let me ask you, do you think players who go to college for one year and go pro are not better seasoned just in being that one year older? I think maturity is something gained over time regardless (well, usually), but as physical and mental maturity of players seems to go, a year makes a big difference. That was at least my point into why it was positive for the NBA. I also feel that it is positive for college as well, as far as watching the best players from a particular high school class play college ball, like they used to. I think that Magic guy could have gone straight to the pros, but they were lucky enough to have him for a couple years. The last guy who was ranked near the top of his HS class that went to college was Melo, and he did alright. I mean, leading a team to an NCAA championship doesn't suck too bad.
As far as the high school level, I do not see how it makes a big difference other than guys not having the pro option. Their were either going to scouts and agents, or coaches and agents, or all of the above. Also, how is the NBA making the college system their farm team unpractical? They have been doing it since the inception of the league. It has been very practical. It could be classified as insane, or unethical, but it has been quite a practical system for the NBA. I think it is wrong for the players to have to be pawns in a corrupt system that is the NCAA and the NBA protecting their own interest in this age limit, but I do not think either of your suggestions would help players either. It is either go back to what it was before, or keep the same corrupt guilty pleasure that they have. I mean, this is honestly a business, every league protects its ass and especially in times like these money is a factor. As far as the "If he could enlist in the army, he should be able to make money playing in the NBA" argument, I just have never liked that. Why in the hell do we have to bring that into this topic? I could enlist in the army, but instead I choose to live my life. None these guys are enlisting in the army, none of these dudes are going into the army, what the hell does the army have to do with this?
You wrote, "As far as the "If he could enlist in the army, he should be able to make money playing in the NBA" argument, I just have never liked that. Why in the hell do we have to bring that into this topic?"
I think the army metaphor is very relevant. Think about it Mike, going into the Army and fighting for America literally places your life on the line. It is probably the most important decision a young person could make in their entire life.
On the other hand, playing basketball is nothing more than a game. Yes it's also a business, but deciding to play basketball after graduating from high school cannot compare with the heavyweight decision to fight for America.
Therefore, the argument is very relevant. If you're competent and responsible enough to put your life in harm's way for your country, you should also be competent enough to decide if you want to go to college or play professional basketball.
But, at the same time, while I definitely knew what it represented, I think most people tend to be forced to enlist in the army. People tend to enlist in the army out of circumstance, and yes, you put yourself in harms way to fight for this country, but why does that than give you the right to do whatever you want? You still can't drink, can't rent a car from anyone besides Enterprise and are still prevented from getting a lot of high level salary paying jobs. Jobs require experience, preparation, not an ability to enlist for the army.
The fact that there are laws against drinking doesn't make it right. I'm very consistent. If you can join the Army and put your life on the line, you should be allowed to drink. More importantly, it's similar to Prohibition in that the law never worked. And as you already know Mike, despite the law, people under the age of 21 drink all they want.
As for your other point reference experience and preparation, they're very good arguments. I would answer by saying if you don't have the skill set and talent, the NBA won't come calling. By the way, we're only talking about 7-10 guys a year at most.
The bottom line Mike is the fact that most of those guys have NO business going to college and pretending to be students. Instead of giving them Basketball 101 and 102 to keep them eligible to play through the first semester, if it's what they want, why not let them go directly to the NBA.
I think a player should be allowed to do whatever he wants, go to the pros out of high school, go to college for 1-4 years, go play ball overseas, whatever. It is the responsibility of the coach and the scouts to determine if the player is the right fit for their teams and then draft accordingly, not the other way around. If you already have a serviceable point guard don't draft another just because he is super talented, draft for need. I think the biggest thing hurting the NBA is the rookie pay scale. You have to pay ridiculous amounts of money for an unproven commodity. Make the rooks earn their money. What the hell is Derrick Rose going to do with 5 mil that he couldn't do with 2 mil or even 1 mil? He's a 19 year old kid he doesn't need you to pay him 5 mil a year! That's the whole reason these coaches and scouts are always looking for the next lebron or the next kobe, because if they don't get it right you pay a bunch of money to a guy that never sees playing time (i.e. darko or kwame). It would be a better idea to have the contracts backloaded and incentive based like in football, that way the first few years the player is developing you don't pay him as much, then when he is starring for your team he is earning the right amount. It's like watching a veteran hold out when a team offers him 10 mil a year and he wants 11 mil or 12 mil. Some people don't earn that in their lifetime and youre going to complain about getting paid 10 mil when you want 11?
As far as forcing a player to go to college is hurting the player I can see both sides of the argument. It hurts the player because maybe he is amazing coming out of high school and then he goes to college and gets beaten up by the better competition, but this can also be a learning experience for him as well as he develops his game to better suit college ball. It hurts the player also because I think the college and NBA are worlds apart and you have to adjust your game to play a different style. In college ball I think it can be legitimately said that one person can really beat a team as crazy as that sounds, because sometimes the talent level just isn't there. But in the NBA one person can't beat a team, every player can play and is capable of greatness. Any player in the NBA can go off for 40 on any given night, that's the reason they are in the league, but it's about finding the right role for yourself. Take Ariza last night. 16 points in the third quarter when the Magic played no D on him. Any player can look like Kobe shooting wide open shots. Maybe thats what teams wanted from Ariza when they drafted him and they didnt get it so he bounced around but all the lakers ask him to do is defend hard and make open shots and he likes that role so he looks like a good player on their team. I think this is why so many high school players fail because teams expect them to be the saving grace of their franchise instead of maximizing their potential and asking them to achieve reasonable goals and contribute to the team how they are capable of. Not every player wants to dominate the game night in and night out, some are happy just doing whatever their team needs them to do in order to win.
Anyway got a little off subject but basically I think it is hard to determine a player's game until he actually plays in the NBA. In college and high school you see what he can do and his potential but the transistion from college or high school to the NBA is drastically different, and there are no guarantees. Dwight probably grew up modeling his game after Shaq and idolizing him but do you think it prepared him well for how he should guard Shaq the first time they played? haha of course not. Take Laettner and Hansbrough for example. Amazing college players. Laettner never really translated to the NBA in terms of the way he dominated in college, and coaches aren't that high on Hansbrough either. None of the Florida starting 5 from 06-07 have really made a huge impact in the NBA yet. Oden can't stay out of the hospital. I think in the end it boils down to a 50-50 chance no matter how you look at it.
I agree with you, I am not saying it is right either, I am just saying that the "if you can die for your country, you should be able to play basketball for a few million" argument is weak. Something about it just bothers me, like almost comparing what basketball players are going through to what is happening to people in the army. I was discussing it with my family, and my mom said "its like comparing apples to potatoes." She also brought up the same point I made, in that the people in the army usually are there because they have no other choice, not because they want to be. I think that is similar to what I said about them being victims of circumstance. Stan Van Gundy, who did one hell of a choke job last night, as he tends to do, brought up the point about the NCAA being an awful organization. While I do not tend to agree with most of the things that come out of his hostess hole, it is a valid point. My point is, that just because a guy is one and done, does not mean that he is the only one that uses a scholarship without the intent of graduating. I think with underclassmen, while some choose to go back and finish school, or even graduate on time, to say that you are taking away a scholarship from someone more deserving just does not make sense to me. The schools that recruit guys who leave early for the draft, or one and done guys, are only getting the best guys they possibly can. They save a few scholarships for little Johnny 12th man the 4.0 student, but they want the best players available, and if guys went straight to the pros, they would still be going after other people who might only be at school for a year or two.
A large part of why high school players have had a lot of success is due to the caliber of player that would come out from high school. I have yet to see real evidence against high school players playing well because they put them up against the other four classes, but that is not a smart way to break it down in my opinion. You need to look at the caliber of players that come out in those years, as it usually works out that the best players come out of high school, next level as a freshman, next level as a sophomore and so on. It is not like clock work, but if someone were to go back and rank the high school classes according to who the best players were according to what they have done in the league, it would prove that high school players would rank extremely high, because they were the best players in their particular class.
The college ranks have been the NBA's minor league for years. It is about getting people an education to an extent, but also, the NCAA is a money hungry organization that wants as much as it possibly can have without having to give back to the players that make it. They would make money even if these guys went to school, and scandals existed long before OJ Mayo and Derrick Rose were forced to one and done. My only point for the system staying in tact is that I personally like seeing players come in a little more prepared than they would have out of high school, just so they don't have that awkward rookie year. Look at almost every high school straight to the pros player and they have had that rookie year that is nowhere near their eventual playing level (except for Darius Miles, who just stopped trying). I am not saying that people do not always struggle and usually have a time tough in comparison to the rest of their rookie years, because they do. What I am saying is that I think Kobe averaging 15 or so his rookie year rather than the 7.8 or so he did would have been cool. Out of every player that could have come in out of high school, zero would have put up LeBron numbers, which are even way down as I pointed out earlier from his career. I just think players competing as rookies is cool, but it is not the best reason to have players have to go to college instead of having the choice to enter out of high school.
One thing I can say for sure, we disagree on the U.S. Army metaphor. If you are mature enough to die for your country, you should have the right to be a basketball player. We've beaten that to death so let's agree to disagree on that issue.
You are absolutely correct about education, scholarships, and the so called "student athlete" in the NCAA. Anyone who's followed college sports for years know that most male elite players are semi-literate and have no business in college. And yes, college basketball has been the NBA minor league forever. My only point is that "One and Done" players take that hypocrisy to a new level. They don't even pretend to be students, so let's do away with that stupid rule.
Note: Elite female athletes, even those from the inner city, have an extremely high graduation rate. That could be the subject of another thread.
If you look at it from the perspective of the NBA or the player himself, the one year rule is a positive in that it gives the player one additional year to mature. It obviously helps the NBA because it gives them the opportunity to scout players going against the best of their generation.
As I said in an earlier message, one's take on this rule depends upon your perspective. If you think student athletes should be in school with the desire to at least make an effort to graduate, you won't like this rule. I'm in this corner.
If you're interest lies with the well being of the NBA and/or want to see the best young kids playing college ball, you're probably in favor of the rule.