College, NBA Draft / May 2, 2011 / 12:15 pm

A Basketball Resume Is Unlike Any Other: The Josh Selby Story

Josh Selby

Josh Selby (photo. Kansas Athletics)

Hardcore basketball fans complain about the one-and-done rule a lot, but they do not always realize the implications of each situation. Basketball is a business. Sure, everyone wants to achieve greatness and bask in the glory, but it simply is not possible for everyone. Not everyone’s family has the type of financial support that enables them to play in college for four years.

Just recently, Kansas freshman Josh Selby declared for the NBA Draft. A few interesting articles came out commenting on his decision. Darren Everson of The Wall Street Journal wrote about Selby’s decision and how college players require less and less of a resume every year. Selby did average a mere 7.9 points and 2.2 assists per game for the Jayhawks, but Everson missed one critical detail: a majority of NBA qualifications are about a players’ physical abilities. Accomplishments matter, but not as much as other industries such as politics. When you take a look at Selby, you can tell he has the athleticism and body of an NBA player. So few humans possess this gift that it should count as part of the resume.

In fact, before the age limit came along, Selby would have been off to the League anyways. As a senior, he was ranked the fifth best player in the nation by ESPN and Scout.com and the best player overall in the country by Rivals.com in 2010. He was also selected to play in both the McDonald’s All American Game and the Jordan Brand Classic. In high school, Selby had an excellent resume, which is why all of the top colleges in the nations wanted him in their program.

To be frank, there are definitely question marks about Selby’s resume as well. He played on three different high school teams and committed to Kansas after a decommitment from Tennessee. It also does not help that he was suspended for the first nine games of the season for receiving “improper benefits.” We have to take into consideration Selby’s situation as well. J. Brady McCollough of The Kansas City Star wrote that it was a “major accomplishment” for Selby to even make it out of Baltimore. It is clear that the kid went through a lot in his life, and this obviously had an impact on his decision.

But a basketball resume just is not like any other resume. Selby might not have a good one, but there have been players with similar resumes that have had success in the NBA. Look at Brandon Jennings, who skipped college to play in Europe and barely made a name for himself out there; or Jrue Holiday, who played big minutes but put up mediocre numbers for UCLA. The key for Selby will be how he handles his future. He needs to put his past behind him and do whatever it takes to find his role in the NBA. He has the tools, now it is up to him to determine his future.

What do you think?

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  • nola

    Players need to be locked in for 3 years once they decide to attend college. Otherwise, they should come straight out of high school, most likely to join the D-league where they can hone their skills primarily as a basketball player and find their way toward the big leagues from there. Or an alternate route would be to go to Europe pro leagues.

    Essentially what I’m trying to say is that these athletes who attend college for a year and then moving on to the pros is hurting many different parts and pieces of the pro league/college league. If the 3 year rule was applied, college basketball becomes not only just about college basketball but it’s also about their education and growing academically.

    I understand not everyone is passionate about learning whatever we learn in college. With the 3 year rule, those kids can go straight to the D-league or Europe where they can hone the skills that they are actually passionate about. No the D-league isn’t perfect right now but with this rule, the NBA would be forced to make the D-league prevalent as a developmental and minor league for young kids. It’d basically be college except the focus is for them to get better at basketball, their passion.

    One thing I’m personally tired of is there being these classes in college that are create primarily for athletes to get by on their academic records so they can play for the school. They receive these easy grades just because they are athletes and these classes are basically only for them. It just ruins the intergrity of the higher education system with the glamorous, media enhanced lifestyles that these 18-21 year olds are living. It doesn’t serve them any better and it doesn’t serve the league any better once/if they get there.

  • http://www.dimemag.com Austin Burton

    We need to stop acting like the NCAA is an official minor league for the NBA, because it’s not. If the NBA wants to enact an age limit of 20 or 21, they can try to do that. But then don’t be surprised if players start going from high school to the D-League or playing overseas, and then college basketball becomes closer to college baseball.

    You shouldn’t be able to “force” an athlete into going to college for 3 years, just like you can’t force a “regular” kid. Anyone who enrolls in college is free to leave whenever they want, and athletes should be no different. And as long as you’re 18, you should be able to pursue a career in whatever field you want, and take your chances if you don’t meet the desired qualifications, e.g. not having a degree (for a “regular” student) or not being physically developed (for an athlete).

  • JC

    nola, I understand where you’re coming from. I happen to come from a different place, however.

    Organized basketball is comprised of individuals, first and foremost. The teams, schools, conferences, divisions, leagues and so on are organizations. The organizations do what they believe is best for them every day, in that the organizations try to get the best players, best facilities, best coaches, and so on. The driving factor in many of decisions made by organizations is money, and I strongly believe the organizations simply reflect the collective tendencies of their individual members. Most people are going to do what’s best for them, so it’s hard to fault people for doing exactly what the organizations would do. The organizations are primarily concerned with money and how to maximize it. Those organizations’ philosophies are put in place by people who run them. How can we fault the players for having identical values?

    Colleges that care about ALL students create that nurturing environment and foster integrity through impassioned faculty and alunni. Colleges that care about money manipulate rankings metrics and engage in deceptive marketing practices in order to fabricate that nurturing environment.

    Many colleges are willing to sacrifice the complete education of a couple thousand student athletes for millions in additional revenue. Therein lies the real problem.

  • http://rickvaughn.com rickvaughn00

    I disagree with your three year rule explanation. Guys shouldn’t be forced to go to college if they don’t want to. Also, guys like Lebron James, Dwight Howard, Kobe, Amare all made the jump with no issues. The NBA implemented a one and done rule so guys would stop ruining their careers by going pro to soon. NBA teams are not helping themselves by taking a chance on these guys right out of high school, like robert swift, telfair, lou williams etc. and other idiots who think they can go pro right out of high school. There shouldn’t be any rule in place, and NBA teams should not take a chance on these players who aren’t sure fire prospects. Players will then understand the risk of skipping college if their not a top ten pick.

  • nola

    In no where in my explanation did I state that kids should be forced to go to college. I think you had a preconceived notion of what my 3 year rule entailed and then filled it in with out of context details.

    My point was that if they are to attend college and play for a college team, they should be forced to stay for 3 years if they intend to play pro ball. They can drop out if they want to, maybe go to Europe, whatever. It’s naive to think that college ball isn’t essentially a minor league of the NBA right now. That’s why I think it should be changed. The D-league needs to be the minor league. The college game needs to be its own entity similar to that of college baseball. If you’re not familiar, college baseball requires you to stay for 3 years as well if you intend to go pro.

    Once again, I’m not saying that college is for everyone. I understand basketball is a passion of many kids and that’s their dream. I also understand that the organizations in charge of these things are completely money driven. All I’m saying is that if a kid decides on college ball over dleague ball/europe ball/entering the draft from hs (no i’m not saying any of these is a better option to the other) then that kid needs to stay with college ball for 3 years before entering the draft. This also is not to say that the kid can’t drop out and decide on d league ball later either.

  • kyballer312

    I somewhat agree with your 3 year plan but I would lower it to two years. Like many “jobs” there are pre-requisites. So why not just say, on the NBA job application…”must have AS degree”. That is a minimum of about 60 credit hours or two-years in college. Make the NBA have an AS Degree requirement. It makes a few things happen 1)An athlete must maintain good standing throughout his/her college career 2)The athlete at LEAST will have the credit hours to make them a bit more marketable in the real job world 3)it will allow for more mental and physical maturity of the athletes…now if the athlete decides NOT to enroll in college then he must play 2 years in the D-League…but, the D-League must change it’s philosophy of how it operates 1)each signed player must take mandatory “life-skills” classes worth credit hours a minimum of 30 hours per season can be earned and you need 60 to apply for the NBA…the difference being you will be paid a salary while in the D-League as oppposed to going to college…this could be a real nice thread…a lot of different scenarios possible but NONE will ever work because the bottom line is…THEY DON’T CARE ABOUT THE ATHLETE IT’S ABOUT THE MONEY FIRST AND FOREMOST

  • Phileus

    Austin is 100% correct. Lots of people complain that student athletes don’t take school seriously, but they’re basically being forced to go into colleges that they’re sometimes not interested in or academically qualified for just because it’s the de facto minor league in the US. If we had a better amateur/semi-pro system (like Euro junior leagues) do you think they would all be jumping to go to colleges that profit from their effort without fairly compensating them?

    I also agree with rickvaughn00. The age limit rule is paternalistic both towards players and GMs. Who can fault kids who eagerly went pro from high school, since they knew they could get drafted even if they weren’t “ready”? The NBA was trying to cover up the embarrassing mistakes of incompetent GMs who were more worried about looking stupid than about making the right decision. Yet you still have GMs making stupid draft choices based on “potential” (nice impact Orton had for Orlando in the playoffs).

    Let players and GMs make their own choices, and then benefit or suffer from them.

  • bryce

    I like the one and done. I think its funny how people want to hold back guys from going to the nba. Where are these same people when a 14yr old decides to go pro in tennis? These guys are grown men once they graduate from high school and should be able to excerise his right to work if he choose to do so. The nba rule is still good because that year helps him mature alittle before the big jump. I hope it stays that way

  • Nola

    I agree with what everyone is saying. Let them make their own decisions after they graduate high school. My only thing is once they make a decision to play college ball, they are required to stay for 3 years in college ball in order to enter the draft. OR they can drop out and go to the Dleague, etc but they can’t enter the draft.

    The instability of the college game and also the culture of college athletes is what is at stake here.

    Restructure the Dleague to make it the actual minor league of the NBA instead of the college game being the minor league.

    I have no problem with kids graduating high school deciding they want to pursue basketball and basketball only. The one and done rule is stupid in that it forces these kids into college when they don’t want to go to college in the first place. It ruins college in general for these athletes. It renders college as a joke. Let them go play. Leave the college athletes are want both a higher education and athletic play in their own league while the ones in the DLeague be the people who want only basketball.

  • http://www.dimemag.com Austin Burton

    Don’t get it twisted, though, the NBA didn’t implement its age limit to protect players … or at least not to protect the young players coming out of high school. Among other benefits, the NBA likes the age limit because it allows certain draft prospects to become more marketable before they reach the NBA.

    For example, if Kevin Durant had gone pro out of high school, his profile wouldn’t have been as high, the big “Oden vs. Durant” debate doesn’t happen, and not as many people are watching the Draft or waiting to buy KD jerseys the moment they know what team he’s going to. Because although Durant was still a great player coming out of HS, he wasn’t nearly as known nationally. But that year KD spent at Texas? He became a national phenom. Casual fans learned his name and started watching his games. By the time he went pro, he was already a star, as opposed to being a mystery like Amar’e Stoudemire was. The NBA benefitted tremendously from KD’s one year in college.

  • beiber newz

    mark my words….THE HEAT WILL DRAFT SELBY AS A SECOND ROUNDER . just watch

  • Nola


    That’s a really good point. I’ve never thought of it that way.

  • Flying_Aussie_Dutchman

    Well, its easy to say they can stay 3 years or whatever… But if Blake, Durant, Rose etc stayed 3+ years and had a major injury, we wouldnt then have “Durant v Oden” if Durant had suffered a broken leg during his 2nd year or soomething

  • http://dimemag.com Lucas

    Thanks for commenting guys. I find all of your opinions fascinating.

  • beiber newz

    lucas..next up…story on kemba.. BX BORO GO HARD !!!