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High School, NBA, NBA Draft / Nov 29, 2011 / 12:00 pm

The Single Biggest Myth About The NBA Draft Age Rule

Amar'e Stoudemire

Amar'e Stoudemire (photo. Jonathan Mannion)

So they think they need a committee to study this stuff huh? It shouldn’t take a genius or even a formulation of a number of basketball minds to figure this one out, but as Yahoo! Sports is reporting, the NBA and the Player’s Association are discussing whether to form a committee to study the age minimum for the NBA draft with “the possibility that no immediate changes to the ‘one-and-done’ rule will come in the finalization of the new collective bargaining agreement.”

Good. Maybe they’ll finally discover what I’ve been saying all along.

There’s been too many instances to pinpoint just one person, but I’ve heard some semblance of the same argument over and over again for the majority of my life. A few days back I wrote my take on the NBA age requirement and whether pushing it further to two years, or even having one at all, was a good idea. While there’s no proof going to college helps iron out the wrinkles in your game, I think I can speak for most who say that feeling is probably true. At the very least, time spent in college should help round out any player’s game. But all in all, abolishing the high school-to-NBA route is incredibly unfair.

The reactions from many players affected by the rule are all over the board, although I bet many are simply PC answers. From a recent ESPN piece:

DeMar DeRozan: “So I’ve always been against the age rule. It was tough when I found out about it. I think I was 17 at the time and every kid when they were in high school, the first thing they talk about is going pro.”

Donte Greene: “Just being able to be young and not have responsibilities … once you leave college, it’s real life out there. You have bills. You have responsibilities. Not saying I wasn’t ready, but it would’ve been nice to have another year to be a kid.”

B.J. Mullens: “The rule, it’s taking kids’ years away from playing in the NBA. If a kid is good enough to play in the NBA at age 17, let him play. You know, the ball isn’t going to bounce forever. Guys think they have 15, maybe 10 years of being a superstar player, but the average NBA career is about 4.5 years.”

Mike Conley: “But at the end of the day, you’re like, ‘Man, I gotta manage my bills, I got all these other issues that come with all this money and all the attention, the responsibility of being an NBA player.’ It’s hard to deal with especially at 19 or 20 years old. Most people don’t deal with that until they’re 30 or 35 years old, so it’s a different kind of world.”

Cory Joseph: “I never really had any say in the rule. I would probably leave it how it is right now. I think the one year in college really helped me out. There are some players, like LeBron and maybe John Wall, exceptionally great players, you know, maybe they could have made the leap from high school, but I think that college helped me out a lot…”

DeMarcus Cousins: “I was in middle school when the rule came about. When I first learned about it, I had mixed opinions. In a way, it’s good because a kid needs that college experience — to go through those changes and being closer to being an adult and learn that responsibility at the college level. At the same time, I don’t believe the rule should be put in place because it’s predicting somebody else’s life…”

DeAndre Jordan: “When I first got my apartment I was 19 and I just sat in there alone and was like ‘Who am I gonna hang out with?’ In college, the guys you hang out with are your age and they don’t really have anything to do after practice besides homework and just stay at the apartment, so I had to get used to staying at home by myself and picking up new hobbies.”

Many of the truths surrounding the issue we hold on to are fabricated, born out of decades of untested beliefs and quite honestly, make us out to be arrogant parent figures. We don’t know what’s best for other people. These aren’t our children. We can’t say for sure one way or another how someone’s career will turn out. It’s their decision alone.

But the one myth I’m determined to end, and also the argument I hear used most often to force players into college is that we are protecting them from themselves. Because of us and this rule, we won’t have so many high school busts. Five years down the road we won’t need to look down the list and see the names of kids who screwed up and never made it.

Besides the arrogant aspect, that’s all fine. The problem? It’s entirely not true.

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  • https://twitter.com/#!/djlocdog Loc

    Most well written article on dime in a long time.

    Very interesting read

  • yentron

    mike conley, buddy, who do you know that doesn’t have to deal with real life til they’re 30 or 35?

  • http://www.dimemag.com Aron Phillips

    Great piece, Sean.

  • SayItAintSo

    You had me until you tried to argue that Kwame and Curry weren’t busts.

  • Buddahfan

    As Barkley says: Increasing the age to 20 and thereby forcing players to play two years of college ball will give the NBA a better product than a one-and-done.

    Fact is that if a young player signs with a good college program with an excellent coach he will learn more about how to play the game correctly than he could have by swapping one more of good college coaching for a NBA coaching at 19. Coaching in the D-League is useless.

    College coaching is far better in teaching the fundamentals of the game and 30 – 35 games and one year of practices are not nearly as beneficial to the player as 60 – 70 games and two years of practices.

  • SayItAintSo

    Preach on Buddahfan, you’re speaking the truth.

    Kwame and Curry were ready to go pro though, those guys wouldn’t have benefited from college practices.

  • Buddahfan

    The problem with most 19 year old players in the NBA; i.e. the one-and-done players is that their defense is simply horrible, especially their team defense.

    I follow the Raptors and I can tell you unequivocally that DeMar DeRozan’s defense is simply horrible and it isn’t like Bargani’s defense due to lack of effort. DeRozan has just never been coached in how to play good defense. Compare him to Taj Gibson a four year player at USC who DeRozan played alongside of at USC for one season. Their defense is world’s if not universes apart.

    Yes some one-and-done guys finally get it but all too often they don’t and it hurts their overall game and their teams.

  • TJ 2

    i really think that one year rule was basically to help market future NBA pros for the NBA. i think it might help players a little going to a good college coach, but all in all i think the rule is just there for the NBA to bring more attention to them in the draft and help GMs feel better about picking a one and done compared to a player out of HS. imagine the hype around dwight howard if he went to idk Georgia tech and completely dominated for a year! it wouldve been ridculous! look at Beasley, Rose, Oden, Durant and Wall. ridiculous hype! straight out of HS it wouldve been bigger questions but success in college helped their stock. i dont really think the rule matters as much for the players. but for the NBA marketing.

  • Sam

    Eddy Curry: “I doubt going to college would have changed his work ethic.”

    So if Eddy Curry didn’t feel entitled to millions of dollars he wouldn’t have worked hard to get to the NBA?

    I hope the NBA and the players agree to a 2 years and done system. Contrary to what the author wrote, college often does teach young men some responsibility. As they become older they are asked to lead the team and the incoming freshmen.

    I’m not even sure why the players have any say in the ‘age rule’ since the player’s union does not represent players who are still in high school and college.

    If I’m a general manager, I want to be able to scout a guy for at least two seasons at the college level to see how thoroughly he can dominate inferior competition.

    A lot of teams would have drafted Harrison Barnes in the Top 5 at the 2011 Draft if he had made himself eligible. Now we’re wondering if he’s the next Marvin Williams.

  • http://www.zwani.com/graphics/funny_pictures/images/88funny-pictures128.jpg JAY

    Agreed with what buddahfan says.

    And I disagree with some of the comments in that players list.
    -Kwame gets a pass because he’s still getting contracts a decade after being drafted? Really? He was #1 overall, wasn’t he. There should be no question about a 10 yr career as the #1 pick. He’s a bust.
    – Same with Darius Miles. #3 overall pick. He was a bust.
    – Leon Smith; headcase or not. He was a bust.
    – And how is there not a “bust” beside Telfair’s name?
    – And the Eddy Curry comment, if dude experienced a national championship, or a deep March Madness run, who knows how he turns out.

    No matter how you slice it, look at that list. How many capable defenders are there? How many can you say are team players? Sure, there are successful high-schoolers, but the NBA is trying to protect the integrity of their league, not pay players with potential. IMO, they have every right to do that.
    I agree that the difference between college seasoned players and prep-to-pros cannot be measured, but fuck it’s pretty obvious that there is a difference. One or two years in college helps a player become more polished for his first year in the league. That’s just how it is. We have ugly ball in the NBA because those 18-19 years olds need to learn on the job so coaches must play them. They should be learning the game in college.

  • First & Foremost

    How much money has Eddy Curry made over his career? And he still has team actively trying to pursue him. He hasn’t put up the numbers of a great career but he is still in the league. Same with Kwame. Dude is still playing. You have a legit argument if you say he was a bust just because of his draft slot but he still has a job in the nba.

    With the events that just transpired, the NBA does not care about the quality of the game. It is about making money. High scoring fast paced games make money. Blake Griffin will gross more than Kevin Love because people will rather see a halfcourt oop than a box-out or outlet pass.

    Pheonix never made it to the Finals but they still sold tickets. That fielded a product that sucked on defense but everyone remembers Marbury’s stinkface. Just look at the types of players all of the GMs go after. They want the tall, athletic, long armed, pogostick. Can he play defense? No, but he at least looks like he might possibly come around on that end of the floor someday but we won’t worry about that, he still has a 40 inch veritcal.

    You live and die by the closeout. It just doesn’t have the same ring as You live and die by the jumper. Further proof teams don’t care about defense as much as you preceive: Look at how much OJ Mayo will get on his next contract and compare it to what Tony Allen will get.

    A player can be the defensive MVP of his team and the 1st or 2nd option on offense, put up good numbers and still not be the MVP. Why? Because the league doesn’t care about defense. Players that are great on defense are pegged as one dimensional. He can get you 8 boards but not much on the other end. College kids have a better chance going to Jimmer route and shooting lights out than trying to block 5 shots a night.

  • First & Foremost

    @Jay – Every contract is based on a player’s potential. That is why a contract year is so important.

    College isn’t imperative for a player to make it in the NBA. If he is good enough to have a career in the NBA straight from HS, let him. He has his career planned out and it doesn’t actually need the NCAA as a qualification. His body might not be ready but that is why teams have trainers. Why waste time “going to class” or abiding by practice restrictions?

    If I wanted to be a financial advisor out of HS, and I took a bunch of finance courses and would just learn as a go from there, no one would have a problem. I’ve already proven I’m better than most in the industry anyway or at least on par with a bunch of them, why waste time. I’m not going to be Warren Buffet but I’d be able to live a better life than most.

    Drop the expectations that every high school player has to be on the same level as Jordan. Look at how many incomplete players aer in the league. The Bulls have 3 shooting guards who all went to college and combined they are a crappy SG. If college players enter the league not well rounded why can’t a HS player, make a living not being well rounded?

  • SayItAintSo

    @ First & Foremost

    “Why waste time “going to class” or abiding by practice restrictions?”

    Well, you ‘waste time’ going to class to you can learn that there is life outside of basketball. You waste time so you can learn to empathize with 98% of society and abide by cultural norms. You waste that time so you don’t receive a violent shove into adulthood, found yourself with a bunch of money and a bunch of time to be a total @$$hole. You are not entitled to make a leap straight to the professional league.

    You financial adviser analogy is completely invalid because inevitably you’d spend time in entry level positions, paying your dues before attaining Buffet status. Sure, you might make a meteoric rise and find yourself working for a fortune 500 within a few years but you still paid your dues for a year or two.

  • Promoman

    Leon Smith had serious mental health problems, it wasn’t a typical headcase scenario with him.

  • SayItAintSo

    Players benefit from college, the league benefits, society benefits and the game of basketball benefits.

  • First & Foremost

    @Sayitaintso

    Why do I need to learn about life outside of basketball if I’m a lottery pick. I’m not even staying the entire time in college.

    I remember where I came from, I can start a charity and give back to my community and help the other 98% of the world.

    How can you say I’m not entitled to make the leap to being a professional. Who is your favorite musician? Would you tell their high school self that they can’t pursue their dream in the entertainment industry. Hey, Jay-Z you need to at least take a poetry class. Hey Nas, you need to at least take English 100. Hey Soulja Boi, take a college level speech class.

    The whole point is that I don’t have to be at Buffet’s level to be successful. Everyone expects a HS player to average 35 points and win 7 championships in 4 years. Why can’t he be an average role player like the majority of players putting in time at college? If his niche is being a 3pt specialist why make him go to college to shoot more 3s? It would be a waste of time if you still end up drafting to him to… shoot 3s. If I know the dividend stocks inside and out, at 18 I’m old enough to take out a loan and invest on my own without going to college. Once I get the ball rolling with the knowledge I already have, I have my niche and I’m good enough at it.

  • SayItAintSo

    Why do I need to learn about life outside of basketball if I’m a lottery pick. I’m not even staying the entire time in college?

    Again, because it’s good for the player, it’s good for society, it’s for the league and it’s good for the game of basketball. As a very similar and real life example, please see the National Football Association.

    How can you say I’m not entitled to make the leap to being a professional?

    I can say that because it’s easy to say and because a talented basketball player who has GM’s clamoring to draft on potential (which rarely works out) when they should be using those lottery picks to draft players who have worked hard, paid their dues and are a more sure-fire bet. Too much drafting on potential dilutes the game because GM’s will take the risk as we’ve seen time and time again, with it rarely paying off. So again, if you’re arguing that players are entitled to go to the pros early, I vehemently disagree on the basis that all constituents involved benefit from forcing that person to grow up a little bit before making them a wealthy role model.

    Who is your favorite musician?

    Ray Charles, RIP brother.

    Why can’t he be an average role player like the majority of players putting in time at college? If his niche is being a 3pt specialist why make him go to college to shoot more 3s?

    He can be an average player. Again though, you make him or her go to college or go overseas or make a nice gradual transition into adulthood, fame and wealth where the stakes aren’t as high profile when you fail or mess up miserably. And again, because it’s good for the game, it’s good for the league, it’s good for the player and it’s good for society.

    If you want to focus on the player, yes some players can make the jump, compete at that level, adjust to the steep learning curve, contribute to society. I agree with that sentiment. Again though, I don’t think someone is entitled to have access to the league. I think those incredibly rare players who CAN make the leap are not HURT by two years of college, international ball or whatever. However, the game of basketball, the integrity of the league and society in general are hurt (in some way, shape form or another) by the countless players who are drafted on potential.

  • http://www.psychodrama.com Chicagorilla

    @Sean

    You wrote nothing that disproves the theory man. All you did was reinforce what i think most have been saying all along during this lockout. The Greed of the players is killing the NBA product. Players are the only ones who benifit from skipping college or doing a 1 and done. It allows them to hide their flaws (such as with Curry, Kwame, and Telfair) forcing teams to pick them out of fear of missing out on the next Kobe, Tracy, KG, or Amare. How the f^ck is that supposed to be a good thing for the NBA?

    Whenever you make an argument that is based solely on monetary gain, then you have completely failed. Im sure you’ll claim that the NBA is a business. It’s entertainment and blah blah blah. Miss me with that homey. The NBA is the highest form of the sport of basketball. Many of these players would still play and wear out their knees and bodies even if they weren’t in the NBA. Go to any gym in America and see dudes driving the lane about to get killed by a much bigger dude, just for the love of the game. I can’t play anymore because my knees are shot from all the years of playing on concrete and refusals to get surgery. But you better believe I still get my ass on the court the moment someone challenges me, no matter the amount of pain i’ll experience the next day. For the love of the game.

    So my counter argument would be, send them kids to college, if not for their own benefit (which you and others don’t seem to value education or being allowed to mature) then for the love of the game.

    You should let someone write a counter argument that One and Done has saved the NBA from countless players being drafted way too high and forcing players to be exposed in their one season of college ball. And because better players are attending college, it has forced them to play against other talented players, allowing us to view the best non-pros against the best non-pro. Instead of watching guys dominate, who have no chance to do so vs pro talent. I would write the article, but you guys don’t pay me for it, lol. I dont want to take away from the guys that do get paid.

  • http://www.zwani.com/graphics/funny_pictures/images/88funny-pictures128.jpg JAY

    F&F: “With the events that just transpired, the NBA does not care about the quality of the game. It is about making money.”
    Fair enough. Even from a business standpoint, generally speaking it’s still better to put players out on the floor that have some level of polish, as opposed to some kids who are trying to learn the game at the same time.

    Look at the notes beside Telfair’s name…
    “Sebastian Telfair (I actually think he took advantage of the rule… going to college would’ve done nothing but cause his draft stock to plummet and he would’ve ended up here ^ anyways but with a lot less money)”
    ^ Owners are enticed into offering players more money because of the unknown… because of their untapped potential. And then we turnaround and blame the owners for offering garbage players contracts. Well, it shouldn’t surprise anyone why the owners do that shit. Bad contracts are all over the place nowadays, and I think the lack of college experience (a body of work at a high level of play) is part of that reason. Like the comment says, it’s likely that Telfair’s faults would have been exposed in college therefore dropping his stock. IMO, that’s a good thing. It separates the men from the boys. Fuck Telfair. It sucks b/c a person (Bassy) loses his chance at millions but I don’t care if he loses the chance to make money. I care about the game.

    “Why do I need to learn about life outside of basketball if I’m a lottery pick. I’m not even staying the entire time in college.”
    ^^ That’s the attitude of many NBA players. And that’s the attitude which make it possible for guys who make millions of dollars to go broke. “Why do I need to learn shit in class? I’m a basketball player. I’ll make millions.” Then they spend and spend and then eventually need a loan from Kobe. Horrible.

    “The whole point is that I don’t have to be at Buffet’s level to be successful. ”
    Sure, they can be successful, at a personal level. But the game suffers. I don’t give a damn about those players… those people. I care about the game. You give Kudos to Eddy Curry for making that money?? He’s successful because he made some stupid amount of money?? I can see how people can think that, because he’s rich…. but fuck that dude. He’s fucking with my game.

  • http://www.zwani.com/graphics/funny_pictures/images/88funny-pictures128.jpg JAY

    @SayItAintSo: “If you want to focus on the player, yes some players can make the jump, compete at that level, adjust to the steep learning curve, contribute to society. I agree with that sentiment. Again though, I don’t think someone is entitled to have access to the league. I think those incredibly rare players who CAN make the leap are not HURT by two years of college, international ball or whatever. However, the game of basketball, the integrity of the league and society in general are hurt (in some way, shape form or another) by the countless players who are drafted on potential.”

    ^ Great paragraph.

    To sum it up, the individual basketball players benefit by going to the L early. Everything else takes a backseat.

  • http://www.psychodrama.com Chicagorilla

    Also

    How dare you dispute calling Kwame and Eddy Curry bust. Yet you make fun of them and whichever teams try to sign them, every chance you get. Selective hating i guess.

    Maybe if these guys would’ve went to college, they would have learned a thing or two about work ethic (as Michael Jordan did at UNC) or how to manage money (Eddy Curry is completely broke in case you didn’t hear).

    guys such as:
    T-Mac
    Jermaine O’Neal
    Shaun Livingston
    Jonathan Bender
    Darius Miles
    Robert Swift
    BJ Mullens
    Andrew Bynum

    They could have all benefited from going to school and building up their bodies. Physically they were not ready to play NBA ball and it caught up to them. Perhaps learning to take care of their bodies and putting on more muscle or losing some fat would have helped them in the case of many of their injuries. 82 game seasons are a lot. All that wear and tear on a 18yr old body can’t be good.

    Man there are so many arguments against what you are trying to point out it’s a shame.

  • http://www.psychodrama.com Chicagorilla

    @”If I know the dividend stocks inside and out, at 18 I’m old enough to take out a loan and invest on my own without going to college. Once I get the ball rolling with the knowledge I already have, I have my niche and I’m good enough at it.” – FNF

    and you end up going into shark infested waters to make money. You don’t have the people skills that only experience could’ve provided you so you get swindled out of every dollar you ever made with all that hard work and knowledge you have. By then you either gain the people skills and continue on, or you quit and end up back on a college campus trying to talk your way into admissions. Either way, you needed the time to mature and study your career. Maybe study the guys before you that failed and WHY they failed.

  • yoda

    like i’ve said before, with straight to nba or one and done players, owners usually have to pay player for 2-3 years before they are ready to contribute to a team. only high school player that made impact right away was lebron. if you were owners, would you pay someone 5 mill a year for 2 years while they give you 5 and 3 with lousy defense?

  • First & Foremost

    If Kwame and Curry are/aren’t busts, how do you define success for an NBA player? How do you define what their goals and motivation are? If their goals is to make money to provide for family members that may or may not be related to them, and they make enough money to do that- where they successful in what they set out to do.

    If I wanted to be a musician, I don’t ahve ot make it to the Rock n Roll HOF. It would be nice, really nice, but if I want a 1-hit wonder, take the cash and go… I succeeded. Just because I didn’t have a long glorious career doesn’t mean I’m a bust.

    Chicagorilla – You went on a tangent last week about how the best things in life were your experiences. Gerald Green is touring the world playing a game he loves in several countries. He is known for various dunks, made a few dollars and is experiencing the world. Is he really a bust? If so, is it by your standards or his? Would he prefer to be in the NBA, probably. But is he doing aight for himself?

    LOL… how is society hurting because of a player’s choice to go pro? Are you going to credit the NBA for the stock market rising this week? Really!?!?!? Society is still willing to go to games to see players who really aren’t that good at basketball but great athletes. Without incomplete players, Skip Bayless wouldn’t have a job. Ha! Preps to pros players are propping up the unemployment rate, a positive for society. If Skip Bayless wasn’t a full-time hater, he couldn’t do anything else.

    Society sure enough didn’t have a problem burning #23 Cavs jerseys. How azzbackwards is that. If you mean by society – the NCAA, well then of course they would. The NBA was stealing their shine. Is the exploitation of unpaid labor good for society?

    Hold up, lets back up for a minute. A player has to go to college to learn how to manage money. I know plenty of grads that believe overdrafting their account to buy something pointless, is perfectly acceptable. Did you go to college to learn how to cook or do you still eat out more than 4 times a week [including lunches]?

    Size matters more in the NFL which is why they have the 2 year waiting period. A skilled defensive tackle isn’t as effective as a fat defensive tackle. If he is, he ain’t better by much. Players don’t leave high school with NFL ready bodies, they pack on 50 pounds of muscle and grow a few inches. That is necessary for their sport. The NBA is a skilled based league, similar to tennis. You don’t have to be a meathead to be decent. Steph Curry could re-enter high school and no one would question him. Did Daniel Gibson’s body mature?

    You don’t need college to build up your body. You’ll have access to personal trainers yearround excluding lockouts. You’ll have a world class gym and dudes paid to cook healthy food for you.

  • First & Foremost

    my bad for the 3 page comment.

  • SayItAintSo

    1) If Kwame and Curry are/aren’t busts, how do you define success for an NBA player?

    I define success as fulfilling your potential on and off the court. If you do this, money will follow.

    2) Is he (Gerald Green) really a bust? If so, is it by your standards or his? Would he prefer to be in the NBA, probably. But is he doing aight for himself?

    As per my standard and definition of success earlier, yes her is a bust. As you mentioned, he probably wants to be in the NBA because he has the potential to be in the NBA. However, the system is broken and chases dollars too soon, disallowing him to achieve what he wants. And again, you alluded to him wanting to be in the NBA. He isn’t. That’s a bust.

    3) How is society hurting because of a player’s choice to go pro?

    NBA players are role models. They have a huge impact on society. They create culture. When you hand young men the spot light and a lot of cash, more often than not, they embarrass themselves and in turn hurt society. If you need explicit examples here and can’t read between the lines, I forgive you.

    4) Are you going to credit the NBA for the stock market rising this week?

    No. The weekly stock market is not society but that was a solid generalization. Good job.

    5) Is the exploitation of unpaid labor good for society?

    No, it isn’t. This is another point entirely but I support giving college athletes a modest stipend.

    6) Did you go to college to learn how to cook or do you still eat out more than 4 times a week [including lunches]?

    I went to college to learn to be good at my job, to be a young adult and party while it was socially acceptable, to learn to be a critical thinker. In that time, yes I learned to cook. I still eat out 4 times a week sometimes. I guess that means we should let high school students go straight to the pros? Phenomenal logic. People don’t have to go to college. They can go abroad. They can get a job and play recreational basketball for all I give a damn. Again though, someone who is a teenager is not entitled to play in the National Basketball Association.

    7) Did Daniel Gibson’s body mature?

    Haven’t seen Boobie lately but anecdotes can be anomalous so this too is a moot point. I think you get the underlying rule that Chicagorilla is alluding to even though you can spout of a few exceptions to that rule.

  • laker4life

    I think it should exist. College players alone are better than high school kids, if a wanna be 1st overall kids puts up the same high school numbers against college competition then go for it. Otherwise stay out and end up with a bust label as per se KWAME BROWN. You have to prove yourself up until the highest level before you can go pro.

  • SayItAintSo

    I have question for you First & Foremost, since you like to draw loose connections to end up at your intended conclusion.

    If the United States government has determined that young adults are not to be trusted with a substance like alcohol, what reasons do you have for supporting their entitlement to cultural icon and societal role model?

  • buck

    totally agree with sayitaintso. is there a stat on how many 2,3,4 year college players end up busts? i tend to think that it has more to do with race and today’s urban “culture” than anything.

  • First & Foremost

    The United States isn’t the entire world. Go north of the border and you have a different drinking age. Go to Europe and they have a different drinking age. Are those governments wrong for not being as strict as the US?

    What is so egregiously wrong about a person who has a talent to compete at the professional level, working hard to get where they are being a role model? If anything, it sends the message of not letting your age define you. People may say you can’t do something or doubt your ability, yet you succeed.

    The players in question aren’t even going to college to learn. They are solely their to play basketball. Playing professionally is only a matter of when. If a company offers you a job prior to taking your SATs will you go to college just to take that same job 2 to 4 years later? No, it would be a waste of time. Life lessons learned in college aren’t exclusive to college. Not everyone goes to college and they turn out just fine. I have yet so find a college that offered a General Living 102 course. You could learn how to manage money with a summer job. You could learn how to cook from a grandparent.

    What about child actors, should all tv shows have 20 year actors playing 7 year old roles? Will you boycott 2 and half men just because they have a child star. Not too many entertainment industries have age limits. You can be a professional soccer player while being of HS age. Why discriminate against basketball players. [With ball it is a safety issue]. If a 16 year old from Cuba can throw a 99mph fastball, should we not allow a 16 year old who throws a 102mph fastball from Kansas into the MLB?

    If you want to compare fame to a drug, everyone reacts to fame differently. What if a 18 year old has a strong inner circle? What if they are mature for their age?

    Back to an earlier point, if the NBA really wanted more well rounded players, they would have drafted them from the get go. There wouldn’t be a market of preps to pros. If the league was actually concerned with the product, wouldn’t they draft players that were physically capable, mentally mature [find a test for that], and already possessed solid fundamentals? The actions of the league say 1 thing but they are trying to sugarcoat it to be something else.

    Has the quality of the game fell off? Or was it a slow shift away from well-rounded players to specialists?

  • http://www.psychodrama.com Chicagorilla

    “If a company offers you a job prior to taking your SATs will you go to college just to take that same job 2 to 4 years later? No, it would be a waste of time. Life lessons learned in college aren’t exclusive to college.”

    What happens when that Company fires you a few years later? Now you’re 22-23yrs old and out of work with no education on your resume.

    Gerald Green can’t play ball forever. And since he never learned to actually play ball he is strickly relying on his hops to get him money. By the age of 32-33 he’ll be lucky to be able to still dunk like that. What will he do then. Retire? Not on that BS money he is making.
    Hell he can’t even become a gym teacher because he needs a degree to do that. Same goes for Eddy Curry, who is broke now and struggling to stay at a good weight long enough to ONCE AGAIN TRICK A TEAM into paying him money to eat his way to the bench.

    I think it’s pretty clear that these kids need to attend college or some sort of buffer between HS and the NBA. I prefer to see young black men getting college degrees. Martin Luther King didn’t march the streets while racist people hit him in the head with bricks, just so these kids can skip college. Its sad that everyone has lost sight of whats important. F^ck the money

  • http://www.psychodrama.com Chicagorilla

    And why is it ok to compare baseball to the NBA but not football.

    Ever hear of Tommy John surgery? Kids in HS are throwing out their arms trying to impress scouts with breaking ball pitches. Jody Gerut went to the same HS as me. He was a beast on the baseball field. MLB scouts at every game. He got drafted pro right out of HS. He instead went to Stanford and got a 4yr degree from Stanford. Once he graduated the guy went pro, was even in the ROTY race with the Clevland Indians. He eventually started getting injured year after year. But guess what, dude was smart enough to get a degree from freaking Stanford! So he’s doing just fine. Had he chased the money, there’s a good chance he’d be f%cked up right now.

  • First & Foremost

    @Chicagorilla – I firmly believe that most should try to get a college degree but I don’t think there is an age limit in which you have to attain that goal. If a person goes preps to pros, saves some money for the sole purpose of going to college after their career is over, it makes no difference. 18-22 getting a degree, 22-32 playing a sport, then they move on to the next stage of their life. Or 18-28 playing a sport, and then 28-32 getting a college degree at the school of their choice.

    Just because you turn pro doesn’t mean you can no longer go back to college.

    Why do people go to college in the first place? It is a means to an end. Oftentimes that end is to have a job in which you can provide for yourself and possibly a family. Jumping from preps to pros offers a select few the opportunities and resources to provide for theirself and possibly a family. If it doesn’t workout, school will always be there.

    Fine, look at the NFL. Their divorce/out of the league/bankrupcy rates are pretty similar to the NBA and all of those young men HAD to go to college. The people in question don’t go to college to become better people they go to get better at a particular sport [let me finish]. So their impact on society is the same. They went to college, learned from a teacher of that sport, hired an agent, played a couple years, didn’t manage money, and are broke to show for it.

    I’ll just agree to disagree with Sayitaintso, our differences are tough love vs. Weaning. Pressure busts pipes… “FnF, yeah but pressure also makes diamonds” -Chicagorilla. As the list above shows, some people can handle it while others fail.

    Even if you did a study on players that played 2,3,4 years the results would be similar. Unless you can say that players in the league that went to college 2,3,4 years played in the league for 4 years at least and didn’t end up broke 3 years after their last game, only then would you have a valid enough argument against preps to pros.

    Shortcut, most players that have stayed in longer tend to be drafted in the late 1st and throughout the 2nd round. What is their success rate?