So it’s not so harsh. I’d like to use a stronger term, but hey, this blog is for the kids, too!
But, it’s true. David Stern is a doofus. Now, I’ll grant you there are probably many reasons that one could cite, but today, I’m going with the Commish’s desire for a higher age limit on players entering the NBA.
It’s really too bad that no player is going to spend the time, money, and effort to challenge the rule (or the NFL’s, for that matter). Because it clearly wouldn’t stand.
What David Stern wants is for his highly-paid team executives to be taken off of the hook for making mistakes selecting high school players. And he wants the NCAA to use its resources to build players up into marketable commodities before they reach the league. It’s perfectly understandable why he wants to do that. It’s just wrong, though.
Some guys just don’t belong in college. And there’s many reasons why. Plenty of high schoolers have proved themselves ready for the NBA right off the bat. In fact, four of the five players on the All-NBA first team this season are guys who came out of high school — Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, and Dwight Howard. None of these players are any sort of blight on the league. And it should be pointed out that the record of high schoolers taken in the first round is just as good — if not better — than that of college players.
Yes, there have been some washouts. But you can equally find washouts who have gone to college.
And then there’s the O.J. Mayo saga. Taking money to “attend” USC for a year? Is this really the sort of thing the NBA wants to endorse? Does anybody think this will be the last of these sorts of situations to emerge if the rules stay in place? I think not.
So go back to the old rules. Free the high schoolers and let them come to the NBA. If the NBA executives and coaches are really the best in the world — as they like to claim — they ought to be able to pick ’em, develop ’em, and coach ’em up so they reach their full potential.