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An inside look at the Detroit Pistons and the NBA.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Accusations made against USC freshman and likely
lottery pick O.J. Mayo accentuate the flaws in the
NBA's current eligibility system. I have no way of
knowing if Mayo accepted $30,000 or so in monetary
gifts to steer him toward a particular sports agency
that represents pro athletes. But it certainly
wouldn't surprise anyone if he did.
There was a noble purpose to the rule preventing high
school seniors from entering the draft, which was
mutually agreed upon by the league and its players in
the most recent collecting bargaining agreement.
Commissioner David Stern was determined to get his NBA
scouts out of high school gyms and away from AAU
No doubt, the rule has helped the college game in some
ways. Supremely talented players like Kevin Durant,
Greg Oden and Michael Beasley drew attention to
themselves, their teams and the college game by
becoming stars in their one-and-done seasons.
The fundamental problem is that these kids have no
intention of graduating, nor any incentive to go to
class after their first semester. They're basically
mercenaries looking to improve their draft positions
while the schools they sign with sell their souls for
a shot at a national title.
I've always like the rules regarding college baseball
and football, where players have to stay at least
three years before bolting for the pros. It shows that
the player is truly committed to being a college
student as well as an athlete. It also brings
stability to those sports, rather than the volatile
turnaround we see in basketball.
So what to do with the cream of the crop that have no
real interest in going to college without going back
to the old system? Use the NBA Development League as
their training ground. High school seniors can
announce their intention of going into a special
Development League draft. Then, they can spend a year
with NBA-quality coaches and face fringe NBA prospects
and young players that the NBA teams have drafted and
sent down for seasoning, like the Pistons did with
Cheikh Samb this season.
After serving a one-year apprenticeship in the
Development League at a modest salary, those players
would be eligible for the NBA draft. This would
certainly stir more interest in the NBA's
developmental program while giving those players a
taste of what NBA-caliber competition is like. Players
like Mayo would prepping for their careers, rather
than carrying on the masquerade of being


Anonymous eeen said...

totally. a system that artificially props up one undeserving competition - college ball - is a sham, regardless of the fact college is noble as all get out and we should be encouraging kids into college. It's a sham and it's restraint of trade, with one-and-done stars working for nothing and colleges the happy beneficiaries of a corrupt system. I love the D-league idea; not only because it will allow a sensible level (limited by the low income of the league) of competition for prospects, but because it will increase the interest and value in a league that should be more important. A better D-league would at least occasionally support some late-blooming NBA talent that would currently end up on the succeed-early-or-never scrapheap

May 13, 2008 at 7:39 PM 
Anonymous Rob Mahoney said...

This is definitely not a bad idea; the NBDL needs a real jumpstart and the the outright lie of the athlete-student (notably backwards) is a farce that should probably be abandoned. As great as college sports are, these one and done careers are a mockery of college basketball.

May 13, 2008 at 8:05 PM 
Anonymous xcarter said...

The problem with that costs money. Why would the NBA do that when there's a free developmental league in college hoops? And this would also defeat the purpose you just stated (keeping the NBA scouts out of high school and AAU gyms). The only option I see is to make the kids stay out two years. But at some point you're gonna run into legal/right to work/monopoly issues.

May 13, 2008 at 10:39 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So you want athletes who should be making millions to play for 20 thousands in NBDL?
Well that I sooooooo much better than playing for free in the NCAA.

How about old white dudes shut the hell up and stop playing god with peoples lives?

I dont see any old farts getting upset when college coaches lie to kids they recruit and bolt for millions. How about coaches sit EXACTLY like an athlete has to when they transfer schools?
No, that we dont care about. We care about whether or not someone who DOESNT want to go to school gets a free lunch or some spending money.
Its touching.

Tell me something, what happens to the supremely talented 18 year old who is dumb?
I mean, there are supposed to be some standards to get in a college?
What happens if Bobby Baller is a dunce?
If youre too stupid to go to college, what do yo do? Wait a year before turning pro?

Whats that Detroit stat? 50% of adults are illiterate? Im sure there is more than one ball player who falls under that category.

With all the child star tragic figures like Drew Barrymore, Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears, shouldnt you be calling for a minimum age in Hollywood.
Make sure next time an olympic coach allows some pre-teen girl to compete on a broken limb that you have some of those same worries.
I also want you to make sure that no high school aged gymnast, swimmer or other olympian ever takes part in events meant for senior athletes.

This has nothign to do with the young black men who are kept from going to work and all with propping a corrupt money making machine.

OJ Mayo took money and ruined his amateur status?

Good for him. Im sure that in a few years some bozo will make this a criminal offense. And of course, it will be done in the name of the athletes.

And you are some piece of work saying how the deal with Stern was negotiated with the union.
The union did not represent those youngster because they arent their clients and used that stance to barter it away for other conditions.
To legitimize this is cheap and transparent. Just like the rest of the writing.

May 13, 2008 at 11:21 PM 
Anonymous kinky wizard said...

I think this is a great idea. Why wouldn't this work?? And why hasn't David Stern thought of this? If anything, it would just give him one more product to market that could even compete with/beat out the WNBA.

May 14, 2008 at 12:37 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous above has a point. Mary Lou Retton and Sarah Hughes were white and cute and world-class athletes before they could vote. Nobody worried too much about their 'education'. And the idea the Stern made that move to protect high school/AAU players from sleazeballs is ludicrous. He did it to improve the perception of the NBA, and possibly to improve the caliber of play. I like the idea of sending non-college ready players to the D-League for a year. But it can't be three years--that train has left the station. The shelf life of an NBA player is shorter than that of baseball. They must be given the opportunity to start their career earlier than age 21.

May 14, 2008 at 10:04 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So take these future objects of marketing who have the potential to sign lucrative shoe deals based on their level of exposure before they get drafted and put them into a league with no real television contract to speak of?

There's a reason Nike was salivating at the prospect of signing Durant: His potential value was huge due to his season at Texas and, to a lesser extent, on ESPN/ESPN2 and CBS.

May 14, 2008 at 1:20 PM 

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