Two Sides to Every Story on the Age Limit
by DC Dave
The NBA's a copy-cat league. With the expansion of the league, and the graying of the league's stars in the early 1990's, the NBA aspirated a lot of young talent into its ranks. At the advent of the rookie salary cap that made talent like LeBron James dirt-ass cheap? Everyone wanted in on that.
The owners were FULLY complicit in this, by the way. Once the Timberwolves drafted Kevin Garnett and the Lakers traded Vlade for the rights to Kobe Bryant? The chase was on for young, cheap talent.
Why? For the same reason there's always a new, fresh Hollywood starlet on the rise----it's the new "it" thing to do. And the owners who did a good job with drafting HS players or young Euros and then one-and-dones? They profited at the box office.
Problem is that whiners like the Washington Wizards that blundered on Kwame Brown helped get the one-and-done rule instituted. And quiet as kept, there were veteran players that were more than OK with the one-and-done rule.Simple solution for Stern here:
1) If the league's owners want college players with more experience? Then stop drafting Derrick Rose, if he's available, ahead of a guy with four years of college. If you want to make maturity and stability the priority instead of sheer talent? Then the league's owners need to PAY FOR IT. And those jag-offs want something for nothing, but hey, that's why they're rich. LOL.
2) Whatever the league's entry policy is, it has to be uniform. One world. One game. If an American-born 17 year-old can't be drafted, then a 17 year-old out of Eastern Europe can't be drafted. What does
it say to a kid whose parents paid taxes in this country all their lives and then their kid goes pro, but he's got to wait until he's 18, 19 or 20 or whatever makes "NBA fans" happy? Or sportswriters? Bump that. Whatever the age-limit is for Euros, then American-born players need to be eligible for the draft at that age. Enough of the double-standard.
3) Whatever the league's entry policy is, the owners have to abide by it. If you got LeBron James, great. You were happy. If you got Kwame Brown? Your ownership and management had best keep their lip zipped about how "unfair" it was or else I'd fine them a cool million dollars AND I'd take a lottery pick from them. Just so they understand how to act on draft night the next time they're in the hopper. I'll give them two second-rounders for that pick. At the end of the second-round.
4) If the age limit goes back to 18, I'd make it harder for teams to dump a kid that young before Year 4. If he washes out, it's not JUST because the kid's a kid, it's because the guy in the Armani suit pretending to be a GM screwed up. How about this: if an NBA owner or GM cuts a player loose before Year 4, he can do so with cap relief, BUT he's got to appear on the jumbotron at every home game all year with a taped message that says "Hi. I'm the owner of the team and an 18 year-old and his agent are smarter than me. Please buy season tickets, I promise to do better next time."