Saturday, May 30, 2009
Let the High Schoolers Back In
I am not in support of any high school kids -- except maybe those who are once-in-a-lifetime special -- such as LeBron James or Kobe Bryant (not Robert Swift) to go straight from high school to the NBA Draft. But something has to change with this current system that mandates high school players to attend college for one year or be 19 years old and one year removed from high school to enter the NBA Draft.
It should be no shock that kids are finding ways to circumvent the rules either by heading to Europe for a year or cheating to get into school (perhaps the case of Derrick Rose, pictured above) because they have to burn that year anyway, so it might as well be in college. I don't think this was what the rule was designed for. Wishful thinkers like me thought that the one-year rule would allow kids who thought they were ready but weren't to remain in school and even entice those who were ready for the NBA to stay longer because they actually enjoyed college.
Well that hasn't happened as much as I think supporters would have liked. Kids who would have bolted for the NBA after high school are still leaving after one year. Players such as Jrue Holiday, who averaged 8.5 points per game at UCLA, and B.J. Mullens, who was a major disappointment at Ohio State, are staying in June's NBA Draft. They were not affected by the harsh reality that they may not be ready for the next level and are willing to get taken solely on potential.
So here's what we do: We mandate that kids entering school stay for two years, which will allow those preps who just can't wait to enter the draft and those who know they aren't ready to become seasoned for two years. I really don't like high school kids entering the draft, but there really isn't anything we can do about it.
Like tattoos, reality shows and fro-hawks, jumping to the league has become a trend, especially when those shoe piranhas and street agents are telling these kids they are ready. The NCAA and NBA tried keeping these kids away from the chaos, but if they are going to go to Europe, cheat on SATs or drop out after ine semester just to kill time before the NBA Draft, then something needs to change.