Saturday, April 09, 2005

Hoops: Impact of 20-year old age limit

Well, a 20-year old age limit might not be what you think. In fact, it looks like it is being structured to help expand the NBADL, NOT help colleges...... This guy thinks it will be a good thing.....

The age minimum is not likely to be quite as simple as it sounds. College basketball junkies who think the rule change will send the country's best young talent back to the NCAA ranks will be disappointed. The NBA is looking out for itself with the age minimum, trying to protect the quality of play in the league -- as it should.

The new proposal won't keep kids from turning pro and collecting legitimate paychecks (rather than those shady payments from college boosters and assistant coaches). That's because the league wants to tie the age minimum to an expansion of its developmental league, the NBDL, which will include 10 teams (up from six) next season. Eventually, the league would like to have 15 NBDL teams, with two NBA teams splitting each minor league roster.

The result probably would go like this: Players who want to enter the NBA from high school still can put in for the draft, but they will be required to go to the NBDL first. There they will collect their full rookie-scale salaries -- a wrinkle that has made the proposal palatable for Hunter. NBA teams that own the players' rights can let those players develop in the minor league and bring them up when they are ready.

Meanwhile, Jermaine O'Neal has some pretty strong words about the NBADL, and even gives a slam or two on Duke in the process:

O'Neal said the N.B.A. was flourishing because of high school players.

"At the All-Star Game, there were seven legitimate ones," he said. "At what point are high school players hurting the game? They're saying that, but they're still selling jerseys. So, if they don't like it, stop selling the product. That's definitely hypocritical."

"What is it that college teaches you?" O'Neal said. "College don't really teach you to be a great N.B.A. player on and off the court. College teaches you about college. What can better teach you about dealing with the N.B.A. than the N.B.A.? There are a lot of Duke products who don't do well in the N.B.A. We got to be fair."