Blog Entry

NBA Playoffs dominated by non-college players

Posted on: May 18, 2009 10:59 am

Anybody who reads here much knows that -- though I loved writing about Kevin Durant, Michael Beasley and Tyreke Evans -- I think the NBA's age-limit rule preventing high school players from jumping directly to the NBA is ridiculous, and that those who pretend college basketball is necessary to prepare prospects are either stupid, naive or blind to all the information suggesting otherwise.

Which brings me to these NBA Playoffs.

We are now down to the final four teams, and the leading scorer for those four teams - Kobe Bryant of the Lakers, Carmelo Anthony of the Nuggets, LeBron James of the Cavs and Dwight Howard of the Magic -- combined to play a grand total of one season of college basketball. Furthermore, none of the top three regular-season scorers from the Lakers (Bryant, Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum) or Magic (Howard, Rashard Lewis and Hedo Turkoglu) played a minute of college basketball, and none of the remaining contenders' top three scorers from the regular season did more than two years of college.

Now look at it this way ...


  • Kobe Bryant: Zero years of college
  • Pau Gasol: Zero years of college
  • Andrew Bynum: Zero years of college
  • Carmelo Anthony: One year of college
  • Chauncey Billups: Two years of college
  • J.R. Smith: Zero years of college
  • LeBron James: Zero years of college
  • Mo Williams: Two years of college
  • Zydrunas Ilgauskas: Zero years of college
  • Dwight Howard: Zero years of college
  • Rashard Lewis: Zero years of college
  • Hedo Turkoglu: Zero years of college
Add it up and nine of the 12 leading regular-season scorers (who are currently active) from the Lakers, Nuggets, Cavs and Magic never played college basketball. Six (Bryant, Bynum, Smith, James, Howard and Lewis) went directly from American high schools to the NBA, three (Gasol, Ilgauskas and Turkoglu) are international players, and the other three (Anthony, Billups and Williams) played in college for a combined total of five seasons.

So again, I love college basketball would like to see all the greats play four years.

I'm sure you would, too.

But let's not pretend it's always the best way or even necessary to develop as a player.

Because these NBA Playoffs are clearly suggesting otherwise.
Category: NCAAB

Since: Aug 11, 2006
Posted on: May 19, 2009 12:56 pm

NBA Playoffs dominated by non-college players

The thing this age limit is preventing is the Kwame Browns of the world who everyone thinks can go pro after high school but really can't. If Kwame had to go to a year of college he definitely would not have been a #1 pick and probably would have stayed for at least 2 years, developing in a system where players can learn more about the fundamentals of the game. A great college coach like John Calipari or Roy Williams could have turned Kwame Brown into the star that MJ thought he was.

Since: Mar 23, 2009
Posted on: May 19, 2009 12:54 pm

NBA Playoffs dominated by non-college players

Thank you sir. Im glad that somebody sees what is going on. Not only do most of these guys take a while to develop they are taking away roster spots of proven veterans. Besides the NBA doesnt have extensive minor league system for players to grow like the NHL or MLB.

Since: Mar 30, 2009
Posted on: May 19, 2009 11:44 am

bbc -- I'll Call Your Bluff

"I find it amusing that the 2 previous comments, one from Tiger Beast and one from Lexington Blue, vary so much in opinion. Let's take this piece back 3 months BEFORE Cal jumped ship and see where you guys come out then. Funny how your perpective can change with a coaching move!"

Talk about correlation as opposed to causality.  But this is even worse because you don't even have any correlation.  Do you really believe that I suddenly became a believer in free labor markets over indentured servitude when there was a coaching change?  Hah!  Comical.  And probably more of a reflection of your own shallowness than anything else.  Just because you may change your core fundamental beliefs about market economies&nb
sp;based on who your favorite team's coach is, doesn't mean everyone else is that trivial.  I think you doth project too much.

So please, take it back a few months and let me know what Tiger Beast was saying about this topic.   If you find anything different than what we are saying here, then please link to it for everyone else to see.  Take your time. 

We're waiting....

Since: Mar 7, 2008
Posted on: May 19, 2009 11:18 am

NBA Playoffs dominated by non-college players

I just read your post 3 times.  I still don't understand your point.  Are you saying that your team is a bunch of educated thugs?  That if they all went to college they wouldn't be thugs?  Or that since the went to college, they can't be considered thugs?

My suggestion - PROOF READ!  This way your point will be more clear.

But if you are saying that they are educated and thus cannot be considered thugs, then what is the criteria for being considered a thug?

I think that being a thug is being a thug no matter what your education level is, or for that matter, the color of your skin.  Here is some food for thought - this is about Kenyon Martin, you know, he went to college (so he can't be a thug...right?)  I have more on some other fellow Nuggets, but I hope I don't need to post all the other trash as well...I do have to get back to work sometime.  You can find the below quotes throughout CBS sports, ESPN, or yahoo sports.  Just type in Kenyon Martin as a keyword.

"News of Mourning's retirement came just four days after he and nearly came to blows when Martin teased Mourning about his kidney condition at practice last Thursday." - Kenyon Martin with the

"Martin was suspended indefinitely Tuesday night for "conduct detrimental to the team" and will miss Game 3 of the first-round playoff series against the Los Angeles on Thursday. During one timeout in particular, Martin did not join the team in the huddle and was late returning to the bench at the start of the second half. TNT, which televised the game, reported Martin had words with coach George Karl at halftime." - Kenyon Martin in 2006

"At that point, Martin is said to have stood up, pointed at the heckler, and then motioned to one of his 'bodyguards' to go confront the heckling fan, ordering "shut him up". His friend then stood up and yelled at the heckler, "Shut your mouth before we take you outside and beat your (expletive)!." He also apparently screamed at a fan named Don Miller--who, along with his teenage son, happened to be sitting next to the heckler--calling him a "fat (expletive) white boy." Martin was subsequently fined $15,000 and cautioned to no longer bring his entourage to games"

"On February 11, 2006, after a Denver win over the , a volatile Martin was involved in a heated and profanity-laced locker room exchange with a local sports radio personality."

"On , , was murdered after attending a birthday party held for and by Martin.  The limo Williams rode in was riddled with bullets."

Obviously not a thug at all...model citizen if you ask me.  Runs with a great crowd of other educated american atheletes who went to college and are not thugs.

Also Putincutler - before you go throwing around terminolgy you don't know how to use and calling people on the internet racists and bigeots, do some research before you defend a team/person/idea.  When you stamp your name to it, you take ownership.  This article had nothing to do with Racism or the like.  You brought up people are trashing the nuggets and that people naming them the thuggets are racists and bigeots and tried MISERABLY to use sections of the article geared toward the education level of the nuggets to back your answer up.  Maybe you should go to college?

Since: May 15, 2007
Posted on: May 19, 2009 11:14 am

NBA Playoffs dominated by non-college players

You obviously can't deny that a player can come to the Pros and make an immediate impact straight from High School, but the reason I'm for the one-year rule by the NBA is because for every Kobe Byrant, LaBron James, Dwight Howard, there are way more Sebastian Telfair's, Shaun Livingston, Kwame Brown, Darius Miles, etc...

I think allowing players to enter straight from High School is more of a way of preventing the draft from becoming watered down with teams gambling for potential rather than drafting players who have played in and made a major impact at the college level.

A team will gamble on potential greatness rather than draft a guy who might be perceived as just being very good out of college. The problem with this however, is that the talent level overall will decrease as a result because more often than not, these High Schooler's don't pan out.

The draft then becomes almost a futures draft, where you're not really drafting for an immediate impact you're just gambling on greatness in a few years or more.

Furthermore, it's not like guys like Kobe and LeBron aren't going to make it to the NBA. They aren't the one's hurt by the rule. The one's affected by the rule are the players who would've been drafted out of high school based on their potential greatness but then have to go to college and then end up not realizing their potential there. As a result, they have to stay in college for a few more years to hone their game before they go to the NBA.

The rule just forces players who need to have more experience do the learning at the college level. The Kobe's and LeBrons will play one year in College, tear it up and then go to the pros.

Since: Sep 5, 2006
Posted on: May 19, 2009 10:27 am

Fixing the issue

The easy fix to this is.....  reward those who enter the league with a degree.  It would be simple AND allow owners to save some money, while not making kids "fake it" in college. 

Assume the pay-scale for the #1 pick overall is $5 million per year for their first 3 years....

If a player is drafted #1 overall with a Bachelor's degree, that player is entitled to 100% of that money. 
A player who is technically a senior but did not graduate is entitled to 80%, a junior 60%, a sophomore 40%, a freshman or had not attended college 20%.  Now the kids have motivation not only to go to college, but to actually attend and pass classes (the difference between being a freshman and sophomore in this scenario is $1 million per season.  I would go to class for a million a dollars, wouldn't you? 

The great players - the LeBron's, the Kobe's, the Dwight Howard's - can make up a large percentage (if not all of) that money in endorsements, and could still enter straight out of high school. 

The kid taking a leap of faith coming out of high school hoping to go in the late first round is now gambling on a couple hundred grand - which for his agent is only a couple dozen grand.  The pressure to enter the draft prematurely evaporates.  More focus will be given to the decision.

Now, special consideration will need to be give for people who grew up over-seas, but I would have a model similar to this school model for them.  under 18, you are entitled to 20% of the amount slated for the draft position, 18 years olds would get 40%, etc., 19 year olds 60% - etc. 

This system then rewards the kids for waiting to go to the NBA. 

NOW, the NBA would have to donate the balance of that contract to a charitable organization - an organization selected by the NBA Players Association.  However, that money does not count against the salary cap!!!!!

SO, when the Knicks draft (with the #1 pick) Mike D'Antoni's cousin's nephew in June as a senior out of Alaska Vocational Technical High School, they will have to pay him $1 million per season for 3 years, give the other $4 million per year for 3 years to the (let's say) Make a Wish Foundation, but only count $1 million per year against the salary cap.  Everybody is a winner. 

Next week, I will simply the rest of the world's problems by laying out a plan to end hunger and explain the cure for cancer. 

Since: Feb 8, 2007
Posted on: May 19, 2009 10:08 am

NBA Playoffs dominated by non-college players

This article does not proof nothing. When the comments start beginning like this, I think it's probably time to move on.

You know where I stand.

I believe the facts back my stance pretty well.

Take care, guys.

I enjoyed the back and forth.


Since: Feb 24, 2009
Posted on: May 19, 2009 9:53 am

NBA Playoffs dominated by non-college players

This article does not proof nothing.  None of these players are in there first year right out of high school.  All with exception of James, needed a few years to develope. We will never know if Howard would have more mental toughness if he would of gone to college. 1 and done, get over it. These kids are not ready to handle that much money.  Yeah you could get hurt your one year in college, or even worse prove your not NBA talent.   (Get arrested)  The list is made up of some of the best, they are very talented. T

Since: Oct 26, 2008
Posted on: May 19, 2009 9:47 am

NBA Playoffs dominated by non-college players

Tiger, its a stretch, a long stretch to compare today economic conditions in line with making basketball players attend school for one year.  I could very easily argue that it does not hold back economic growth but actual promotes it through the funds that are collected by the university for having a star student/athlete onboard.  Those monies gained would be able to employ more people, or increase  scholarship potential etc..  I liked the system I grew up in with only the most exceptional guys going pro, but in today's world of agents and fast money too many dudes have gone pro with no talent for the pro game.  While you are correct in that there are guys playing basketball today in the playoffs that have done very well with little to no college experience, but how long do you think the list is of guys that have gone pro to do nothing.  What is their contribution to the economic situation.  Do you want to put up more tax dollars to support a guy that can't not make the pro-game and has now passed by a chance at reduced to free college.  After going pro there is no more scholarship potential for the guy. 

In my Opinion to help ease both sides I would say the NBA would have to accept a player's intention of going pro out of highschool first to vette the guy's capabilities WITHOUT a agent present whispering sweet dreams of untold millions into his ear.  The NBA would then be responsible for the amount of dudes coming in and then only allow the most talented guys up.  Does a 'Lebron' caliber guy need to go to Ohio State or anywhere for a year? No, especially when he risks the chance of hurting himself in that year.  No need to deprive him of his lifestyle.  Lebron is also a very smart kid and is doing very well for himself off the court.  I respect the hell out of him for that and am very thankful that he is a stand up  role model for every young basketball player.  I found it awesome that Garnett was attending college while playing for the Timerwolves.  That is the kind of kid the NBA needs to let forward.  The NBA already has a mentoring program set up for its young superstars. 

Since: Sep 6, 2006
Posted on: May 19, 2009 9:14 am

NBA Playoffs dominated by non-college players

I find it amusing that the 2 previous comments, one from Tiger Beast and one from Lexington Blue, vary so much in opinion. Let's take this piece back 3 months BEFORE Cal jumped ship and see where you guys come out then. Funny how your perpective can change with a coaching move!

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