He’s just trying to class up the joint.

David Stern has the best rationalization ever for screwing 18-year old kids out of the opportunity to ply their skills in the open market:

… While Stern says the NBA “would love to add a year,” he’s pleased that the age limit, instituted in 2005, has kept NBA scouts out of high school gyms.

Yeah, you wouldn’t want to give the shoe salesmen any company.

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25 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness

25 responses to “He’s just trying to class up the joint.

  1. Connor

    I always understood that it was the union pushing to prohibit kids entering the draft right out of high-school, and that the NBA/Owners were on the other side. That made sense to me. I could see the older players desiring to delay the entrance of people who could take their jobs, while the owners coveted the LeBrons and Kobes in prep school. Selfishness on both parts, but understandable. I don’t understand the “we want to protect the kids” unless it’s just a craven PR move. That I get.

    • I always understood that it was the union pushing to prohibit kids entering the draft right out of high-school, and that the NBA/Owners were on the other side.

      I think it’s the other way around. Otherwise, why would the NBA want to push entry back another year?

      • Connor

        That’s my point. I don’t think they do, and I think Stern is just trying to get credit for a decision he was actually on the other side of. I could see them pushing it only as a quid pro quo for something they actually do want in their negotiations with the union. It doesn’t make sense to me that the union wants to protect the rights of non-members at the expense of members while the owners want to give up another 20% of the average players career to a competing league.

        • From the last round of negotiations:

          So far, the union has tried to tie the age minimum to changes in the rookie wage scale. The union wants high-performing players to be able to renegotiate contracts sooner than between their fourth and fifth years in the league. The NBA has proposed a bonus pool that could add as much as 20 percent to players’ rookie scale contracts for such accomplishments as Rookie of the Year and All-NBA teams.

          The league can encourage players to stay in school longer if players don’t have to rush to the NBA to get the clock started on significant pay raises and free agency. The NBA wants American players to be at least 20 years old and two years removed from high school to be eligible for the draft. Under the previous labor agreement, the rule was 19 years old and one year removed from high school.

          While the union would like to return to having high school players being able to enter the draft, they privately know that will never happen. In the end, they’re hopeful to keep the rule as it is.

          • Connor

            Well, there it is, but I confess I don’t understand it. I don’t follow the NBA as much as college, but it seems to me the union and the league are each on the wrong side of their own self interests on that issue. Since I don’t think there’s an ounce of altruism between them, I’ll just assume I’ve misunderstood their interests.

            • I think the best way to look at it is that the sooner a good player is in the league, the sooner he can make the big bucks. From the NBA’s standpoint, the longer you can put that off, the more profitable… er, better it is.

              Plus, you have to think every additional year of development elsewhere is one less year a pro team has to pay for through the contract.

              • Plus, the longer they stay in school, the more time you have to evaluate them, and you also get the free marketing that comes every March so that by the time they arrive on your team, you have an established name brand with a following from their college, and college basketball fans in general.

              • Connor

                That’s a fair point. The League wants to shorten careers as much as possible, because the longer a player is in the league, the more expensive they are. The Union want’s to lengthen careers for the same reason. I knew I was just missing which greedy impulse was most dominant.

  2. Rocko

    Just curious, do you feel the same way about Goodell and the NFL screwing 18 year olds out of the opportunity to ply their skills?

    I’m wondering b/c I’ve read numerous posts slamming Stern and the NBA for it but I haven’t seen much from you slamming Goodell and the NFL for doing the same thing. But maybe I’ve just missed it. Thanks.

    • I do. It’s just that Goodell has had the good sense to keep his mouth shut about it, unlike Stern.

      • Rocko

        Gotcha. Although, I’d be willing to bet that Stern gets questioned on the subject by the media a lot more than Goodell, mainly b/c everyone is concerned about the deterioration of the college game.

        It’s funny b/c if his league was more restrictive to 18-21 year olds, like the NFL, people wouldn’t be giving him as hard a time b/c the college game would be in better shape.

        • There is also a difference in physicality. Basketball is nowhere near as violent a sport, so the chances a still physically maturing 19 or 20 yr old kid gets hurt by a full grown 28 yr old man spearing him in the ribs, or sending a forearm shiver in to his ear, is much, much less.

          • Rocko

            Agreed but that has nothing to do with whether they’re restricting 18-21 year olds from making money in their respective leagues. They’re either doing it or they’re not doing it.

            My problem in all of this is people criticizing Stern for the “one/two and dones”, while at the same time criticizing him for not allowing 18 year olds to market themselves. Those two stances are contradictory.

            • Not if you believe that there shouldn’t be an age restriction on entry to the NBA.

              • Rocko

                So you don’t think there would be “one/two and dones” if there was no age restriction?

                • Not if the baseball signing rules are adopted.

                  • Rocko

                    So how exactly is it “more fair” to force kids to stay in school for 3 years instead of 1?

                    • Because they would have choices: they could go pro out of high school, or if they wanted to keep their options open, they could play JUCO ball.

                    • Rocko

                      So it’s not ok to keep an 18 year old from going pro but it is ok to keep a 19 or 20 year old from going pro?

                    • Seriously, what part of this aren’t you getting? If the kid elects not to go to an NCAA school, he can go pro any time they’ll take him. If he chooses to go to college, he has to spend legit time getting an education for at least three years.

                      It all stems from the kid’s choice instead of having it imposed upon him. How is that not fairer than the current situation?

                    • Rocko

                      Because in that scenario, you’re preventing a college freshman or sophomore at non-JUCO schools from going pro. Those kids have no such restriction right now.

                      And why should the NBA want to have the option of taking kids straight out of high school but not have the option of taking a college freshman or sophomore at a non-JUCO? That makes no sense from their point of view.

                    • Because in that scenario, you’re preventing a college freshman or sophomore at non-JUCO schools from going pro. Those kids have no such restriction right now.

                      The difference is that currently, the player has no say in the matter. Under the baseball format, the player can make choices about how to structure his career. Still don’t get how you don’t think that’s fairer to the player.

                      And why should the NBA want to have the option of taking kids straight out of high school but not have the option of taking a college freshman or sophomore at a non-JUCO? That makes no sense from their point of view.

                      You do understand that the NBA doesn’t want to take college freshmen or sophomores now, right? The only reason it does is because the players’ association insists.

                    • Rocko

                      You keep repeating that the kids have no options or no say in the matter. That couldn’t be more wrong. They can play in one of the many quality foreign leagues, while earning substantial money and many times receiving superior coaching. Brandon Jennings did this, playing a year in Italy before getting drafted #10 overall in the NBA. They can also play in the NBDL. And before you trash the NBDL, please keep in mind that you’re touting JUCO basketball as a viable option.

                      As for what the NBA wants, I do understand that they want to make the rule read “2 years removed”, moving it closer to the NFL model. I understand that means they don’t want college freshmen but I’m not sure how you take that to mean they don’t want college sophomores.

                    • I’m not trashing either. But the fact that very few high schoolers choose to do so, despite better coaching, tells me they’re not as viable a set of options as you suggest.

                    • Rocko

                      Then, by that logic, neither is JUCO.