Everyone’s favorite smart owner agrees David Stern is on the right track trying to amend the one-and-done rule. It’s just that he thinks Stern isn’t going far enough.
Stern said Tuesday that he’d like to add a year to the rule. Cuban wants to take it a step further, requiring players to wait three years after their high school class graduates to become draft-eligible.
At least he’s up front about why he supports the rule change.
“I just think there’s a lot more kids that get ruined coming out early or going to school trying to be developed to come out early than actually make it,” Cuban said. “For every Kobe (Bryant) or (Kevin) Garnett or Carmelo (Anthony) or LeBron (James), there’s 100 Lenny Cookes.”
And what NBA owner wants to spend big money on a draft bust? Or maybe on any contract with an 18-year old?
Of course, a billionaire’s dream wouldn’t be complete without some rationalization.
“It’s not even so much about lottery busts,” Cuban said. “It’s about kids’ lives that we’re ruining. Even if you’re a first-round pick and you have three years of guaranteed money — or two years now of guaranteed money — then what? Because if you’re a bust and it turns out you just can’t play in the NBA, your ‘Rocks for Jocks’ one year of schooling isn’t going to get you real far.
“I just don’t think it takes into consideration the kids enough. Obviously, I think there’s significant benefit for the NBA. It’s not my decision to make, but that’s my opinion on it.”
See? It’s really about the kids. I guess Cuban’s trying to warn them that a million dollars doesn’t go as far as it used to. And maybe he doesn’t know how the educational system works. It turns out that if an 18-year old’s professional career doesn’t work out, he can go back to college to get his degree. A least he’ll be able to afford the tuition at that point.
These guys don’t even try hard anymore to disguise their self-interest. But it’s the NCAA that’s keeping the players down.