One by one, they'll be going through the act -- either this week during the early signing period or next spring: Pick a college. Get ready to go there for a year. Make
Some of them need college as much as
It is a joke, this idea that a small group of talented young men needs to spend a year living in a dorm when they could be making millions. It contributes to the mockery of education that is major-college basketball. It's unfair to the players.
But hey, it's good for the NBA, which is why Stern wanted the system in the first place. He said he wanted his scouts out of high school gyms, and that players would benefit from going to college, but this was always a business decision.
Stern is one of the best commissioners in the history of sports, and an underrated key to his success is that he understands his job is to promote his sport on every level, not just the NBA.
Stern understood that, while fans sometimes debate the merits of college basketball vs. the NBA, the college game is a gold mine for the pros. Players who are not yet good enough to play in the NBA can become national celebrities in college.
Casual baseball fans knew very little about
And since Oden and Durant were so gifted, they made college basketball a lot more fun to watch during their one year in Stern's purgatory.
There is only one problem with the system.
It is un-American.
Does any other segment of society work like this? Did
I mean, doctors have to go to med school and lawyers must go to law school, but I'm not sure that's the same thing as spending a year learning
Unfortunately for Stern, you can't stop capitalism; you can only hope to contain it. Appropriately, the way to circumvent this un-American system is to get the heck out of America.
Now Jennings is with the Milwaukee Bucks and is a leading candidate for NBA Rookie of the Year.
Of course, you can also point to former high school phenom
It is a sad story, but you know what? Of all the rights we hold inalienable, at the top of the list should be the right to screw up. Freedom's just another word for "your money's yours to lose."
I'm not saying everybody should go pro. I'm saying players have the right to choose. And while the NBA policy is undeniably good for college basketball as an entertainment product, it is still bad for the sport.
Coaches recruit players who have zero intention of reaching their junior year, let alone graduating. Some coaches limit their freshmen's playing time to hide them from the NBA. Then the coaches can squeeze at least one more year out of them. Kentucky's
Calipari did it with