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Billy Dat
03-12-2014, 12:33 PM
I have been meaning to start a thread on this since the new NBA commish, Duke alum Adam Silver, is strongly advocating an increase in the current 19 year old/one year removed from HS graduation age limit.

"At the Sloan Sports Analytics Conference in Boston a few weeks ago, NBA commissioner Adam Silver raised some eyebrows when he declared that raising the age limit for the NBA draft from 19 to 20 is a matter of great importance on his agenda."
http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/10538140/adam-silver-open-changing-format-nba-playoffs-draft

ESPN.com has been really digging into the topic over the past few days with point/counterpoint takes of all kinds.

While Silver hasn't fully outlined his vision, it seems to be heading this way:

-If a kid goes to college, he has to stay 2 years
-If a kid doesn't go to college, he could go straight to the D-League for a year, but not the NBA. He would be eligible for the NBA draft at 19.

One would assume this would make college more attractive because the D league doesn't pay much and the opportunity to "brand" oneself is greater with the national TV exposure that college programs get, plus all of the oft stated positives of the college experience (great coaching, atmosphere, classes and campus life).

But, there is also a huge push for every team in the NBA to have their own D-League team in order to create a true, 30 team minor league system. This could eventually make the D-League a more formidable competitor, as if the "get drafted at 19" lure isn't attractive enough.

Obviously, the players association will have something to say about it, but the D-League option makes it seem like this idea could really fly in the near future. What do you guys think?

Rich
03-12-2014, 12:48 PM
While it's been a few years since I looked into this, I believe Silver's suggestion is similar to what Coach K has advocated in the past, without the D League wrinkle. Coach K suggested a "none or 2" year rule which, essentially, required a high school senior to "unpack his bags" and make a 2 year commitment to college or go directly to the NBA from high school.

SoCalDukeFan
03-12-2014, 12:50 PM
Why force someone who wants to play pro ball right after high school to play one year in the D League?

I assume high school players would declare for pro, then could be drafted, and would spend a year in the D League at the team of their choice. If not drafted, then D League free agents or overseas?

I guess the D League experience would help some players mature before the NBA, but then again the D League probably might be a tough environment as well.

Players like LeBron or Jabari would have to decide between one year of D League ball at low pay, exposure etc. verses two years of college ball.

If this is a step towards baseball style, ie after high school declare for college and wait 3 years or declare pro and go right away, fine with me. Baseball style requires a good minor league system and maybe this will strengthen the D League and provide it for basketball.

SoCal

bob blue devil
03-12-2014, 01:08 PM
I have been meaning to start a thread on this since the new NBA commish, Duke alum Adam Silver, is strongly advocating an increase in the current 19 year old/one year removed from HS graduation age limit.

"At the Sloan Sports Analytics Conference in Boston a few weeks ago, NBA commissioner Adam Silver raised some eyebrows when he declared that raising the age limit for the NBA draft from 19 to 20 is a matter of great importance on his agenda."
http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/10538140/adam-silver-open-changing-format-nba-playoffs-draft

ESPN.com has been really digging into the topic over the past few days with point/counterpoint takes of all kinds.

While Silver hasn't fully outlined his vision, it seems to be heading this way:

-If a kid goes to college, he has to stay 2 years
-If a kid doesn't go to college, he could go straight to the D-League for a year, but not the NBA. He would be eligible for the NBA draft at 19.

One would assume this would make college more attractive because the D league doesn't pay much and the opportunity to "brand" oneself is greater with the national TV exposure that college programs get, plus all of the oft stated positives of the college experience (great coaching, atmosphere, classes and campus life).

But, there is also a huge push for every team in the NBA to have their own D-League team in order to create a true, 30 team minor league system. This could eventually make the D-League a more formidable competitor, as if the "get drafted at 19" lure isn't attractive enough.

Obviously, the players association will have something to say about it, but the D-League option makes it seem like this idea could really fly in the near future. What do you guys think?

If I'm reading you right, I think most possible high draft picks would go straight to the D league. Why go to college and be stuck for 2 years instead of one (and get rookie contract a year later)? I think there is a good chance this would firmly establish the D league as the next step of choice for elite HS basketball players.

FerryFor50
03-12-2014, 01:17 PM
If I'm reading you right, I think most possible high draft picks would go straight to the D league. Why go to college and be stuck for 2 years instead of one (and get rookie contract a year later)? I think there is a good chance this would firmly establish the D league as the next step of choice for elite HS basketball players.

I think this also smart of Silver because kids *will* choose the D-league and it will raise the profile of that league and perhaps make it less of a financial burden on the NBA.

Matches
03-12-2014, 01:17 PM
Players like LeBron or Jabari would have to decide between one year of D League ball at low pay, exposure etc. verses two years of college ball.



On the other hand, if the Lebrons or the Jabaris of the world were playing in the D-League, more people would be paying attention to it, so the exposure gap b/t that and college could narrow considerably.

I agree it seems like an idea designed to help grow the D-League.

MCFinARL
03-12-2014, 01:43 PM
Why force someone who wants to play pro ball right after high school to play one year in the D League?

I assume high school players would declare for pro, then could be drafted, and would spend a year in the D League at the team of their choice. If not drafted, then D League free agents or overseas?

I guess the D League experience would help some players mature before the NBA, but then again the D League probably might be a tough environment as well.

Players like LeBron or Jabari would have to decide between one year of D League ball at low pay, exposure etc. verses two years of college ball.

If this is a step towards baseball style, ie after high school declare for college and wait 3 years or declare pro and go right away, fine with me. Baseball style requires a good minor league system and maybe this will strengthen the D League and provide it for basketball.

SoCal

I assume the reason to force players to spend a year in the D league is, essentially, the Kwame Brown rule--to save teams from their own foolishness in drafting raw high school players on potential that doesn't pan out--as well as to raise the profile of the D league.

In terms of competition between the D league and college for the top high school players, that's fine with me. While it might mean we don't see some transcendent players in the the college game, it will also mean that most/all players we do see have made a commitment, at some level, to actually go to college, and the coaches will have more of a chance to put together teams that work together in a team-oriented game. The college players who hope to go pro will likely be later bloomers with a strong incentive to work hard and improve their skills.

Bluedog
03-12-2014, 01:51 PM
On the other hand, if the Lebrons or the Jabaris of the world were playing in the D-League, more people would be paying attention to it, so the exposure gap b/t that and college could narrow considerably.

I agree it seems like an idea designed to help grow the D-League.

I agree, but nobody really pays attention to the minor leagues in MLB (**ducking** all the Durham Bulls fans). But, seriously, around the country, most people wouldn't be able to name a team. I do think having high profile high school players may make going to games more appealing as a reasonably priced family outing, though, so it's certainly growing it in that way. Incidentally, anybody see the recent suit from minor league baseball players arguing they get paid below minimum wage and many are below the poverty line? Seems disgraceful to me considering how much pro ballers get paid - could at least give $40k to the minor leaguers, which wouldn't impact the organizations at all. I think the NBADL players actually get a livable wage (although nothing compared to NBA players, of course). In general, I think I like the concept...

niveklaen
03-12-2014, 01:52 PM
How would this work with Euro-league players - would they get the same 19yr rule they have now or would we push them to 2 and out. If the Euro-league rule stayed unchanged I think this would push more players to europe (better pay, conditions, & exposure than the D-League)

...of course I thought 2-3 players a year would have followed Brandon Jennings example under the current rules so I may just be wrong about this...

Dev11
03-12-2014, 01:57 PM
What would prevent a player from going to the D-League after a year of college, if he isn't doing well in the classes or wants to make a few more bucks (Kentucky notwithstanding).

CDu
03-12-2014, 02:05 PM
What would prevent a player from going to the D-League after a year of college, if he isn't doing well in the classes or wants to make a few more bucks (Kentucky notwithstanding).

Nothing. But that's not Silver's concern. His concern is simply the welfare of the NBA. And the NBA profits from such an idea in two ways:

1. More marketable college players being drafted
2. The NBDL getting higher-quality talent, thus perhaps being less of a financial drain on the NBA
3. Even better awareness of the quality of the players being drafted (i.e., a little bit less screwing up by the NBA GMs)

We should not believe that Silver's suggestion is intended to benefit college basketball in any way. It's not. If a player chooses to go to college but decides to leave after one year, that's fine. They still have to wait another year to go to the NBA.

Remember: there is no rule that players have to go to college for a year. They just have to be a year removed from high school. Kids could go to Europe or the D-League now and forego college. It's just that college is still the mainstream approach, so most kids take that route for the one year that they have to do so.

In reality, I suspect most kids that would choose to go to college would continue for their two years rather than leave after one for the NBDL.

newclasspack
03-12-2014, 02:10 PM
While this is preferable to the current system, I wish the abolish the whole you have to wait a year system. first it puts kids in college that don't want to be, which takes away scholarships, if they were really committed to making the D League a true minor league system they would let the kids who wanna go straight through to the league into the D league. if they are a LeBron, or a KD they will get Called up during their first year and more than likely stick. if they aren't then they do their 1-2 years and then they can enter the draft.

Matches
03-12-2014, 02:12 PM
I agree, but nobody really pays attention to the minor leagues in MLB (**ducking** all the Durham Bulls fans). But, seriously, around the country, most people wouldn't be able to name a team.

Basketball's a more individual-driven sport than baseball though. Lebron's high school games were on television. Had he played in the D-League that would've been on TV too. It might not take off to the level of popularity that college ball has now, but interest would pick up.

lotusland
03-12-2014, 02:13 PM
I think the secret to minor league ball is 2-for-1 beer night. I've never been a huge baseball fan but I attended quite a few Columbia Mets games in the 80s. on second thought the drinking age changed 30-years ago and I think they probably actually check IDs now so that may not work either.

Billy Dat
03-12-2014, 02:27 PM
Chad Ford chat opinion

Brad (Toronto)
Thoughts on Adam Silver wanting to increase the age limit? Why doesn't the NBA look for ways to expand its own D-League instead?

Chad Ford (1:44 PM)
Been writing about this for the past two days. It's a mixed blessing. Will help some players tremendously, others it will hinder. LeBron didn't need college. Neither did Kobe or KG. But for so many others, it's the best choice. But I don't think the league should be so paternalistic personally. These young men should have the choice and live with the consequences. Better education, a reformed high school system and compensation for them when they play in college would take care of so much. I'd rather the players choose to stay in college because they felt the benefit was equal to or better than the NBA at the moment. The NCAA is broken. High school basketball is broken. Forcing players to stay longer in that system doesn't fix the problem.

newclasspack
03-12-2014, 02:37 PM
Basketball's a more individual-driven sport than baseball though. Lebron's high school games were on television. Had he played in the D-League that would've been on TV too. It might not take off to the level of popularity that college ball has now, but interest would pick up.imagine if the D-league had Monta ellis, Jr smith, and josh smith for two years. that would be some fun basketball.

newclasspack
03-12-2014, 02:39 PM
Chad Ford chat opinion

Brad (Toronto)
Thoughts on Adam Silver wanting to increase the age limit? Why doesn't the NBA look for ways to expand its own D-League instead?

Chad Ford (1:44 PM)
Been writing about this for the past two days. It's a mixed blessing. Will help some players tremendously, others it will hinder. LeBron didn't need college. Neither did Kobe or KG. But for so many others, it's the best choice. But I don't think the league should be so paternalistic personally. These young men should have the choice and live with the consequences. Better education, a reformed high school system and compensation for them when they play in college would take care of so much. I'd rather the players choose to stay in college because they felt the benefit was equal to or better than the NBA at the moment. The NCAA is broken. High school basketball is broken. Forcing players to stay longer in that system doesn't fix the problem.I agree with all of this. tremendously.

Billy Dat
03-12-2014, 02:57 PM
A Simmons mailbag take (http://grantland.com/the-triangle/nba-bag-the-phil-jackson-to-the-knicks-theory/)

Q: How about a rule that restricts one-and-done players to a five year rookie deal and anyone who stays in college two years or longer to get a 4 year rookie deal?
óCharles Smith, Brooklyn

SG: I like it! Thatís the biggest obstacle to Adam Silverís desire for an under-20 age limit for the draft ó every powerful agent despises that idea because it delays the second contract by one year. If Jabari leaves Duke this summer, heíd sign his max extension in 2018 and the contract would officially start in the 2018-19 season. If he doesnít leave until 2015, that timetable gets pushed back to 2019 (extension) and the 2019-20 season (when it kicks in). Thatís why youíll see Jabari Parker awkwardly putting on a Jazz/Sixers/Celtics/Lakers/Bucks cap and hugging Adam Silver on June 26, 2014. Itís not about the first contract; itís about the second one.

Iíd suggest this tweak: five-year rookie deals for one-and-done guys and under-20-year-olds; four-year rookie deals for two-and-done guys and 20-year-olds; and three-year rookie deals for everyone else. That would give prospects a real incentive to stay in school, right? Sadly, Silver canít discuss this idea (or any draft-related tweaks) with the National Basketball Players Association because thereís nobody running it right now. Billy Hunter didnít just run that thing into the ground; he packed it with explosives and detonated 60 years of history. Nobody seems to care. By the way? Iím not sure Silver and the owners care, either ó they say publicly how itís frustrating not to have anyone to negotiate with, but really, everything gets to stay the same for them as long as the playersí union is fractured. Right now, itís an owner-friendly CBA. Theyíre raking in money. I donít see the age limit thing changing any time soon.

MChambers
03-12-2014, 03:07 PM
I've been suggesting something similar here for years. Glad to see the idea is being considered by Simmons. It seems to me the initial rookie cap has the perverse effect of pushing kids out of college.

AtlDuke72
03-12-2014, 03:38 PM
. . . The NCAA is broken. High school basketball is broken. Forcing players to stay longer in that system doesn't fix the problem.[/QUOTE]

The NBA is broken too. Players don't know how to play, they don't learn how to play sitting on the bench and there are not many practices. Players are too young and generally too immature for the life style. The NBA for its own benefit should either take players out of high school (which they may screw up as they did before) or not let players in for 3 years. They will get a much better product (compare Mason Plumlee as a sohomore to his senior year). The union should be happy since it protects jobs, the league should be happy because it will make fewer mistakes and get players who have had at least 3 years of college coaching and more mature individuals. The Lebrons of the world could go straight to the pros out of high school. It seems to work for baseball and football without all the gnashing of teeth that we see in basketball.

Shortening the rookie contracts for those who to college seems like a good idea too if they are worried about the players which is doubtful.

SoCalDukeFan
03-12-2014, 03:59 PM
Silver's plan is fine if he made one more little change: Free agency starts 4 years after you first play in the D League or in college.

So a 4 year college player is not drafted but is a free agent.

Of course the NBA will not do this.

Getting the clock started on free agency is a bigger issue that one and done, in my opinion.

SoCal

sagegrouse
03-12-2014, 05:29 PM
Silver's plan is fine if he made one more little change: Free agency starts 4 years after you first play in the D League or in college.

So a 4 year college player is not drafted but is a free agent.

Of course the NBA will not do this.

Getting the clock started on free agency is a bigger issue that one and done, in my opinion.

SoCal

Not for the colleges. -- Sage

Indoor66
03-13-2014, 09:44 AM
I agree, but nobody really pays attention to the minor leagues in MLB (**ducking** all the Durham Bulls fans). But, seriously, around the country, most people wouldn't be able to name a team. I do think having high profile high school players may make going to games more appealing as a reasonably priced family outing, though, so it's certainly growing it in that way. Incidentally, anybody see the recent suit from minor league baseball players arguing they get paid below minimum wage and many are below the poverty line? Seems disgraceful to me considering how much pro ballers get paid - could at least give $40k to the minor leaguers, which wouldn't impact the organizations at all. I think the NBADL players actually get a livable wage (although nothing compared to NBA players, of course). In general, I think I like the concept...

I have to disagree in part. I seriously doubt that "high profile" high schoolers moving to the D League will really raise the profile. Other than their local community (and there to a very great extent to their high school family) the mass of people do not know of these kids. Who ever heard of these kids outside of their community area other than the die hard basketball recruiting junkies? High profile on a basketball board is, in realty, not even a mere bump on most sports fans awareness level. These kids have very little to sell outside of their college affiliations - until they have been around for quite a while.

newclasspack
03-13-2014, 09:54 AM
I have to disagree in part. I seriously doubt that "high profile" high schoolers moving to the D League will really raise the profile. Other than their local community (and there to a very great extent to their high school family) the mass of people do not know of these kids. Who ever heard of these kids outside of their community area other than the die hard basketball recruiting junkies? High profile on a basketball board is, in realty, not even a mere bump on most sports fans awareness level. These kids have very little to sell outside of their college affiliations - until they have been around for quite a while.When the quality of Plays raises.. so will the profile and attention. I can count on two hands the number of bobcat fans I know. if Melo, Westbrook and K. love were on that team though? sell out.

theAlaskanBear
03-13-2014, 10:21 AM
I like this idea this reason: Players who may not want to go to school, or don't have the academics to play for a big program (am I kidding myself here?) have an incentive to play in the D-League (faster path to the NBA, plus money). This should (theoretically) ameliorate situations like Derrick Rose, who could not get into a good college program and thus cheated on his SATs to spend a year at Memphis. If Rose had to weigh the situation like this: I have to cheat to spend two years in college before the NBA, and may potentially be academically disqualified...or one-year in the NBDL and get to the NBA faster, would he choose differently?

I am for anything that raises the experience level of college and NBA athletes. It reduces risks and makes for a better game, not to mention it will increase the academic focus of some college players.

Now, how to make it work? I imagine players would have to enter the NBA draft upon leaving high school, be drafted by a franchise, and put into their respective D-League team. Would this mean expanding the draft?

A small, mean part of me wants to see this rule passed just to see how it would impact Calipari's program.

Dev11
03-13-2014, 10:22 AM
I have to disagree in part. I seriously doubt that "high profile" high schoolers moving to the D League will really raise the profile. Other than their local community (and there to a very great extent to their high school family) the mass of people do not know of these kids. Who ever heard of these kids outside of their community area other than the die hard basketball recruiting junkies? High profile on a basketball board is, in realty, not even a mere bump on most sports fans awareness level. These kids have very little to sell outside of their college affiliations - until they have been around for quite a while.

The top 4 or 5 recruits every year get the chance to announce their college choices on ESPN. Many more do so on ESPNU. When an Anthony Davis commits, it makes the front page of espn.com. Wherever guys like that play ball, people will follow.

-jk
03-13-2014, 11:35 AM
The top 4 or 5 recruits every year get the chance to announce their college choices on ESPN. Many more do so on ESPNU. When an Anthony Davis commits, it makes the front page of espn.com. Wherever guys like that play ball, people will follow.

I disagree. I think the desire to see an Anthony Davis come to your school is the driving force behind the announcement shows. Anthony Davis going to some random D-League team just won't generate the same enthusiasm.

College fans will still watch their teams, even if Anthony Davis isn't there. Pro fans won't care until he gets to the NBA. Locals who support their hometown D-league team and a few hard-core junkies might care, just like MLB's minor leagues.

(Logistically, would these high school kids destined for the D-league be drafted by the NBA and sent down as MLB does, or will they simply find a D-league team somewhere and enter the NBA draft a year later? My guess would be the latter - NBA teams don't want to be saddled with another Kwame Brown.)

I'd really be interested in what sort of ticket sales and ratings a D-league Anthony Davis could generate. Rhetorical question: which was the last D-league game anyone here's watched on TV? Personally, I've never actually seen one. And I can't say I miss it. My attention is tied up in college hoops, with a tiny bit left for the NBA playoffs - and most of that is for the Duke alums.

-jk

SoCalDukeFan
03-13-2014, 12:15 PM
If you play in college (2,3 or 4 years) than you get 1 year of service towards free agency.

Suppose you had this rule last year. Its not just 1 year of D League verses 2 years of college, its also one more year before you get the big dough in the NBA.

The NFL put in a salary structure so that you need some years of service before getting the big dough. The result is that more players than ever are leaving college early for the NFL.

Of course I want things that make college more attractive and Silver wants to make the D League better.

SoCal

Indoor66
03-13-2014, 01:24 PM
The top 4 or 5 recruits every year get the chance to announce their college choices on ESPN. Many more do so on ESPNU. When an Anthony Davis commits, it makes the front page of espn.com. Wherever guys like that play ball, people will follow.

I think you are fooling yourself. Anthony Davis commits to a Major University program: big news; Anthony Davis commits to Idaho in the D League: ho hum except to the aficionado.

Billy Dat
03-13-2014, 01:45 PM
Of course I want things that make college more attractive and Silver wants to make the D League better.

To put a slightly finer point on it, Silver works for the owners and his moves are always going to be designed for their benefit. Since the modern jump-from-high school-to-NBA era really kicked into high gear with the 1995 NBA draft, the owners have done much to "save themselves from themselves" with the rookie salary scale and the current age restriction. They want to delay writing those 7 figure checks until they are absolutely sure that the player is worth it. Of course, the top players in the NBA are so relatively underpaid in comparison to their peers in other sports that it all works in the owners favor anyway - but the zero sum game of the salary cap allows contract mistakes to really hurt teams for years - I am a Knicks fan - I know from such things.

I like the fact that teams are really starting to use their D-League franchises as laboratories for outside-the-box thinking. The advanced stats driven Rockets, for example, are testing the limits of the "shoot 3s, layups or foul shots only" mantra by forcing their D-League team, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, to only take those shots.
http://grantland.com/the-triangle/trio-grande-valley-daryl-moreys-d-league-plan-to-do-away-with-midrange-shots/

As a fan who has a new D-League franchise moving into my county, I am excited to see the league continue to become a true minor league system - something that has actually been happening more and more over the past 5 years.

If the revised rule passes, I think a kid will have to think long and hard about whether the D-League is the best path. In college, they get to compete with other "kids". The D-League is chock full of grown men desperate to keep their dreams alive at a salary of less than $20K per year. One would assume that "the cream would rise to the top" and these uber-talents would play well and be drafted high the next year, but what if they were "exposed"? All of a sudden, the $60,000/year college room and board is looking like a pretty good trade off.

All that is to say that the NCAA is already a pretty sweet minor leagues for the NBA and it doesn't cost them a dime. They may not have the player development control that they would like, but I think they are very happy with the development that guys like K, Roy, Izzo, Donovan, Self, Cal, etc. and their staff's provide. So, yes, I think Silver would like the D-League to be better, but his primary goal is to help the owners pay the players as little as humanly possible over the course of their career by not paying them max money until they are as old as possible, and avoiding paying them max money once they are over the hill.

Dev11
03-13-2014, 02:17 PM
I think you are fooling yourself. Anthony Davis commits to a Major University program: big news; Anthony Davis commits to Idaho in the D League: ho hum except to the aficionado.

15 years ago, if somebody said that one day we'd be watching kids commit to schools after following their every move for 2 years leading up to those commitments, you would have said the same thing. Fans follow the stars.

lotusland
03-13-2014, 06:29 PM
15 years ago, if somebody said that one day we'd be watching kids commit to schools after following their every move for 2 years leading up to those commitments, you would have said the same thing. Fans follow the stars.

I've never watched or listened an announcement except for potential Duke recruits. The amount of money that alumni and boosters contribute to college athletic programs is staggering. There hasn't been a HS player since Lebron who generated significant interest outside of college fans and that is because he was allowed to go directly to the pros and considered a franchise player. Maybe if NBA teams drafted HS players to their affiliated D league teams and had right of first refusal to keep keep them after their 1-year stint, there would be interest for NBA fans. I don't think what minor league team Wiggins and Parker went to would be that big of a deal to anyone. Imo they aren't stars unless they are considering someone's alma mater. If there were money to be made in the D league or any other version of minor league basketball someone would be making it. There's just not that much interest.

bob blue devil
03-13-2014, 07:46 PM
The more I think about this, the more I don't like it. Rather than making the D League a more appealing option, this proposal is simply a penalty for going to college - that's it. It may be good for the NBA and D league, but what about an elite player who actually values an education? The NBA just gave you a one year penalty for forgoing a paycheck to go to school (Kentucky notwithstanding - credit above). Further, what about a kid who is not an NBA talent, but thinks he is (because he plays against high school kids)? Well, he's going to the D League to avoid the 1 year penalty for going to college. In the D league he'll languish, never get NBA money, and have simultaneously lost the opportunity for an education. What a shame - there will be plenty of these every year (and I'm talking about kids that can actually handle college academically, not the Tar Heels). Why penalize kids for going to college? If you want them to choose the D League, make it a better alternative (say, via a real financial commitment), don't sabotage the alternatives..

DavidBenAkiva
03-13-2014, 09:42 PM
There's a big draw to go to college, and I'm not just talking about future NBA players. I work with high schools, and it's sort of astonishing that almost every higher schooler these days says their main goal is to go to college. That was not the case just 10 years ago when it was more like 75% of the students. The "everyone go to college" mantra has pervaded all settings - suburbs, cities, and rural America.

Now, a lot of the kids don't have a really good concept of what college means. Just a month ago, President Obama announced a major initiative to help students conceptualize college. What do I mean by this? Ask some students where they want to apply, and they will name Harvard, Yale, and the community college down the street. That's right - their concept of college is so limited that they don't even understand the full breadth of choices available to them. It's the big names and then whatever is closest. This leads to a lot of under matching where students that are academically good go to non-selective schools. This problem highlights a major issue we have in this country - we have sold the concept of college to everyone, but we haven't figured out how to help people make good choices.

How does this fit in with the NBA's tinkering with a 2-year rule? If you dangle any length of college scholarship in front of a student and their family, they will value that so much more than the opportunity to be paid $40,000 a year playing nearly every night in the D-League in Ft. Worth, TX. The concept of college is worth that much to people. It's also a fairly good deal for the family.

With a scholarship, you get tuition, and you and I might see the value in that. However, we are also talking about paid room and board, excellent health care, some outstanding athletic facilities, the allure of being on tv and being the big man on campus, and everything else that goes along with college. On top of all that, your son may get a college degree out of all of this - for free! Now if I'm a parent who, like all parents, has been pushing the concept of college down the throats of my kids before they were born, would I want them to go to the D-League?

This option may appeal to the 5-10 elite recruits per year, the Kwame Browns, Eddy Curry's, Tyson Chandlers, and more of the world (Bulls fan, so that draft class sticks out in my head). But the Justise Winslows, Rasheed Sulaimons, and Amile Jeffersons of the world -the top 20 types - would take the college route 99% of the time. As others have pointed out on this thread, kids can be the next Brandon Jennings right now, but they won't. The reason why is the real and perceived value of going to college. It's just a better brand than the D-League or Euro ball, and it will be for the foreseeable future.

sagegrouse
03-13-2014, 10:15 PM
To put a slightly finer point on it, Silver works for the owners and his moves are always going to be designed for their benefit.

It may be more complicated than responding to the directives of the owners. There are 30 NBA owners, and they agree on very little. It is up to the Commissioner to try and forge consensus and find a common interest among the owners. That's leadership, not subordination, and is the harder part of the job. Representing the owners' interests is probably the easier part of the job.

Henderson
07-16-2014, 09:42 AM
Silver received a nice review from a local Las Vegas sports writer this morning. Link. (http://www.reviewjournal.com/columns-blogs/ed-graney/nba-s-commissioner-silver-kind-not-weak)