NBPA: Taking a Low Road to the High Ground

Published on 6-Mar-2015 by Alan Adamsson

Basketball - NBA    NBA Daily Update

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NBPA: Taking a Low Road to the High Ground

It's classic domino theory.

Didn't work in Viet Nam, but it'll have a profound effect in the hoops world.

When the NBA and its players' union decides what to do with high school seniors -- or more accurately, players at least one year removed from high school -- the NCAA will know how to adjust accordingly.

Unless, of course, the colleges don't wait and sort themselves out separately.

The NBA may have a development league as its version of a de facto minor league, but the reality is -- like the NFL -- it rides the college sports gravy train for cultivating its talent. By raising the its entry age to 20, the league gets a pool of more refined players from which to draw.

What's absurd is Players Association poobahs trying to counter this proposal by playing the race card. Get this from its general counsel, Gary Kohlman:

If they were white and hockey players, they would be out there playing. If they were white and baseball players, they would be out there and playing.


The actual fact is, if they were purple, Martians, or whatever else, and they had the talent, they'd be out there playing hockey or baseball.

The hard fact is hockey and baseball don't leech off college programs like the NBA and NFL do.

Both give clear choices to high schoolers. Hockey's turf war begins at 16, while baseball stipulates that if a high-school senior wants to opt for a Division I college, it'll be three years before he can be drafted. 

Odds are the age-limit issue will only be a bargaining chip as a 2017 lockout looms. Only a handful of high schoolers got selected each year when the NBA did draft them, and less than a handful succeeded. Of course, there were the predictable train wrecks.

There's no way a miniscule number of players like that will be a factor in a kajillion-dollar collective bargaining negotiation.

Clearly, the NBPA wants to keep that chip from hitting the table. But resorting to an irrational hot button is idiotic, especially when it's on the right side of the argument.