He successfully solved the crisis of high school baskeball players taking jobs away from hard-working, American and European blue-collar-with-white-trim ballers. And now NBA commissioner David Stern wants to take that one step further. Well, 12 months further, at least.
(If Stern gets his way, these guys wouldn’t have been draft eligible this past year. Well, okay, Greg Oden still would have been.)
“Will the NBA attempt to push back the minimum age to 20 [from 19] when the collective-bargaining agreement expires in 2011? —Kirk Henderson, Washington
Yes, we will. We think [raising the entry age to 19] has been very constructive.”
Foot. DOWN. Punk teenagers just don’t have a chance, with their rap music and iPods and secret blend of piss and/or vinegar.
Because imagine a world with Oden and Kevin Durant in college this year. Ohio State, rather than gallivanting about the NIT, is actually in the NCAA tournament as a relatively-high seed. Durant and Texas are probably the odds-on-favorite to win the whole thing. Sportswriters would have had to find another hook to the USC-Kansas State game beyond the “Mayo-Beasley race to see whose college career ends first.”
All right, so … that stuff’s not a big deal, nor does Stern probably care how the college game would be different.
However, with a 20-year age limit, Blazers fans might have started a website called DRAFT AL HORFORD. Hey, sure. And Yi Jianlian would have had to wait until the 2008 draft, at which point I’m sure China would have no problem releasing him to an NBA team the same year as the Olympics.
A revised age-limit rule would make sense, provided they add a stipulation that if a YouTube star emerges where a 12-year-old can sink half-court shots with regularity, that he is eligible to play in the NBA or, failing that, play for the Timberwolves.