Politics Everywhere: The one-and-done

A few years ago, the National Basketball Association instituted a rule that prohibits its teams from drafting high school kids (as it had been doing with potential superstars like LeBron James). Under the new rule, draftees must be at least one year out of high school and at least 19 years of age. This has produced a “one-and-done” situation for college teams, which now are left to serve as proving grounds for top high school players during the year before they abscond to the NBA.

The NBA’s contract with the players will soon be up for renegotiation, and this rule will get a close look from both sides. Here are a couple of very different perspectives on it:

From Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy:

I don’t like the ‘one and done.’ First of all, I don’t really understand how we get away with that as a league, that we tell a guy out of high school he can’t come and play in our league. The guy should have the right to make a living and to come into our league. And what I really don’t like is the way our system is set up. To me, and I know this sounds absolutely ridiculous, but kids should be going to college if at least part of what they want to do is get an education. To me, it’s sham.

From NBA commissioner David Stern:

I think there is a mixed view about what it does for the NCAA, but that wasn’t why we did it. This is not about the NCAA, this is not an enforcement of some social program, this is a business decision by the NBA, which is: We like to see our players in competition after high school.

Here’s more.

4 Responses to Politics Everywhere: The one-and-done

  1. NBA Pedant June 24, 2009 at 10:11 am #

    Carmelo Anthony wasn’t actually drafted out of high school, he played one year for Syracuse (and won the National Championship).

  2. Lee Sigelman June 24, 2009 at 10:25 am #

    NBA Pedant:

    Stupid error on my part — thanks for catching it. I’ve now revised the text to omit the Carmelo reference.

  3. LFC June 24, 2009 at 4:17 pm #

    I don’t like basketball that much and don’t know much about the game. That said, wrt the Orlando Magic coach’s remark “it’s sham,” couldn’t the same be said for a large chunk of big-time college sports, not just this one rule?
    As for the Toronto Raptors president who remarked in the Post piece that he didn’t like having to watch or scout players in high school gyms (before the rule was adopted), I have little sympathy for him. Although he’s presumably not making tens of millions of dollars like some of the players, he is I assume quite well off, and if he views having to go to high schools for scouting as a hardship, my response would be: tough s–t.

  4. Dan Tarrant June 24, 2009 at 4:29 pm #

    This is one of those “save us from ourselves” rules. After all, teams choose their own personnel and if they don’t want to draft a high school player then they don’t have to.