One-and-done needs to change

One-and-done needs to change

Every year freshman change the landscape of college basketball and this year is no exception. Julius Randle, Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker, and Aaron Gordon are all superstars. They will also be one -and -done.

Any of those players could have been the number one overall pick in last year’s draft if eligible to declare for it, of course. But they were not.

Under NBA rules, a team cannot select a player coming directly from high school. A player has to wait one year before declaring for the NBA draft.

The NBA created this rule in order to protect teams. The league felt that selecting high school players was too big of a risk. This rule seems ridiculous right now. Back in 2005, when the NBA imposed the rule, there was no rookie pay scale. Back then players like Kwame Brown stole money from the teams that selected them. It was too big of a financial risk to select a high school player.

Now that there is a rookie pay scale this rule makes little sense. Now that there is not a huge risk financially, the NBA has no ethical reason for this rule. I mean Anthony Bennett is going number one in the draft. Is that not reason enough to let players come directly from high school? But, there are many more reasons why this rule is ridiculous.

For one, if we have to apply to be in the armed forces when we are in high school then why can we not apply to be in the NBA? This rule is un-American and unethical.  We should be able to apply for any job that we want. This is America and that is what America is about. Does anyone think that George Washington or Benjamin Franklin would agree that Jabari Parker cannot play in the NBA just because he’s not a certain age?  If the teams think it would be too big of a risk then simply do not draft them. It is that simple.

While it may not be American it also puts these kids in a tough position. These kids basically have three options. They can go to college for a year, they can take the year off completely, or they can play overseas. We have seen players try two of these options in the past.

Let’s begin with the first option, going to college for a year. Sure, this is great for the NBA. It is free advertising. They can sit back and watch these freshman dominate the competition for a year while the entire country watches. Then they go to the NBA and everybody knows them.

Do you think anybody knew who Kobe Bryant or Kevin Garnett was before they were in the NBA? Most likely not because they came from straight from high school.

There have been plenty of players that have been one-and-done that have succeeded in the NBA. Players such as Kevin Durant, Anthony Davis, Carmelo Anthony, and Kyrie Irving were all one-and-done.

But, the reality is that all of those players could have played in the NBA from day they graduated high school. College is simply not for everybody. I have friends and know a ton of people that went right into the work force after high school. Why can’t NBA players?  If school isn’t these players thing then that really limits their options going forward.

Now we go to option number two. They can play overseas. This would be an extremely touch decision to make for an 18 year old kid. He would have to move overseas and play in the Euro league for just a year. This is not an option for most of these kids because they would have to completely move overseas and get signed by a team for just a year. We have seen two players try this option. The Pistons guard Brandon Jennings and free-agent forward Jeremy Tyler. Brandon Jennings’ decision came as a bit of a surprise because he was the number one recruit in the country. He had all but arrived on Arizona’s campus, then went overseas and said that it was a bad experience. He got very little playing time and was didn’t get along with his coach (reportedly).  For Jeremy Tyler, his experience was awful. He then fell way back in the draft and now is in the NBA D-League.

The third option of taking a year off just does not make sense for any party. It is bad for the player and the NBA. This option just does not happen. This clearly stunts the growth of the athlete as we saw back in 2004 with college football when Maurice Clarrett and Mike Williams sat out a year after unsuccessfully attempting to enter the NFL draft after their sophomore year. This would be an even greater risk for a team than drafting them directly out of high school in my opinion.

The bottom line is that it is ridiculous that a high school player cannot go directly to the NBA. It is the product of an old rule. College is not for everybody. Players should not have to go overseas to play a sport for a year when they are good enough to play in the NBA. The NBA should leave the decision up to the teams because I guarantee you the Cavs wish Wiggins, Parker, Randle or Gordon would have been eligible in last year’s draft. If they think it is too big of a risk, then the teams do not have to take them. Don’t make a mockery out of the college and the player by making him attend for a semester and a half. It is a joke.