5 Reasons Why 20-Year-Old Age Limit Isn’t the Answer for NBA
20-Year-Old Age Limit Isn’t the Answer for NBA
If the reports are true, it looks like new commissioner Adam Silver is following in the footsteps of his predecessor -- David Stern -- with thoughts of trying to push the NBA’s age limit to 20 years old.
This, of course, comes eight years after Stern and the league’s owners got the players to buckle to a cap of 19 years old, so that they could gain other concessions. But ever since then the NBA Players Association has been trying their hardest not to throw the youngsters under the bus again.
"We would love to add a year, but that's not something that the players association has been willing to agree to," Stern said in 2012. (via ESPN)
To be fair, players are allowed to skip the college experience and enter the association’s Developmental League or venture overseas like Brandon Jennings (Italy) and Jeremy Tyler (Israel). However, they should not have to be deprived of a chance to make a great living at home, because people assume that general managers will be able to make better choices with more time to evaluate.
The real result is that the league breaks even, the kids lose out and NCAA basketball comes out the true winners for their ability to profit off of future stars who are not even allowed to work while they are “student-athletes.”
And while Kentucky coach -- and newly appointed member of the National Association of Basketball Coaches board of directors -- John Calipari believes that a two-year college minimum should be required to enter the pros, he also told Sporting News that it’s about “protecting the game.” But why make the few pro-ready kids suffer?
After all, the NBA has thrived with one-and-done and none-and-done superstars as the face of the league for years.
For more reasons why a 20-year-old age limit isn’t the answer for the NBA, please scroll through the next five slides.
College Basketball Wins
College Basketball benefits from a 20-year-old age limit because they get to profit off of tournament tickets and jersey sales, but the NBA misses out on two years of being able to bank on new stars.
An Argument For Rights
"You don't hear about it in baseball or hockey. To say you have to be 20, 21 to get in the league, it's unconstitutional. If I can go to the U.S. Army and fight the war at 18 why can't you play basketball for 48 minutes?," Jermaine O'Neal said via ESPN in 2005.
Not only is O’Neal one of the original faces of the eventual success of early entrants, but he is also a representation of the thoughts of a lot of people when it comes to allowing others to earn a living.
Allow Players To Support Families
Plenty of people have looked at the age limit as an attack on the inner city youth who may need the immediate money to take care of their families -- like the Sacramento Kings’ Ben McLemore who was basically pushed into the NBA, for the same reasons, by coach Bill Self.
Every child isn’t blessed to be as financially comfortable as Grant Hill or Tyler Hansbrough when they were in college.
The Franchise Players
For all of the high school busts to come into the association, people try their hardest to ignore the myriad of franchise players who all entered the league before the age of 20 -- including the past (Kobe Bryant), present (LeBron James) and future (Kevin Durant) faces of the league.
No Sure Things
It’s too early to call the Cleveland Cavaliers’ No. 1 pick Anthony Bennett a bust, but his 3.3 point per game average and 29 percent shooting prove that just because a player is 20 years old before the draft, doesn’t mean that he’s ready to play with the big boys.