Mark Cuban and new NBA Commissioner Adam Silver have gotten off to a smooth start. The loudmouth owner of the Dallas Mavericks has been known to give former Commissioner David Stern a hard time, but through the first month of Silver’s tenure, Cuban has remained relatively quiet.
However, there is one idea of Silver’s that might irk Cuban, especially after he recently denounced the NCAA in favor of the Development League. Cuban ripped into the “One-and-Done” rule and called the NCAA “hypocrites.” Then there is Silver, who has publicly expressed interest in elevating the Association age limit to 20 years old. The current rule states that eligible players must be at least 19 years of age and one year removed from high school. If the current rule is so awful, then wouldn’t Silver’s age increase only hurt the league more?
Cuban has said the he would support a development league program that would allow players to avoid the hypocrisy of the “One-and-Done” for what he described as a better option. Silver has not addressed Cuban’s comments, nor has he shot down the idea of allowing players to opt for the D-League instead of college, but his favoring of a 20-year age limit seems to be going in the opposite direction of Cuban’s and many others’ beliefs.
I think Silver’s 20-year age limit is an awful idea, unless he installs some type of D-League program. The initial years immediately after high-school are crucial. Either the kid is going into the work force or he is going onto college to further his education and postpone entering the work force. For athletes hopeful of the pros, it doesn’t quite work that way. They don’t go to college because they want to further their education and land corporate positions; they go to college because they have to. These young athletes go to college because professional leagues like the NBA and NFL make them. So, really the NCAA is just exploiting these athletes while they waste scholarship money.
A 20-year age limit would only worsen this affect by forcing players to go to college for two years, making them more likely to fail out, because, let’s be honest; someone who is a “One-and-Done” player isn’t going to class. It would destroy the level of talent and maturity entering the league while letting other players fall through the cracks.
If Silver really wants to raise the age limit, he needs to create an alternative plan to college that goes through the D-League. Give teams the option to draft players straight out of college, but if a team chooses to do that, that player must play in the D-League for a season or two before entering the professional arena. Something like that must be done or both the NCAA and NBA must can endure the “One-and-Done” rule all together. I know Silver wants to leave his own legacy on the Association, but think about it a bit harder before jumping to foregone conclusions, Mr. Silver; it will save you the criticism later.
Shane Phillips is an NBA Writer for RantSports.com. Follow Shane on Twitter @ShaneRantSports, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. You can also emails Shane at ShaneRantNBA@gmail.com.