With Adam Silver taking over as commissioner of the NBA early in 2014, the talks about potential changes to the league going forward have been frequent and abundant. One of the most discussed topics, though, has been regarding the amount of time amateur players must spend in college prior to entering the NBA Draft.
Points of emphasis from contingencies on either side of this issue have their merits. “One and Done” players weaken the college game and, to a certain degree, dilute the NBA with players who aren’t always necessarily physically ready to compete. On the other side of things, those situations allow players financial possibilities that they otherwise wouldn’t have available to them.
It seems like everyone who pays even mild attention to basketball has an opinion on the matter. When I say everyone, that term doesn’t exclude current NBA personnel, current NBA players, and legends of the game of basketball. One of the latest people to voice their opinion is Hall of Fame point guard Oscar Robertson.
Talking not too long ago Robertson talked with Business Insider, saying that the raising the age limit for the draft would only benefit “greedy” colleges and that the move “helps the coach” more than it does the player. Robertson asserted that keeping a talented pro prospect in school longer helps the school and coach by raising the winning percentage and making the program look better.
Robertson also spoke in defense of the athletes, saying that leaving after one year and not totally being ready is “the owners’ problems.” Robertson said that you can’t blame a kid for wanting to get paid millions of dollars, saying that he’d take the money if he were in their situation.
Though this may seem like just another opinion, Robertson’s is interesting because he comes from a place where he played three years in college before turning pro. Moreover, it’s not often that the “greed” of universities and coaches is brought into the equation in this discussion.
There’s no doubt that the reign of Silver over the NBA is going to bring about some enormous changes and the age limit could very well be one of them. However, Robertson brings up points that, at the very least, Silver and the league will need to consider.