Over the past six or seven years in the NBA, a new trend has emerged, along with a new type of style and attitude in the game of basketball.
Much of this is due to the fact that many kids are coming out of college early, or even coming straight out of high school, and entering the NBA draft. At first it was accepted to go to the NBA in such a way because the kids that came from high school actually were talented enough to play with other caliber athletes.
Now it seems these teenagers, good or bad, are going to NBA just to collect.
Most of the people jumping ship are mediocre and cannot handle the physical play of the sport.
While the NBA needs to reevaluate their policies on what age a person should be allowed to enter the NBA, nobody can blame the athlete. If teams are going to throw that kind of money at teenagers, why would an athlete in his right mind turn it down?
Making money is the essential reason why most people work. The American dream is to find a job doing something you love. Playing professional basketball is what most what high school athletes want to do. They want to do what they love for a living and what they are good at. If they have the talent and professional teams want to draft them should other be able to tell them not to?
Basketball players of all ages dream of making millions of dollars in the NBA. Many basketball players come into college programs, build up their skills, and leave for the NBA to chase the money.
A question comes to mind when we think of basketball.
Do college basketball players need to stay in school for all four years or do they need to try to get into the NBA as soon as possible?
Some critics feel that college basketball players go to the NBA to play basketball after their first or second year. There are some exceptions where talented players go to the NBA after high school. Big names like Vince Carter, Rasheed Wallace, Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant and a host of others saw fit to go to the NBA early.
Today these players are rising stars in the league and are making million dollar figures. But some feel that even players such as these should wait to go professional even though there's money in going to the NBA early. They believe that college basketball players should not be allowed to go professional until after four years.
On the other hand, entering the draft after high school would not be possible if these students did not have what it takes to make it as a professional athlete. Those who are not yet ready for the pros must work harder and go to college in order to improve their game. But for those who are ready and have the opportunity to make it as a professional, it is becoming increasingly difficult to turn down the kind of money that is being offered. They should be able to have their cake and eat it too. As with any path that is chosen in life, there is a chance that for failure. However, there are those such as Tracy McGrady, who turn out to be a success. McGrady entered the NBA draft in 1997 straight out of high school and is one of the NBA's top players. He ranks in the top 5 in scoring, three point field goals made, free throw, and many more. Not only is did Tracy McGrady not go to college and succeed in the NBA, it's nearly impossible to ignore Kobe Bryant, who has helped the LA Lakers to win three consecutive NBA championships.
Of course in some cases, the risk might be greater than the reward. College basketball players must face the possibility of not finding jobs if they go professional early and get a career ending injury. They risk not finding jobs because once a player gets hurt, he has nothing to rely on but a high school degree. It's extremely difficult to find a job with just a high school diploma. These players are looking to succeed in life the easy way. That is a good ideal but they need to find another source of revenue just in case their professional basketball days end early.
By staying in college for four years, not only will players have a better chance of getting drafted to the league, they will also have a degree. In four years they will have had a chance to learn under their college coach what it takes to play in the NBA for a long time. For example, Tim Duncan played four years at Wake Forest University and was drafted high. He has just won his second MVP award. He worked hard to achieve his goal of playing NBA basketball. Not to mention he graduated with a college degree. Even if he does get hurt, Tim Duncan will have a four-year degree from a top university to fall back on.
In the case of Omar Cooke, just the opposite happened. Thinking he would go early in the draft, he made himself eligible. However, his stock dropped drastically just prior to the draft and he went in the second round, where he didn't get the luxury of a guaranteed contract. Since then, he's been cut from numerous teams, a "perfect example of a guy who should've stayed in school."
Unless college basketball players have a talent like Tracy McGrady or Kobe Bryant, then they probably would want to stay in college for four years. With achieving a college degree the college player can have more options on what they want to do in life. Everybody does not have the ability to play in the NBA for a long time, so wouldn't it be great to have something to do other than basketball for the rest of their life. Dreams are supposed to be chased but reality sets in sometime.
Entering the draft is a big decision and can affect an athlete life. By entering the draft the athlete is securing their financial well being. The average professional athlete makes more money than most people with a 9 to 5 jobs make in their lifetime. With this money, young basketball players can support themselves and their family. This is the dream for most athletes. They want to buy their parents their dream house, support them so they do not have to work anymore, and in some cases, move their family out of the ghetto. Kwame Brown entered the draft right after high school and went first round first pick in the 2001 NBA draft. Kwame was not just thinking of himself when he decided to go straight to the pros he was thinking of his seven siblings and mother. He wanted to give his mother a better life. This is the case for a lot of athletes who are entering the draft. They come from poor families who are in need of a financial blessing. With players such as LeBron James and his large shoe contracts before even stepping on an NBA court, the phenomenon is only likely to occur.
Also with more and more high school players coming to the NBA there are even more foreign athletes joining the league. So when these high school players declare for the draft, they become ineligible to play at college. Say they don't get drafted and don't get signed to a team. What are they going to do? Sure they can go to college but they can't play basketball. Now it will be even harder to get into the NBA now than it was before. With competition coming from all over the world these days, a kid coming out of high school needs to think very seriously about his future.
Regardless of how one looks at it, the NBA is a business, and their first priority is making money. Whatever rules are in place can be bent only if it will help people buy tickets. In the case of Darko Milic, David Stern has bent the rule of a player being eighteen-years-old when he declares his entry into the draft. While Darko was only seventeen when he made his decision to enter the draft, he will be eighteen when the draft actually occurs. David Stern took this opportunity to allow this to occur because he saw the monetary potential for the NBA by allowing this young player to enter. This causes one to think that perhaps the NBA is exploiting young players for its own financial gain.
Whatever the reason for coming to the NBA early, it is evident that this trend will only increase. With the amount of money these players stand to make, as well as the money they will make for the NBA, college may become a thing of the past for players with professional talent. Let's just hope…