Zoo Station

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19 is a terrible number

Posted by Chance on June 22, 2009

For the NBA minimum draft age that is.  When it was 18, people would go to the NBA directly from high school. This includes Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, Dwight Howard, to name the most significant.

I think the number should be lower or higher.  If you are going to raise the age, make it like the NFL, where the player must be three years removed from high school.  That way, an accomplished player has somewhat equal options, since they only have one more year of college.

So what’s the problem with age 19?  Many players go to college one year then go to the draft.  Now, the players are happy, they can play their one year and if they are good enough, go to the draft.  The college is happy, who cares if the player graduates, they put their year in and help out the team.  So what’s the problem?  Maybe I’m a purist, but it seems to make a mockery of what college really is.  College should not be a developmental league.  At the same time, I’m not naive, I know many athletes in the major sports could care less about graduating, but by having a requirement of only one year, it exaggerates that significantly, in my view.

I’m inclined to have the minimum age at 18.  The only problem is if a player goes out for the draft and does not get drafted, they cannot then go play for the NCAA.  Maybe this should be relaxed.  That way, a player doesn’t have to bank everything on whether they get drafted or not.

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