A weak draft makes for players to stay in school

Posted by By at 24 June, at 03 : 52 AM Print

A weak draft makes for players to stay in school

Looking at the 2011 Draft, it is apparent that college players need to stay in school. Kyrie Irving, the most talked about college player and No. 1 draft pick to Cleveland, only played 11 games in his NCAA career which was lost to injury. But it was his freshman year and now he must live in the gym with his position coach, live the life of a professional athlete and undertake the demands by paying fans to deliver entertainment and wins every night during a grueling 82 game schedule.
The “seduction” of a college player to enter the NBA draft is palpable to an 18,19, 20 year old kid. The possibilities of millions of dollars, endorsement deals and popularity fill years and years of dreams. Not only this, but the ability to help out their parents and family members who have helped them along the way in youth league and high school. The contracts though are given out to these youngsters on the “promise” or “future investment” that these players will be superstar athletes scoring 20+ points every night. On the flip side, leaving college early means that there will be no rest for these young men. They must produce, NOW.

Yes, they have time to improve their games but now its against the best talent in the world and the “investment” that was made in the player must now produce a “return on investment”. The NBA teams are corporations and the “product” is a professional basketball team. Fans pay tickets, order season tickets and luxury boxes and expect the team to win and make them feel good. The draftees can work with position coaches, have time to learn the playbook but they are on an “egg-timer” and must learn. If these young men, stayed in college then they would have opportunities to have “bad games and nights” as they matured emotionally with other young men and women. If they are lucky enough to play collegiate basketball, they will also have plenty of time to improve. Also, there games could only improve night after night but playing in a collegiate level and a quarter of the season (25 gms) compared to the NBA regular season (82 gms). Not anymore.
Now, the innocence is over. They must hire publicists and agents and handlers to oversee their dealings and protect their assets. The must make public appearances, give interviews and sign autographs all the time and don’t have the choice to “just go home and vege-out”. Now, they are professional athletes and must comply with the terms of their contract with the team that drafted them. Many players, such as DeMarcus Cousins, Kwame Brown, Michael Beasley and Greg Oden haven’t been able to cope with these demands falling to injury or high expectations. The¬†ghost of “injuries” does loom large¬†and can end a career or season.

Yes, if the young man stays in college, he will also run the risk of injury but the bodies of these young men are still developing so the player can “have time” to heal, study film and improve. With the prospects of European leagues and the NBA D-League, its never too late for a player to achieve his NBA dreams. Finally, the best insurance policy against injury, a college degree, can be achieved while staying in school. It was long ago that playing professionally was only part-time and men had to work during the off-season to make ends meet. Staying in school means having the opportunity to make your own decisions, think for yourself and form your future.

The Bowse's Word

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3 Comments

  1. George Miyts, 6 years ago Reply

    Agreed. This years draft was weak. I cant wait for next years draft. What a class. I wonder what happens when a league doesnt go for a year (lockout) is there a regular draft?

    • Eric Labrador, 6 years ago Reply

      Good question. I dont think theyd let it go that far. Look at how much the NFL is moving the closer the season gets.

  2. Matthews3Pointer, 6 years ago Reply

    Staying in school is the best thing these kids can do at this time. Dumb NBA is going to be locked out for half the season so its best to stay in school get some education and grow their name in the league.


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