Storyline: One-and-done Rule

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Roberts believes, though, even the promise of the money may not be enough to sway the best players to go that route. “You’ve seen some of these practice facilities and arenas these Division I players have access to, not bad. Not a bad life. The training, the coaches,” Roberts said. “The G League is making it a harder decision for kids to make, to have the option of going to a Division I school, but if I had to bet, I’d think kids would still go to a Division I school.”

And at the very least, it can provide a path for those who’d rather play in the states than go overseas for a year to play professionally, as was the case with Brandon Jennings and Emmanuel Mudiay. “Everybody wants to stay at home. That’s natural instinct,” National Basketball Players Association executive director Michele Roberts told Yahoo Sports. “Going overseas is lonely. The G League, at least historically, has been a more profitable option … most of the time, guys are making more money, having access to family and friends.”

The Enquirer talked to University of Cincinnati head coach Mick Cronin and Xavier University head coach Travis Steele to see what they think of the G-League offering contracts to college basketball’s top prospects. “It should have never come in (the one-and-done),” said Cronin. “If a guy is 18 he can go off to war for his country, he should be able to play basketball. You can’t regulate bad decisions. There’s going to be bad decisions in all walks of life. We’re not regulating baseball players, hockey players, tennis players and golfers. Why are we regulating basketball players?”

To hear John Calipari tell it, the G League’s move to offer prospective one-and-done players $125,000 one-year contracts will be good for Kentucky. “If it’s what they say, three or five guys and that’s it, I don’t think it affects us,” Calipari said after Kentucky’s Blue-White scrimmage Sunday. “As a matter of fact, probably makes us better. The kids that come here are kids that want the competition and want to get better. They’re not going somewhere so that they only gotta shoot all the balls. (Those players) don’t come here. I think this may even separate us some, so I’m not worried about it.”

Calipari’s argument is that players who don’t pan out will be left as “roadkill” in the G League as opposed to enjoying the other benefits going to college can bring. “My concern comes back to I want to know what happens to the kids that you’ve encouraged not to go to college if they fail,” he said Sunday. “What are you going to do for them? That’s my whole thing. What is it going to do to 8th and 9th and 10th graders? Are you going to have a whole wave of those kids that think, ‘I don’t need school I’m going to go to the G league.'”
4 weeks ago via ESPN

The NBA and National Basketball Players Association are struggling to reach an agreement on lowering the league’s minimum age to 18, differing on the league’s desire to attach two conditions to ending the one-and-done NBA draft era, league sources told ESPN. Commissioner Adam Silver is pressing NBPA executive director Michele Roberts to require that player-agents furnish all teams with medical information on draft prospects, league sources said. The league also wants to mandate players’ attendance and some level of participation in the pre-draft combine, sources said.
4 weeks ago via ESPN

The NBA and National Basketball Players Association are struggling to reach an agreement on lowering the age limit to 18, differing on the league’s desire to attach two conditions to ending the one-and-done NBA draft era, league sources told ESPN. Commissioner Adam Silver is pressing NBPA executive director Michele Roberts to require that player-agents furnish all teams with medical information on prospective draft prospects, league sources said. The league also wants to mandate players’ attendance and some level of participation in the pre-draft combine, sources said.
4 weeks ago via ESPN

“We’re investing millions of dollars into players who we’ll now have even less information about coming out of high school, and we should have the right to have all the information available on who we are selecting,” one general manager told ESPN. The union has felt significant pressure from the agent community to resist the NBA’s push on ceding control of medical information, sources said. While the NBPA has long advocated the lowering of the age limit to 18, so far the union has shown no inclination to surrender on these issues without minimally a give-back elsewhere from the NBA.

“It will affect college basketball for sure, because the one-and-dones that don’t go to the NBA will go there for the $125,000,” Hardaway said. “Most kids don’t want to be in a school for four years, especially the kids that have the ability to go the next level. I don’t know if it will affect my recruiting, because you’re going to get them into school. It’s just the one and done kids. It’s definitely going to affect college basketball.”

Adam Johnson: Asked for comment from G League President Malcolm Turner on the future wage gap caused by the new contracts announced today and if they plan to address that issue: “This isn’t a new development – NBA G League rosters have always been made up of a diverse group of players at different stages of their careers who are earning different salaries. The small pool of elite athletes signed to Select Contracts will be yet another group in locker rooms that already include this diversity.”

NBA commissioner Adam Silver says Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan is uniquely qualified to be the chairman of the league’s labor relations committee. That’s because Jordan has the gravitas to credibly translate the owners’ viewpoint to the players and the players’ viewpoint to the owners. Silver specifically mentioned Jordan Tuesday when talking about the issues facing the league that would require compromise with the players association. Among those: competitive balance, as it relates to free agency and the salary cap, and the possibility of changing the draft-entry age for U.S. players from 19 to 18.

Jordan, a hall-of-famer, was a five-time NBA Most Valuable Player and won six championships with the Chicago Bulls. “There’s no doubt that so many players look up to him. Many in our current class of superstars look across the table and think, ‘That’s where I want to be one day,'” Silver said in response to an Observer question. “He brings unique credibility to the table when we’re having discussions (with the players) and even just among the owners, he’s able to represent a player point of view. When owners are going into discussions with players, Michael can say, ‘Well, look, this is how I looked at it when I was a player, and these are the kind of issues we need to address if we’re going to convince players that something is in everyone’s interest.”

“My personal view is that we’re ready to make that change,” Silver said after the conclusion of the latest round of owners’ meetings. “It won’t come immediately, but…when I weighed the pros and cons – (and) given that (former Secretary of State) Condoleezza Rice and her (NCAA) commission has recommended to the NBA that those one-and-done players now come directly into the league and, in essence, the college community is saying ‘We do not want those players anymore,’ I mean that sort of tips the scale in my mind that we should be taking a serious look at lowering our age to 18.”
7 months ago via ESPN

The NBA allows high school players to enter the G League without the wait. The Commission on College Basketball recommended Wednesday that the NBA and NBPA allow high school players to enter the draft, but college basketball has no ability to effect change on the issue. The NBA and NBPA must collectively bargain a change of the early entry rule. The Commission on College Basketball made a recommendation to allow college players who declare for the NBA draft to retain their eligibility should they go unselected in the draft.
7 months ago via ESPN

The NBA and National Basketball Players Association’s conversations on eliminating the one-and-done entry rule have centered on lowering the minimum age requirement no sooner than the 2020 draft, league sources told ESPN. NBA commissioner Adam Silver and NBPA executive director Michele Roberts have discussed scenarios to end the requirement for American players to wait one year after high school graduation to enter the NBA draft, but no formal agreement could be reached before the NBPA’s executive committee, including president Chris Paul, gather for a meeting at the end of the NBA playoffs in June.

Some of the big headlines in sports today press on ongoing scandals plaguing the NCAA. When asked if he thought the NBA G-League could become an alternative for young athletes not looking to play in college, Commissioner Stern was clear. “I would hope so. It’s a complete fraud the whole thing.” He continued, “I’m a harsh critic of the NCAA for taking players that they know aren’t there to learn and in many cases, don’t go to classes in their second semester. Instead they put them in online classes just to finish the year so they don’t lose their scholarships.” “So there is something very bad going on and everyone blames the NBA’s ‘one and done’ rule.” He adds, “Well the NBA doesn’t have a one and done rule; the NBA’s rules says players have to be 19; it doesn’t matter if they go to college.”
9 months ago via ESPN

Now, though, there is turbulence, as the underbelly in the youth and college basketball systems is being exposed. The NBA has watched it unfold. Seeing both a responsibility as the world’s leading basketball league and an opportunity to move in on valuable territory, the league is preparing to get involved again with elite high school basketball players, multiple sources told ESPN. Current NBA commissioner Adam Silver and several of his top advisers have been engaged in listening tours and information-gathering missions with an array of stakeholders for months. That has included formal meetings with the National Basketball Players Association about adjusting the so-called “one-and-done” age-limit rule. But Silver’s aim is much more comprehensive than simply re-opening the door for 18-year-olds to play in the NBA, sources said.
9 months ago via ESPN

“We’re spending a lot of time on [youth basketball]. I think there is a big opportunity, on a global basis, focus on elite players in terms of better training, better fitness, so that they ultimately can be successful at the highest level,” Silver said during All-Star Weekend. “That is something from a league standpoint, together with our teams, we’re putting an enormous amount of energy and resources into.” Within the past year, league officials began canvassing teams on their ideas and interest in the NBA creating academies that would house and train dozens of the country’s elite high school basketball players, sources said. This academy concept has been floated for years, notably by Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.
9 months ago via ESPN

“We realize that the whole issue of the one-and-done is that we don’t operate in isolation, and where we choose to set with our players’ association, the minimum age has a direct impact on college basketball as well,” Silver said. “We’re not by any means rushing through this. I think this is a case where, actually, outside of the cycle of collective bargaining, we can spend more time on it with the players’ association, talking to the individual players, talking to the executive board and really trying to understand the pros and cons of potentially moving the age limit.”

Ten years ago, then-prep basketball phenom Brandon Jennings decided not to take the one-and-done college route to Arizona and instead opted to play professionally in Italy for a year with a lucrative shoe contract in hand. Looking back, the eight-year NBA veteran who most recently played in China has no regrets about his move. And with the FBI now cracking down on college stars receiving extra benefits without getting paid by the NCAA, the current G League Wisconsin Herd guard believes that elite high school stars should consider playing in the G League or overseas instead of taking the one-and-done route in the “billion-dollar business” of the NCAA. “My decision was for me,” Jennings said. “I always feel bad for the kids because I always felt like the kids should get paid in college, at least something. The NCAA is a billion-dollar business. You’re telling a kid like [Oklahoma’s] Trae Young, who is killing it and you’re telling me alumni or someone else can’t take him out to a nice dinner?”

One issue is, of course, the one-and-done rule, where ballers play one year of college because NBA eligibility requires them to be one year removed from high school. Warriors forward Kevin Durant, for one, thinks the rule should be done away with. “You want these players to go out there and play on the biggest stage,” he said in a video captured by The Athletic’s Anthony Slater. “The Final Four is one of the biggest sporting events in the world, in sports, and they don’t get a dime for it. I don’t think it’s right. They go out there. They slave for these programs. To go out there and win a championship. These fans go to the game to see these players. Just like the NBA, they want to see the best players.”
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November 16, 2018 | 9:33 pm EST Update