>What have been the topics of discussion this NBA season?: Part 1
Kobe’s 81… check,
The trading of Ron Artest…check,
The hype and fall of the NY Knicks…check,
The inability of Lebron to win it all at the end of games…check.
In fact, as I write these words, Lebron “The King” James has come fully into fruition within the last couple of weeks, having made a game winner and has been a force to be reckon with at the end of games with several 30 and 40+ point plays.
If you look closely at that list, two out of the four stories involve former high schoolers who’ve made the superstar leap to the big leagues without any need or introduction to collegiate life. Therefore I ask, what happened to the two hotly debated topics that fueled the NBA at the beginning of the season? Yes that’s right, what happened to the conspiracy theories regarding the implantation of the dress code and the age limit? It’s not on the menu because in actuality it was not a big deal to begin with! Meaning, while the NBA in its truest sense is the game of basketball, it is ultimately a business. And with any business, the employer should dress the part (plus the fear of losing some weight in the wallet area may also have something to do with it). Therefore, the need I have for scrounging up a topic that is all but dead is purely curiosity. Curious because while basketball (as well as football) disallows teenagers to enter the professional ranks, many of the minority sports like tennis, soccer, and extreme sports like snowboarding and motocross have had teenage professionals for many years. With the newly implemented age limit rule that disallows high school ballers from entering the draft without at least a year of NCAA experience, has David Stern, the Commissioner of the league, gone against the grain or paved the way for other leagues and associations to do the same?
By “cleaning” up the league, has the NBA gone too drastic with their measures in not allowing younger players to compete at the highest level? I don’t think so. I believe that even though a high school player may have the true and raw talent to be able to score 40 or 50 points each night against 90 lbs weaklings that still have years before morphing into adulthood that does not automatically mean they will do the same against “the Show’s” biggest ballers. I feel that the age limit is a good thing. True, the association may lose some entertainment value that the next Kobe, Lebron, Mcgrady or KG could provide, but with every one Lebron there are a hundred Darkos’, highly hyped and thought of but sitting the pine season after season until they become a vagabond roaming the NBA landscape. That scenario may be unlikely considering three factors; that the few high schoolers who have decided to open that door to the house that MJ built, their physical demeanor may withstand an 82 game season. Secondly, teams who have drafted these players straight out of high school have made an investment on them, and lastly, the viewing audience has paid substantial dollars to see them out on the court. Yet, at the same time, it is a crapshoot because who in actuality knows whether they will be good… great… a star… a superstar… a hall of famer given the fact that they have only played against 16, 17 or 18 year olds? (To be continued…)