Saturday, December 1, 2012

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Not alot to say this morning but I do have some personal points to make regarding basketball, the game we love and adore.

It really seems to me that we are getting closer than ever before to the International system where players are being developed from an early age for professional basketball careers. Let me give a few examples:

Kentucky : Nuff Said!

Kids reclassifying to graduate early from HS to get NBA bucks quicker!

The NBA D league actually becoming the farm system it was designed to be with many 1st and 2nd round players spending significant time there.

We are actually pointing kids in the direction of "Balling For Dollars' as opposed to getting them interested in obtaining a great education at good ole academic university. What happened?

Seems to me that we have allowed a lot of people to make the sport their own personal toy or hobby. Yes, David Stern is guilty! So is John Calapari, though I am one of those who really feel he is not a horrible person, just an opportunistic person who figured out how to work the system to his advantage.  The powerful AAU and Prep programs are also at fault with the heavy emphasis on recruiting, sponsorships, and winning.  Laugh if you wish but some AAU type programs are more powerful than traditional HS basketball powers. I know for a fact AAU programs or shall I say traveling teams actually do home visits in an effort to recruit players. And some even cheat with money and gifts believe it or not!

I cannot believe my eyes when I read that Andrew Wiggins, Dakari Johnson, and Karl Towns Jr. all are considering re-classifying in order to graduate HS earlier. Now why would they do that? I remember when the big thing was re-classifying to gain additional years in HS. Still remember A kid from Brooklyn re-classifying and doing 2 extra years before accepting a scholarship to The University of North Carolina. And that was all right in some of our eyes because the kid actually wanted to one day get a college degree so he needed to get his academics in order.

So whats the deal with this new idea of kids deciding on their own to graduate a year early? OK I have it! They say to themselves   "I will just skip myself a grade  though I sure am not worthy of being skipped academically in the eyes of  the school system" Because of the greed and ambition of many others including but not limited to parents, trainers, AAU types, potential agents whispering in ears, and college coaches, I will take my C to B- average and immature personality and graduate from HS a year ahead of schedule.

Maybe I am wrong in thinking they are trying to get to the NBA money earlier than later. Maybe they just want to get to college and hit those sociology, biology, and english books ASAP because they cannot wait to walk across the stage to get their degree. Oops, wrong stage because I am sure the only stage they plan on walking across is the one with the NBA Commissioner calling the names of 1st round NBA draft choices.

Maybe they all were held back early in elementary or JHS allowing them to better develop and be attractive to colleges and universities. Now all of a sudden they are ready to hit the big time based on a majority of opinions, especially those who can gain from them making professional money.  In the Midwest and in Texas this is a common thing done in football towns where the entire population attends Friday Night games. And it is not uncommon in basketball. But again in both basketball and football the reclassification of a kid to allow him to graduate early and get to the money sooner is just greedy and might backfire!

Don't believe me? Do you folks actually feel Nerlens Noel  the 6 ft 10 Kentucky player who reclassified to attend The University of Kentucky Basketball Development Academy will be ready for the NBA Draft after the season? I sure do not! What about the kids who even left college early for the NBA draft and it has backfired? You have to be experimenting with drugs to see 48 underclassmen have applied for the draft and you put your name in after averaging 10 points and 2 assists at FDU (you know I had to give them a shout-out lol).  So many, too many, kids hurt by dumb basketball decisions.

This brings me back to my thoughts on The US becoming more like the International system that has 18 year olds playing for money on professional teams and affiliates. It is done in soccer, and basketball all over the globe. Now we have gone from kids needing to complete College, to being able to declare    hardship after a few seasons, to just declaring hardship after a season, to being able to go pro after HS no questions asked, to having to do 1 year of college no questions asked.  I say thanks to the NBA and NCAA for the biggest child exploitation ring this side of Asia. The college game  has been ruined to the point very few NBA players actually have schools they can be considered alumni of.  It is now a game of The Benjamin's, or balling for dollars even at an early age. For every Magic Johnson there are 20 Les Casons. For every Michael Jordan there are 30 Luther Wrights or Bill Willoughby's , although Bill has gone on to get his degree from..........Ready for this? FDU baby!!!!

In conclusion I have to say basketball is such a wonderful game. I really hope on the AAU, HS, and College side it can again become the amateur game it was years past. A game that kids played hoping for future opportunities gained over a time period that just might be 4 years of college. It is unbelievable that Kentucky, The NBA, and The NCAA, has allowed such a mockery to take place the past few years. Crazy as it sounds, when Notre Dame beat Kentucky this past week it was like the true Student Athletes beat the NBA development league  franchise out of Lexington Kentucky. Lets allow kids to be kids, lets allow young men to develop mentally and emotionally. Lets bring back real NCAA Basketball by making kids stay in college for at least 3 years before being eligible for the NBA draft because Kentucky has figured out the graduation rate penalty thing (if still in existence)  and realizes 13 scholarship players are not necessary when you have 6 freshmen in school ready for the NBA draft.

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