I’m not in favor of the age restriction the NBA has but I truly believe basketball players are missing out on a great opportunity by not playing 2-3 years of college ball. College basketball is a way for a player to add to their legacy and be a part of something that most athletes of the past take more pride in than any professional team they will play for. Don’t believe me, ask 95% of NBA players (drafted before 2010) that didn’t spend 5-10 years playing at a hall of fame level if they give a damn about most of the NBA teams they played with and then ask them how much of a die hard fan they are of their Alma mater.
The reason why I brought up this age thing is because of a possible but yet far fetched scenario like this. Here we have 5th grader Julian Newman, who is too good to play with other kids his age. He scored 91 points in 3 quarters playing against middle school kids. So now the 4’5 kid is a starter on a high school varsity team in Orlando and playing very well. He recently had a 14 point 8 assist game and that’s better than any game I had in high school and many of you reading this. Let’s say he continues to improve and by the time he’s actually in high school, which is 4 years from now, he’s an online star with tens of millions of video views and tens of thousands of points. He makes himself eligible to be drafted before he’s even eligible to drive. Some team at the end of the draft looks at him the way NBA GMs looked at foreign players 20 years ago and drafts his rights, knowing he wont be playing anytime soon. We now could have a minor in the NBA. A minor that would need a chauffeur to and from practice. A minor that would need a teammate to take him to see a R rated movie. A minor that could have every groupie that will be outside of his hotel door put in jail for statutory rape.
Before this gets too twisted, it’s safe to say that none of the above will happen with the exception of Julian “Handles” Newman becoming an online star and probably a basketball star too. I hope he does, but hopes the scenario mentioned never becomes a reality for anybody.
Read more about Handles over at MaxPreps