The NBA is thinking about bringing in the best at any age.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has dropped the “let’s not allow any players into the league before the age of 20” talking point and is ready to allow extraordinarily talented 18 year old players into the league. The change in thinking has not been explained other than we are ready to make that happen. It probably will not occur until 2021 as the league owners and players association have to approve a change in the present collective bargaining agreement.
The NCAA wants stars and cannot stand the thought of losing a talented 18-year-old after one season but the college basketball industry has a bigger problem that needs to be addressed. A federal probe into its business. One and done has not helped the college basketball industry. Silver said he heard from college coaches and athletic directors that one and done doesn’t work for them which may be a reason for the change. The NBA, in originally keeping 18-year old players out, wanted a more finished product to evaluate and pay, the NCAA would like to develop and keep stars that generate more interest so the colleges can get more sponsorship money. The player should be happy for a chance at playing and maybe a college education. There has been a notion in the past from the college guardians that the talented 18 year olds should kept from playing in their freshmen year and should go to class before playing because they are students first even though freshmen players help the NCAA get billions of dollars from TV. The NCAA claims it is all about education, after all the player is a student-athlete. The NCAA’s education argument is dubious at best. The star players are in college to hone their basketball skills and can always get an education at any time if they want. The NBA wants stars, even if they are 18.
Kobe Bryant came into the NBA at the age of 18.