The NBA is horseshit, can we all agree on that? I know the NFL gets a lot of flack for its commissioner, and its out-of-touch owners, but the NBA doesn’t get NEARLY enough credit for its own corruption and ineptitude. The rigged draft lotteries, the meddling with trades, taking multiple cities hostage to force them into building brand new, state-of-the-art arenas they don’t need and can’t afford, making an example of Seattle of all places by helping a bunch of swindling, evil, suicidal cheats steal our team (fuck Aubrey McClendon and fuck his whole family). An NBA that was managed properly would be MUCH more prosperous than it is now, but hey, gotta have a team in that cash-rich Oklahoma City market, right? Not burgeoning Seattle, with all its millions upon millions of tech dollars being infused at the most rapid pace in the country.
Not only does the NBA ruin its own product, but it also has to ruin the college game as well.
As a Husky basketball fan, I can’t be mad at Dejounte Murray or Marquese Chriss for leaving the program after their Freshman seasons. It’s a ruthless business, this professional basketball game. You have to strike while the iron is hot, or else risk getting passed over next year when more fresh, young faces come up. And, who knows, maybe they would’ve tried out a year of college anyway, instead of making the direct leap from high school to the NBA (I’ll admit, I’m not really up on the recruiting game, so I don’t know if they would’ve been highly sought-after without their year under Romar’s tutelage).
What I do know is that it’s unfair and borderline criminal to force kids who don’t want to be in college, to go through the motions of playing a year at a school, only to jump at the first chances they get to go pro.
We’re already talking about an institution in the NCAA that doesn’t give its players a dime, while it (and its member schools) rake in millions upon millions of dollars. Say what you want about the value of a free education, but we’re talking about guys who OBVIOUSLY don’t want one. Guys who take bullshit classes, do the bare minimum of work to get by, just to get their year done with so they can leave it all behind forever as they rake in the millions at the next level. I mean, you hate to take the stance of defending the NCAA, but there’s really nothing they can do about it. The NBA has dictated this inane policy, the NCAA takes in all the money it can, and ultimately it’s the fans that suffer the most.
But, you know, fuck the fans, right? It’s not like we matter. We’re going to be right there, giving these entities our money regardless. Why not do as much as possible to make the product on the floor terrible, while at the same time jerking away any hope for the future?
Of course, with most situations, it’s not as black and white as this. Yes, the One & Done rule is terrible for basketball, but going back to the NBA drafting kids out of high school isn’t going to magically make everything all better. There will still be guys who leave after one season, like I mentioned above. You don’t want to enter the draft unless you KNOW you’re going to be a first round draft pick, because those are the picks with the guaranteed money. What the NBA really needs is a bolstered development league, like what professional baseball has. Each team gets a minor league squad where they can give their kids experience and let them develop at a proper pace, allowing them to bypass college if they don’t really want to be there. You could expand the draft, guarantee more money to those drafted after the first round, and leave room in the college game for people who really want to be there.
There will still be a lot of talent in the college game. People will still watch and come out. The NCAA Tournament will still be high drama. Only, in this instance, you’ll see a lot more teams able to hold onto their players for more than a year.
But, that’s just a pipe dream, I suppose. The hard truth I have to come around to is that Lorenzo Romar isn’t getting the job done. I still don’t necessarily think that means we need to get rid of him, but it does make my job of defending him that much more difficult. Tomorrow (or some damn time in the future), I’ll let out my frustrations on the University of Washington basketball program itself, and the guy in charge of the whole thing. Don’t think you’re not culpable for my state of mind right now!