By: Kylan Watson
In 2005, former NBA Commissioner David Stern was able to raise the age limit to play in the NBA from 18 to 19 years-old. He also was able to get a rule passed that said that a player had to be 19 and one year removed from high school before, a player could be eligible for the NBA. This rule would later be called the “One and Done” rule. However, according to ESPN it looks like Adam Silver, the current Commissioner of the NBA is looking to rectify the mistake of his predecessor, and change all levels of basketball for the better.
When the NBA created the age limit they wanted to stop high-school players from coming to the NBA, because most of these players were not ready to play in the NBA. A lot of owners and general managers did not want to waste precious team resources on getting a player ready for the NBA.
For every player who made a successful transition from high-school basketball to the NBA like Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, Kevin Garnett, and Dwight Howard. There is also a story of players who could not adjust to the level of play in the NBA like Kwame Brown. Players like Brown would have benefitted from playing college basketball or going overseas to develop as a player.
The “One and Done” rule did come with its set of drawbacks for high school players, who now had a main path to the NBA closed. So many of them did not have much of a choice, but to go play college basketball. A lot of these players were talented and there was big competition for these players from big-time college basketball programs. Duke, Kansas, Arizona, and Kentucky were some of the programs vying for these talented players. These players would play a year of college basketball and leave for the NBA.
What a lot of these big-time college basketball programs did to recruit these players is now being investigated by the FBI. Its against the policy of the NCAA to pay these players and some of these programs allegedly paid these players to come to their respective schools.
This investigation into college basketball also stems from agents and shoe companies being over-involved in high school and college basketball. These shoe companies and agents got involved in levels of basketball that the NBA lost ground on due to its age limit.
The “One and Done” rule was a mistake by the NBA and Adam Silver is seeking to correct it and open an alternative and financially viable path to the NBA for these big-time basketball players. Many of these players come from poor communities, and they cannot make money from their talents playing for the NCAA. They would benefit financially, if the NBA allowed these players to sign with teams in the G-League.
The NBA has a very viable option in its G-League which was not around when the rule was created. The G-league pays players $23,000 dollars per year, and some of the best players in the league have two-way contracts.
The two-way contract allows players to make 75,000 dollars per year and make $543,471 dollars which is the minimum salary in the NBA. The two-way contract allows players to play for their respective NBA team for a few games, and then finish out their season with the team’s G-League affiliate.
The NBA should investigate turning its G-League into a minor-league system and pay these players, so they can develop their talents and be ready for the NBA. The NBA is the best place for basketball in the world, and it is the responsibility of the NBA to make sure that the next generation of basketball talent, stays in the United States and develop their talents.