A recent Washington Post article reported that NBA Commissioner Adam Silver believes the NBA’s one-and-done policy, which prohibits NBA prospects to be drafted directly out of high school, is no longer a good policy. And yours truly is with the commissioner on this one — to a point.
To me, it’s pretty cut-and-dry. If a person is talented enough, physically gifted enough and mentally mature enough to enter the NBA immediately after graduating high school, they should be allowed to pursue their professional career without the delay of an arbitrary rule regarding their age and experience.
Really, the only entity that the one-and-done rule unequivocally benefits is the NCAA, which sees potentially NBA-caliber stars funneled into college basketball for at least one full season to help boost TV ratings, while the NCAA also reaps the benefits of the financial windfall that comes with requiring the athletes retain amateur status.
But, at the same time, these athletes need to understand how rare it actually is to make a successful high school to NBA transition, and the NBA franchises need to be responsible enough to tell many of these athletes that they could use more seasoning on the college level before considering the big leagues, rather that merely rolling the dice on their potential.
After all, in the time prior to the one-and-done rule, let’s not forget that for every LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett to successfully make the jump from high school to the NBA, there was a Kwame Brown, Sebastian Telfair and Jonathan Bender who, well, didn’t.
Silver, who targeted the 2022 NBA Draft as potentially the end of the one-and-done rule, thankfully seems to understand that even the best prep players need extensive guidance in preparing for the NBA.
“So, if the rule were to change, we and our players association, USA Basketball, other groups would be working much more directly with those young players to prepare them for the NBA,” Silver said in the Post article.
ON THE ROCKETS
I could go on a much longer rant about the James Harden-led Houston Rockets once again coming up short in the NBA Playoffs, but at this point, is anyone even surprised by this anymore?
It’s been clear for awhile now — and this year’s playoff exit just further reinforced it — that a team can’t win an NBA Championship with Harden as its go-to guy.
He’s been given every opportunity, having been surrounded by highly effective role players, a veteran star in Chris Paul, and an underrated Eric Gordon, but when the playoffs’ bright lights are turned on, Harden, like a cockroach, quickly hides.
So, what do the Rockets do going forward? Will Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta dig even deeper into his pockets and try to lure another superstar in their prime to join forces with Harden and the gang and be that alpha dog in the playoffs that Harden is incapable of being? Or do the Rockets blow it up and rebuild like their neighbors at Minute Maid Park did to great eventual success?
What’s clear is that the current status quo is not a recipe for a Rockets NBA Championship.