As Kentucky waits on the decisions of star underclassmen Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Terrence Jones, and Doron Lamb (though one could probably guess the end result) chatter is picking up about NBA commissioner David Stern and his comments about the NBA draft age limit.
Currently, American-born players must be 19 years of age and one year out of high school.
“We would love to add a year, but that’s not something that the players’ association has been willing to agree to,” Stern told the Associated Press on Tuesday.
With increased pressure on the NCAA’s business model and the age limit that is already in place, some are calling a push for a two-year rule “self-serving” and only in the interest of the owners. Stern could not work something into the NBA’s latest collective bargaining agreement and expects that the change would not be made without concessions from the owners.
The argument against the rule goes as follows:
By forcing players to stay in school for two years, it serves the interest of both the NCAA and the NBA. The NCAA makes more money, by way of more star power in the regular season and post-season tournaments, and the NBA is not forced to make risky drafting decisions, after being able to see players for two years.
It works counter to the interests of the players because they must now risk injury or a declining draft stock by playing two years in college.
Were the rule to be instituted, would I like to see Anthony Davis back at Kentucky for another season? As a greedy spectator and writer who would enjoy covering such a dominant player, yes.
But in the spirit of liberty and the free market, Davis should have the right to take his talents, for better or worse, to the professional level, to profit off of them and shed the cloak of amateurism. If he were to have an underwhelming career at the NBA level and would have been helped by another year, that would be his choice. If he prospers and has a profitable, successful career at the professional level, that would also be a by-product of his choice.
It becomes increasingly difficult to defend systematic alterations that protect the business interests of owners, at the expense of the personal liberty of players. We’ll see what happens in the coming months.