clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Kentucky Wildcats Morning Quickies: One And Done Edition

Coach Cal talks more about the NBA draft rules, and what he'd like to see.

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen of the Big Blue Nation, and welcome to the Tuesday Morning Quickies.

There has been a lot more talk about the “one-and-done” rule lately, and UK coach John Calipari has been doing his share of the talking. Yesterday, the Herald-Leader had an article describing how Coach Cal thinks things should go if the NBA simply abolishes the current rule and allows players to go straight to the NBA. Consider:

Players who go directly from high school to the NBA should be paid NBA-type salaries, not salaries typical of the NBA’s developmental league, or as it’s now known, the G League, Calipari said.

If the baseball rule means, say, $20 million contracts out of high school, "I’m good, I’m fine," Calipari said. If players would be paid developmental league salaries, "I’ll be shouting from the mountaintops saying, ‘What is this going to do to a generation of kids? … You get one or two years to make it, and now you’re out. … Who’s taking care of those kids, now?"

I’ve said many times that appending the descriptor “kids” to 18-year olds who have to make decisions for their lives is unfair to them and to the public, making it look like they are both incompetent and deserving of some kind of special protection. Both may be true, but at 18, they get to run their own lives according to our laws. If we don’t like that law, we should change it.

When a young person graduates and decides to go straight to the job market in, say, automobile repair, how many of us worry about what salary they will be paid, or “who’s taking care of them?” Not Calipari. Not you, unless you’re related, and not me. We assume they have reached the age of majority and can make their own decisions.

But somehow, athletes are special, apparently. If you see an eye roll in that last comment, you get me.

Let me first say that I have no stake in the NBA, so I don’t care what they do. If they want to draft high schoolers, that’s fine by me, but what they pay them is up to the league. When you become old enough to make life-changing decisions, you have to live with the consequences of those decisions.

From a business standpoint, if I were the NBA commissioner, I’d want to move the draft eligibility out to three years, ideally. If you move it out too far, you shorten playing careers too much — not far enough, and too many players bust. No drafting out of high school. No more LeBron James or Kobe Bryant’s and no more Sebastian Telfair or Kwame Brown’s.

Having said that, I’d expect the best I could get would be two years removed from high school. I’d take that over the current arrangement.

Finally, if young players want to play professional ball right away, by all means they should be able to, but not for the NBA if I was the commish. They can always go to the D-league (or “G” league now, I guess), overseas, whatever. They are 18 and if they want to skip college for whatever reason, that’s perfectly okay by me. But if I'm NBA commissioner and the union rules allow me to set age limits, then I’m going to take advantage of that for the best interests of the business.

Also, these young men don’t deserve special treatment — my sister’s kids didn’t get special treatment when they went straight from high school to being taxpayers, so why should athletes be special? Yet somehow, people like Coach Cal spend time telling us what their salary level should be if they go to a business in which he has no skin in the game. The league’s success or failure won’t affect his salary one bit, yet he wants to tell the NBA how they should spend their money.

Good luck with that.

Tweet of the Morning

Self-parody, thy name is Roy Williams.

Your Quickies:

Kentucky football
Kentucky basketball
  • Cameron Reddish, a consensus top-5 2018 recruit, is playing for Coach Cal on the U-19 Team USA, and knows what his coach expects.

  • Luke Win talks about Hamidou Diallo’s current development, and what he’s likely to bring to both Kentucky and the USA U-19 team.

  • Coach Cal has kind words for the NCAA? Why, yes, yes he does:

    “Very rarely do I speak highly of the NCAA, but in this case what it did it challenged a generation of kids to do better academically, to be on point, to get themselves where they need to go. The NCAA this year reported, we had the highest graduation rate in men’s basketball for African-Americans. Ever. Ever. So my kids all finish the term. I don’t know where they got this, ‘They don’t go to school.’

Other Kentucky sports
College football
College basketball
Other sports news
Other news