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
In a veiled shot at Calipari, Roy Williams said he doesn't attend Drafts: "It's not about me. It's about the players." Meanwhile, in 2012… pic.twitter.com/t2Jy50991k— Not Jerry Tipton (@NotJerryTipton) June 26, 2017
Self-parody, thy name is Roy Williams.
Football news keeps getting sweeter.
UK quarterback commitment @Jarren2Williams leaves for Oregon and The Opening Finals tomorrow. Big stage working out with the best.— Justin Rowland (@RowlandRIVALS) June 27, 2017
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
Kentucky places 93 on SEC spring honor roll. Baseball had a total of 21, softball 12. Track and field also had an impressive showing with 35 total between men and women.
Pitcher Zach Thompson has been named 2nd team Freshman All-American by Baseball America.
- The Leach Report: Tuesday Wildcat Links
Baylor involved in yet another NCAA investigation after a sex abuse scandal.
If you need advice, Baylor, I’ll bet Rick Pitino is willing.
- Final Four trip has changed recruiting for Frank Martin and South Carolina. For the better, I hope.
Other sports news
Anthony Davis and Jamal Murray have been honored by the NBA, Davis as 2nd team All-NBA Defensive Team, and Murray to the 2nd team All-Rookie Team.
Monty Williams wins the first-ever Sager Strong Award named after former NBA broadcast legend, Craig Sager.
Russel Westbrook’s emotional NBA MVP acceptance speech made everyone cry — including him.
Philip Haywood, coach of Belfry High School, led his team to its fourth consecutive Kentucky Class 3A championship last year. He’s been named national football coach of they year by the National High School Athletic Coaches Association. Congrats!
Florida is one win away from their first College World Series championship. Brady Singer is an amazing pitcher.
Jack Vance is probably my favorite author, of any genre, of all time. He was a remarkable, unusual writer. His Planet of Adventure series, to me, is one of the more engrossing series in science fiction history. His Demon Princes series is also fascinating, if a bit more dark.
I recommend them both to you, as well as his many short stories. My favorite among them is Dust of Far Suns.