Poor Millionaires?

April 21, 2008 at 8:55 am | Posted in Jackie Manuel, Lates Links | 11 Comments
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David Glenn looks at why these decisions are taking so long. Six days left and not a hint from any of the players. Bobby Frasor is embracing the pain. Andrew Jones advises all in-state players to come back:

Selfish reasons aside, here’s hoping none of the state’s top college underclassmen leap for the NBA.

They aren’t ready and should avoid long-term mistakes in lieu of short-term profits.

Ty Lawson, Tyler Hansbrough and Wayne Ellington of North Carolina, J.J. Hickson of N.C. State, Kyle Singler of Duke, James Johnson of Wake Forest and Stephen Curry of Davidson will have opportunities to play in the NBA. Most, if not all, are potential first-round selections when they come out.

The problem with so many young talents is they often choose the wrong time to leave school. In a perfect world, especially for us hoops freaks, nobody would leave early.

But they do, and that won’t ever change. Neither will a yearly parade of poor decisions.

An aggregate of mock NBA draft web sites suggests that three of these players are certain first round picks this summer.

‘Selfish reasons aside’ it is never a poor decision to take guaranteed millions over more un-guaranteed millions. I think it is very hard for fans of the college game to understand that. Yes, they could improve their status, but there is plenty of risk in that.

Second-round picks rarely get guaranteed money and have uncertain futures. Former Duke forward Josh McRoberts was the seventh player taken in the second round last summer by Portland and is making $427,164 and may not have a spot with the Blazers next season. He’s in the NBDL but under contract with the Blazers.

Mcbob cost himself plenty of money by coming back after his freshman season. You should not just look at the reward without acknowledging the risk. Not only that, but Jones fails to point out that the real money is made on the second contract, not the first. Since most basketball players have a very short career, coming back is one less year of getting paid and delays the free-agent pay-day as well. Wanting them to come back is fine but criticizing any of these kids for making a ‘poor decision’ to play at the highest level of their trade is not. Tar Heel Fan has all of the rumors.

Getting swept by Jeff Bennett, Chuck James, and Jair Jurrjens is not a good feeling. Brad still has it, Kasey does not. The end of an error. That Suns-Spurs game was incredible. Chris Paul might be the best point guard I’ve seen play the game and Dallas is going to have to go zone and hope New Orleans misses. After watching some of every Eastern Conference game, I am convinced that Boston will not lose more than one game before the finals. P*ck Sean Avery. Klinsmann obscure?



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  1. I understand it completely. At what point does the continued integrity/popularity of the College game become part of the discussion? After the fans begin to lose interest? Sure, let’s just do like the NBA and look the other way.

    off-topic, but certainly in the neighborhood:

  2. I’m not sure I understand what you are trying to say.

  3. I’m saying this is more than just about the kids’ decisions–the NCAA had better start figuring out how to tackle the issue of marginal early exits, most specifically non-hardship and non-lottery picks. Those are justifiable, but these marginal situations like Lawson and Ellington should give the NCAA pause.

  4. But what can they do? The NBA appears to have some power to collectively bargin for age limits and such, but even those rules are on very tenuous legal grounds. What could the NCAA do?

  5. The NCAA can do nothing. If player decides to leave school and pursue a professional career, that player is out of the NCAA’s jurisdiction.

    I don’t think the NBA’s rules are on tenuous grounds at all. I mean, if there are legal back-and-forths on the subject, I think it would make a great blog post to sho what folks are saying. But if NBAPA and the league agree to terms of employment, where is the legal argument? You can’t serve alcohol if you’re under a certain age. Is that tenuous legal grounds? I want to understand.

  6. Also, people have short memories. If Lawson and Ellington go pro, I will watch the same number of Carolina games that I would have watched with Ty and Wayne. I don’t know anyone who believes otherwise. Did Joe Forte’s leaving early hurt the NCAA or the Heels?

    I think there is but one legitimate argument that I or anyone else can make against Ty and Wayne leaving. We want to see them in Carolina Blue next year. That’s it. We can argue precedent and money and professional development all we want. We have no right to claim from the cheap seats that we know what’s best for a player.

    Stay or go, you’ll always be a member of jackie’s family.

  7. The only reason the NBA laws have been upheld is that they are collectively bargained and so some courts have held that the labor laws trump the anti-trust laws. I don’t agree because the kids who it affects were not in the union and thus did not agree to these rules.

    I don’t think an under-age drinking law is relevant. If someone is good enough to play (as LeBron, Kobe, Garnett, etc were) than they should be allowed to practice their trade regardless of age.

    Per Dr. McCann of sportslaw blog:

    Despite recent judicial trends to apply the flexible rule of reason analysis to group boycotts, courts have remained generally consistent in applying the more stringent per se analysis to boycotts where the boycotting group serves as the only option for potential buyers or sellers. In the context of the NBA, high school players, like all potential draft picks, are the sellers since they are selling their talents to NBA teams, the buyers. Because there is no substitute equivalence to the NBA, boycotted players would not be able to secure comparable employment. In this scenario, therefore, high school players would have an excellent opportunity to characterize the ban as a group boycott.

  8. thanks, but I’ll interpret my own words Ed–my biggest concern is not for seeing them in “Carolina Blue” next season, and I’m not concerned about the occasional Joe Forte here and there. I’m worried about how a (admittedly perceived) increasing trend will affect what I consider to be a superior product to the NBA. Again, I don’t know what the answer is legal or otherwise, I just know that if this “trend” continues, it will absolutely adversely affect the support mechanism (the fan base)which makes it all such a viable “enterprise” to begin with. I’m quite sure the NBA never anticipated they would have declining interest & trouble attracting viewers either. And for the record, I’m not making the case that it’s “my right” to claim what’s best for a player. I can however state with a fair amount of certainty, that if a business entity (NCAA hoops) takes it’s customer (the fans) for granted, a percentage of them is likely to leave. The NFL is a superior product in large part, because they understand that fact.

  9. “If they are good enough, they are old enough”

  10. I realize this is an old fashioned notion, but I’m not sure if I’m comfortable with the NCAA’s primary concern being their “product.” If they really are a business, then they need to start paying the players. I for one don’t think that’s the solution, but I think players should have the right to work at 18, not letting some cabal keep them in indentured servitude to assist in marketing. And I really don’t think college basketball is in the least bit of danger. Players have been leaving early for years and we’re all still watching. And the NBA only offers guaranteed contracts for 30 players.

  11. lol, it’s a business alright…and it starts being one as early as 9th grade.

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