Monday, February 19, 2007

Bob Knight does not like the NBA's age limit rule

In an article in today's Fort Wayne Sentinel, it was mentioned that Bobby Knight has some issues with the NBA's age limit restrictions.

"Because now you can have a kid come to school for a year and play basketball and he doesn't even have to go to class," Knight said Monday during the Big 12 coaches call. "He certainly doesn't have to go to class the second semester. I'm not exactly positive about the first semester. But he would not have to attend a single class the second semester to play through the whole second semester of basketball.

"That, I think, has a tremendous effect on the integrity of college sports."

Knight's comments come on the eve of when his Texas Tech team will travel to Austin to take on super freshman Kevin Durant and the Texas Longhorns. Now maybe these comments were designed to simply get in the head of Durant and his Longhorn teammates. Or maybe Knight really has a problem with the rule. Thinking outside the box, I tend to agree with Bobby Knight that the new age limit could potentially effect the integrity of college basketball. However, is it hurting or helping the integrity of 'basketball', as a whole? If the NBA is going to be popular, like it was in the Jordan glory days, it needs to put a good solid healthy product on display each and every night. Hiring kids right out of high school puts the NBA at risk of effecting it's very own integrity even more than it already is. Not to mention, there is much more to the NBA than just playing basketball 2 or 3 nights a week. It's all the in between stuff that puts 17-18 year kids at risk. Give them 10 millions dollars and you've multiplied that risk tremendously.

I have gone back and forth on the age restriction rule, but I've come to the conclusion that I agree with David Stern on this rule. However, with every decision you will have exceptions, like Durant & Oden, but I seem to think that the more developed the players are that come into the league, the better off the league is (and Basketball) as a whole. And the more popular the NBA is, the better off the game is the whole way down.

Are there exceptions? Yes. Is it unfair to some kids? Unfortunately. Will the rule effect the integrity of college basketball? In the short term, maybe, in the long term, I think it will help it.


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