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Old 04-13-2005, 08:46 PM   #1
Marc
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Thumbs down J. O'Neal calls NBA's proposed age limit racist

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Stern wants NBA age limit raised to 20

ESPN.com news services

Indiana Pacers forward Jermaine O'Neal said he thinks racism might have something to do with the NBA's desire to put an age limit in the next collective bargaining agreement.

"In the last two or three years, the rookie of the year has been a high school player. There were seven high school players in the All-Star Game, so why we even talking an age limit?" O'Neal said.

The past two rookies of the year were drafted out of high school: The Cavaliers' LeBron James was the 2003-04 rookie of the year, while the Suns' Amare Stoudemire won the award after the 2002-03 season.

Players currently have to be at least 18 to be drafted, but NBA commissioner David Stern would like to see the age raised to 20.
http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=2035132

I think all players under 20 should be forced to play in the NBDL. It would be a lot better for Darko to be playing there than rotting away on the Pistons' bench, for example. I am not in favor of raising it because I think you should be able to learn a living at 18 and the NBA shouldn't take that away. As for racist implications, that's rubbish.
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Old 04-13-2005, 10:00 PM   #2
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I don't think ALL players under 20 should be forced into the NBDL. The under 20 rule is just laziness by the NBA. They don't want to work on a minor league system, they don't want to work with the NCAA, so they come up with this.

There's players ready to enter the NBA before they are 20, there are players not ready to enter the NBA before they are 20. Why not make a system that tackles this issue?

That said, it's probably just positioning by Stern. The chances of getting the age raised to 20 in place is going to be next to impossible, legally. It's obvious that someone CAN come into the league at 18 or 19 years old. It'll be a lot easier to fight this rule as an addition compared to the fight to get this taken away in the NFL, because it hasn't been shown that someone 18-19 can come into the NFL and be successful. This just seems like Stern doing something, then when it doesn't happen, Stern can at least point to this when people go "woah, there are too many high schoolers coming in."

Is it racism, though? Probably not.
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Old 04-13-2005, 10:16 PM   #3
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I have always thought MLB has the best policy. Every HS senior is eligible to be drafted, if you don't get drafted or opt not to sign and you go to college you cannot re-enter the draft until after your junior year. Plus, their minor league system affords major league teams the opportunity to weed out the busts without having to give them a guaranteed multi-year contract worth tens of millions of dollars.

The thing that gets me is if the NBA doesn't want these kids then why draft them in the first round? Only first rounders get the guaranteed three year deal. The only thing being drafted in the second round earns you is an invitation to training camp. All it would really take is one draft where none of these kids go in the first round and they won't see so many kids coming out anymore.

I honestly wonder if this just is not a case of Stern trying to use this as a bargainning chip to get what the owners really want: The elimination of the long-term guaranteed contracts. More NBA teams have to eat tens of millions of dollars on guys who blow out a knee and end up retiring three years before their deal is up. How much money did the Hornets lose on Mashburn the past two years, or the Knicks on Larry Johnson when he retired with several years left on his deal?
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Old 04-15-2005, 11:12 AM   #4
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I agree with Doublee.

Bryan Burwell's commentary:
http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/spo...9?OpenDocument
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Old 04-15-2005, 10:21 PM   #5
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I thought maybe the NBA was trying to put a stop on the torrent of players coming in straight from high school, and encourage going to college and maturing more first... which I can definitely see the point of that..

But then on the other hand, what right do they have to do that? I just don't see that getting pushed through.
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Old 04-16-2005, 12:07 AM   #6
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why not? the NFL does it, why cant the NBA??
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Old 04-16-2005, 12:12 PM   #7
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What cracked me up was the comments ONeall was spewing on ESPN 2. "Whats the difference if a college player fails and if a HS player fails?" How about a college degree moron? It might help you find a job better than flipping burgers at McDonalds.
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Old 04-16-2005, 01:22 PM   #8
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Mike, I understand what you mean there, but how many of these kids that want to go pro at 18 do you honestly think are going to get degrees when forced with the prospects of going to college? These kids have no real interest in going to school in the first place and will do the bare minimum to stay eligible, if they don't have someone else do it for them.

I had the chance to here Kareem Abdul Jabbar speak at my college about 10 years ago and during the Q&A session someone asked him what he thought about all of these kids going pro early without completing their degrees. His response was basically one of what does it matter the kids who are going pro early aren't going to class anyway and were just merely marking time waiting for the right time to enter the pro ranks.

Personally, I would like to see most kids spend at least two years in college. I think most of us who have attended college would agree that we did a lot of growing up the first two years of college being on our own without our parents around.
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Old 04-16-2005, 04:59 PM   #9
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Doublee (and Kareem, and Shaq) are being very cynical. You gonna say there's NEVER a kids who goes to school to play basketball only, and emerges with a conscience, some maturity, and a degree? College at least gaves them A CHANCE to redeem themselves and have something to fall back on if college doesn't work out. And even if only 5% of basketball-minded kids take advantage of that, then it's worth hearing the NBA out.
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Old 04-17-2005, 10:47 AM   #10
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I don't agree with the proposed ban, because judging by some of the recent interviews with a lot of the younger NBA players I have read or seen on TV, these guys couldn't make it through a year of college!.
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Old 04-17-2005, 03:10 PM   #11
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Maybe if O'Neal had gone to college, he wouldn't be saying such STUPID things. :tdown:

The lottery was created to give bad teams immediate help. Half the time, bad teams waste picks on prospects who never develop, and it's a waste for everyone. I think the NBDL needs to be improved and become an MLB-esque minor league system where young players can develop, earn a decent living, and teams can evaluate them.
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Old 04-17-2005, 06:15 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Marc
Maybe if O'Neal had gone to college, he wouldn't be saying such STUPID things. :tdown:
I think O'Neal might be wrong in some of the stuff he's saying, but nothing he has said is STUPID.

He's said that there are racial implications in the age limit raise. He's said that he doesn't think the people behind the idea are racist. So it just seems to me as if he's pointing out the racial implications of the plan.

The one thing obvious from this is that there are racial implications from the plan. Who does the age limit being raised affect the most? Young black Americans. I think everyone who looks at the plan can see that.

Racist? Like I said before, probably not. Racial implications? Uh...yeah.
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Old 04-17-2005, 07:15 PM   #13
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This is another subject that has a few issues that come into play. I won't discount most I've read in this thread except maybe to what % each plays a part.

The reason I don't mind the idea is on a purist angle where it stops the eroding of the basics in the game. Stated examples like Bryant, James, Anthony, etc. doesn't do much for saying they're ready.

While there has been some success in certain areas of their game, on the whole, it's still obvious that they're far from a finished product which in turn lowers the game standards. Also add in the youthful arrogance of some who are reading their own press clippings & it makes it harder for coaches & management to make themselves be heard.

The angle pointed out that a 18 year old kid can go kill someone in war but is unable to play ball is comparing apples & oranges. These 18 year olds aren't being drafted. They're enlisting for different reasons & are unlucky that there was a war to be sent to.

The NBA is a private business who needs to put the best product (yes, players are business products in the business scheme) on the floor to be successful. Expecting them to let in kids in as young as H.S. just to be politically correct & then citing racial discrimination cuz they're suggesting an age limit is extortion.

Playing in the NBA is not a birth right & anyone complaining about an age limit should learn the old adage...Life isn't fair. Also citing that it stops a young kid a chance to make good money for him & his family is pretty silly also. There are thousands of jobs that won't hire a kid cuz of age/experience yet we don't hear a groundswell for racial discrimination on those.

There will always be some affected by different decisions & it's pretty obnoxious when many go out of their way to "catagorize it" into another area just cuz they don't have a leg to stand on.

This instance is a perfect example where you could argue that it's about the standards of the game or the NBA trying to avoid guaranteed contracts to kids with potential but no college ball resume, etc. but yet amongst it all we have O'Neil stirring the Racial Discrimination stew. I know, I know...he didn't ACTUALLY say it was, just IMPLIED that it had racial undertones. So while I wouldn't classify O'Neils statements to necessarily be stupid, I would definitely say they weren't too bright & poorly chosen...

Some just like controversy & if anyone believes this has anything to do with racial undertones apparently they don't follow the NBA. You would see them trying to eliminate slow Caucasions long before you'd see them limit high flying Brothers from the hardwood...
:lol:
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Old 04-18-2005, 04:53 AM   #14
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I agree- that whole playing the 'race card' was definitely stupid, IMO. Anytime a super-rich superstar athlete tries to go with that argument, it is kind of disgusting. O'Neil didn't throw the card down, but with that kind of hinting at it- he might as well have.
Almost as bad as Sprewell pining for a contract, complaining about 'feeding his family'... enough to make you vomit.
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Old 04-19-2005, 02:23 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by Shawndo
I agree- that whole playing the 'race card' was definitely stupid, IMO. Anytime a super-rich superstar athlete tries to go with that argument, it is kind of disgusting. O'Neil didn't throw the card down, but with that kind of hinting at it- he might as well have.
Way, way, WAY off.

You've dismissed O'Neal's concerns out of hand. That's definitely stupid, IMO. I haven't seen anyone in this thread address why they think O'Neal is wrong that race may be involved in this proposal. I think Doug put things pretty well, although I think there's a strong possibility that racism is at least peripherally involved.

The part that really bothered me:
Quote:
Anytime a super-rich superstar athlete tries to go with that argument, it is kind of disgusting.
Race-baiting is awful and yes, maybe even kind of disgusting. And maybe that's all you meant, but you're talking about in the context of O'Neal's statement, which I don't believe falls into that category. He was voicing a legitimate concern, not race-baiting, and not seeking personal profit or protection from the law, etc.

A person's wealth or lack thereof should have no impact on the way we view her/his message. If there's racial injustice at play in any arena, a super-rich superstar athlete has as much right and obligation to call that out as anyone else does.

Our lives begin to end the day we are silent about things that matter.
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Did it disgust you when Bill Russell or Jim Brown spoke out about civil rights? When Arthur Ashe called for South Africa's expulsion from the ATP? When Muhammad Ali refused to serve in what he believed was an unjust war? When Tony Dungy talks about racial issues in today's NFL?

I've read O'Neal's quote, and clearly, he's a better basketball player than speaker. He didn't express himself well, but that shouldn't invalidate his point. Maybe race wasn't involved on any level. But attacking people who raise the idea that it might have been is regressive at best.

Quote:
Originally posted by Tarkus
The NBA is a private business who needs to put the best product (yes, players are business products in the business scheme) on the floor to be successful. Expecting them to let in kids in as young as H.S. just to be politically correct & then citing racial discrimination cuz they're suggesting an age limit is extortion.
Do you have any evidence that the presence of teenagers is diminishing the quality of the product? I'm always on shaky ground here in the NBA forum, because I don't watch it, but it's my understanding that most of them either are above-average or don't impact the game at all. There are about a dozen teenagers in the NBA, half of whom never play. The others are guys like LeBron James and Dwight Howard, or a year ago, Carmelo Anthony, or Amare Stoudemire the season before that. It's not clear to me where the NBA's product is hurt. No LeBron, now that's a financial beating for the league.

I'm also nothing less than mystified that you believe the league "let[s] in kids in as young as H.S. just to be politically correct". How on earth did you arrive at that conclusion? It seems made-up.

Quote:
Originally posted by Tarkus
Playing in the NBA is not a birth right & anyone complaining about an age limit should learn the old adage...Life isn't fair.
Playing in the NBA is not a birth right, but equal treatment is. And "life isn't fair", while true, is an excuse to avoid trying to make things better. Thank goodness Gandhi and Jefferson and King and Mandela and Nader and Roosevelt and Sanger never bought into that. I'm sure you've heard the Serenity Prayer:
Quote:
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
NBA policy is one of the things you can change. Or maybe not you, but Jermaine O'Neal.

Quote:
Originally posted by Tarkus
Also citing that it stops a young kid a chance to make good money for him & his family is pretty silly also. There are thousands of jobs that won't hire a kid cuz of age/experience yet we don't hear a groundswell for racial discrimination on those.
Given that you correctly cited an "apples and oranges" scenario regarding serving in war/playing in the NBA, it's surprising that you'd trot out the fruit yourself. The "thousands of jobs that won't hire a kid cuz of age/experience" do so because the kid in question isn't qualified to perform those jobs. Most of the teenagers in the NBA, on the other hand, have persuasively demonstrated that they are qualified not only to perform their jobs, but in many cases, to excel.

And there's nothing silly about a kid wanting to support himself and/or his family.

Quote:
There will always be some affected by different decisions & it's pretty obnoxious when many go out of their way to "catagorize it" into another area just cuz they don't have a leg to stand on.
I don't follow. What do you mean? Are we still talking about O'Neal?

Quote:
This instance is a perfect example where you could argue that it's about the standards of the game or the NBA trying to avoid guaranteed contracts to kids with potential but no college ball resume, etc. but yet amongst it all we have O'Neil stirring the Racial Discrimination stew.
I know I said this already, but why is this stew? Maybe I'm missing something that's so obvious it doesn't even need to be said, but what makes O'Neal wrong? Why is there so much support for an age limit in the NBA, and so little for an age limit in white-majority sports like baseball and tennis?

Tarkus actually comes closest, here, to making a case, by mentioning "the NBA trying to avoid guaranteed contracts to kids". But -- and again, I'm going by what I've heard -- are college sophomores and juniors really safer bets than the guys coming straight from high school? Two years later and they're predictable? Don't just as many of those guys flame out as the no-college crowd?

More importantly, though, the existence of one point does not eliminate the possibility of other points. 19th-century Southern landowners supported slavery because it helped them compete economically with the industrialized North. True enough. But they also supported slavery because they were racist. The two are not mutually exclusive. In the same way, the NBA can want an age limit for economic reasons or "quality of the game" issues (which is laughable; why did they wait a decade to address that one?) -- but race could still be a factor.

Quote:
Some just like controversy & if anyone believes this has anything to do with racial undertones apparently they don't follow the NBA. You would see them trying to eliminate slow Caucasions long before you'd see them limit high flying Brothers from the hardwood...
Uh-oh. Ya got me. I don't follow the NBA. So please, someone, enlighten me (and Doug, who does follow the NBA).

I do have to call you out, though, on the second half of this, as obviously they're going after the high-flyers (could we stay away from "Brothers", please?) before the slow white guys.
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