FanDuel - WFBC

April 13, 2005

Jermaine O'Neal plays the race card.: In a nutshell, the NBA wants an age limit in the next CBA. O' Neal calls the idea racist. Of course, he has nothing to back that up, but that's never stopped anyone before. Thoughts?

posted by MeatSaber to basketball at 11:08 AM - 70 comments

And I know this story is 2 days old, but my shorts are in a knot because nobody has raised a stink over this. Just me getting uppity over one of the many double-standards in our society...

posted by MeatSaber at 11:09 AM on April 13

I would say that it is discriminatory, but racist seems to be the wrong word for it.

posted by smithers at 11:14 AM on April 13

Unless I'm mistaken, white people do not emerge from the womb 21 years after conception, so a minimum age rule in the NBA would affect them also. Has Jermaine taken a blow to the head recently?

posted by rcade at 11:16 AM on April 13

Have there been any white high schoolers drafted?

posted by dusted at 11:19 AM on April 13

Unless I'm mistaken, white people do not emerge from the womb 21 years after conception, so a minimum age rule in the NBA would affect them also. Has Jermaine taken a blow to the head recently? I think his argument is something like "nobody's talking about age limits for sports that are majority white." I don't agree, but I think that's what he's getting at.

posted by cobra! at 11:39 AM on April 13

dusted: The white teenagers that get drafted mostly come from overseas. Dirk Nowitzki, Nikoloz Tskitishvili, Darko Milicic and Andris Biedrins are a few recent examples. Robert Swift is the only domestic caucasian teenager to be drafted in recent memory. The true stupidity of this suggested rule change is revealed when you notice that the two previous rookies of the year (LeBron James and Amare Stoudemire) were both drafted as teenagers. And the prohibitive favorite for this season's award? Dwight Howard, drafted first overall out of Southwest Christian Academy high school in Georgia.

posted by Scott Carefoot at 11:43 AM on April 13

Saw him on TV last night, clarifying his statement to say that such a rule would have a disproportionately negative effect on black players - not that The NBA has a conscious racist agenda. Well spoken guy. (And he came straight from HS) They could have made the rule when this first started happening, but now it would seem. . .well. . .unfair. As O'Neal said, let the best players play, regardless of age. I'm glad I heard the interview, it changed my mind. . .or at least, I'm glad he spoke on the issue, as one who went through the experience himself.

posted by rainbaby at 11:52 AM on April 13

I think his statement doesn't break down well into bullet points, but I have to agree with the content, if not the presentation. They were arguing about this on PTI last night and I have to side with Kornheiser. Wilbon's argument was that priorities are all screwed up and young black men should be encouraged to go to college, not to try to make the NBA. That's a complete joke (and a shitty false dichotomy): kids who would otherwise go pro go to college to polish their stock. They don't take real courses. They don't stick around for a degree. All they do is get paid about $30,000 a year to play in a league that earns billions.

posted by yerfatma at 12:11 PM on April 13

I think his point is a good one. He is saying that from his perspective he doesn't see any reason for such a rule except racism. In light of the quality of the high school players (Amare, LeBron), the logic is that owners are having trouble distinguishing the great high school players from the ones that don't pan out. Therefore, the owners would rather not take the risk until they see the players playing more and at a higher level. So the result is that money is being taken from the young black man's pocket to be put in the old white man's pocket. The argument makes sense to me. College is being used as a substitute for a minor league instead of a legitimate educational opportunity. I don't see any reason why this would be better for the players. Anyone can go to college at any age. If your basketball career is over at the age of 30, take some of your money and spend it on an education. It is a good investment at that point.

posted by bperk at 12:28 PM on April 13

So if you move the three point line or make other rule changes does it disproportionately effect black players? Does every rule change? I don't care about his position on the rule or what finally happens on it at all, but he needs a better argument than the ones he's been throwing out there. And I'd have to disagree with him doing well on TV last night. I thought he looked like a real dumbass. His arguments were all bullshit about how its unconstitutional, how an 18 yr old can go to war, etc., and how it happens in soccer leagues and so on. If its unconstitutional on the basis of age, then so is the drinking age or any other permissible line drawing on that basis. If he is saying its on the basis of race, then its a neutral rule and the opposition would have to show that it disproportionately effects members of a protected class, like a specific race, if they got that far even. I don't see that happening. I thought the exact opposite as Rainbaby on his presentation last night, he looked like a dumbass and his arguments were soft. Based on the whole failure of the Clarett vs. the NFL legal battle for doing away with the NFL rule, I'd say they wouldn't have very good grounds for a challenge if the rule were instituted and they went to court. I'm not saying a rule like that wouldn't keep more black players out, or that its not fair...I'm saying its not illegal, and that was much of what he argued last night, that it was illegal and unconstitutional.

posted by chris2sy at 12:44 PM on April 13

Aslo, was it just me, or during last night's tv interview did O'Neal imply that he mistakenly thought Freddie Adu was white?

posted by chris2sy at 01:14 PM on April 13

Hey, if I'm a young black man, I would think the same way O'Neal does. Here's another example of a sport in which my people excel getting new rules - rules that aren't shared by hockey (what's that?), or the other professional leagues, except, hello, football - then I go see a tennis match between millionaire sixteen-year olds. Damn right it seems unfair. Raising the age does what exactly? What is the benefit? Not to mention the fact that some of the NBAs best citizens have been high schoolers - Garnett being the big one that comes to mind. However, from the perspective of the NBA, it would seem that they are concerned about the quality of their product - the fact that though the players are more athletic - the game is worse. What they need is a minor league system - not to raise the minimum entry age. Feed that shit to the idiots.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 01:14 PM on April 13

I thought he looked like a real dumbass As did I. I don't remember who the one guy interviewing him was, but I like that he didn't let up when Jermaine made half-assed attempts to dodge the question of why this rule is racist. He either tried to turn it into something, anything besides racism, or when he did address how the rule was racist, all of his answers boiled down to "I'm black. I don't like this rule. The first word out of my mouth should be 'racism.' I don't have to defend it. My people were oppressed for hundreds of years, so my argument is uncontestable." This rule would effect EVERYONE under 20, be they black, white, brown, yellow...you get my point. Not that I'm opposed to O'Neal in spirit. The rule is bullshit. Anyone who has the ability to play a sport professionally should be able to, regardless of age. I feel you, Jermaine, I really do. But don't try to tell me that it's just another way the Man's trying to keep you down...

posted by MeatSaber at 01:29 PM on April 13

"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. Maybe so you would have taken some English courses in college? Having said that, it's horseshit, and I can't imagine if the NBA forced it that it would hold up in court. You're 18, you're an adult -- go work in the field of your choice.

posted by wfrazerjr at 01:34 PM on April 13

I think his point is a good one. He is saying that from his perspective he doesn't see any reason for such a rule except racism. The real reason for the rule has nothing to do with race. The NBA and NFL have been able to use colleges as a free developmental league. I agree with O'Neal that an age limit is bogus. I just think that playing the race card is inappropriate here.

posted by rcade at 01:42 PM on April 13

The racism allegation was a dumb one, regardless of the questionable merits of the proposed rule. I guess I may have spoken too soon about the Clarett thing and all of that about the age rule probably being beyond challenge. The NBA has already lost a similar challenge in the past: Spencer Haywood. So how does that figure in...how do the Clarett rulings figure in, if at all...has the NBA been somehow been encouraged by the NFL's success at keeping younger players out? I'm glad the Timberwolves took Kevin Garnett when he was just out of High School, but not so much with Ndudi Ebi...so that kind of thing can go either way.

posted by chris2sy at 01:53 PM on April 13

haven't seen much of this, but for clarification, Robert Swift (C, Seattle) came straight out of high school, and they don't come much paler than he. I think that David Stern is trying to save college basketball, but that isn't his job. The NCAA has to figure out how to make top players want to go to college. How? beats me, but this is an NCAA issue, not an NBA one

posted by markovitch at 01:58 PM on April 13

The NBA and NFL have been able to use colleges as a free developmental league. Exactly. The League doesn't give a damn about the development of young men. This is purely a monitary move designed to insulate the league from paying big bucks to high-schoolers, some of whom turn out to be much less successful than expected. The only color motivation behind all of this is GREEN. That said, it's an assinine rule, if the boys can play, let them play. I don't want to see Lebron running around in a Duke jersey.

posted by mayerkyl at 02:03 PM on April 13

Do you remember when the drafting of a teenager was remarkable? Is it remarkable now? What happens when it becomes commonplace and all the best players skip college? Will the college game suffer because it no longer has the top young players? If attendance (and revenue) fall as a result, where will the second tier (those with no hope of being pros) of players go? What about those players that have no dreams of going pro, but use basketball as a means of getting into college? Would this ultimately lead to fewer men (of any color) getting into college?

posted by joaquim at 02:37 PM on April 13

An age limit protects the older players at the end of some team's bench. And most of those players are also black. The difference between having a veteran on the end of the bench versus a 19 year old in the same position is that the veteran can help a team win. To call an age limit racist is an example of loose thinking.

posted by ZDYOLDMAN at 03:19 PM on April 13

It's a sticky issue, and O'Neal is not a politician. I agree the arguments/allegations/whatevers are loose, but it is an issue that will primarily and immediately affect young black men, and it deserves exploration, both pro and con.

posted by rainbaby at 03:26 PM on April 13

A more interesting question is who besides O'Neal is going to object to this and fight for the current rules? The league wants the rule change and I don't see why the union would be opposed to an age limit; the union presumably should be focused on protecting its current members and an age limit does that. The article linked in the FPP suggests that the union has come around to the idea. In any event, the union can always pretend it objects to the age limit and use it as a bargaining chiop to get something it really wants in the next round of collective bargaining.

posted by holden at 04:06 PM on April 13

Are you kidding me? Has anyone seen the REV Jessie Jackson's interview during the final four? He claims it's racist because these poor boys are not afforded the opportunity for a quality education. College basketball just exploits them before they go to the pro's. Is this really the solution to un-educated basketball players? These guy's have a shelf life of about ten years if they are lucky! Then ther'e broke and back on the street with no education whatso ever. This has become the new drug dealership!

posted by volfire at 04:14 PM on April 13

Taxes like this rule never work as intended. If this rule were imposed, why wouldn't progressive-thinking families send their kids somewhere like France where they can make decent money playing in a first-world nation, learn to "play the game right" and polish their draft resume without sharecropping for the NCAA? You can always go to college afterwards. If "These guy's have a shelf life of about ten years if they are lucky!", why not increase that shelf-life by 4 years automatically and start earning at 18? Before we decry Jermaine O'Neal's English, we better clean up the college grads around here.

posted by yerfatma at 05:50 PM on April 13

France = first world nation???? Let's slow down and think about that one for a minute.

posted by ZDYOLDMAN at 06:14 PM on April 13

College basketball just exploits them before they go to the pro's. Is this really the solution to un-educated basketball players? These guy's have a shelf life of about ten years if they are lucky! Then ther'e broke and back on the street with no education whatso ever. This has become the new drug dealership! Hey, I know plenty of caucasion NFL and MLB players who have played the game and have gone back into the world that the rest of us live in, but have fallen on their miserable faces. IT SICKENS ME THAT ANYONE WITH A MINIMUM IQ OF 50 TAKES EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENS AND MAKES IT INTO A RACE ISSUE. Stupidity does not respect race, creed, color, or sexual orientation. In fact, stupidity can strike anyone, at any time, in any place. MY PEOPLE this...my people that...BULLSHIT! I grew up in Alabama. Yes, I am caucasion. However, my great-grandfather actually WAS a sharecropper. MY people NEVER owned slaves, servants, or indentured help. In fact, until the last 20-30 years of his 88 year old life, my great-grandfathernever even owned land. My grandparents, nor my parents ever really made a ton of money. I did not have anyone GIVING me the money to go to college. I HAD TO WORK, SAVE, actually STUDY in order to keep my GPA above board, and still made an attempt to be successful in sports. MY PEOPLE did not have the cash nor the influence needed in order to "buy" my degree, nor was anyone willing to just GIVE it to me. Would someone please pass the tissue to this poor, spoiled, rich kid, who if not for athletics would probably not even be able to find a job in an actual industry, to just SHUT UP, PLAY THE GAME, STOP YOUR WHINING, MAKE YOUR MONEY, TRY TO DO SOMETHING GOOD WITH IT, and when it is all over, once again, SHUT UP and just go home. In the words of Herschel Walker, "I want to say 'Thanks you' to the University of Georgia for this opportunities". Of course there are those who will disagree with this but of course, in this country, it is your right to disagree.

posted by BigAl4Auburn at 06:42 PM on April 13

I doubt the motivation behind the ruling is racism; until someone pulls a bedsheet with a pointy hood out of David Stern's closet, this seems like a case of hearing hoofbeats and looking for zebras rather than horses. IOW, there are simpler possible explanations for why the league wants to propose the rule. Keeping the NCAA as a de facto minor league, yeah, that's one possibility, and both the NBA and the NCAA would be motivated to do so: the NBA to have a farm system that they don't have to pay for or administer, and the NCAA to avoid/delay the slide into irrelevence. For many sports, college athletics is not the ticket to the elite level -- at least, not any more. Tennis? Nope. Golf? Nope. Anything done on ice or snow? Hell, no. Gymnastics? Swimming? Don't think so. Soccer, baseball, prrrobably not that much any more. Hockey, some, but...well. College is it for football, for women's basketball, and -- up until now anyway -- for men's basketball. Seems to me the NCAA became more of a Big Deal than it used to be when it was feeding athletes into two big-money sports. Maybe there are some folks in the NCAA who don't really want to go back to simply regulating sports that are played without the expectation, or even the hope, of going on to the big time.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 08:02 PM on April 13

Before everyone goes off on ill-informed rants (I guess it may be too late...) it might be good to know exactly what the "age-limit" proposal is or might be. An article here says the underage kids can still enter the draft and be drafted, still collect the same rookie pay scale salaries, but have to play in an expanded NBDL until they're 20 (so this does not seem to be a ploy to keep the NCAA as a minor league either, except for the kids who want to go to school or live in the spotlight of a big-time college program.) So the NBA would not be cheating any players, black, white, or whatever, out of salary money. They just would be pushed out of the limelight. I suppose if this had happened to LeBron he may have lost some endorsement money, but probably not all of it. Has anyone seen any other articles that detail the proposal?

posted by pitchblende at 08:06 PM on April 13

On what basis is this rule racist...or even "unfair" for that matter? Pro basketball is just a J-O-B job. Owners made the investments and can run league any way they want if it doesn't violate employment or other laws. The age limit would apply to people of all races equally. If applied (but thank god it isn't), affirmative action would be trying to move these JOBS to equally talented NON-black people based on the current distribution in the NBA vs our Population. Instead, the affected minorities to which the articulate ONeal refers would still be free to pursue their dream on equal footing against any young or old white dude who wanted the same job. I don't see the racism there. It isn't even age discrimination because 18 year old men are not a protected class in any legal sense. And the "old enough to fight a war" argument rings hollow b/c the US operates a voluntary military. No, I think we are just looking at a bunch of rich guys trying to figure out how to de-risk nine-figure investments in the team by limiting exposure to further eight-figure investments on unproven players who are unpredictable professionally (personally, and even ethically). You say "Garnett". I say "Ebi x 10." Hell, look at the hit rate of college players who left early and tell me you now want to gamble on a guy who hasn't played more than a handful of games against even one guy of NBA caliber. Only law that does apply here is "Supply and Demand". If unproven 18 year old hoop studs (usually with limited usable skills beyond the court) are in such demand, someone else can just form another league to showcase their talents and make a boatload of dough there. Now that I think of it, let's hope they raise the limit and we can all pool our money to start a minor league... who is in for $100?

posted by 15Vikings at 08:09 PM on April 13

oneal is right but i rather see high schoolers go to college and they should have an age limit b/c i think college networks are losin some great players to make ratings imagine we saw kobe r lebron james in college these days it looks like they pick anyone out of highschool plus i think it sucks that highschoolers are picked as #1 instead college players thats disrespect for college ballers who proven why they play hard and why most of the time they more mature out college. highschoolers should should be the last #20-30 players to be drafted.

posted by dhdefrag3x at 08:28 PM on April 13

Perhaps college should be a prerequisite for posting here; maybe a rudimentary knowledge of the English language and the layout of a standard keyboard, including the "shift" key.

posted by mr_crash_davis at 08:47 PM on April 13

I took third-year Shift Key Operation and I still don't fully understand it.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 10:47 PM on April 13

I think what Jermaine Oneal said has some validity. Take the Olsen Girls, Gary Coleman, and other famous child actors, there is no cap on the amount of money they can make. Their Agent's job is to negotiate for the highest amount possible. If he can land a $2,000,000.00 a year contract for a movie, tv show, record deal, etc he is doing his job for his client! I think it is silly to say that young men have to attend college or go to a training league to prove their worth. Alot of these young men are not college material. This should not keep them from earning a living. There are several kids who get deals for dirt biking, skateboarding, and other extreme sports, should they too be told there is a salary cap or that you must attend college to participate? Let the free enterprise system work for these young men. The same hypocrites who carry on about these young men becoming millionares, are the same folks who rant and rave about Bill Gates leaving school early to create a multi-billion dollar company. What if someone forced him to finish school, we might not be communicating this evening. In short, let these kids do their thing! If this is their opportunity to make money......GOD BLESS 'EM!

posted by coolclyde at 10:59 PM on April 13

Yeah, worked out really well for the Olsens, all the child actors from Gary Coleman's old sitcom and loads of other child actors. Well... unless you count eating disorders, drug habits and criminal records as negatives. Society passes laws to protect children because they can't protect themselves. And it seems a perfectly legit thing to do. Now, 18 is the age of majority and so it can be claimed that we shouldn't have rules to protect adults from themselves. However, the question is what is best for those involved in the game: owners, coaches and players. Something tells me the game would be better without so many uncapable teens at the ends of benches. (See, e.g. Darko Milicic)

posted by ZDYOLDMAN at 11:08 PM on April 13

If a white guy would have made the same statements the NAACP, AFLCIO and Black Panthers would have been on the poor guys door step until he begged for mercy and forgiveness. When are we going to stop the reverse discrimination in this country and I don't want to hear the excuse that black people were slaves and the whiteman owes them something. We were very wrong by having slaves, but we did bring you to this country. I'm assuming that was a good thing. I would be all for reprerations for those individuals who actually were slaves. How many are left? Stop bitching about the past and get on with your lives. You people keep your own race down by hiding behind excuses why you can't do better. You don't overcome, we keep handing everything to you. Someone needs a wake up call and need to learn that if you never have to work for anything in your life, all that you think you achieved is meaningless. Life is but a fleeting moment in time and no one remembers your name 50 or 100 years from now, unless you had a positive impact on the world while you were here. Jermaine O'Neal's comments just go to show you that he did'nt use the free education he received too well, but boy can he play basketball. What a fool and does he really think anyone really pays attention to him unless he is playing basketball.

posted by cheramieiii at 11:12 PM on April 13

Several "big named" African-Americans are really doing more harm than good, especially in regards to racial equality. Let's see......does the word "Ebonics" mean anything? If anyone in this country is under the age of 50 and they are still bitching about slavery, segregation, having "the man" keep them down, etc, then my original comment about Stupidity does not respect race, creed, color, or sexual orientation. In fact, stupidity can strike anyone, at any time, in any place. is right on target. Especially when there are so many organizations dedicated specifically toward helping minorities (ACLU, NAACP, etc.) Just let someone come up with the National Association for the Advancement of Caucasions (NAAC) and just wait for the hellstorm to start. 99.999% of the caucasion people living in the country never owned slaves. Just like 99.999% of the African-Americans living in this country were never owned. It is because of people like "The Reverend Jesse Jackson" and his wonderful attempt to excuse his total ignorance of something as common as the English Language (Ebonics...oh yeah, stupidity now has a new name) that allow anyone, especially African-Americans, to remain enslaved to their own lack of ambition. Excuses do not serve to make things better, only to use smoke and mirrors in order to take the focus off the actual issue. Thanks Jesse, Jermaine, Rev Sharpton...however, please do not keep trying to help my friends (of African-American origin). They have taken responsibility of their own lives and have stopped listening or giving your stupid excuses. "If you think an education is expensive...try ignorance."

posted by BigAl4Auburn at 04:14 AM on April 14

Step 1. Learn to spell it Step 2. Rejoin under a different member name

posted by yerfatma at 06:20 AM on April 14

Perhaps college should be a prerequisite for posting here; maybe a rudimentary knowledge of the English language Jermaine called, he finds this policy to be racist.

posted by mayerkyl at 06:41 AM on April 14

Oh my god, the cans of worms being opened up in this thread. I don't know how or why some of my fellow white folks went from Jermaine O'Neal playing the race card to ill-informed tirades about reparations -- a discussion that is decidedly off-topic and beyond the scope of this forum -- but if you're going to go there, anywhere, you need to educate yourselves a little. Some of the recent posts in this thread are heading towards suggesting that because the current US population contains neither slaves nor slaveowners, any talk about racism is necessarily bogus. In support of this, some of you are dragging out some rather tired racist stereotypes, and it's all like sitting at the dinner table with someone who wants to give a speech and who doesn't even know that they've got spinach on their teeth. It makes me cringe, because you're making asses of yourselves and you don't even know it. Please stop. To try to return this to something at least peripherally related to sports, let me address something coolclyde said: I think it is silly to say that young men have to attend college or go to a training league to prove their worth. Alot[sic] of these young men are not college material. This should not keep them from earning a living. There are several kids who get deals for dirt biking, skateboarding, and other extreme sports, should they too be told there is a salary cap or that you must attend college to participate? Let me play devil's advocate for a moment, and suggest that this is somewhat a case of apples and oranges. Dirt biking, skateboarding, and other extreme sports are not team sports. Excellent young thrashers are often what you could almost call skateboard nerds: it's what they do, it's all they do, obsessively, over and over again. They practice constantly and so, while they are still chronogically young, their experience level can still be pretty high. The same isn't true with a team sport, where there is a teamwork aspect of skills that just isn't present with an individual sport. You can drill individual skills on your own, up to a point, but beyond that you need a team to work with to develop that set of skills. Furthermore, your ability to develop in this dimension is going to be limited by the team's skill level. Clearly, there are individual basketball players who can go directly from high school to the pros and make it work. There's nothing to really stop that from becoming the rule rather than the exception, but it's still a huge step up from the top high school team to the NBA. College creates an intermediary step, another level where the best kids come from high school and find that all of a sudden, they're not so far ahead of those around them in terms of skill -- or maybe they're just somewhere in the middle of the pack. They have to learn to play in a different kind of team -- and then make another adjustment when they go to the pros. It's a step up to college, and another step up to the pros, and turning those two steps into one works for some, but I think not for many.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 06:47 AM on April 14

Wow, folks are using this post to rant about anyone calling anything in this country racism. How enlightened! A policy can be considered racist if it disproportionately affects one race even if the other race is only doing it to make money. The owners are doing it just to make more money, therefore, race couldn't possibly be an issue? The policy removes the normal market factors (supply and demand), and puts all of the risk on the players (mostly black) instead of the owners (mostly white). O'Neal is not just crying racism indiscriminately because, in fact, one race is facing a disproportionate burden regardless of the intent of the policy.

posted by bperk at 07:10 AM on April 14

Who turned this into the Rush Limbaugh show? I think any argument about race that includes the phrase "you people" should probably be reconsidered. And expecting people to be grateful that their ancestors were kidnapped and brought here in the disease-ridden hold of ships to work as subhuman property -- probably a non-starter too -- though apparently that idea still finds some support in Alabama. For me, the issue of racial disparities hit home in college when I saw a photograph of Alfred Tennyson Miller, the first African-American allowed to attend my alma mater, the University of North Texas. In 1954. He could have been my grandfather. Slavery ended in the 19th century, but the systematic denial of opportunities for African-Americans affected a lot of people who are still alive today. If your grandparents were barred from college, it limited the economic opportunities of your parents, and by extension your own. The idea that we're all completely equal now, and the real oppressed minority is white people who don't have a group of their own like the ACLU (!), is about as dumb as millionaire NBA players believing they are held down by The Man.

posted by rcade at 08:15 AM on April 14

what is the world is wrong with this forum? cheramieiii should be ashamed of it's self for throwing a whole group of people into one pot. Hey cheramieiii all of you "white poeple need to stop paying immigrants to cut your lawns" see how easy it is to make a stupid statement. I obviously am not as good at is as you, but a valid attempt non the less. Why are people so quick to state that J.O. is a millionaire and should stop crying, when people say that they are shwoing that they did not read the article with a clear and open mind! What he is trying to point out is this will really hurt mostly black and euroepan youngsters who do not want to go to college and get pimped out by the likes of Miles Brand, and others. In this country you can do whatever you wants as long as you know how to do it. If these kids were no good the owners would'nt draft them. Hell if they were going to just draft kids they feel are not going to be any good you would see alot more white american ballers out there, but these owners are chomping at the bit to get there hands on the next Lebron james.

posted by rockhard10 at 09:28 AM on April 14

The rule stinks but the race card is BS. With that thinking, if I live in an upscale neighborhood which is predominately white and the state passes a new tax law that raises taxes based on property values, does that make it racist against whites.

posted by scottypup at 11:02 AM on April 14

No, because the discrimination is based on relative value of assets -not 'you can't live here if you aren't of a particular demographic' (be that age, race, what have you). There's only two types of people that I hate: Racists.... and the Chinese.....

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 12:03 PM on April 14

Can't believe you just said that, but I laughed, hard, and then felt guilty.

posted by mayerkyl at 12:47 PM on April 14

There's only two types of people that I hate: Racists.... and the Chinese..... Don't forget Serbians...

posted by chris2sy at 12:54 PM on April 14

check out Scoop Jackson's column http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=jackson/050414

posted by markovitch at 02:07 PM on April 14

Scoop - adds nothing.... takes 3 pages to repeat what O'Neal said... To zero conclusions. But, I still think he has a point - crazy, huh?

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 02:08 PM on April 14

rockhard10 wrote: What he is trying to point out is this will really hurt mostly black and euroepan youngsters who do not want to go to college and get pimped out by the likes of Miles Brand, and others. ...which brings up another point, and that is that this whole collegiate athletics thing is very much a US phenomenon. While people are arguing the shoulds and shouldn'ts of kids going direct to the NBA from high school, Australian Lauren Jackson wasn't coming out of college when she joined the WNBA and started playing professionally. Okay, she was 20, barely...but she was playing for the Aussie national team at 16, she competed in the world championships at 17, she played in the Olympics at 19...she had plenty of elite-level competition experience before she was 20. I don't know offhand of any country apart from the US where the path to the top in any sport leads through college. So, as games like basketball and leagues like the NBA (and the WNBA, and MLB, and and and...) become more international in scope, the policy starts to look more and more like an anachronism. But it's also a sacred cow. Barbecue, anybody?

posted by lil_brown_bat at 02:15 PM on April 14

Adidas paid high school point guard Sebastian Telfair $15 million before he was even drafted by the Trail Blazers last June. The kid's 5-foot-10. He's the shortest high schooler taken in the first round ever -- by six inches! If shoe companies and pro sports teams think there's so much value in a prep star, why should an NBA rule be instituted that protects them from doing this?

posted by rcade at 02:23 PM on April 14

why should an NBA rule be instituted that protects them from doing this? why: because NBA-type money corrupted their former nu-Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and the NBA wants to avoid further embarassment. should they: no, but when was the last time what 'should' happen dictate anything in the sports world.

posted by garfield at 02:45 PM on April 14

I still haven't heard a good argument that this is 'racist' policy.

posted by 15Vikings at 02:45 PM on April 14

Not to mention that Telfair is African-American, rcade. Since I wasn't familiar with him before this comment, I had to go look because if he was white then some people might argue that skin color beats height but that isn't happening with the kid. Talent seems to be trumping, as it should.

posted by billsaysthis at 03:01 PM on April 14

Telfair's supposedly a telegenic, media-friendly, talented player, but I have trouble believing he'll amount to anything in the NBA without a growth spurt. He's a cousin of Stefan Marbury, and there was some bad blood between their families because Marbury moved his immediate relatives out of their bad neighborhood after he turned pro. The same thing was a big motivator behind why Telfair took the money over college -- which is another reason to support the lack of an age limit. If a kid's talented and a paycheck can help take his family away from poverty and crime, why should that be delayed for a couple years?

posted by rcade at 03:20 PM on April 14

why: because NBA-type money corrupted their former nu-Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and the NBA wants to avoid further embarassment. I'm not sure why we have to assume that it was money that corrupted him. I'm sure there are many people in all financial levels of society that are just as messed up as Bryant.

posted by grum@work at 03:44 PM on April 14

Will the college game suffer because it no longer has the top young players? ummm, did you watch March Madness this year? Did you see the UM-Indiana championship? Methinks the suffering has already begun.

posted by Mike McD at 04:23 PM on April 14

I understand where jermaine is coming from. Hockey and baseball are predominatly white sports(baseball isn't going to be for too long) have no age limit. It is possible in both sports to be drafted right out of high school, so why baskeball? Especially since a majority of the superstars were college jumpers. Kobe, Garnett, Amare, Lebron, and Jermaine all were high school players. Football is understandable, your body needs to mature, and the constant pounding is hard on a young body. When this topic of players jumping college came up a couple of years ago, I was for keeping these kids out for at least two years or so, but after the boom of so much talent with Josh smith, Lebron, Dwight, and Amare I say there is no need for it. I believe if this was a sport with players being predominatly White, the issue of an age barrier wouldn't even come up. I hate to say it, but a lot of this black players don't have the mean (grades) to go to school. And if the only way you are going to get out of the hood is jumping to the NBA, so be it. However, these kids gamble with their future because there isn't a college degree to fall back on. If they want to leave let them, because they are the ones that have to deal with the consequence if they get hurt or are cut from a team.

posted by Squeakytorres at 04:27 PM on April 14

Soccer is another example, even in America, look at Freddie Adu signing last year for MLS and even now he's not 16. Landon signed for Bayern Leverkusen at 16, Rooney and Millner were starting in the EPL as 16 year olds.

posted by billsaysthis at 11:39 PM on April 14

Well, well, well. I guess that should just about cover the topic of race. What was the original thread? I suppose I am also guilty of following the rabbit trail and hopped away from the main point.

posted by BigAl4Auburn at 12:27 AM on April 15

For an economic perspective, check out www.thesportseconomist.com It could all be about players with their unionised labour combined with owners minimising risk.

posted by owlhouse at 02:50 AM on April 15

I weap for the youth of America. This is a situation of "Not getting what I want", that I hear from my 3 year old quite often. Without a doubt there are High School Athletes that are capable of competing at the Professional levels of all Sports. However, this is the exception rather than the rule (ie., Michael Jordan trying to hit a curveball). Baseball does draft out of High School, but those players are subsequently shipped off to minor league club across the country to compete with other "High School Studs" where the cream of the crop can come to the surface. I have seen with my own eyes tremendous high school athletes, 400+ hitters that were sent home before camp ended because they couldn't bat their body weight. I know you have all heard, "when I was a child, I thought like a child...etc." He may be the best basketball player on earth, but if he had spent half as much time in the Library and working on his grades, College Basketball would not be viewed as a punishment to him. No one is holding him back but himself. I for one do not feel sorry for him, I wish the league would go ahead and pass the minimum age rule and send him a flier for a local community college where he can work on hig grades, transfer to a 4 year college of his choice and then enter the pros with a degree.

posted by krwise2001 at 12:36 PM on April 15

coolclyde u r so right man cheramieiii is fuckin dickhead and really this turn out to be a rush limbguah shit i think high schoolers is just hurting college teams but if u jump and get out of the hood and save ya family thats the best thing only those haters sayin "those people or u people" is losers

posted by dhdefrag3x at 01:06 PM on April 15

grum, agreed. its my assumption. dhedfag3x : damn son! your writing might make spofi institute an age limit of 6.

posted by garfield at 01:18 PM on April 15

Stop fucking telling me about the importance of education if you didn't pay attention during your own.

posted by yerfatma at 02:18 PM on April 15

This bickering is pointless...yerfatma, release him!

posted by MeatSaber at 02:45 PM on April 15

krwise, you are certainly welcome to your opinion but I read that statement over three times and all I get out of it is that you think education is more important than getting paid. So for your three year old, bring him up with that value and I say fine, way to be a good parent. But why you think that everyone should choose that standard or that rules should enforce it is beyond me despite the rambling.

posted by billsaysthis at 12:02 AM on April 16

Unfortunately, his account is locked.

posted by yerfatma at 11:51 AM on April 16

An age limit for the NBA wouldn't be a problem for me if the only alternatives for 18 year old Americans was either to go to college or play in Europe. I'm all for the value of a college education (it is why I'm getting one!) but one thing I don't think the university needs is students going to college to get a degree in basketball. I saw a "town hall" meeting on ESPN debating whether or not NCAA athlete's should be paid. Many of the points made in that debate are salient here. To his credit, John Thompson noted that he didn't care about an education when he came to college, but he got one anyway. Thompson's point is that everyone should go to college. Although I agree with him, I don't see it as a good thing if we are to say that since everyone ought to go to college everyone must. The money issue at the NCAA level comes in to play here. LeBron James would have made millions upon millions of dollars for Ohio State University in jersey sales alone. This point isn't disputable: representatives of the NCAA on the ESPN show admitted that although player names aren't allowed to be on jerseys, the Universities are contacted by jersey producer as to which numbers are likely to sell the most. A percentage of jersey sales goes to the schools. Yes, it is a good thing for the LeBron James's of the world to get a college education. However, I don't think it is a good thing to require them to sacrifice their ability to earn millions of dollars on an NBA court while also generating a similar level of income for their education. By going to college, I'm missing out on minimum-wage hourly position jobs. Obviously college is an easy choice for me if I am competent enough to go. If Subway offered me a multi-million dollar contract to jump from high school to their sandwhich line, of course I would take it. That kind of financial security is only available to few. As others have said, I can always go back for a degree later.

posted by chmurray at 01:47 PM on April 18

fuck u garfield talkin about age u have a gay screen name

posted by defrag3x at 11:10 AM on April 19

what's that defag3x? I can't hear you.

posted by garfield at 11:42 AM on April 19

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