Originally written on The Sports Rocker  |  Last updated 4/5/12

DALLAS - FEBRUARY 12: Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban during the NBA All-Star celebrity game presented by Final Fantasy XIII held at the Dallas Convention Center on February 12, 2010 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
Mark Cuban recently put his foot in his mouth about the "one and done" rule the NBA has imposed on high school basketball players who would rather go straight to the NBA. In his own words, "I just think there's a lot more kids that get ruined coming out early or going to school trying to be developed to come out early than actually make it." Mr. Cuban would like the NCAA to keep college basketball players for three years instead of one year.



A long time ago, this concept was called indentured servitude. A young man would have to work a certain time to learn a trade and pay back his "employer" before he ventured out on his own. Now, Mr. Cuban, whom I normally agree with, wants to extend the NBA farm system from one year to three years. Great idea, massa. 


If Cuban doesn't want the Mavericks to draft "one and done" players, then don't. But that shouldn't force kids that are ready for the NBA game to have to wait just because other people don't think they're ready. Do you really think Kevin Durant's one year at Texas helped him that much? How different would the Cleveland Cavaliers be today if they never had a chance to draft Lebron James? If the Hornets never draft Kobe, does he still end up a Laker, and Vlade Divac a Hornet? You get my point, I hope.


Cuban's argument about more kids getting ruined doesn't hold water. How many kids that actually play three or four years of college ball are out of the NBA in a few years? If basketball players can play in the NBA and have NBA potential, then they'll play in the NBA. If not, they won't. It doesn't matter if they've stayed longer in college. Look at Jared Sullinger for instance. He won the Big Ten Freshman of the Year award, the Wayman Tisdale Freshman of the Year award, was the Big 10 Tournament's most outstanding player. So, you're telling me that he should have to play for free for a few more years just because someone made a rule against him earning a living at something he wants to do? Give me a break. In fact, Sullinger has actually seen his draft stock slide because he came back to school for his sophomore year.


The fact is, the NBA has failed horribly at developing young talent. I say the NBA, because they're supposed developmental league is nothing more than a minor league system where kids who aren't ready for the NBA can go play ball. How many of those players actually end up playing in the Association? That should be the bigger issue. 


If kids want to play in the NBA, and they have the skill and talent to do so right now, why shouldn't they be able to? If the owners don't want to pay them, then don't draft them. Of course, that would result in a lawsuit from the NBA Players' Association. Have fun with that one.


It isn't like these kids are going to college to learn 18th century English literature. They're going to that school because - in most cases - that is the basketball program they wanted to play for. Quick, go look at your school's basketball roster and the majors these kids are studying. For clarification, I'm talking about the kids that want to play professional basketball.


What Cuban should be saying is that he doesn't want to take risk on drafting a young kid. That's fair enough. I'm sure there's another team that would love to take pick he might pass on. But for him to say kids need to stay in school another few years is careless.
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