Widening the Waters

This post is supposed to be the first of two concerning some of the social implications of David Stern’s recent and controversial impositions on the league, beginning with a long overdue look at the age limit and ultimately ending with an examination of the new technical foul guidelines.
I imagine that I am not unique for having spent a sizable portion of my childhood alone on the blacktop, oscillating between attempting to improve my game and imagining the future NBA glory that awaited me. Acting as both announcer and star, I narrated myself hitting game winning shot after shot over the outstretched arms of scores of beleaguered defenders.

Like a toddler declaring he wants to be a horse when he grows up, my own hoop dreams were equally unrealistic. Of course, no one ever told me, and no one ever should have. Regardless of how those daydreaming afternoons planted seeds of self-discipline and love of the sport, regardless of the demonstrated cognitive developmental benefits of engaging in pretend play as a preadolescent, regardless of basketball unshackling me from the television, there is simply no moral justification for crushing the hopes and dreams of a child.

For a long time, I remained unequivocally faithful to this simple axiom while I taught at one of the poorest schools in Mississippi (which, not surprisingly, was 100% black). When one of my 7th grade students would boast about his envisioned dominance on the hardwood, and all the money and notoriety that would follow, I could never tell him to find a new dream, I could only tell him that for now, he was stuck with me as his David Stern.

Orlando Johnson was one of my best and favorite students in 2004. Despite a father absent since birth, and a mother bouncing between jail and rehab, Orlando managed to raise his younger sister, earn excellent grades, and start as point guard for our middle school team. While blessed with quickness, coordination, and a strong work ethic, Orlando should consider himself lucky to ever top 5’7”. One evening, we stayed after practice to work on shooting mechanics before I gave him a ride home. During the drive, we chatted about his grades, his home life, and the NBA.

Our conversation lulled briefly and enabled Orlando to make what sounded almost like a pained confession. “You know what,” he told me, “I think I might have to go college before I can jump to the pros. I just don’t see my game being good enough by the time I finish high school.” That one of my most gifted and hard working students felt resigned to go to college shocked me. To him, an admission of collegiate aspirations revealed some kind of weakness within him, in the domain in his life with which he most strongly identified.
For so many of the kids I taught, dreams of basketball and dreams of college were mutually exclusive. For those convinced that a life of fame and wealth on the court awaited them, seeking higher education was construed at best, as irrelevant, and at worst, as an indication that they had failed in their quest to reach the league as soon as possible. I’m not sure that any amount of rational discourse might have persuaded these kids to find an alternate dream, and maybe the fact that I couldn’t bring myself to try indicated a failing on my part as well, but dreams of future success didn’t vary much in Indianola, Mississippi; almost no 7th grade boy aspires to be a young black doctor, lawyer, or entrepreneur because he’s never seen one and has been inundated with subtle and overt cues, practically from birth, that he can never become one.

I don’t mean to sound too melodramatic. For almost everyone, hoop dreams degenerate into painful hoop realities sometime around 9th grade at the latest. But for a kid born into poverty and a dysfunctional public education system, high school is often too late to decide that college may be for him after all. That college aspirations must come as early as 5th grade is a mantra adopted by nearly all of the most successful charter schools that specialize in educating low income minority students. Many of my 7th graders began the year three or four grade levels behind in math and reading and with little reason to see any value in investing time and energy into a system that had so consistently marginalized them and let them down.

The implementation of the age limit will not close the achievement gap. It won’t force books into the hands of inner city youth and supplies into their classrooms. But it will enable teachers and parents to tell their budding 7th grade superstar of the future that the road to the NBA runs through college. How can a 7th grader who knows he needs to go to college not be better off than a 7th grader who thinks college is for failures?

Some may argue that the collegiate experience envisioned by these 7th graders may be little more than skipping classes, ruling campus, and partying. However, nearly all of these kids won’t attend school to play ball, and have six years to recognize that a diploma may be their best tool for escaping poverty.

Countless athletes and writers have pointed out that the NBA’s age limit unfairly singles out young black men. It restricts them from earning a living playing basketball, despite the fact that dozens of other players have demonstrated they can excel in the league and contribute to it both as players and citizens. The age limit has been branded as “racist” and “unconstitutional.” The validity of some of these arguments cannot be refuted, but I don’t care. That six or seven preternaturally gifted high school kids must wait an extra year before they can begin their newfound life of opulence could not be any more overshadowed by the paradigm shift in mentality of thousands of young men who now must accept that college needs to be part of their future.
David Stern stuck to defending the age limit in strictly financial terms. He spoke of protecting the investments of the owners, and of using college basketball as a means of making his players famous before they even enter the league. I’m inclined to think that David Stern’s social conscious may have also informed this decision; I suspect he recognizes the tremendous impact that the NBA has on low income black communities and, without delving too deeply into a psychological profile of the man, that he feels responsible for helping the communities that pump so much lifeblood into his league (see his more than $800,000 contributed to Democratic candidates [an obviously debatable piece of evidence] and his description in David Halberstam’s Playing for Keeps). Maybe he sees himself as a modern day Andrew Carnegie, maybe he’s afflicted with Alexander Portnoy’s stereotypical Jewish guilt-complex (which often manages to manifest itself paternalistically).

Yet Stern’s justification for the age limit need not be considered; motivation and consequence usually dine separately. While measuring the social impact of the rule may prove impossible, every dollar or hour of time donated and every gesture or policy that helps people still does just that. Given the tremendous impact that the sport has on so many people, sometimes it’s important to remember that basketball is all about more than basketball.


At 12/21/2006 10:51 AM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

something no one but burns has ever talked about: a disproportinate hs draft picks have been from the deep south. as much as it was assumed that "everyone with the talent would jump," clearly kids in that region were more likely to jump than others. unless other parts of the country just don't turn out pro-ready prospects at the same rate, which seems weird and unlikely.

not sure if this point agreed or disagrees with fb, but does this have something to do with the (lack of) a culture of college ball in those areas?

At 12/21/2006 10:51 AM, Anonymous mutoni said...

good to see you posting again.

At 12/21/2006 11:28 AM, Blogger whitefolks said...

shoals: In Florida, as with most high schools in the south, high school football reings supreme, but basketball is in the social fabric. I'm afraid I can't give specific examples backing up my belief that the AAU structure in the South supplants and has become entirely symbiotic with the schools themselves. These teams carry the same weight and cache on that side of development as playing for Oak Hill Academy or Duke.

The level of competition that goes on year round in the various amateur basketball venues is good enough for those players in the south to feel more confident about an NBA-ready game earlier than their national counterparts. Monta Ellis was drafted in the second round and has turned out to be a first-round quality pick and was relatively unknown to most fans on draft night.

At 12/21/2006 11:39 AM, Blogger Gladhands said...

Shoals- At the risk of coming off as a condescending Northerner, I’m willing to venture (based on no statistical data) that fewer Southern students achieve the requisite SAT scores for NCAA ball. Some of America’s worst public school systems happen to be in Southern states. That, combined with the typical Southern hip-hop fan’s* aversion to complex wordplay and vocabulary can lead to dismal standardized test scores.

*Weezy and his ilk may be popular in the blogosphere, but in the south, his level of lyrical sophistication is decidedly not what’s hot in the streets.

At 12/21/2006 11:58 AM, Blogger whitefolks said...


As one who resides in the technical, but not specifically the "south" in Florida, who is lyrically standing out down here?

Are you looking at people that get radio play, those whose names are traded around like secrets amongst heads or some other artist entirely?

At 12/21/2006 12:05 PM, Blogger stopmikelupica said...

Great post, Burns. Sadly, everything you said applies to the kids from the projects of NYC. Everything.

Quick question - was the comparision to Carnegie intention? I mean, Carnegie philanthropy was a double-edge sword - he often was quoted as saying he didn't believe in giving to poor people, and that generosity (in the form of alms) was fruitless; that's why he choose to create the library system. Is David Stern in essense (in your opinion) eschewing actually giving to the poor black community in favor of a different kind of philanthropy, one in which he will have a greater effect on the education of future generations? Or am I reading too much into the comparison?...

At 12/21/2006 12:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"but dreams of future success didn’t vary much in Indianola, Mississippi; almost no 7th grade boy aspires to be a young black doctor, lawyer, or entrepreneur because he’s never seen one and has been inundated with subtle and overt cues, practically from birth, that he can never become one."

I think this is a cop-out. Most young black youth never "see" the millionaire drug-dealer lifestyle sold by rap videos, but they nevertheless aspire to this model.

Second, most direly impoverished schools actually have very high levels of funding. Unfortunately, it's not enough to overcome the social background these kids come from.

At 12/21/2006 1:01 PM, Blogger T. said...

I've read numerous articles about DJS's liberalism (and on more than one occasion have heard that he really gets it from his wife - see the latest excellent SI profile on him by Jack McCallum from a few months ago). I've never felt the age limit was that big a deal - because, like you said, how many people are you really affecting? 5-8 a year?

sml - I think you're reading too much into it; despite Stern's racially charged decisions (draft age, dress code) - I don't feel that he's doing this because he thinks the league is too black, I think he feels compelled by his perception of what other people think the league is - sponsors, potential fans in the red states*, soccer moms - and is trying to protect the league from the sort of "they're all thugs" critical analysis.

*I hate the red state/blue state breakdown - it's lazy demographics. Heck, if you want to be lazy about it, it's much more accurate to go with rural/urban. I lived in Texas for a while, but my district elected a congresswoman who, as far as I could tell, shared the same voting habits as my old congressperson in Berkeley. (Shelia Jackson-Leigh and "Red" Ron Dellums).

WV: smenita - Baby Bash's new single

At 12/21/2006 1:14 PM, Blogger T. said...

anon 12:56pm - I think this is a cop-out. Most young black youth never "see" the millionaire drug-dealer lifestyle sold by rap videos, but they nevertheless aspire to this model.

Are you trying to tell me most poor black youth don't know what the neighborhood drug dealer is making? I would say that's completely wrong - and the problem. Most poor black youth know EXACTLY what the neighborhood drug dealer is making - and see THAT as the most viable alternative to college and education.

At 12/21/2006 1:27 PM, Blogger stopmikelupica said...

@ Anon 12:56:
"Most young black youth never "see" the millionaire drug-dealer lifestyle sold by rap videos..." - if poor Mississippi is anything like the projects, then this is dead wrong. All these kids are surrounded by rap videos of the drug lifestyle (or the baller/entertainer lifestyle), movies of the lifestyle (they don't play Oscar mainstream movies in the nearby theatres, they play "urban" dramas and "urban" comedies), and the general pop culture that surrounds them spreads the "myth" of the drug dealer millionaire. What they don't see, at all, is the black doctor, the black middle class, the successful black business owner.

Seriously, ask some of these youth what they know better - how the drug chain works, or how one becomes an engineer?

WV: ipnpuns: Great Boriqua rapper is into water sports.

At 12/21/2006 1:43 PM, Anonymous dave said...

Most youths do in fact "see" the millionaire drug dealer lifestyle, as it is among the primary depictions of black identity in mainstream media. That the drug dealer on the corner may not be pulling in millions does little to counteract the impression that such a dubious occupation is aligned with status and success within the 'hood, just as athletics are aligned with a success that moves the rare individual out of the 'hood. That other options may exist is not the point: the point is that these options are increasingly remote and as such, I would argue, are generally exceptions to these more prominent illustrations of black identity. Thus college, as was recounted in the post, is not as the opportunity for which it is.

At 12/21/2006 1:51 PM, Anonymous Jared Jeffries' naked shoulder said...

Great Post. It's great to see you back!

At 12/21/2006 1:55 PM, Blogger Gladhands said...

As a product of the aforementioned environment, I can attest to the fact that very few urban or poor rural youths ever see the "millionaire drug dealer". The game, on a retail level, at least, has not been profitable since the late eighties/early nineties. What they see is a bunch of their peers doing hand-to-hands for a few hundred dollars a week, and the occasional lieutenant who makes somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 grand a year. These kids rarely, if ever encounter the wealthy dealer, athlete or rapper.

At 12/21/2006 2:28 PM, Blogger T. said...

GH - perhaps millionaire was the wrong label to use. But for a lot of the youth in the 'hood - the drug dealer is perhaps the most visible, or at least one of the more visible models of success - whereas, black doctors, lawyers and other black professionals are nigh-invisible.

I don't think anyone would argue that growing up poor, black and urban - one has to search long and hard for positive role models.

At 12/21/2006 2:36 PM, Anonymous lil' bobby plumpeezy said...

the anon's thought about never seeing a millionare drug dealer is interesting, but the idea that impoverished schools of well funded is the silly.

in fact, due to no child left behind, the worse off and impoverished schools who normally do poorly on standardized tests subsequently recieved less funding as an "incentive" to do better. as mf doom says "study your history."

i worked for a company that graded standardized tests for, among other states, mississippi. you do not know unintelligble until you've graded 500 mississippi ninth graders' essays.

anyway, great post. but as a native of small town hoosierdom, my dreams were always of winning the all state high school championship on a last second shot jimmy chitwood/bobby plump style. i saw hoosiers in the theatre when on my seventh birthday with the kids from my recess basketball squad. small town jumpshooters were my millionaire drug dealers.

At 12/21/2006 3:07 PM, Blogger stopmikelupica said...

Seconding T.'s e-mail - GH, I shouldn't have used "millionaire", since there really aren't any black drug millionaires, and they certainly are not chilling on the block. My point was more about the "myth" of the dealers - that this is a way to get out, a way to make something of yourself. In many cases (especially for the non-ballers), it's believed that this is the only way to get out and make something of yourself. This is a reality of life, and I was trying to get at Anon that it isn't a cop-out to recognize that reality.

wv: hewww - the pre female lib. version of the web.

At 12/21/2006 3:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

great post -- spirited defense of Stern's heretofore seemingly indefensible position w/r/t young black male wage denial pandering to mainstream white fears of said earners

although college ball may be held in low esteem in rural south, some southern cities foster cult of college ball as alpha/omega of hoops world (e.g. as both grizzlies & u. of m. tigers overachieved last year, m-town lukewarm to griz ecstactic for tigers)
academics irrelevant regardless -- not sure how much age limit changes that for anyone when even rabid ncaa fans scarcely value education

gh - "hot" southern rap of past decade (hypnotize minds camp et al) has had lyrical facility & ingenuity to rival best of the coasts -- mainstream hits inane from anywhere

At 12/21/2006 3:44 PM, Blogger Gladhands said...

No one is denying that urban youth has been presentd with the MOMDD, but that is no more of a reality to them than the MONBMD or MONBJD.

At 12/21/2006 4:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really like this post. DStern is so often viewed as a tyrant, but he is the best at what he does, and what he does isn't very nice. I don't think that he has anything but the best interest of the people in his league in his heart and mind. Even with the gigantic fine for fighting and the technical fouls-- I was so tired of all of the complaining.. what does it actually accomplish? and fighting in basketball is way scarier for fans than fighting in football-- unless it is the Miami v. FIU fight which was hardcore. People calling him racist and things like that aren't really being fair. He is the head of basketball-- he deals with his league. He should fine franchises like the 76ers or the Pacers for keaping a player off the hardwood for too long. Maybe.

At 12/21/2006 4:38 PM, Anonymous boris said...

Great post. Let's just say that black kids aren't getting much reflection of their ideal future if they watched Sex and the City with their girlfriends, to name one cultural icon of the professional classes. Of course, they don't watch it.

At 12/21/2006 5:52 PM, Anonymous tim said...

"No one is denying that urban youth has been presentd with the MOMDD, but that is no more of a reality to them than the MONBMD or MONBJD."

Being neither urban or youth this comes straight from my ass, but I would argue that the prevalence of images in the media of young black men cashing in on drugs/ball reinforce those options far more than doctor/lawyer/grocery store manager. Sure, your average urban youth has never "met" a wealthy drug dealer, but they've probably also never met a wealthy black doctor and have little reference to such an individual outside of sitcoms.

Sure the dreams may be unrealistic, but they're still powerful and influence desire.

At 12/21/2006 7:01 PM, Blogger Rocco Chappelle said...

I'm going to have to rebut Gladhands here. Also being the progeny of urban blight, I must say, at least in my experience, that street life seemed like a more attainable path to "success".

As with all things, "success" here is a matter of perception. I had family in the JBM. I say had because two of these family members were shot to death, another was shot in the head when some rivals sprayed his father's barbershop with bullets during hours of operation, presumably to send a message. He survived and learned how to talk again after 2 years of rehab. Another cousin of mine has been in Rockview State Prison since '91. Before the fall, these guys seemed like the richest guys I knew. Now obviously I don't know how much they made, but knowing the meager bit about the game circa '87-''91, I wouldn't be shocked if none of them ever cracked $70K in a year, but they "seemed" rich. They had brand new, rag top Mustang 5.0s, 3-finger Adidas crown rings, Gucci suits, fresh ass Cazals, and things of that ilk. I'm sure that my uncle who owned a bar and garage and who also came home dirty every day and had to enter through the backdoor of his own house so that he didn't track oil and dirt onto the plush carpet that he bought, made 2-3x as much as these knuckleheads, but he didn't seem rich. At 10 years old if my life options were reduced to those 2 options.

Business owning, working man vs. Fly ass roller.

I would have chosen the roller every time. And I'm fairly certain I wasn't alone in that view.

Of course, virtually no one see the Millionaire Drug Dealer, but I certainly saw some drug dealers that looked like they were worth a million bucks.

Also, the difference between $50K and $1M is infinitesimal to a kid with a bank book with $43.27 after interest and 5 years of saving. Shit, only six years ago I spent an hour arguing with an affluent roommate of mine that if I made $30K a year I'd be set for life. I was 21 then, how things have changed.

At 12/21/2006 8:07 PM, Anonymous Mr. Six said...

I believe Freakonomics has some pretty good statistics showing that street-level operators don't make jack--they live with their mamas. But they spend what they earn, so they present as wealthy, especially in working-class neighborhoods where car mechanics and plumbers might actually be earning a better living. So believing that dealing is the path to success isn't too surprising. Obviously, some easy means of showing kids that even a minimum wage job might result in a brighter financial future would be helpful.

And in that vein, I almost wish Stern had required a year of apprenticeship in some decent vocation, rather than a year of college.

At 12/21/2006 10:35 PM, Anonymous Boris said...

No college basketball tradition in the South???

The ACC? The SEC?

Who won the NCAA the past two seasons? UNC and Florida? Arkansas, Duke in the past, etc? Who are the Cinderellas? Winthrop, George Mason? Below the MD line

I'm from down here. We live and breathe it. More than the NBA. Who do we have? Memphis? Charlotte? Atlanta? Orlando? Not exactly a culture of winning

Where do the elite players come from? VC-UNC, Sheed-UNC, JR was going to UNC, Stack-UNC, Raymond-UNC, GrantHill-Duke, Shane-Duke, JHo-Wake, Tim Duncan-Wake, CP3-Wake, Mike Miller-Florida, Channing-Florida, Penny-Memphis, Shaq-LSU, Sam Cassell-FSU, The Real K-Mart- WCU, etc etc cmon man... and this is just recently.

even Kwame and Amare are from the deep south, committed to Florida and Memphis before they left.

NBA coaches Larry Brown, George Karl, college Roy Williams are UNC frat. Duke: Amaker, Brean, Snyder, Coach K???????? Legendary on all fronts.

Speak for yourself. I'd say southern basketball is more of a college basketball phenom than northern. it's life down here.

kind of an oversight, beth...

At 12/21/2006 10:37 PM, Anonymous boris said...

not channing: I meant David Lee...

At 12/21/2006 10:55 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...


first off, i grew up in unc, so you don't have to tell me that the south has basketball.

the operative phrase was DEEP SOUTH. take out unc, duke and wake and your case is greatly diminished.

At 12/21/2006 11:48 PM, Blogger stopmikelupica said...

Definitive proofs that I have not been at work all week:
1. Been posting way too much on Freedarko.
2. Just found out about 4 hours ago that the Turkmenbashi died. Turkmenbashi is the free darko of dictators, no question asked. The man named a month after himself, and another after his mom. I think you owe him a mention in a post or something.

At 12/21/2006 11:56 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

silverbird and myself were actually talking about fd politics (as opposed to the politics of fd) the other day. two examples:

1) that guy interviewed on salon last week about fundamentalism in the military

2) the sixties senator who, while near death, refused to resign and voted for the civil rights act by blinking his eye.

At 12/22/2006 12:39 AM, Blogger Brown Recluse, Esq. said...

north carolina is very different from the deep south. kentucky is the only school in the SEC that is really a basketball school. football is way bigger at every other college in the conference. and kentucky isn't in the deep south anyway.

At 12/22/2006 1:38 AM, Blogger sam said...

boris' post brings up something I wanted to toss around a little bit: let's find Kevin Martin a real nickname of his own. Both as a fan of the original, real K-Mart, and as a guy who wants to see Kevin recognized for his own merits (which, after his career high on national television tonight, appear numerous), this is necessary. So open question: what should Kevin Martin be called, colloquially?

Also open question: is Kevin Martin's game remotely FD?

FB--sorry this has little to do with your original post, which I found really eye-opening and great.

At 12/22/2006 7:59 AM, Anonymous boris said...

Just a note that the Boris who BS is responding to (the second Boris post) is not me or the boris commenting on the last few posts. I didn't know there was another boris in the world so I guess I'll borrow another handle.

Keep up the good work FD,


At 12/22/2006 11:25 AM, Blogger shoefly said...

Sorry for talking about something different on this excellent thread, but I have to say my final thought on the fight. I haven't read anything about this anywhere but I think the lasting and profound impact will be the new parameters set for suspensions. Carmelo did the players a major disservice by not challenging that ruling. He certainly would have gotten it reduced, thus restoring the balance to an equitable middle ground.

I know he wanted to accept his punishment while avoiding engendering any more negative press over being a whiner, but this issue is much bigger than him, and Billy Hunter has done enormous harm to the union. Melo should have been forced to challenge not so much for himself, but for the future fighters of the NBA, who are now going to have his crazy standard to live up to.

They always seem intent on taking rights away, but rarely if ever do we get them back, and Melo has ceded the future to men, despite the valid points of this post, who wish to exert their mind-control in ever increasing and petty ways. Melo, even if he didn't wish to, should have been compelled to stand up for those who have stood for him.

Union here! Stand strong.

At 12/22/2006 1:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i nominate K-Fade...as a testament to his haircut...to quote Face "Last of a dying Breed"

At 12/22/2006 2:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In my opinion Kevin Martin's FD-ness hinges on the interpretation of his jump shot. Does something that aesthetically unappealing render him ineligible, or does the, er, uniqueness combined with the surprising effectiveness embody the individuality which the site celebrates?

At 12/22/2006 2:22 PM, Anonymous D-Wil said...

Way back at the very first comment: shoals is correct - But.

It's not just the NBA. Look at the disproportionate number of NFL players from the south when compared with any other single portion of the country. In both football and basketball, sports is seen as the proverbial, "way out."

The point is that Stern didn't and doesn't give a rat's ass about the social impact of this rule. And as long as we sit and fail to hold people like Stern above the candle and make him either tell the truth or burn, no true social impact can be made. I say this because the only way to empower those at "the bottom" is to expose the true motives of those at the top of any political or corporate structure.

Stern's age limit is nothing more than a way for his partners, the owners, to make a more informed choice about their future employees - they get a year to watch them in a more independent social setting and watch then play against consistently better competition.


At 12/22/2006 2:51 PM, Blogger stopmikelupica said...

To further add to D-Wil's comment, it's not just about making an informed decision; it's also about the NBA owners saving millions. Why have 18 years in the league when a) half of them fail ($ effect = loss of millions on high draft picks) or b) those that don't fail won't become stars until they are 20 at the earlierst (King James might be the only 18 or 19 year old to ever make an impact - even Kobe and Garnett took a few years to develop). Given that is the case, then it makes economic sense (the only sense that ever matters) for the NBA owners to wait until they are 19 to let them in. That's why they don't care if they go to school for a year, or just chill at Ruckers; all that matters is that they are 19 years old. It also has one more huge benefit - longer to get to the big money free agent contracts, the older they will be, the less they earn in their prime. Players like Melo and Bosh will never earn money like Garnett or Kobe did. That's the reasoning for this decision.

David Stern works for only one group of people - the owners. His job is to keep them happy, and to keep them happy all he has to do is maximumize earnings. Simple.

At 12/22/2006 4:08 PM, Anonymous sammy said...

Glad to see three out of the four commishes (Stern, Bettman, and Selig) have virtually no soul.

if you've been reading yardbarker there's some interesting discussion there about stern.

At 12/22/2006 8:13 PM, Anonymous BCEagles said...

Just loved the article, the best I have read on the draft age restriction. Keep up the good work guys, the site just keeps getting better.

At 12/23/2006 12:05 AM, Blogger O.D.B. said...

Completely off topic, buy y'all have been off-line for a while-

I know his record with superlative undermines nearly everything Bill Walton says, but he just dropped this gem during Wiz/Suns:

"Gilbert Arenas will change the way people think about basketball"

At 12/23/2006 12:22 AM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

for reasons outside of my control, i'm not watching. was there any particular reason he said it?

i might catch it on the broadband tomorrow.

At 12/23/2006 12:59 AM, Blogger Wild Yams said...

Gilbert's gonna go over 50 for the second time in a week.

At 12/23/2006 1:03 AM, Anonymous megapickles said...

Gilbert said he'd drop 50 on the Suns. Even Kobe can't say that this wasn't a conscious effort.

At 12/23/2006 1:31 AM, Blogger O.D.B. said...

Shoals - Walton's comment kind of came out of nowhere, the context was something regarding Gilbert's fitness and 'non-stop' style of play.

As you've probably heard - a great game:

"One down, one to go."

At 12/23/2006 1:39 AM, Blogger T. said...

It had to do with Gil's altitude tent and some other, unspoken approaches Gil had to do with preparing and training to play basketball.

At 1/23/2007 2:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Prior to the imposition of the age rule, didn't an overwhelming amount of prospective ballers choose college? Thus, I find any argument that the rule will increasingly steer young players to college flawed. That was already the case.

I take Stern at his word: the decision was predicated on economics alone. It is just one more manifestation of his micromanaging style.


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