College Ball, Tanking, And Why Half The NBA Sucks

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Updated: March 6, 2014
Adam SIlver
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Although the title to this piece is three separate things, they’re all interconnected as they’ve always been. One is responsible for the other, and two are why one is the way it is now. Confused yet? If so good, because since I have to explain what that means you have to read the entire thing…excellent. 

Let’s start with college basketball and my dislike of that sport. I have college basketball writers for the site, and I enjoy reading their work, but when they force me to watch games with them in order for them to convert me into a fan, I just can’t get into it. It’s not a very good product in my personal opinion. 

When the this current college season began, myself and a few of my guys watched Jabari Parker play Andrew Wiggins and the game before I got a chance to see Julius Randle whom they had told me so much about.


I was thoroughly impressed that night and even wrote a piece about it. I have tried watching since then and barring a couple of games that were very entertaining like when Duke went to Syracuse in February and the Syracuse vs. Duke game where Jim Boeheim went crazy towards the end, most of it is boring and unwatchable. 

What is the point of a 35 second shot clock? Does it really take that long to get a play going?

In Women’s college basketball the shot clock is 30 seconds, the same as it is in the WNBA, yet in the NBA the shot clock is 24 seconds and Men’s College basketball has yet to follow suit.

It’s puzzling. A 24 second shot clock in Men’s college basketball would speed up the game and make the players far more efficient and help them get ready to play at the next level. 

Then there’s the one and done rule that should be at least two years mandatory in college, or not at all. I understand both sides of the argument for letting kids go to the NBA right after high school.

These kids are 18 and should have the right to go earn their money. That being said the NBA isn’t concerned about rights, it’s a business, so it’s concerned about the product it’s trying to sell to its customers.

And the current college product is not that good. The main reason for that is the one a done rule. 

If all teams had to keep their star players for two years at least, then it would be more beneficial than hurtful. Can you imagine those Anthony Davis Kentucky teams had the Brow and his cast of teammates stayed together another season?

Anthony Davis Duke


That goes for all of John Calipari’s teams. What if Austin Rivers and Kyrie Irving had stayed another year each at Duke under Mike Krzyzewski, how great would that have been to watch. The more good players that stay in college the better it is to watch. 

Which brings me to the other reason why the one and done rule should be at least two years; a lot of these players are not good enough to be in the NBA yet, at all. 

Here’s some one and done players from this past draft: Austin Rivers, Anthony Bennett and Shabazz Muhammad.

Not exactly world-beaters are they? These are three players that should have stayed in college for at least one more year and I’d venture to say two more to be honest.

None of the three have played exceptionally well this season and it’s no secret they did themselves a disservice by leaving college early. 

Here’s a list of players that weren’t one and done from this past draft: Victor Oladipo 3 years in college, Michael Carter-Williams 2 seasons in college, Trey Burke two seasons in college, and Tim Hardaway Jr. three seasons in college. Hmmm. 

Compare the guys that stayed longer to the guys that went running for NBA glory and didn’t think they needed further development. Trey Burke is going to be a star in this league and every time I watch him play I can’t help but invoke thoughts of Allen Iverson in the way he carries himself on the court. He’s going to be a great one. 

Trey Burke

Victor Oladipo and MCW both came out of the gates on fire this season and are clear from runner for Rookie of The Year honors. 

Victor Oladipo MCW

And if you’ve watched as many New York Knicks games as I have, which is dreadful in itself, then you know Tim Hardaway Jr. is the second best player on the Knicks after Carmelo Anthony.

Yes, I said it, second best player on that team which is probably no saying much but that’s just how I see it. When Mike Woodson puts him in, Hardaway Jr. gives them an immediate lift.

Tim Hardaway JR


With some good coaching he might end up being a very good player in the league, and I am sure that will make his father Tim Hardaway Sr. proud.

The one and done phenomenon needs to be removed and players should come to college and learn their craft and learn in the classroom for two years before they are unleashed as projects into the NBA which is not great at development. 

And that leads me to why the NBA sucks. Look at the Eastern Conference, and if you can tell me that this is good NBA product, I’ll tell you that you are delusional.

Half of the NBA is horrid, and part of it has to do with the college product coming up not being any good, and the other part is stupid GM’s over paying for players that aren’t worth the money they are given, then that same team tanking for draft picks when the team ends up terrible, then drafting players that aren’t ready yet.

Anthony Bennett


It’s an awful cycle of kids not ready for the biggest stage and ineptitude in team management across the nation. Listen, I am all for tanking if it means short-term disaster for long-term success, but if a team is tanking for players that they end up sending to the D-League then all that is happening is backwards movement as opposed to forward progression, hence, the current Eastern Conference.

By early December the entire world knew that the Miami Heat and the Indiana Pacers were going to meet in the conference finals. By December the Knicks were virtually out of it, the Brooklyn Nets project didn’t work out as planned, Chicago lost Derrick Rose and that was that.

Meanwhile out West it’s anyone’s guess who’s meeting for the chance to play for the championship. Out west they draft good players and sign players to decent contracts. 

Adam Silver can start the process of change by making it two years mandatory for college players. I think it would benefit kids to get two years at least in the classroom because I am a huge proponent of learning. And it will also help them learn their craft better while college basketball as whole will improve. College basketball gets better, and in turn the NBA gets a better product, everyone wins. 

Adam Silver again

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