observations, reviews and ramblings about Hip-Hop culture, sports, politics and the industry and life in general.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

  • First off, someone please tell me how that NBA collective bargaining agreement is not age discrimination. I am far from a labor relations expert but stopping these cats from making a living with their talent seems more than unfair. It seems criminal. Is their an age limit to be a ref, commissioner, coach, trainer, or President of Operations? No. Then why an age limit for players?



I agree with Jermaine O’Neal and cannot ignore the racial undertones. This rule will severely affect young black males’ ability to earn a living. And 19? One year of college? What exactly is that going to accomplish?

I know they are trying to avoid the HS busts, but they are also legislating against Kobe, T-Mac, Kevin Garnett, and LeBron. And where is it proven that 4 years of college is the magic elixir for a strong pro career? For every HS bust I can find a 3 or 4 year college bust. Trajan Langdon the Alaskan Assassin, Never Nervous Pervis Ellison, Ralph Sampson. Even great college players like Cory Alexander, Junior Burrough, and Randolph Childress had less than great careers.

The reality is that your ability, not your age determines your success. Some people need four years; some need 4 days to get ready for the NBA. Why don’t we let the experts trained in assessing talent make these decisions? Let Larry Brown, Jeff ‘100%’ Van Gundy, Mo Cheeks and Lawrence Frank decide. Not David Stern.

Maurice Clarett got jerked the same way.

Where is the outrage when the MLS drafts Freddie Adou, or when the MLB snags the rights to the best High School talent? I wonder what the socio, racial, economical makeup is of those leagues.

And for my man Joey, here is my list as promised:

Things I saw at the Leela James show at SOB’s

  • Dudes who wear women jeans
  • Dudes who weigh less than 130 pounds
  • The biggest hairpiece I have ever seen (on Leela. It was dope though)
  • Blazer, jean, white sneaker combos (about 79)
  • One dude in a sequined Van Halen T-shirt
  • One cool as writer named Tara Henley
  • Big Ced aka Sam as in MC Lyte

    Best things I saw at the BHF

    The people
  • Dark clouds passing over
  • The dude running the Xbox truck
  • Rhymefest meeting Kim
  • The 719 cops stationed in the neighborhood
  • The DT’s walking around the event in their oh so covert bulletproof vests
  • Grand Puba (didn’t think he was gonna make it)
  • Phonte’s ‘fresh out the box’ kicks backstage
  • Greg’s Mom rocking to Brand Nubian
  • Greg’s pops, Sal
  • Miles Boogie
  • My man G from the Brewery serving that banana beer (actually called Wiesse)
  • Kyle and KB
  • The Ecko rhino mini robots
  • Obsession from the Aboriginals

    NEXT UP CMJ – SEPTEMBER 15TH – BB KING’S!!!!
    Fakin jax will not be allowed

    Pistons will send the soft ass Spurs home sans ring

10 Comments:

Blogger ian said...

> First off, someone please tell me how that NBA collective bargaining agreement is not age discrimination.

It is age discrimination. And racist...

June 23, 2005 4:46 PM

 
Blogger Joey said...

Dude's wearing women's jeans? NO.

Couple of things about the age requirement:

1) The Union and the Players' Association agreed to this collaboratively, so it's not like the League has hoodwinked the players.

2) The NBA is a private concern, and it can make whatever rules it sees fit. Yes, it is age discrimination, but so is a drinking age.

3) It is de facto racism, not de jure, and I think that's an important distinction because I don't view Stern and the owners as pernicious bigots.

I have advocated for an age requirement based solely on basketball reasons; I think it's good for the pro and the college games. I can understand seeing this as racism, but the fact that it even can be seen as racism is far more troubling, to me, than the fact that it, in effect, disproportionately affects blacks. Perhaps the age requirement wouldn't be viewed by some as so offensive if more opportunities were presented to urban black people through education. As I have often written on my site, the purposely racist policies of the 1950s and 60s that intentionally segregated and also destroyed cities have destroyed education and make black nearly synonymous with urban. That's unfair for so many reasons, not least of which is that our cities are dying, taking their dependents down with them.

June 23, 2005 6:58 PM

 
Blogger ian said...

Fcck the college teams and the NCAA. They make millions off the backs of these kids while perpetrating the myth of the "student-athlete." I say if these kids can get that paper in the pros, let 'em. They could get injured playing ball in (for the) college for nothing and then be left with no opportunity to get paid off their talent.

I'm not an expert in sports business and don't purport to follow this ish that closely but why the player's association and the league have conspired to cut young players out of this economic pie is beyond me esp. when cats like Carmelo and Lebron get younger kids who are more into playing NBA Live than actually watching the NBA live, into the game.

So few kids have a legit shot to make it in the pros right out of high school anyway that it boggles me that they are having their access and ability to do so restricted in what I can only see as an ageist and racially discriminatory manner.

June 23, 2005 11:49 PM

 
Blogger Swifty said...

Joey, why do you advocate the age requirement? Just curious.

And I think your drinking age argument is apples and oranges. This age requirement affects your ability to earn a living, the drinking age does not.

Go to Iraq - yes, vote - yes, but the NBA and NFL is just too much for you to handle?

That is a good point that the Player's Union was a part of this. And I am not a proponent of the 'big bad wolf' theory that David Stern is sitting in the NBA boardroom like Dick Dastardly. However, the record does show this was Stern's idea and a deal breaker for the collective bargaining agreement.

June 24, 2005 7:31 AM

 
Blogger Joey said...

As stated, I support the requirement almost solely for basketball purposes.

First, I think that encouraging education is a good thing. College is not for everyone, and I am not naive enough to think that most of these great athletes go to college for the degree. However, the student-athlete's life is so regimented and loaded with support personnel employed by these schools to get the kids through their schoolwork that some of them, if put in a good situation, might actually find that they like learning.

Second, and far more practically, it helps basketball. Because of the Internet and the growth of media, elite-level high-school stars are now celebrities, and recruiting has become a fan pastime that augments actual interest in sports. As a result, these players can come into college and reinvigorate programs. Just ask Carmelo. That kind of energy and fan interest is good for basketball and would enhance college hoops. Just this past season, freshmen like UConn's Rudy Gay and UNC's Marvin Williams--both of whom are going to be superstars in the NBA--played integral roles on two of the twenty best teams, and those sorts of storylines make things exciting.

Third, if these players are in college for at least a year, it helps them develop rivalries that can carry over to the NBA. Magic and Bird's NBA lore is even greater because the two were rivals in college. Now, it would be great if Dwight Howard and Amare Stoudemire were emerging as the best young post players after having battled at Memphis and Cincinnati for a season, playing four times: twice during the regular season, once during the conference tournament, and then again in the Final Four. Would it not have been great to have seen Dwyane Wade and Marquette against LeBron James and Ohio State? Those storylines are compelling, and would help the NBA.

Fourth, and this might be the thing about which I care the most, all players need as much time spent playing meaningful minutes as is possible. Under the (now) old system, a great kid could come to the NBA and sit on a bench for three seasons before really getting a chance to play. And after that, it might have taken another two years before the guy got his shit together on the court for real. Conversely, by starring in college (again, maybe only for a season), and otherwise NBA-ready player is going to develop a sense of how to lead; how to handle crunch time; how to involve teammates; and how to play fundamental basketball (boxing out; rotating on defense; etc.). Yeah, a lot of this comes from high school and AAU hoops, but the crucible of the NCAA tournament is an entirely different thing, and it is an important proving ground for these players. In an NBA where fundamentals are too often after thoughts, more coaching and more significant experience will be good for the level of play.

June 24, 2005 10:40 AM

 
Blogger Swifty said...

I am excited. This is the most action my blog has ever gotten. Even if t's just me, Joey and Ian. I ain't complaining. :-)

You make good points and I most certainly agree with your first, focusing on education.

My questions are these.

1)Are you satisfied that 19 year age limit and/or one year of college will suffice ?

2) When did the talent evaluation personel became incapable of keeping kids who are not ready for the NBA out?

3) What is your response to the kid who goes to college sucumbs to the preverbial injury in that one year or has a negative college experience, emotionally, psychologically (harmful coach - everybody is not Boheim or John Thompson or Roy Williams, there are Baylor head coches out there) and ruins his chances of making a living. A kid who all the scouts deem ready (Lebron) but because of this rule must go to Memphis for a year.


4) Do you advocate a smilar policy in all pro sports? and/or any other profession. Say construction or medicine?

5) is there anything to be gained by spending those developmental years playing (or sitting on the bench) alongside the best in the business rather than the best in the college ranks?

June 24, 2005 11:46 AM

 
Blogger Swifty said...

I am excited. This is the most action my blog has ever gotten. Even if t's just me, Joey and Ian. I ain't complaining. :-)

You make good points and I most certainly agree with your first, focusing on education.

My questions are these.

1)Are you satisfied that 19 year age limit and/or one year of college will suffice ?

2) When did the talent evaluation personel became incapable of keeping kids who are not ready for the NBA out?

3) What is your response to the kid who goes to college sucumbs to the preverbial injury in that one year or has a negative college experience, emotionally, psychologically (harmful coach - everybody is not Boheim or John Thompson or Roy Williams, there are Baylor head coches out there) and ruins his chances of making a living. A kid who all the scouts deem ready (Lebron) but because of this rule must go to Memphis for a year.


4) Do you advocate a smilar policy in all pro sports? and/or any other profession. Say construction or medicine?

5) is there anything to be gained by spending those developmental years playing (or sitting on the bench) alongside the best in the business rather than the best in the college ranks?

June 24, 2005 11:46 AM

 
Blogger Joey said...

1) Ideally, the limit would have been 20, as I think two years would be better than one.

2) Is that a serious question? Remember Leon Smith, Korleone Young, Robert Swift? And how about all of the foreign busts, like Frederic Weis and Zarko Carbakapa? Domestic busts like Jerod Mustaf, Shawn Bradley, Sam Bowie. The short answer? Forever.

3) That's an unfortunate circumstance (the injury), and I could understand that being one reason arguing against an age-based rule. But the anecdotal evidence has not supported it--a lot of top guys haven't gotten hurt in their sole year or two in college. Maybe my logic is faulty, but if it hasn't yet emerged as a problem, it likely won't.

As for the psychological trauma a coach could inflict, that's a legitimate concern, as well, however these NBA-caliber recruits have their choice of schools, and the lengthy recruiting process affords them an oppotrunity for due diligence. These kids get to know the programs and people fairly well. And, even prodigious talents can still get drafted despite a bad college situation so long as they display the athleticism in individual workouts for scouts, auditions that are de riguer. Just look at Sahvlik Randolph from Duke. He was a bust in college but he's staying in the draft because the scouts love his potential

And about LeBron: He was obviously ready, as were Garnett and Stoudemire. But don't let the immense success of Kobe and McGrady overshadow the fact that they languished on benches and needed so much coaching in their first seasons.

4) A private entity can do what it wants. If Major League Baseball decided that you had to be thirty to play in the league, they could set that rule. I don't know a ton about labor law, and maybe MLB's functional monopoly would make that an illegal act, but a private organization can do what it wants.

Also, the NBA is a venue for professional basketball players; it isn't professional basketball. There are leagues around the world. My point? An age limit for medicine or construction is not analogous because those are industries with multiple employers, just like basketball. The NBA is a functional monopoly in this country, but it isn't the only professional basketball format. Also, we've even had other professional basketball leagues in the pas (CBA, ABA, etc.), and those concerns could make their own rules, too. If someone with enough money is so upset about the new rule that he wants to do someting about it, he could start a league for 18 and 19 year olds.

Also, medicine, law, contracting--these are all professional fields that may not have age requirements, but they do have competency requirements. You need to have certain training and pass certain tests or certification processes. The age limit is, in effect, some form of competency test, implemented to encourage better skills among NBA players.

5) There is something to be gained from riding pine, but only in the right situations. Charles Oakley wasn't going to give two shits about some 18-year-old punk at the end of the bench, and I doubt that some out-of-high-school kid would have really been nurtured by running with Oak as he went to strip clubs, beatdown people who stepped to him, etc. The NBA is not really so nurturing, what with the travel, disparity in ages, etc.

June 24, 2005 1:31 PM

 
Blogger Swifty said...

2) Were those the same talent evaluators who selected Tim Duncan, Rip Hamilton, and took gambles on Chauncey Billups, Bruce Bowen and the other stories we have been hearing all month. A couple of busts does not make the profession ineffective.

I thought the competency tests for the NBA was called tryouts.

I just don't see how the age limit solves the issue. And I do admit there is an issue, for sure.

Good point about being able to play other places. Didn't think about that.

Should their be an age limit on doctors? does their age equal competence? Whether that doctor is at the NBA of NY Hospitals

(Lenox Hill) or the CBA of hospitals (Jacoby in the Bronx).

This is the essence of discrimination. the agreement pre judges competency and does not let these kids prove if they have it or not on the court. even though the age theory has been prven wrong by Kobe et al. There have also been college busts like Shawn Bradley. 7 plus footer,#3 pick who averaged 8 points. Clearly that time in college didn't help him.

They are foreign busts like Frederic Weis (ouch Knicks!) but 2 foreign imports just copeed a ring last night.

domestic, foreign, high school, D-I, D-II, D-III (Ben Wallace Virginia Union , D-2 I tink)let the professionals decide. and let the argument play out on court. at least give them a workout. Put the theory in practice and when it works keep 'em out, when you're wrong - draft them.

and clearly we all know cats who got injured in college and that injury hindered their professional career. I know my man Cory Alexander's (UVa '95) ankles cost him several million on draft day.

June 24, 2005 1:54 PM

 
Blogger Joey said...

Ooh, Alexander. Good memory; I forgot about that. I think we could go back and forth on this forever, Wes. It is age discrimination, and it is (probably) de facto racism, but it's also good for basketball (I think). I guess I don't think of this as being such a big issue because I don't see it affecting so many people. I mean, how many people actually enter the league every season? 100? That's a small percentage of the world (as Hubie would say it).

June 24, 2005 2:12 PM

 

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