By Stefan Anderson
Dallas owner Mark Cuban is far from shy and a little past outspoken on most of his comments, but his comment on Sunday led me to an epiphany. Cuban had some statements on college freshman who were standouts in high school, suggesting that they should just play in the NBA’s development league instead taking their talents to the NCAA and big universities.
Cuban went on to stay “The NCAA rules are so hypocritical, there’s absolutely no reason for a kid to go [to college], because he’s not going to class [and] he’s actually not even able to take advantage of all the fun because the first semester he starts playing basketball. So if the goal is just to graduate to the NBA or be an NBA player, go to the D-League.” The Mavericks owner ideas are great because with the idea of players required age going up to 21 instead of 19, makes the D-League a better opportunity for great talents to pursue their professional career earlier.
I personally enjoy the college game and love the opportunity watch NCAA Tournament each year, but I do believe some players are just in college playing a year of basketball where they do not learn and are not mature enough to play in the NBA. For the players that believe their talent is above average and want to get experience while earning the chance to play in the NBA, the development league is the right decision.
And if the idea comes into fruition, each team should have their own D-League team and create a farm system for the NBA similar to Major League Baseball. The NBA has made its efforts the past years expanding the developmental league to now 17 teams, but if all 30 teams would become parent teams and have their own farm system, it would be hard to eliminate talent that the NCAA withholds currently with the one and done and system and gives the opportunity for the league to grow and players to become more mature.
The NBA’s expanded farm system of the D-League would not only benefit players in their maturity in basketball, it will also benefit the teams with revenue and globalization. With each team designating a place to make a D-League team, that would provide more entertainment for those local cities. For instance, if you live Elmira, NY and you are a passionate basketball fans and would like to give your family the opportunity see a live basketball, a D-League team in your area can save you the costs of going to a Knicks or Nets game, but gaining the same kind of opportunity. Not only will it the beneficial for the fans, teams can gain extra revenue and expand create NBA League’s internationally as basketball has become a worldwide sport.
The idea might sound far fetched to some and seem to be cheapening the brand of basketball, but so does talent that doesn’t equal in today’s one and dones. The NBA created the D-League for these purposes and the money should be put the right as the sport has become a billion dollar industry. Something to consider and I believe would be a great idea for strengthening the game of basketball for the player as well as the fans.