Steve Kerr is being reckless and irresponsible….
For those who haven’t read Steve Kerr’s piece of attempting to justify a 20-year-old age limit on Grantland, here you go http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/7883540/steve-kerr-problems-age-limit-nba
There are multiple problems I have with Steve Kerr’s shilling for the NBA trying to force the agenda of raising the age limit when it comes to college kids. Most of these problems stem from the fact that we’re mainly helping schools make money off of the kids without compensating them for all the money that they bring into the schools. So I’m going to refute or give another perspective to each of Steve Kerr’s points in order, as to make is clear which parts of his propaganda are less or more offensive.
Initially, Kerr brings up the maturity aspect, inherently stating that because these kids are 18-19 years old that they are not mature enough to be in the NBA. My retort would be to ask if Bryce Harper is mature enough to play in the MLB, if he was mature enough to handle getting beaned, (and being the bigger man) over the weekend with that flap with Cole Hamels. My point is also this, lets not lump all 18-19 year olds in one category, let’s judge them as every 18-19 year old would like to be judged: as an individual.
Kerr also suggests that young players struggle with the NBA lifestyle, especially those with no college education. Theirs is so much wrong with that statement, because it ignores the fact that kids with college educations struggle. I could bring up the fact that Chris Singleton, an NBA rookie with 3 years of college under his belt, bought 10k worth of megamillions lottery tickets, his response was even more appalling, “It was either that or spend it at the club”, I could bring up the fact that Shamgod Wells (aka God Shamgod) went broke, trying to keep up with the Chris Webber’s and Juwan Howard’s of the league, and he only had 2nd round pick money, and oh yeah was a 4 year college player, so shouldn’t he have known better since he was so educated?
Next Kerr brings up the inane point about saving the owners money, which if you read in between the lines, is what the raising the age limit is all about, is the owners playing Scrooge McDuck with their money, so they can keep more of it in their bank accounts to swim in. So in this aspect, Kerr gives you an insight into how much money is spent on scouting and General Managers being wrong at least 50 percent of the time. In a small aside, most of these general mangers and scouts have at minimum 4 year degrees, so why is no one fretting about their inability to get scouting right??
Kerr finally gets to the most insulting part of his argument to me right in the middle of his article: player development. To anyone reading this right now, can anyone tell me someone who really develops talent at the college level outside of Roy Williams and John Calipari? Anyone? That fallacy of player development can be killed when one goes and looks over at UCLA, when you look at all the talent Ben Howland has had over his near 10 year tenure over at UCLA, can anyone really say he developed talent. The man had 11 NBA players, only reached the Final Four twice and on top of which, can we really say that ANY of those players got notably better?
Like most of Kerr’s points it all goes back to saving the NBA money, instead of the moral point of being paid to bring millions into a college. Which brings Kerr to his next point, marketing, which if anyone has an ounce of humanity should bother people because we’re discussing letting kids get exploited for MARKETING PURPOSES. Here’s the funny thing about marketing and the tools that you can use, it’s called the internet, the next players are always talked about on the internet nowadays, we all knew about Kevin Love and his potential impact even before he stepped on campus at UCLA, we knew about Durant, Anthony Davis, and now Nerlens Noel and Shabazz Muhammad. So the marketing thing doesn’t fly anymore, especially in the digital age of social media.
Kerr brings up “a sense of team” as one of the aspects that kids develop, and while you could make a case that it’s true, I’d like to bring up the 2006 UConn men’s basketball team that couldn’t wait to get paid, or the 2011 team, who couldn’t wait to abandon ship after the NCAA dropped the one year probation hammer of them. These teams had the same guy running them, Jim Calhoun, who couldn’t manage to foster this sense of team. Instead they were out there gunning trying to impress scouts. Also, we could bring up the fact that outside of a few GREAT teams, that sense of team is overrated especially when one considers the rocky relationship that Christian Laettner and Bobby Hurley had, some sense of team huh?
Finally, Kerr heaps on the sentimentality by stating that these kids need mentoring, which when you think about it, might be the biggest crock he mentions since the marketing point. He says that guys like Tim Duncan and Ray Allen needed the extra years in school, yet ignoring that scouts were saying that Duncan was wasting his own time since his junior year in college. Kerr again is ignoring personality types, because at the end of the day some people really aren’t built for the long haul in college, some people have families they need to take care of and most importantly, we shouldn’t be putting these kids careers in the hands of coaches who are solely about themselves, we should afford them the opportunity to at least try college for a year, if at all.