With the NBA lockout still in tact, two prominent NCAA sophomore ballers that could have easily been heading to the NBA decided to stay and play another year of college ball. UNC’s Harrison Barnes and Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger return for one more year of final exam’s, Greek parties, and The Big Dance.
In 2006 the NBA put into playce the rule that high school athletes were no longer eligible for the NBA draft. They must wait one year after high school and be 19-years-old before they are draft eligible. This created what is now known as the one and done club.
A number of recent one and done players site their biggest regret in leaving early being their not winning a national championship while in college. Greg Oden (Ohio) the 2007 number one pick and Shawne Williams (Memphis) both site championship aspirations as their biggest regret in deciding to leave early, but return to the age-old adage that of money talks and basically everything else walks.
In a sport where many players are raised in lower-income single-parent households, the opportunity for a 19-year-old to turn pro after one year of college and potentially set his family up financially for life is a strong motivator. NBA stars like Derrick Rose (Chicago), Kevin Love (Minnesota), Anthony Randolph (Minnesota), Kevin Durant (Thunder), and Carmelo Anthony all made the jump to the pros after one year and adjusted well to the professional game while pocketing hundreds of millions of dollars along the way.
All these players site money as their primary motivating factor in deciding to turn pro and why shouldn’t it be. I know I wouldn’t need much motivation to make a few million at the age of 19 playing a game I love, instead of cramming for tests and trying to not get arrested for underage drinking.
The debate rages on though because just as quickly as the NBA Players Association wants to ditch the one year rule, the NBA wants to increase it to two years. Either way, players will always make a dash for the cash as soon as they’re eligible and really, why shouldn’t they?
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