Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Jermaine O'Neal Also Has A Dream

We can go fight and die in Iraq, but we can't drive Escalades before age 20 based on nothing more than potential? What is this, Russia?

According to Jermaine 'Fists Of Fury' O'Neal, the 'man' (or in this case, David Stern) is trying to keep his people down by imposing a 20 year old age limit on the NBA.

Maybe he's right. Turns out you have to be 21 to work in a liquor store. You also don't see a lot of young men being interviewed for the open Pope position either. And the last time I saw Shakespeare's King Lear, it was some old guy playing the lead! Perhaps Jermaine's right and these are ALL examples of those in power wanting to make sure that the only options that young african-american males have before age 20 are either regular work or (god forbid) a free education! Not since the days of seperate water fountains have I seen such a clear example of racial intolerance!

Perhaps what Jermaine needs to be reminded of is that the NBA is ENTERTAINMENT. It's not some community project designed to pull young men up by their bootstraps and give them a chance at a better life. If it is, it's a pretty lousy program. Imagine if the Boys Club or United Way only helped 2 or 3 people a year and gave them $100 million dollars each while the 10 million or so who didn't qualify got nothing. Needless to say, I don't think I'll be nominating Mr. O'Neal to be head of any of the President's 'faith based' initiatives any time soon.

The main reason I'd like to see an age limit put into place is purely selfish for me. Watching a league where the average age continues downward sucks. Average older players are forced out of basketball so that Sebastian Telfair can spend 5 years learning how to play point guard and charge me $100 a seat for the privilege of watching. How exciting has the NBA become? Ask anyone who's watched Kwame Brown play for the last 4 years. Ask anyone how many years it'll be before Andris Biedrins or Darko Milicic are any good?

The flaw in O'Neal's reasoning is that if a player comes out of high school and doesn't want to go to college, that there's no other way for him to make an income. As far as I know, Europe doesn't have an age limit. The NBDL also seems made for someone in this situation. So apparently O'Neal's just angry that 17 year old high school students can't become millionaires before they've actually proven that they have any talent. Welcome to life for everyone else.

Oh and P.S. Wilbon, Kruk and Mariotti are all jackasses for thinking there's something horribly wrong with Lowe and Roberts wearing Sox jerseys for the ring ceremony. It's not going to 'confuse' anyone (except possibly the very old and retarded) and if the Cubs ever win in your lifetime, you'll want everyone that ever visited Chicago to come back and wear your ugly jerseys. Why don't they make Kruk wear a T-shirt that says 'ball cancer survivor' so that I'm not confused as to why he left the game?


At 7:09 AM, Blogger Drew said...

UPDATE: Greg Anthony was on the show to discuss this very topic and made no sense whatsoever. Why did Wilbon let him get away with the statement "for some kids, this is the only opportunity they have" and "some kids just aren't college material".

You know what Greg? Some kids aren't high school material either. Does that mean that the NBA should be able to hold an NBA bench for a 14 year old kid that may or may not become a quality player?

That and the argument that "for every high school player you can name that's not ready for the NBA, I can name a college graduate that's not". That's a lie. There's a lot more people in high school than there are in college, so eventually you're going to run out of people Greg. It makes about as much sense as saying, "For every Sebastian Telfair you mention, I can mention 10 homeless kids in Indonesia that don't even know how to play basketball".

At 10:27 AM, Blogger Jeff said...

I never thought I'd say this, but Charles Barkley to the rescue! Both on PTI and SportsCenter yesterday, he came out in favor of a 20 year old age limit. He also made a point I thought everyone was missing, that the draft was put in place to help out the bad teams. If they draft a kid purely on potential, and he takes 3 years to develop (or a whole career if you're Kuwame Brown), there's no guarantee he's going to stay on that team, since rookie contracts are only 3 years.

In fact, does anyone remember Jermaine O'Neal playing for the TrailBlazers? They had the pleasure of drafting and housing that kid while he developed, only to watch him jump ship and start producing in Indiana.

I also have a selfish reason to be in favor of a 20 year old limit, I think it'll improve the college game. Greg Anthony's point that some kids just aren't college material is ridiculous. I don't know how you can be supposedly a big proponent of education and take that stance. Besides, and Greg should know this as much as any other athelete from UNLV, many of those schools don't care if you go to class (See: Johnson, Larry).

But if you do go to class, you could end up with exactly what Greg praises, an education. Patrick Ewing wasn't college material, but now he has a degree from Georgetown. -Not too shabby. And if players still don't want to go to school, they can cut out the NBA middle man and play in Europe (Scoonie Penn).

At 6:43 PM, Blogger Corey said...

Ummm Wilbon has come out in favor of the age limit while YOUR BOY Kornheiser has been against. I used to think this was a good site but it's starting to read more and more like some anti-Wilbon fanboy venting post.

You don't mention how Wilbon agrees with everything age limit but you mention his dislike of Roberts and Lowe wearing the Sauks jerseys.

At 11:22 AM, Blogger Drew said...

I dont' see a Pro-Kornheiser slant at all. Korny can be every bit the damn fool as Wilbon (see Tonya Harding), and while I completely agreed with Wilbon about the 20 year old age limit, I also felt like YOUR BOY didn't raise the points to make his argument and I had to come in and clean up his mess.

At 10:10 PM, Anonymous Darrell said...

No surprise Kruk should choose wrong on the jerseys issue. He has an unerring talent for it. If he says go left, I'm going right. If he says a restaurant blows, I'm eating there. If he's ever right about something, we should have a parade. Even within his own sport - he demonstrates that having enough talent to play a game doesn't require actually knowing much of anything about it.

At 10:20 PM, Blogger Jeff said...

Yeah, did anyone see Kruk the other day analyzing Randy Johnson's poor start on SportsCenter by joking, "I don't think he's gonna win 30 games!" -A reference to his pre-season prediction that the 41 year old Johnson will win 30. What was (is) that guy smoking?!


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