Steve Kerr advocates raising the NBA’s age limit over at Grantland. His argument is that the NBA is better served financially by having players in college longer. And in the end, Steve, isn’t what’s in the best financial interests of the NBA really what’s best for America?
The dreckiest sentence in this mountain of dreck is this one: “Why should NBA franchises assume the responsibility and financial burden of player development when, once upon a time, colleges happily assumed that role for them?”
Let’s rewrite that question for Steve, but add one single ounce of humanity and perspective: “Why should anyone other than the NBA assume the responsibility and financial burden of player development?” Steve thinks the NBA is entitled to reap the corrupted benefits of the professional basketball player factory that is the NCAA.
And thank goodness for the NCAA. Assuming responsibilty over here and financial burden over there, all out of the goodness of their collective heart. The NCAA and NBA have concocted a virtually risk-free scam in which the NCAA develops talent at no cost, funnels that talent into a monopoly. The only potential risk is a player getting hurt before he gets pushed through the funnel. That’s a minimal risk because the flow of talent is endless.
Well, minimal risk for the NBA and NCAA anyway. But screw the kid. That’s Kerr’s point and at least he had the guts to state it bluntly - albeit after he piled on about 2000 words of tone-deaf platitudes and other compost:
The arguments against raising the age requirement hinge on civil liberties, points like, “Who are we to deny a 19-year-old kid a chance to make a living when he can vote, drive, and fight in a war?” If this were about legality or fairness, you might have a case. But it’s really about business. The National Basketball Association is a multi-billion-dollar industry that depends on ticket sales, sponsorships, corporate dollars, and media contracts to operate successfully. If the league believes one rule tweak — whatever it is — would improve its product and make it more efficient, then it should be allowed to make that business decision.
With that guiding principle Steve, what other “rule tweaks” might serve the greater good of the NBA, and by definition, America? An endless and frightening list of things comes to mind. No business should be allowed to violate fundamental freedoms of our society to improve their bottom line. That type of thinking is vile.
And why is Grantland publishing this badifesto? I’m not asking an entire collection of writers to speak with one voice, but dropping in a non-writer with partisan ties to an issue to editoriolize is in poor taste. Especially when his case is so glaringly weak and offered without counterpoint.
I also don’t think rich, old, White men should be allowed to arbitrarly decide when impoverished, young, Black adults should be allowed to earn a living in their chosen profession, but Steve Kerr deftly dealt with that issue by not mentioning it.