Currently in the NBA, the age rule for incoming players is set at 19-years-old. With this rule, no players are allowed to come directly out of high school straight to the pros. As a result, these talented young players must make a decision to play overseas, commit to a college program or play in the NBA Developmental League.
If this rule was around in years past, players like Kobe Bryant, Andrew Bynum, Kevin Garnett, Shawn Kemp, Moses Malone, Tracy McGrady, LeBron James and Dwight Howard might have ended up with different teams in the NBA, and therefore completely different careers.
This new age requirement began in 2005, but it appears it might be coming to an end with NBA Commissioner David Stern considering a change. Even though most people believe that the rule should go back to allowing players right out of high school, Stern believes the league should add another year via Associated Press:
“We would love to add a year, but that’s not something that the players’ association has been willing to agree to,” Stern said Tuesday.
“Our rule is that they won’t be eligible for the draft until they’re 19. They can play in Europe, they can play in the D-League, they can go to college. This is a not a social program, this is a business rule for us. The NFL has a rule which requires three years of college. So the focus is often on ours, but it’s really not what we require in college.”
With David Stern already rubbing people around the league the wrong way with the extended NBA lockout and the Chris Paul, Lakers trade, which was vetoed before the beginning of the season, the NBA Commissioner might make even more people angry with this statement. Even though Stern does favor adding another year, the longtime NBA Commissioner is on his way out at this point in his career after publicly saying that he might be around for just two more seasons.