Abdul-Jabbar: Nobody younger than 21 should play in NBA

Basketball Hall-of-Fame center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has an idea for the league regarding future pros.

Legendary center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar told Sporting News no one younger than the age of 21-years old should be allowed to play in the NBA, as relayed by veteran pro basketball reporter Sean Deveney.

“Have the developmental league, let them go through that,” Jabbar told Deveney. “Then they can come in when they’re 21 and have some emotional maturity.”

The NBA is contemplating the idea of allowing high schoolers who have completed their senior season to enter the draft, a concept that could be re-implemented during the next collective-bargaining agreement in 2022. Right now, the NBA requires prospects to be no less than one year removed from high school.

NBA prospects are allowed to enter the G-League immediately after their senior season as it stands today.

Plenty of people across the league tend to agree with Jabbar’s concept of sending players to the minors until they turn 21. The players’ union may agree with such a proposal, provided those drafted and sent to the G-League are earning an NBA salary.

Abdul-Jabbar entered the NBA as the No. 1 overall draft pick in 1970 at the age of 22. He retired in 1989 at the age of 41. He is still the league’s all-time leading scorer.