Latest posts by Don McCormack (see all)
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The NBA’s one-and-done rule remains a hot-button issue, with opinions ranging far and wide and discussions on it taking place almost daily.
In fact, NBA commissioner Adam Silver and NBPA executive director Michele Roberts went to Washington, D.C. in November to meet with the Commission on College Basketball to talk about what is next for the NBA’s draft-entry rules.
Beginning in 2006, the NBA instituted its one-and-done rule, which stopped players from entering the NBA right out of high school, many of whom opted to play one season of college basketball (or in some cases, play professionally overseas) and then entering the NBA draft.
As an ESPN report said one of the results of the meeting between Silver, Roberts and the Commission on College Basketball was a possible change to the one-and-done rule, one that would allow players to go ahead and jump directly from high school to the NBA but require those who do not and opt to go to college to remain there for at least two years.
With the discussions taking place in Washington, Wizards All-Star guard John Wall had some interesting thoughts.
Wall, who was part of the one-and-done rule as he played one season at the University of Kentucky before entering the NBA, being the first overall pick in 2010 and becoming a four-time All-Star, does not agree with the possible change to the rule.
“It’s kinda tough. I don’t think they should go to school for two years if they don’t have to,” Wall told NBC Sports Washington. “But I also think a lot of kids aren’t ready out of high school.
“You very rarely find one or two of those guys that were spectacular that could leave right out of high school.”
LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett are recent examples of players who did just that and became superstars.
However, before the one-and-done rule was enacted, the NBA was indeed littered with guys who jumped right out of high school and never made it.
Wall, for one, believes he could have made the leap from high school to the league, but opted to not do so.
“I could have, but I wouldn’t have wanted to,” Wall said. “I wouldn’t have been ready.”
College basketball was considered to be almost a minor league system for the NBA for decades. However, Wall believes the league now has an even-better option for players to develop and work on their games, one which could be utilized in a compromise between the one-and-done rule and the above-mentioned possibility of requiring guys to remain in college for at least two years if they don’t come in the league directly out of college.
The NBA’s G-League, formerly the D-League. When the one-and-done rule was put into place, the D-League was only one year old.
“I think if they did come out of high school, they should go to the G-League for one year, then come to the NBA,” Wall said. “It would be just like they played in college, but they would be able to play at this level.”
Here’s a brief look back at the early history of guys who made, or attempted, the jump from high school to professional basketball:
- 1962 — Reggie Harding, Detroit Pistons. Drafted in the fourth round. However, NBA rules at the time prohibited players from playing in the league until one year after their high school class graduated. Harding was drafted again by the Pistons in 1963 and played a total of four seasons in the NBA and ABA.
- 1974 — Moses Malone, Utah Stars. Malone became the first player to jump directly from high school to professional basketball when the Stars selected and signed him. Malone had an instant impact as a pro, averaging 18 points and 14 boards in his rookie campaign and came to the NBA as part of the merger with the NBA in 1976, playing 19 seasons with seven teams. He won an NBA title with Philadelphia in 1983. Malone won three NBA MVP awards, was named to 12 straight All-Star Games, was named to the ALl-NBA first team eight times and captured six rebounding crowns. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and was named one of the NBA’s 50 Greatest Players in History in 1996, celebrated at the All-Star Game in Cleveland in 1997.
- 1975 — Darryl Dawkins and Bill Willoughby applied for hardship and were granted eligibility to be selected in the 1975 draft. In their respective applications, Dawkins and Willoughby showed evidence of financial hardship to the league and were given the right to starting earning a living by tipping off their professional careers. Dawkins was taken fifth overall in the 1975 draft by Philadelphia and Willoughby 19th by the Atlanta Hawks. Dawkins played 14 years in the league, mostly with the 76ers, and averaged 14 points and six rebounds per game. Willoughby had an eight-year NBA career, playing for six different teams. He average six points per game.
- Perhaps scared off by what happened with Dawkins and Willoughby, no player who jumped from high school to the NBA was drafted for the next 14 years, though several players entered the league without playing college basketball.