SBD/March 19, 2014/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Clippers Players, Coach Speak Out Against NBA Possibly Raising Age Limit

Paul said it should be up to a player to decide if he is ready for the NBA
The possibility of the NBA raising its minimum-age requirement has "several Clippers players frustrated," according to Dan Woike of the ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER. Clippers C DeAndre Jordan said, "That’s the dumbest idea ever. For what? Why make those guys, those college phenoms, stay in college for two years?" The rule "wouldn’t force players to attend college, but it would force them to wait two years after graduating high school, allowing for players to play overseas" or in the D-League. Clippers coach Doc Rivers said, "Let’s just be honest. The colleges want them to stay in college to help the colleges. That’s what it is at the end of the day." Clippers G and NBPA President Chris Paul said that he also is "against raising the age limit, and like most players, feels the age restriction should be lifted." Paul: "You should have the option or opportunity to decide if you think you’re ready. ... If you feel like you’re ready, it shouldn’t be someone else’s decision" (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 3/19). However, in Boston, Baxter Holmes reported Celtics F Jared Sullinger "wouldn’t mind if more college players were in school" for at least two years before they could turn pro. Sullinger: "It would be better for the college game in general. You’d get to see these guys for two years and they’d become the focal point and you’d see how they develop." Still, Sullinger "also sees the downside" of the possible requirement. He added, "It can hinder somebody, the guy that clearly is the best, and then a major injury happens. ... A prime example is my situation where I stayed another year and I got hurt that year. That is kind of scary, because if you look at it from my perspective, I didn’t know where I was going to go (in the NBA draft). Before, I was top-5, hands down. I knew where I was going" (BOSTON GLOBE, 3/18).

AGENT ANGST: SPORTING NEWS' Sean Deveney wrote NBA agents are "none too happy about the potential change." An agent said, "It is the kind of rule that is good for the handful of people who are making the rule. It is good for the colleges, they get to exploit these kids’ labor for another year. It is good for teams who can wait another year to pay these players. It’s good for the NBA players already in the union. But what about the kids? Who is to say that keeping them in college for another year is good for them?" The NBPA at this point "still has not chosen" an Exec Dir 13 months after Billy Hunter's dismissal. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver acknowledged that he "would like to iron out issues such as a change to the age limit." The fear among agents is that "whomever winds up with the executive director’s job will be hurried to the table to solve those B-List issues, and that a change to the age limit will be the result" (SPORTINGNEWS.com, 3/17).
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