David Stern Touts D-League, Claims It Does Better Job Educating Than College Programs
NBA Commissioner David Stern on Thursday while in Manila for the Rockets-Pacers preseason game "put in a plug for the NBA Development League while taking a shot at his league’s critics" from within the ranks of the NCAA, according to Fran Blinebury of NBA.com. Stern said, "One of the things we've done, which I’m equally proud of, and it’s importance will emerge in future years as the discussions about the NCAA and its relation to the NBA heat up, is that we have a full-fledged development league. NBA Development League has 17 teams now and my guess is by 2015 it’ll be 20 teams." Stern added, "I hear about our colleges not liking what they refer to as 'one-and-done,' we have a league in the NBA Development League that will accept players when they are 18 and will do, I might say, a better job of educating than the college programs in which they are." Stern "paused dramatically, then added, 'Take that'" (NBA.com, 10/10). In Houston, Jonathan Feigen noted Stern after making the comment "looked to two Western reporters in the front row and winked." He said, "You know, this will be a headline in the U.S. because the world is a very small place. It doesn’t matter where I say anything, I can get in trouble" (CHRON.com, 10/10). FOXSPORTS.com's Nick Creegan writes the comment about educating players is "a bold statement by Stern, who doesn't have a big sample size of elite NBA players who came straight from the D-League as opposed to going to college." The question is whether salaries are "going to be [raised] for these young athletes." Creegan: "If they aren't getting adequately paid by the D-League -- and right now they aren't -- why skip out on a free education?" (FOXSPORTS.com, 10/11).