An open letter to NBA players

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 22, 2014 at 1:51 pm •  Published: April 22, 2014

(c) 2014, The Shadow League.

To All NBA Players,

NBA commissioner Adam Silver must be stopped.

His idea to increase the age for draft eligibility is just plain wrong.

Currently, a player must be 19 or one year removed from his high school graduating class to enter the draft.

Now, Silver wants to raise the age limit to 20.

In no other field would you stop a prodigy. Kids have played Carnegie Hall, graduated college at 10 and become a medical doctor at 17.

Yet, the NBA wants to stump the growth of talented young men. Shame on Silver.

Sadly, the players and its union sold out new players when they agreed to the 19 year old rule.

Now, Silver wants you to put another knife in the backs of NBA hopefuls. Worse, for no legitimate reason.

Honestly, it's hard to look at the rules with age limits in the NBA and NFL and not think race has something to do with it.

After all, both leagues are majority black players. Interestingly, the NBA was also the first league with a salary cap and the NFL quickly followed.

In all other sports, they celebrate a prodigy, a young person who is good enough to play at a high level at a young age.

Read and learn.

The youngest MLB player was Joe Nuxhall. He pitched for the Cincinnati Reds at age 15 in 1944.

NHL goalie Dominik Hasek turned pro at age 16 in his native Czechoslovakia. Many break into the NHL at the ripe age of 18.

In tennis, Michael Chang was the youngest male player to win a Grand Slam singles title. He was 17 when he won the French Open in 1989.

Just two years ago, Andy Zhang, at 14, became the youngest golfer to compete in the U.S. Open.

So stop the noise about age in sports. It's about ability. Period.

Moses Malone, Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James all excelled in the pros without playing a minute of college basketball.

Have some failed? Sure. But there have been more four-year college players who have failed at being stars on the next level.

Worse, many put the blame on the undergrads for chasing their dreams. Again, total nonsense.

The onus is on the owners and team general managers, not the underclassmen.

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