The NBA’s “one-and-done” rule — which prohibits players from entering the NBA Draft until they’re 19 years old and graduated high school at least one year prior — gets debated around this time of the year, every year. After the All-Star break, there’s a month or so before the postseason push begins in earnest and the focus for many shifts to the draft with March Madness nearing, when college hoops takes center stage.
Each year, Adam Silver discusses potential changes to the league’s draft eligibility rule at his annual press conference prior to the All-Star game and the debate wages on over whether the rule is a positive or a negative for players and potential prospects. This year, we’ve already heard from Kevin Durant about the rule, and how he feels the league should do away with it as at 18 years old a prospect should have the right to make that decision whether he wants to go to school or enter the workforce — in this case, the NBA draft pool.
This is generally the argument most bring up in opposition of the “one-and-done” rule. In any other profession and every sport other than the NBA and NFL, players have the opportunity to try and make it as a professional out of high school if they so choose. There are obvious exceptions in the professional world (namely the requirement of a college degree for many jobs), but the NBA is not a place that requires such qualifications and, if anything, the “one-and-done” highlights that hypocrisy as kids go to college for seven months before dropping out to pursue a professional career, simply to clear that hurdle.
Pistons coach and president of basketball operations Stan Van Gundy made that argument on Sunday, but took it a step further to point out that those that argue against players having the opportunity to come out of high school and into the pros tend to make racist points about the inability of these kids to make that decision at 18.