One of the highlights of this weekend's MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference was Malcolm Gladwell's interview with NBA commissioner Adam Silver. A few weeks ago in a conversation with USA Today's Sam Amick, Silver discussed the idea of raising the league's minimum age from 19 to 20, effectively changing the "one and done" system to "two and done." On Saturday Silver reaffirmed just how important this is to him. From Dan Devine of Yahoo Ball Don't Lie:
Gladwell asked Silver what he called the "magic wand" question: If you had all 30 NBA owners totally on board and under your spell, and could push through any project, rule change or initiative you wanted, what would it be?
“I’d raise the age,” Silver said.
Silver and Gladwell spoke at some length about the age limit/age minimum issue, and the broader relationship between the NCAA and NBA, during the discussion. As he did in his sitdown with Amick, Silver emphasized his beliefs that the NBA bears some responsibility for ensuring the continued health of the college game, and that forcing prospects to spend two years developing before reaching the big-time will result in a stronger NBA game.
“I think the NCAA should have a seat at the table in all matters of NBA eligibility,” Silver said.
One thing worth noting is that an increase in the minimum age to 20 wouldn't guarantee pro prospects go to/stay in college for two years; 18 and 19 year olds looking to get paid could still travel overseas or join the D-League. Another interesting sidebar to this story -- if this rule applied to the 2014 draft, currently 9 of the top 10 projected picks (according to Draft Express) would be ineligible. Oklahoma State sophomore Marcus Smart is the only non-freshman in the bunch.
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Mark Vandeusen 3/02/2014 05:07:00 PM Tweet Edit