The Future of the NBA DLeague?

Mark Cuban is the owner of the Dallas Mavericks and a judge on the ABC show, "Shark Tank."
Mark Cuban is the owner of the Dallas Mavericks and a judge on the ABC show, “Shark Tank.”

Mark Cuban. Good for you. I don’t always agree with you, but this time, you may have come up with something more brilliant that any invention presented to you on “Shark Tank.”

He didn’t go into massive details with it, but just the idea sparked my brain to infinity and beyond. Here’s a quote from the article posted at USA Today.

DALLAS (AP) — Mark Cuban thinks the next Kevin Durant would be better off in the NBA Development League rather than the college of his choice.

The outspoken Dallas Mavericks owner said he can envision scenarios where the country’s top basketball prospects would get drafted and play in the D-League rather than spend one season at an NCAA school.

Cuban said there’s no reason for a player to attend college as a freshman “because he’s not going to class, he’s actually not even able to take advantage of all the fun because the first semester he starts playing basketball.”

This is a brilliant idea on so many levels. Do you actually think Joel Embiid and Andrew Wiggins are study buddies in and out of the classroom. Do you think that Kansas University’s coach, Bill Self, would be thrilled if he knew they were spending most of their time studying Chemistry, rather than the pick and roll? Hell no. This, my friends, is why one and dones are an absolute joke.

Mark Cuban used Kevin Durant as an example, as shown in the article. After Durant’s senior year at Montrose Christian School, he committed to play collegiate basketball at the University of Texas, where he and Ohio State’s Greg Oden were the hype of the country. Oden ended up going number one to the Portland Trailblazers and Durant, the current MVP in 2014, went second to the Seattle Supersonics, who are now known as the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Yes, for Ohio State and Texas, they were fun times, but as a die hard basketball fan of those two schools, how do you feel about this? How do you sleep at night? You were just another number. It was a one-night stand; and by the way, there’s only so much “education” that you can cram in a matter of a year.

Mark Cuban brought up an idea and now I’m going to take the ball and run. Not everyone will agree with me, and for those of you who don’t, consider this article a stiff arm.

Thanasis Antetokounmpo of the Delaware 87ers.
Thanasis Antetokounmpo of the Delaware 87ers.

The Philadelphia 76ers are the second-worst team in the NBA this season and not much lower in the talent tank, no pun intended, is their NBDL affiliate, the Delaware 87ers, also known as the Sevens. I’ll bet my favorite pair of pants on it that over 90 percent of all basketball “fans” have no damn idea how the he….llllll the developmental league works.

One day, Kendall Marshall was running point on the Sevens and the next week, he was over in Los Angeles balling in front of Jack Nicholson. The league, to most, is just there, so why not take advantage of what you have. You’re the NBA! The players coming out of college have no say. You’re opening your door and allowing them in your home. I’ll never trash college education. I’m a journalism graduate from the University of Rowan. I’m just saying that these one and dones HAVE to go.

So, Sixers fans; don’t crap yourself, thinking that I’m pushing for a two-year college minimum. I’m pretty damn sure that Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker are going to be in the NBA in 2014-2015. What I am saying though is that if someone wants to attend college, make them stay at least two years, starting in a couple years (just so these kids have enough time to make an educated decision).

So, if a kid goes to the University of North Carolina, for example, he will need to stay at least two years with the obvious choice of a four-year maximum. Where does this leave the high school studs? Let’s rewind a year and say that this “Mark Cuban Rule” was put into place. Do you think that Wiggins or Parker would want to wait two years to make a boat load (not the size of Allen Iverson’s new boat, but bigger) of money, or would they wait just one?



Now, we have separated the kids that want an education with those who want to take their talents to the NBA out of high school as soon as humanly possible. So, let’s say the Delaware 87ers acquired Wiggins out of high school (how they did that would be for another article). He would obviously not bet part of the Sixers (yet), so the NBA could either deal with that or change the rules (don’t be surprised if the new commish, Adam Silver, stamps his name on the league sooner than later). This would be one of the smartest business moves, which Mark Cuban knows plenty about, that the NBA could possibly make.

Does the NBA make money from people watching Jabari Parker and Duke University? They will make money from Parker soon, but not yet. So, why not open the door and allow Wiggins, Parker, Joel Embiid, Gary Harris, and any other headline player, currently in College, enter a NBDL draft pool? Right out of high school, the NBA will adopt these kids until their final days in the NBA. No college distractions. No more one and done nonsense. More money for the NBA. More relevance for the DLeague, which in the dictionary, is a synonym of the word ghost.

Now, we might actually know how the DLeague works. We might have a reason to watch. The NBA has something here that’s sitting right under their nose. Good for you, Cuban.


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