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How did we get here?

Kenny Dennard has sent us his take on Mike Dunleavy's decision to remain in the NBA draft.

How did a private enterprise like the NBA tailspin into the death spiral
that it finds itself in these days?

The latest evidence of this demise is the Mike Dunleavy's "testing the
waters" farce...

In 1969, the ABA adopted a controversial "hardship rule," allowing teams
to sign college undergraduates who could demonstrate an immediate financial
to leave school and play professionally. Under that rule, Spencer
Haywood left the University of Detroit after his sophomore year to play
for Denver. Haywood, who had led the 1968 U. S. Olympic team to a gold medal,
was the league's rookie of the year and most valuable player in
he married Iman, the hottest international supermodel of the 70's....but
I digress.

Other players left school early in the 70's and 80's to pursue a "better
life," but they were rare and did they actually have a better life?

The key word in 1969 controversy was "hardship"... now the key word is
"greed." And if the NBA were publicly traded, it would be a major short

We all knew Mike Dunleavy would be a lottery pick if he came out. But
why did he need to come out?

Does he need the money? Will a better life or a better team be afforded
him because he leaves Duke a year early?

Isn't the chance to show some leadership and character...and maybe even
earn national player of the year honors and win another national championship...isn't
that enough incentive to stay at the best college program with the best coach
on the planet?


Did Grant Hill or Tim Duncan or Shane Battier need to leave early? No,
they had the courage to stay and display leadership beyond their peers. And
I think they are doing okay.

In my opinion, college basketball is now entering the twilight zone, where
future student/athletes - the kids like my 7-year old son who looked up
to Dunleavy - are being convinced that there is no value in attempting the
four-year college experience and its all about the fact, a friend
of mine who's a coach said he thought that the ego-play for kids like Dunleavy
is that now you can't stay all four years if you want to be seen as an elite

But look at the overall TV ratings...the NBA's bubble has already burst even
thought the Lakers/Kings series had some sizzle...but I am afraid that the
college bubble will burst soon if kids like Dunleavy keep selling out too....just
think how many talents have already been lost to the NBA that we'll never
have the pleasure to watch play at the college level...even if we force ourselves
to watch the NBA, we aren't seeing these talents thrill us at the pro level
the first few years in the league because the pros beat the snot out of them
and TV games that highlight the studio hosts more than the many
games did you see Battier play this past year for Memphis?...and he had a
great year!

Hill, Duncan and Battier are now rare beacons of light in college basketball's
past 10 years - and their likes are dearly missed.

Please forgive me, I rant therefore I am,