Kareem says smart stuff again

In an AP article by Eric Olson entitled “Abdul-Jabbar says NBA entry age should be 21,” Kareem Abdul-Jabar is quoted as proposing that the US National Basketball Association (which affects basketball Earth-wide) should enact rules that restrict players’ access to the NBA.

“They get precocious kids from high school who think they’re rock stars— ‘Where’s my $30 million?’ ” said Abdul-Jabbar, who was in Omaha to speak at the B’nai B’rith sports banquet. “The attitudes have changed, and the game has suffered because of that, and it has certainly hurt the college game.”

I agree with Mr Abdul-Jabar’s arguments. He has both the basketball experience and the intellectual chops to make this argument—way more than I do. But I have a lingering reservation. In a free-market economy, shouldn’t a skillfull young player (e.g., Lebron James or even Andrew Bynum, whom Mr. Abdul-Jabar coaches) be able to pursue a career? Would Mr. James have come out of college a more polished gem than he was after two or three years in NBA?

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