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David Stern says D-League better educates players than NCAA

Oct 10, 2013, 1:33 PM EDT

Someone must be one year removed from high school to play in the NBA, but he must be just 18 to play in the D-League.

Right now, that doesn’t mean much. Few players go to the D-League because they’re not old enough for the NBA. They  go to college.

But as the D-League expands, that could change, and David Stern is making a pitch for his minor league. Stern, via Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle:

“I’m very proud of the development league. It’s working. That march is continuing. The drumbeats I hear about colleges not liking what they refer to one-and-done . We now have a rule where the development league will accept players that are 18 and will do a better job of educating them than the college programs they are in.”

I don’t know whether the D-League or NCAA does a better job educating 18-year-olds. As I said before, not enough elite players have chosen the the D-League over college to make any definitive judgments.

But I do know neither the NCAA nor D-League does an adequate job of paying 18-year-olds. D-League salaries are too low, and college salaries are banned.

NBA owners have conspired with veteran NBA players in negotiating a Collective Bargaining Agreement that bans high school players from going pro, leaving more NBA jobs open to veteran players. And NCAA teams have conspired with each other not to pay their players, leaving more money for administrators and coaches to divvy among themselves.

Until elite 18-year-olds are paid full market value, how well they’re educated is a secondary concern.

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