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Tuesday, April 12, 2005

No Race-ing to the NBA, Kids

Yes, I'm on a posting binge here. Anyway, Jermaine O'Neal is throwing out the accusation that David Stern is a racist for seeking an NBA age limit:

"As a black guy, you kind of think [race is] the reason why it's coming up.

"You don't hear about it in baseball or hockey. To say you have to be 20, 21 to get in the league, it's unconstitutional. If I can go to the U.S. Army and fight the war at 18 why can't you play basketball for 48 minutes?" O'Neal said.

Of course, you do hear about it in football--never mind.

I agree with O'Neal that an age limit is a bad idea. But let's stick with serious arguments before we casually toss things like this out there, please?

The key difference with baseball and hockey is they have well-developed minor league systems, not that they are sports with more white guys. The NBDL is a young experiment that hopefully will expand and flourish, giving hoop prospects a real alternative to the joke that is the "student-athlete" experience we recently witnessed in the NCAA Tournament.