The one-year after high school rule was implemented in in 2005 and hasn’t gotten any less controversial since.
In 2005, the NBA under David Stern ruled that a player had to be at least 19 years old to play in the NBA and must be one year removed from high school. College basketball hasn’t been the same since.
We have seen some of the greatest players in NBA history skip college to go to high school. Kevin Garnett in 1995 opened up the door, Kobe the year after and Tracy McGrady the year after that. Those are three really huge names.
But players who have skipped college haven’t all been good and have produced some busts. Including Korleone Young in 1998, Jonathan Bender in 1999 and Darius Miles in 2000.
After a number of busts skipped college and came through the draft lottery, it was an incentive to commissioner at the time David Stern to take a closer look into the rule. He believed that it was in NBA owner’s best interest to see a player for a year before they drafted them.
And one of the other main believers of this rule was Michael Jordan, who was both part owner of the Washington Wizards and in charge of basketball operations at the time.
Jordan thought there was a decreasing level of professionalism in the league. He argued that it was hard to scout high schoolers and they need to learn the fundamentals in order to be successful in the league.
Of course Jordan couldn’t help drafting, straight out of high school, Kwame Brown with the first pick in the 2001 draft. That didn’t turn out well for the Wizards.
Then of course came LeBron James in 2003, but that obviously didn’t stop Stern.
Stern’s rule does make sense in a way. It is smart in the fact that it often times gives NBA teams more time and opportunity to scout. It also gives players more time to develop their skills in college for another year. But here’s the problem with the “one and done” rule.
The fact that a person can join the military and fight for your country right after high school, and get paid doing it, seems rather odd. You can handle a M16 in Iraq at 18 but you can’t play basketball for money in America.
It has also changed the game of college basketball. It hasn’t necessarily made it worse but it definitely hasn’t made it better. Teams like Duke and Kentucky are virtually unrecognizable from one year to the next. Players draft stock can decrease, they could get injured, and any number of things could happen that would affect their ability to play at the next level.
Still after twelve years of the one-year after college rule, it is still one of the most debated topics in college basketball.
It hasn’t made college basketball worse, but it hasn’t made it any better.
“From Our Haus to Yours”