Oscar Robertson doesn't believe there is anything wrong with players staying in college for the minimum of one year and then jumping to the NBA. The basketball legend thinks the only reason it's become a hot-button topic is due to greedy colleges.
Genaro C. Armas of the Associated Press (via Business Insider) passed along comments from the Hall of Famer and 12-time All-Star, who said colleges are only looking out for their own good and not what's best for the players involved:
These colleges are greedy, man. They want to keep a kid ... in school if they start to win. They want to keep them in school because it helps them—it helps the coach, it helps the winning percentage.
Robertson also said the players shouldn't be blamed for taking the guaranteed money at the next level, even if they may not be completely ready to play against NBA competition:
That's the owners' problem. It's not a players' problem. If you're going to give a young kid 3 million bucks, is he going to take it? Of course, I'd take it.
As the report notes, the conversation about whether to increase the requirement to enter the NBA draft comes after new commissioner Adam Silver said two years might be a better option. His reasoning surrounded the idea it would lead to a better overall product.
Of course, another reason the topic of one-and-done players is in the spotlight is due to Kentucky's appearance in the Final Four. The freshman-laden Wildcats put together a tremendous run through the East region to move within two victories of a national title.
Head coach John Calipari has mastered the art of recruiting and developing players with the talent necessary to make the quick jump. This year's team beat experienced foes like Wichita State and Louisville, leading to a debate about whether the practice is good for college basketball.
Calipari even suggested changing the term, as noted by Kyle Tucker of the Courier-Journal:
Robertson had an outstanding collegiate career at Cincinnati before proceeding to enjoy even more success in the NBA. So if they was anybody who might advocate a longer college career, it would seemingly be him.
But the longtime guard understands the reality of the situation. If a player is good enough to interest NBA teams after one year, whether he's truly ready or not, it's tough to turn down the money. The league already made it so high-school stars couldn't make the direct jump.
Moving forward, it's obviously an issue that's likely to generate a lot of buzz during the college and NBA offseasons. The fact the commissioner is already talking about a two-year requirement sets the stage for those discussions.
If a new rule is implemented in the near future, it wouldn't be a surprise to see more players considering alternative routes before becoming eligible for the draft. So extending the requirement wouldn't necessarily lead to better college basketball.
Many more voices will likely be heard before a final decision is made. Robertson made it clear where he stands.
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