Former player, NBA legend Charles Barkley really doesn’t seem to like the current state of the NBA and the new players that come into the league after just one year of college.
“The NBA is watered down. The NBA is the worst I’ve ever seen it. I think we’ve got to address all the kids coming into the NBA after one year (in college),” he said on the “Dan Patrick’s Show”.
“I think it has something to do with all these kids we’re drafting out of high school … now we’re drafting kids after one year of college. It drives me crazy. They have potential, but they have no idea how to play basketball… it’s something I’ve been saying for the last three years.”
According to Barkley, there should be a two-year college minimum for players so they can take more time to understand the game.
“You look at Steph and Kawhi (Leonard), they both stayed in college X amount of years. (It’s) something we have to address,” he said. “I know everybody is in a hurry to get paid, but we have watered down our product. You look at the last few rookie classes we’ve had — they’ve all been guys who only stayed in college for one year and they all have one thing in common — they all are not very good. We’re drafting young guys, trying to make them NBA players, and they just can’t play.”
Barkley said the players who leave early might be good in a few years, but they are undeveloped when they arrive. He says this process isn’t fair to the fans, who deserve good players in the draft who can help immediately.
While Barkley does have a valid point about some “one and done” players, the NBA also had players who never played college basketball and yet made a huge impact on the league – Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant, Shawn Kemp, LeBron James just to name a few.
Barkley, an 11-time All-Star, was named one of the NBA’s all-time 50 greatest players in 1993, the same year he won the league’s Most Valuable Player award.
Hall of Famer Barkley competed in the 1992 and 1996 Olympic games and won 2 gold medals. He holds career NBA averages of 22.1 ppg and 11.7 rpg in 36.7 minutes on the court. Barkley played in 1073 NBA games, starting in 1012 of them.
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