Kareem Abdul-Jabbar thinks LeBron James needed college by: Greg Smith

So when I heard Kareem on the radio yesterday on a station out of Omaha while driving home from work, I had to listen.  He is an all-time great and from what I have seen you just do not hear from him all that often.  “The Captain,” as you will often hear him referred to by Lakers fans and general basketball fans, is as respected as they come so when he said: “LeBron James would have benefited from college and would have arrived with very polished basketball skills,” I took it seriously.

Not serious enough to not post that crazy picture with him and Bruce Lee.  I mean come on, that was too easy.

I know a lot of people, including the BSO don Robert Littal (check for his thoughts at www.twitter.com/blksportsonline) are about to think I am crazy, but I disagree with Rob on this one.  I’m with Kareem.

Not just that LeBron needed college, but that everyone entering the NBA needs to attend college.  You can’t argue that LeBron is one of the most physically gifted players on the planet, but his basketball skills outside of blowing by everyone and dunking could stand to be improved.

This debate has people with strong feelings on both sides.  I just happen to be on the side of an age limit or mandatory years in college.  Think about it, for every LeBron, Kobe, and Kevin Garnett that are out there, how many Dorell Wrights are there?

This is not about the phenoms like LeBron and Kobe, because you are not going to stop their greatness (barring a huge injury).  This is about the players like Ndudi Ebi who would have benefitted greatly from a fallback plan had the NBA not worked out.

I am sure some of you will want to talk to me about this one: www.twitter.com/g_twitty so feel free. Sometimes, you need to save people from themselves.

11 thoughts on “Kareem Abdul-Jabbar thinks LeBron James needed college by: Greg Smith

  • If you're willing & able, then why should you not be able to do what you want when you want? It makes no sense to make guidelines for one profession & not for other professions outside of sports.

    Hell, lets stop allowing kids to skip grades while we're at it, even though they've tested to be smart enough to do so. What's the point of making athletes attend college, even though they don't want to? That's taking a scholarship away from a student-athlete who really wants to attend college and obtain a degree.

  • I agree but it is a tough decision sometimes you have poverty stricken teens that need to capitalize off of their talent to help their family RIGHT NOW. However, in the same breath if something happens most athletes do not have the ability to revert back to college. A person that finishes high school plays lets say … 2 years in the NBA then has an injury or is cut.. will have a difficult time going back to the structured environment of a learning instituion…as well as recalling some of that HS education that prepped him for higher learning.

  • College isn't needed. We often overlook that only 1% of drafted players will become superstars. Most players will be marginal role players. For Kobe there are several Kwame Browns and for every Tim Duncan there are Shane Battiers. The bottom line is this, it doesn't matter if you went to college or not because most players will FAIL in the nba. Forget about being the next Jordan, a player is lucky if he has a spot on the bench.

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