Kobe Bryant is held up as one of the shining examples of players being successful in the NBA without going to college. He was recently asked his thoughts on players being able to skip college or not and how that impacts the game as a whole:
“I don’t really look at it from that perspective of what was good for the game of basketball,” Kobe said when asked about his impact on the NBA as a prep-to-pro player. “I think the reality is there’s been a lot of players who’ve come out of high school. If you do the numbers and you look at the count, you’ll probably see players who came out of high school that were much more successful on average than players who went to college for a year or two or however long. It seems like the system really isn’t teaching players anything, if you go to college. If you go to college, you play, you showcase, and you come to the pros. Well, that’s always been the big argument, as a player you have to go to college, you have to develop your skills and so forth and so on, and then you come to the league. So, we kind of got sold on that dream a little bit. Fortunately, I didn’t really listen much to it. Neither did KG. Neither did LeBron. I think that worked out pretty well for all three of us.
“I’m always a firm believer in us being able to make our own decisions, especially as it pertains to going out and working and having a job. You should be able to go out there and make your own choices.”
Kobe does have the right mindset in my opinion on this. I agree that the CBA shouldn’t restrict players coming into the league to make a living and have a job. Especially considering the lack of compensation in the college game.