Larry, don’t let the NCAA hear you calling college a minor league system. Remember, they’re “student” athletes. *snickers*
Hall of Fame coach Larry Brown was recently asked about Mark Cuban’s stance that basketball players with NBA potential would fare better in the D-League than in college and the SMU head coach no one’s surprise completely disagreed.
“I admire him and I think he’s one of the bright guys we have in our profession, but that was the worst thing I heard.”
“They don’t teach guys how to play, in my mind,” Brown said of the D-League. “The head coaches in the NBA and a lot of the assistants do, but [college basketball] is the greatest minor league system in the world. If you didn’t go to one class and just live in a college environment, then you’re way ahead. And I think most coaches are responsible enough to make them go to class, make them go to study hall, give them life lessons.
“How about being around [SMU assistants] Eric Snow and George Lynch? Those two guys played 13, 14 years in the league, have families, are successful. In all honesty, I love Mark, but [college basketball] is pretty good.
“Now, it’s our job to make [players] realize getting an education is something that’s important, because here’s the deal: Life after basketball is a real long time.”
Both Cuban and Brown have very good points. Whether going straight to the D-League/NBA or college helps develop players is very much up for debate, but what isn’t is that this one-year requirement isn’t helping the them, college hoops, or the NBA.