Coach Cal and the One and Done

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has been critical of the “one and done” rule in the NBA’s draft.

Last night, history was made as the first 7 selections of the NBA Draft were “one and dones”.  For those who are unaware, the “one and done” rule came into effect at the 2006 Draft, where players were forced to spend at least one year in college or be 19 years of age before entering for the draft.  It was implemented in an attempt to have fewer busts at the top of draft boards and ensure players were more prepared to enter the NBA.

Most notable of the high school draft busts was Kwame Brown in 2001.  He has haunted Michael Jordan’s career as an NBA executive, as he was the Wizards President responsible for selecting Brown first overall.  Brown’s best season in the NBA sawhim averaging 10 points and 7 boards, summarizing his lacklustre production in the NBA.

Fast forward to the modern draft and NBA.  There seems to be a problem with the under-development of players as they enter the NBA.  Few draft classes have had the freshman talent featured in this group.

Commissioner Adam Silver has been critical of the “one and done” as he has proposed a two year mandatory stay for NBA prospects.  However, the NBA players association has spoken out against this proposed rule as they seek to revert to pre-“one and done” bliss.

The NCAA is facing problems of competitiveness and a lack of recognizable faces promoting their brand.  The best players stay for a year and then leave as soon as the buzzer sounds on their last game.  They are essentially in school for one semester.  This was especially the case with Ben Simmons at LSU, as he stopped attending classes in order to prepare for the Draft.


Ben Simmons was selected 1st overall by the 76ers out of LSU

Simmons was heavily critical of the NCAA’s mandate on not paying their athletes, as he felt like someone being exploited.  He referenced how he is treated like a professional and asked to sign all kinds of paraphernalia, while the NCAA fills their pockets.

So how do others feel about the “one and done” rule?

Mr. “one and done” himself, Coach John Callipari at the University of Kentucky, has built his program on the development of one and dones. This includes the likes of John Wall, Anthony Davis, Karl Anthony Towns, and most recently the trio of Malik Monk, De’Aaron Fox, and Bam Adebayo.


Coach Cal with Anthony Davis at Kentucky

Coach Cal was on the ESPN panel last night explaining his feelings about the rule.  He was heavily in favour of the rule and even said it worked to his advantage at times.  He preaches that ultimately team success will lead to individual success for his players.  Cal demands all his players sacrifice in order for them to grow as players and make the next step to the NBA.

His insight was intriguing as he is seemingly the only guy in the NCAA who truly embraces the rule.  The rule to him is necessary for players who need more development and challenges, as these top high school recruits usually have everything come easy to them.  He referenced Malik Monk having to learn how to defend, and play through more contact, which he did at the University of Kentucky.

The funniest insight he drew from was explaining how he has total influence over his freshmen players.  When he is hard on them he explained he will ask them “what are you gonna do, transfer?”, as he laughed on air.

No matter what happens to the “one and done” rule, it is evident that programs should embrace their freshmen players just like Coach Cal has managed to do.  His success in developing players while winning speaks for itself.



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