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5 Jun 2014

NBA Commissioner Silver Wants Closer Relationship with AAU

NBA Commissioner Silver Wants Closer Relationship with AAU

Written by: Brandon Randle 

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla--  Newly appointed NBA commissioner Adam Silver has had his work cut out for him in recent weeks and will now focus some of his efforts on trying to rid the NBA of the “One and Done culture that has recently plagued college basketball, bringing negative connotation to the league. In recent years, it has become increasingly popular for college NBA prospects to attend school for only 1 year then declare for the NBA Draft immediately following their freshman year.  Among Silver’s 2014 State of the Union Address during All-Star Weekend, he expressed his thoughts on what he wants to see happen moving forward to curve the “one and done” NCAA practice. He continues to mention strengthening relationships with American youth programs such as the Amateur Athletic Union as a remedy. It is no secret that Silver has been adamant in lobbying for a change.

 “Everywhere I go people dislike [the] socalled one and done,” he said. “It’s important to the NBA and important to basketball generally that there be strong college basketball. It’s important to college basketball that there be strong youth basketball and strong AAU basketball. And I think we feel we have a responsibility at the NBA as the stewards of the game to ensure that the game is played the right way.”

The NBA has long done away with drafting players straight out of high school since 2005. Implementing a new age limit would significantly reduce the risk of drafting an underdeveloped player or what many call a “bust.” A recent, prime example of this would be the exceptionally poor talent pool of last year’s NBA Draft forcing the Cleveland Cavaliers to select an unprepared Anthony Bennett No. 1 overall. The end result, Bennett spent the later part of this season down in the NBA D-League.  Typically, if you’re drafted 1st overall, you’re considered to be a Franchise changing player who’s ready to contribute immediately once you walk across the stage, but clearly this wasn’t the case which is spurring changes promptly. 

Imposing new age limits or making players wait at least 2 years out of high school to enter the draft is currently being contemplated by Silver.  A newly proposed age limit is said to be one of the simplest ways to address the issue head on. Silver’s goal would be to make the legal age limit a minimum of 20 years old to play in the NBA in efforts to get both kids and coaches to focus on development and “playing the game the right way,” as aforementioned by Sliver. The NBA and AAU will continue to work together in the future to ensure the talent pipeline remains fruitful.

Silver reiterated his thoughts of working with the AAU to develop young talent during a brief interview right after this year’s 2014 NBA Draft Lottery as the AAU continues to output supreme NBA talent, most of which has been displayed on a grand stage this summer during the NBA Playoffs. Notable players such as Chris Paul, John Wall, Bradley Beal, J.J. Reddick, Kevin Durant, Dwight Howard, LeBron James, David West, and Deron Williams are all chasing the ring, some of which have given back to the AAU. It should be noted that Williams, West, Paul, Wall, and many others went on to continue the tradition of excellence in instituting their very own AAU Basketball Programs after transitioning to the NBA. 

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