NBCSports: O’Neal spent three years at LSU, before being drafted first overall by the Orlando Magic….
However, when it comes to one-and-done Shaq disagrees with the current rule. O’Neal told Emmert that if he could, he would make it “three-and-done.”
“A lot of guys do it because of their financial situation and they need to do it. That’s the only way to provide a better means for their family. So when you look at it from that aspect, I understand it,” said O’Neal.
O’Neal went on to advise anyone that leaves early to go back and finish their education, like he did.
Changing the one-and-done rule up to three years could also have other consequences. Do more players jump to Europe like Brandon Jennings and get paid? Does the D-League become a route for players?
The one-and-done rule is always a topic of discussion in college basketball. It’s a system that’s not designed for everyone. Those who are ready for the NBA should have the option to leave early. There’s no clear-cut answer for how this should be addressed, but adding increasing the years might not be it.
So the Big Diesel thinks that college players should have to stay in school for 3 years before being eligible for the NBA draft. Leave it to Shaq to decide that 3 years in the appropriate amount of time because that’s how long he was at LSU for.
Personally, I think that if the NCAA and NBA change the rule to 3 years out of high school, a lot of kids will forego college and spend 3 years playing over in Europe. I don’t think the D-League is a viable route that players will take. If the kids are NBA caliber talents, then they will go to Europe for 3 years because the money is much better in Europe than in the D-League. I guess if the players makes the choice to be one-and-done for financial reasons, as Shaq described, then they would most definitely go overseas to play ball.
If the rule change then results in all the top high school talent (who all have zero interest in academics anyway) going to Europe to play ball to beat the system, then the NCAA will be the one who will have lost the most because the product will not be as great as it used to be when the top talent stayed and played for their one year.
We all know the NCAA does everything in their power to protect their brand image (almost to the point of bringing unnecessary punishments for the most minor of infractions). If the one-and-done rule gets changed to 2 or 3 years, then I think they will have to work with the NBA to change the rules that in order to play in the NBA, you would have to have played for 3 years at an American college. I would say in order to be drafted they’d have to have played at a college, but then NBA teams would cut the players they drafted and sign “undrafted free agents” out of Europe. I don’t even think that is legal. Though, I wouldn’t doubt that David Stern would try something like this.
In the end, I know it is an imperfect system, but the ideal situation is unattainable and this system is as good as it will get for the NCAA.
PS How about Shaq throwing that “go back and get your degree like I did” line? Yay, Shaq, we’re all so proud of you for finishing up your degree in Sociology that I’m sure you’re putting to great use.