Is Education an afterthought to the NBA?


So as an avid fan of basketball itself, I was scouring the old fashioned newpaper and the internet and I came across something really interesting. In the wake of Orlando ruining a Lebron-Kobe finale, a scandal has come across another NBA player.  So we shouldn’t fret or lose much sleep over it, cause really any scandal a professional male athlete has, it really gets swept under the rug, a guideline for the next time the same or similar situation arises. So I ran across Yahoo and read the article Dan Wetzel wrote. I follow him quite closely and admire the man. After reading the article that he wrote, it was a real good insight to what the outside world thinks of this situation.

According to sources, Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls is accused of cheating on his SATs to earn a living. Derrick Rose! I mean the kid has no emotion whatsoever and has a quiet demeanor. He was and maybe still the face of a the NBA, showing that young men should act like him, and let their game do most of the talking. Who cares what people say, the boy showed up in game one against the defending champs at the time. He brought hope and life back to Chicago who were suffering since MJ left. The man proved he was ready for this level of ball and showed professionalism on and off the court. He is the role model the NBA wanted every single rookie to follow. Now this comes to the guy who had everything going for him.

I admire Derrick Rose. Throughout this whole ordeal, he hasn’t said much. And he shouldn’t. He should let those who need to investigate, investigate and let the rest go on from there. What can he say though? I didn’t cheat. I took the test. In all honesty, it is in his best interest to stay quiet. But think about this if you weren’t Derrick Rose.

For any great ball player, be it in any sport, the dream is to go big, the NBA, the MLB, the NFL, etc.. Let me rephrase that, for any great male ball player, be it in any sport, the dream is to go big, the NBA, the MLB, the NFL, etc…I say this will a little jealously and anger. While reading Dan Wetzel’s column, he is blaming the NBA for causing all this unnecessary havoc for Derrick Rose, the NBA and the NCAA. Bottom line, the NBA is a business and they will exploit and use you if you can make money. Understood, but from what I was reading from Wetzel’s column, it seems that he is encouraging talented young men to forgo college and jump into the NBA. With the right talent, like the KGs, Kobes and LeBrons, by all means, go make millions and don’t look back. But with the rule of having to stay in college one year, is that fair? Well, we all know that those lottery draft players are just cruising through college focusing on next year and how to raise their stock. What are we telling our young men? It’s ok to just get through your education and bank on your skill to make your living. I’m all for using the best skill that you have and making money, but think of your future. How many pro athletes have great talent and a career-ending injury sends them to the DL permanently and now you can’t use your skill to make a living. Now what? I think if they received a decent education they can use their degree to get another job.

Take Shawn Livingston for example. He had decent talent. Enough to land a job on some team and make more money than you and I combined for like 4 years. But then two injuries to both his knees and now he is fighting his way back to just get back into NBA shape and not necessarily being the best player out there. He is lucky that his healing process went well and went smoothly, and that teams are willingly to give him a chance, but his stock has dramatically dropped and so has his salary. How many athletes have we heard about file bankruptcy, because they spent and gambled all their earnings. Too many. 

Wetzel goes on saying that Rose fought the system and in essence he cleared a hurdle that shows no relation to his character or his ability to play. Well, I suppose this doesn’t bear anything on his play, clearly not if you watched him all year. But his character? So we should trust the guy that can drop 30 points with his eyes closes, but can’t study because he can’t take a test that EVERY SINGLE student applying for college has to take. Yeah that totally makes sense to me alright. Wetzel keeps the article moving by saying that this year-mandated rule doesn’t have real world effect. In that case, none of us should go to college since it is nothing like the real world right?

Though everyone will have their opinions on why David Stern put this rule into play, I hope that he did because he wanted his NBA players to experience college and learn something from school. An education is not something we should look at a nuisance or an inconvenience, but a gift that hard-blue-collar professionals are giving us. Right now, it seems that the NBA is spurning the education value and are telling young men with great talent, just to sail by and make millions in a year.

Education is demanded on us since we were young enough to walk. We are constant learners and you will learn something new everyday. You’d be surprised when something you learn in school come up in conversation, right Squanto?

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