College basketball players should have to play a minimum of two years at the college level before entering themselves in the NBA and forfeiting their college careers. NBA players don’t have the luxury of a long and steady career so having a back-up plan is a necessity for someone hoping to enter the league.
The main reason I believe players should have to postpone their professional basketball careers is because there are far too many immature players wearing NBA jerseys. Obviously one more year of college doesn’t guarantee more maturity out of a person, but it can sure help prepare these kids for the business that is the NBA. Kwame Brown of the Golden State Warriors is one of the last players to have had the opportunity to come to the NBA straight out of high school. Since being selected to the NBA, Brown has had a very suspect career and his immaturity coming into the league played into his label as a bust. There are of course exceptions to this rule, like any other, and those exceptions come in the form of LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, and Amare Stoudemire. Those three players are part of a small group of extraordinary players that have made a successful transition to the NBA at a young age.
Other than maturity, players need an extra year of college to help them realize the importance of receiving a college degree prior to starting their careers in the NBA. Basketball players only play until they are in their 40’s when they’re lucky. More often than not, players are retiring in their mid to late 30’s because of deteriorating legs from the game. Brandon Roy, formally of the Portland Trail Blazers, was forced to retire before his 30’s because his knees would no longer allow him to play, and he was a premiere player in the NBA. Players in the NBA need a plan after their short careers are over and staying in college, even for just another year, could help show kids the importance of an education.
There are plenty of reasons for staying in college that make obvious sense. Unfortunately, kids are blinded to these reasons after one year of college because agents approach them offering big money payouts in the NBA. Hopefully college students can begin to realize the importance of staying patient and finishing their educations.