Count John Calipari with those who cant stand the NBA eligibility rule

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John Calipari said he had a “ball” coaching all those freshman this season. Which is good, because it’s exactly what he’s going to do next season, too.

The coach of Kentucky has lost four freshmen as one-and-dones to the NBA draft, and he told ESPN’s Mike and Mike he does not like that one bit.

Let me tell you this, I don’t agree with the rule now. I think that one, kids should be able to go directly to the league if that’s what they choose to do and if they go to college, they should stay two years or maybe three. The way it is right now, it’s really hard. You think about my team next year. I’m going to coach all freshman again next year. The team I have that will be next year. I will have four returning players, two have experience, two have not much experience. That’s the way it is. It’s hard.”

I think college baseball has it right. Players can get drafted by teams straight out of high school by a major league team (and, in a very different system then basketball, they are off to minor league teams to develop). But if you go to college, you have to go for three years.

There is no reason for the LeBron James/Kobe Bryant/Kevin Garnett/Dwight Howard type players to go to college for a year. If you’re good enough, you should be able to ball with the best. But the one-and-done is bad for college (it mocks the idea of education being the priority), so why not write the rules so a high school player does not lose eligibility for college until an NBA team drafts them. If they do, they go to the NBA. If not, they have to do three years in college then can turn pro, giving these players a little more time to develop and the programs to grow with them.

David Stern is talking about making the rule two years out of high school, as part of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. That is just owners wanting to protect themselves against mistakes by their general managers. Teams reached for guys out of high school and got stuck with players who were not ready. That is on the teams. Good players should not be punished because of faulty scouting.

Kobe Bryant says his age 37 is not like Michael Jordan’s age 37

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Once again, Kobe Bryant‘s career arc is being compared to Michael Jordan’s.

There’s a lot of reason’s that’s flawed — starting with Kobe being drafted on to a Lakers team that had Shaquille O’Neal and was already considered NBA elite, as opposed to Jordan working to build a franchise up. That said, Kobe has invited the Jordan comparison at times and it has been a constant through is career. Fair or not.

Kobe is coming back this fall after seasons of injury to the NBA and those comparisons continue — now to the Wizards’ version of Jordan. And Kobe is not at all fond of that, as he told Sam Amick of the USA Today.

“This is uncharted territory,” he said. “My 37 (years old) isn’t MJ’s 37 (when he returned after taking two seasons off to play for the Washington Wizards), you know what I mean? Nor is it the same team or the same system that he was playing in. It’s much, much different. There’s really no barometer, no (precedent) for training physically, for recovery. It’s uncharted territory.”

Kobe is right. Jordan had four+ seasons off by the time he was 37 and was not coming off multiple major surgeries.

Kobe is entering his 20th NBA season and what any real basketball fan should wish for him is health. Let him play one full season (with limited minutes and nights off), let him get to the final game of this season next April and make his own decision on his future. Let him leave the game on his own terms.

That said, if Kobe can average Jordan’s numbers at that age — 22.9 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game — it will be a major accomplishment, and the Lakers will have a better record than many of us expect.

And Kobe may want to play a 21st season as well.

Celtics ease to 124-91 win at Olimpia Milano in Global Games

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MILAN (AP) — The Boston Celtics eased to a 124-91 victory over Olimpia Milano at the Mediolanum Forum on Tuesday, comfortably winning the first of a double-header in Europe as part of the NBA Global Games.

Isaiah Thomas led the way for the Celtics with 18 points, including nine in his first seven minutes after coming off the bench midway through the first quarter.

Jared Sullinger added 14 points, as did Avery Bradley, who also had four three-pointers, while David Lee weighed in with 13 as well as seven rebounds and three assists.

Alessandro Gentile – who is reportedly wanted by the Houston Rockets, who hold NBA rights to the 22-year-old – top scored for Milano, with 19 points.

Next up for the Celtics is Real Madrid in Spain on Thursday.