Ben Simmons: NBA’s one-and-done rule is pointless

ben simmons sixers
Associated Press
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Philadelphia 76ers rookie Ben Simmons does not like the NBA’s one-and-done rule. In a new documentary titled “One and Done” about his rise from basketball prodigy to NBA draftee, Simmons called the rule “pointless”, among other things.

From ESPN:

“The NCAA is really f—ed up,” Simmons said on “One and Done,” a film that will air on Showtime on Friday night. “Everybody’s making money except the players. We’re the ones waking up early as hell to be the best teams and do everything they want us to do and then the players get nothing. They say education, but if I’m there for a year, I can’t get much education.”

Simmons likely could have jumped to the NBA after his first final season in high school. Thanks to the NBA’s one-and-done rule — formally defined as an age requirement — Simmons had to play one season at LSU before going No. 1 overall in the 2016 NBA Draft.

Of course, it’s hard to find people on either side of this issue in favor of how the league currently has it setup. The system currently remains largely because the NBA and NCAA work in symbiosis to ensure a more stable financial outcome for both parties.

The NCAA gets to pay players a sum unequal to their monetary value in the form of scholarships when it comes to money sports in college. And, as Simmons points out, that education can be incomplete for the top performing athletes. It’s an odd farce that Simmons acknowledged directly.

From the New York Times:

After Simmons starts missing classes, his coach, Johnny Jones, gets after him, warning him that there will be consequences if he does not show up. “I’m going to the N.B.A. next season,” Simmons says when he misses another class. Why pretend “if it’s not going to help me”?

For the NBA, forcing players to wait another year allows teams to better assess prospects from a return on investment position. The hope here is that teams will do a better job matching future performance with draft order, which can have a huge monetary effect on teams early on.

This issue is certainly nothing new, but the roar from the crowd has gained in decibel thanks to both football and basketball players voicing their concerns in recent years. There are several opinions on how best to tackle the issue. A D-League that pays a reasonable living wage for an athlete is one. Some have also suggested a college system more akin to baseball, where players can jump straight from high school to the pros but must remain in college for three years if they decide to commit.

A fix definitely needs to be had, and sooner than later. The league is too inundated with cash for a solution not to be found. Just take the past calendar year, when the NBA’s salary cap jumped a whopping $24 million thanks to BRI — basketball related income. There’s so much money in the league that the NBA and the Player’s Union are closer than ever on a new CBA simply because it would be dumb to have another lockout from a financial standpoint.

Simmons’ opinion in this documentary could be another stone on the side of the tipping scale toward the unfair compensation of college athletes. Hopefully he can add his weight to it.

If you’re interested in watching, “One and Done” airs on Friday on Showtime.

Watch Dinwiddie get ejected for elbow to Poole’s face; Mavs still win behind Doncic 41 points

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Dallas has gotten in trouble this season because of a lack of secondary shot creation behind Luka Doncic, so when Spencer Dinwiddie got ejected for an elbow to the face of Golden State’s Jordan Poole, it seemed like the Mavericks might be in danger of falling to the Warriors.

Doncic had other plans — and a 41-point triple-double.

The ejection happened early in the fourth quarter, when Dinwiddie drove the lane on Poole and, bringing the ball up, elbowed Poole in the face.

That was reviewed by the referees who ruled it a Flagrant 2. The league has cracked down on blows to the face and head — intentional or not — the past couple of seasons.

Dinwiddie being out just meant more Luka — and that was bad news for the Warriors.

Despite Doncic and his triple-double, the Warriors had a couple of chances in the final seconds. First, Stephen Curry got called for a travel.

The Warriors argued that call but got nowhere with the referees. But they got one more chance on a Klay Thompson 3 to tie, but it was just not their night.

The Mavericks got the 116-113 win. Tim Hardaway Jr. pitched in 25 points, including five 3-pointers for Dallas. Curry led the Warriors with 32.

Timberwolves’ Karl-Anthony Towns out 4-6 weeks with calf strain

Minnesota Timberwolves v Washington Wizards
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It’s not good news, but it looked like it could have been much worse.

Timberwolves big man Karl-Anthony Towns is out for weeks with a right calf strain, the team announced Tuesday following an MRI exam. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports it is likely 4-6 weeks.

The injury occurred midway through the third quarter Monday when Towns started to run back upcourt and went to the ground without contact, grabbing his knee and calf. It looked scary — Achilles scary — and he had to be helped off the court.

Towns has averaged 21.4 points and 8.5 rebounds a game, and while his numbers are down this season — just 32.8% on 3-pointers — the team has struggled at times without him, particularly lineups with Rudy Gobert and Anthony Edwards together, an -11.8 net rating (in non-garbage time minutes, via Cleaning the Glass).

Kevin Durant on chasing MVP: ‘Not really, I’ve been there, done that’

Orlando Magic v Brooklyn Nets
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Kevin Durant carried the Nets to another win Monday night, scoring 45 points on 19-of-24 shooting, plus seven rebounds and five assists.

If you’re having an MVP conversation a quarter of the way into the NBA season, Durant has to be part of it: 30 points per game on 54.8% shooting (and a ridiculous 65.9 true shooting percentage), 6.6 rebounds and 5.5 assists a game, plus playing solid defense and being the anchor of the Nets. After his 45-point outing to get Brooklyn a win over Orlando, Durant was asked about MVP chants and the chase for the award and was clearly not interested.

Durant has MVP numbers, but so do Stephen Curry, Luka Doncic, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jayson Tatum and others. If Durant is going to move to the front of the conversation, the first thing that has to happen is Brooklyn has to win a lot more games — 11-11 is not going to cut it when Tatum’s Celtics and Antetokounmpo’s Bucks have the two best records in the NBA. Winning games and finishing on a top-three team in the conference matters to some voters (and traditionally is one measure of an MVP).

Watch Herb Jones inbound off Pokusevski’s back, seal win for Pelicans

Oklahoma City Thunder v New Orleans Pelicans
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With 2.3 seconds left in the game and the Thunder down 2, they needed to steal the inbounds pass from New Orleans to have a real chance. That’s why when Aleksej Pokusevski walked on the court it looked like he was going to guard the inbounder, Herbert Jones.

Instead, Pokusevski turned his back to Jones, putting himself in position to step in front of anyone cutting to the ball to catch the inbounds. Except, Jones made the clever play to seal the game.

Pokusevski fouled Jones, who sank both free throws and sealed the 105-101 Pelicans win.

The Pelicans got 23-8-8 from Zion Williamson and picked up a win without CJ McCollum or Brandon Ingram in the lineup. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander continued his dominant start to the season and scored 31.