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Sunday, July 10, 2005
ESPN The Magazine Story on NBA Draft Age Floor

ESPN's Morty Ain interviewed me for an article appearing in the current issue of ESPN The Magazine (July 18 issue). The article is entitled "The Spin: Teenage Wasteland," and it appears on page 38. Here is an excerpt:
But where the NBA sees a move that protects young players and the game, others see voodoo economics.

"High school players have done uniquely well in the NBA," says Michael McCann, a visiting scholar at Harvard Law School [actually, now a law professor at Mississippi College School of Law] and author of a recent article in the Virginia Sports and Entertainment Law Journal, "Illegal Defense: The Irrational Economics of Banning High School Players from the NBA Draft." According to McCann, prep-to-pro players averaged 12.6 ppg, 5.2 rpg and 2.1 apg in 2004-05, "dramatically outperfomring the average NBA player." (The league average: 9.4 ppg, 4.0 rpg and 2.1 apg.) McCann also notes that 27 of the 30 high schoolers drafted in the past decade are still in the league. "Simply put," says the prof, "for every Korleone Young, there are two or three Kevin Garnetts."

Okay, maybe not. But it's just as hard for McCann to buy David Stern's argument--served up to reporters last month--that "a player coming in later will be the same player; he will just be more skilled and more schooled." Less wealthy is more like it. McCann says a player could lose out on more than $10 million in salary and endorsements later in his career because of even a one-year deferral at the start. "The difference between the six-year deal you get at 28 and the six-year deal you get at 29," says McCann, "is material."
Thanks to Henry Abbot of True Hoop for discussing both the ESPN The Magazine story and my law review article, and to Scott of H-Town Sports for discussing my law review article.


howdy - you hvae an interesting blog and I enjoyed reading it! I know I like it when people appreciate my work, so I thought I would give you some credit!


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Anonymous fantasy football cheat sheets -- 1/30/2006 3:22 PM  

That was a great writing and all, but it really talked more about the economic issues for the idividual, not really the legal issues involved. My question is would be, what right would a league such as the NBA, who is allowed to act as a monopoly, have by placing age restrictments on their players? Is that not age discrimination at its finest? Also, when do the Lakers, Suns, etc. get to act on thier best intrest? I feel this is one of many places where the league is overstepping its boundries. I would like to hear the opinion of someone with greater legal knowledge than I.

Blogger Brett -- 6/05/2006 3:06 PM  



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