The one-and-done rule is one of the most polarizing issues in basketball, if not all of sports. Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant, and LeBron James, among others, all went straight from high school to the pros, and they’re all future Hall-of-Famers. Others have done so with varying degrees of success.
In 2005, however, the NBA nipped that trend in the bud. Players must be one year removed from high school to be eligible for the draft.
Oklahoma head coach Lon Kruger, who has led a pair of programs to the Final Four, doesn’t like the one-and-done rule. He believes high school prospects should have the option of going pro.
“I think it’d be great if a young person coming out of high school had the option to go,” Kruger said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “I think everyone should have that right. I think the rule is in place to help young people avoid the thought of ‘I can go to the NBA right now’ (when) that’s really not possible for many. There’s a few young guys that can do it – like LeBron – but there aren’t many of those. There aren’t many that can do it on that level. But I think most would feel like if you’re going to go to college, we would like to see them for two or three years to develop that foundation better, to give them a better chance to go out and be successful, whether it be in the NBA or overseas or even in the job market. I feel like most could benefit from more time in college.”
Kruger – and Damon Amendolara – both prefer the baseball model. Prospects can be drafted right out of high school, or from four-year colleges – provided that they have completed either their junior or senior year. Junior college players, meanwhile, are eligible for the draft regardless of many years of school they have completed.
“I think baseball’s got a great format,” Kruger said. “Certainly they should have the right (to enter the pros right out of high school). It’s not that everyone should be mandated to go to college if it’s not what they want to do. A lot of times, as you know, young people go to college just to spend their year and then move on – which is no bad either if they move on with a good foundation and good preparation.”