The Clippers Aren’t in Favor of Silver’s Proposed Age Minimum


June 28, 2012; Newark, NJ, USA; Austin Rivers (Duke), left, gets a pat on the back from his father and Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers after being introduced as the number ten overall pick to the New Orleans Hornets during the 2012 NBA Draft at the Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

All quotes are via the Orange County Register

If Adam Silver gets his way, you’ll be able to enlist in the military and buy cigarettes before you’re able to enter the NBA.

Of course, everything up until now has been pure speculation and the floating of ideas, but Silver has seemed dead set on an age limit being his number one priority since becoming the NBA’s commissioner mid-February.

Most of the Clippers, including Doc Rivers, disagree with the rule.

“I just have a philosophical view about it, that guys should have a right to earn a living,” said Doc on the subject. “I can go and fight in Iraq at 18, but I can’t play in the NBA? That’s silly to me.”

While Silver thinks the rule change will help make the league a bit more competitive, Rivers thinks the rule helps only one of the two parties involved: the NCAA.

“Let’s just be honest. The colleges want them to stay in college to help the colleges. That’s what it is at the end of the day.”

The recently acquired Glen Davis also disagrees with the age minimum, but he sees several reasons why college can help prepare a young player for the NBA.

“There’s a maturity level you can get in college because of the structure and the discipline,” said Davis who spent three years at the University of Louisiana. “It’s going to mandatory workouts, getting up early every day, doing the right things. You have to be accountable. Here, that’s what it is – structure. It gives you a small blueprint.”

DeAndre Jordan, center for the Los Angeles Clippers who spent one year at Texas A&M, vehemently disagrees with Silver wanting to raise the age limit.

“I think that’s the dumbest idea ever. For what? Why make those guys, those college phenoms, stay in college for two years? Some of our greatest players, Hall of Famers, Top 50 players are going to be guys who came out of high school. Why should we put an age limit on it?”

Those players that Jordan is referring to include Lebron James, Moses Malone, Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett. But for every Hall of Famer or top-50 player you can name that came out of high school, there is a bust or two to go right beside them: Kwame Brown, Tyrus Thomas, Eddy Curry, DeSagana Diop, etc.

At the moment a rule can’t be made on the matter. But when the 2016-17 season arrives and the league is forced to re-work the CBA, that will be Silver’s chance to change the age limit forcing players to spend at least two years out of high school before entering the NBA. While many assume this means Silver wants upcoming players to spend two years in college, players could take alternative routes like playing overseas or in the NBA’s Development League until they can enter the league, with the latter being what Silver is ultimately hoping for as the league continues to push the NBADL as a minor league rather than a place that has been looked down upon in the last few years.

Chris Paul, the presumed leader of the Clippers, attended Wake Forest for two years before declaring for the NBA Draft. While players are only forced to play one year in college (or at least be one year removed from high school for that matter), Paul knew leaving after his freshmen year wasn’t the right move.

“Every situation is different,” said Paul. “I knew I wasn’t ready after my freshman year. But, that’s not everybody’s situation.”

Simply put, Paul’s thoughts reflects what many others have spewed on the discussion: if anyone should make the decision on how many long a player remains in college, it should be the player.

“I think you should have the option or opportunity to decide if you think you’re ready. If you feel like you’re ready, it shouldn’t be someone else’s decision.”