With everything happening in the world these days, why is the US government wasting its time hassling the NBA about its minimum age requirement?
Seriously. There's got to be something more pressing than arguing with the league brass about an issue that can't be addressed until at least 2011 (when the current CBA potentially ends).
Apparently there isn't!
The NBA had to defend its minimum age requirement to Congress on Monday against accusations that it's "unfair" to the players. The rule states a player has to be 19 years old or be out of high school for one year before he's eligible to play.
Representative Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) says he's "concerned that the careers of young men who possess all the skills necessary to succeed in the NBA may be sacrificed" by the rule, even increasing the chance of injury in that gap year.
Cohen even goes as far as calling it "age discrimination," saying it prevents players from "supporting their families" - are you kidding me?
NBA president Joel Litvin fired back by saying the league doesn't understand the objections of Congress, because plenty of employers require post-high school experience and the US Constitution even sets minimum ages for House members, senators and the president!
Want to know my take on it?
I think it's ridiculous. This Steve Cohen character should focus on regular people that can't support their families, not potential millionaires that have to wait a year before trying to play professional basketball in North America.
Cohen says they'll consider "hearings and legislation" if the age requirement remains - oh really? You don't think that'll set a bizarre precedent?
The other thing is - the NBA rule doesn't stipulate that players have to go to college against their will and play for free for that year between high school and a possible pro career.
For example, if a guy really needs to support his family and he's good enough to jump into the NBA right out of high school, he'll be able to find somewhere to ply his trade (like Europe).
You have to be 21 to buy alcohol in the states - isn't that the same type of discrimination?