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NBA players seek end to age limit


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"We want to go back to the way it was," a source from the NBA Players Association said. "The players have always been philosophically opposed to it. The vast majority of players feel a player should have the right to make a living. If he has the talent and wants to make money to help his family, he should have that right. It's just a matter of principle."

NBA Players Association executive director Billy Hunter sent an audio podcast detailing the union's proposal to every player last week. The proposal, which includes the end of the age restriction, have been obtained by ESPN.com and confirmed by a union source.

In its proposal, the union, while rejecting the owners' call for a hard salary cap and salary reductions, is also willing to negotiate a reduction in league revenue guarantees for players. The union also proposes rule changes that would provide more flexibility for sign-and-trade deals.

The age restriction, which requires a player to be at least 19 years old during the calendar year of the draft as well as at least one year removed from his high school graduation class, has been in place since the 2005-2006 season. A league spokesman refused to comment when asked Wednesday about the union's proposed change to the age restriction.

The league did not address the age requirement specifically in the collective bargaining proposal it submitted to players in February. But commissioner David Stern's desire has long been to raise the minimum age to 20 rather than to lower it.

NBA spokesman Mike Bass refused to comment when contacted by ESPN.com.

While there are much larger issues separating the sides, the age restriction could become a bargaining chip in the stalemated negotiations between owners and players that appear headed toward a lockout next summer.

Hunter said last month he's "99 percent sure" there will be a lockout, and a look at the proposals of each side reveals Hunter may have underestimated the chances of a work stoppage.

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As a civil and fiscal libertarian, I've never been a fan of age limits in any sports. It turned college basketball into a bigger joke than it already was (look at the graduation rates around the country and the AAU pimps) when they instituted that idiotic one year rule. The team owners and David Stern just want to use college as a one year audition/minor league so that they limit the risk in the kid they are drafting and sinking money into.

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As a civil and fiscal libertarian, I've never been a fan of age limits in any sports. It turned college basketball into a bigger joke than it already was (look at the graduation rates around the country and the AAU pimps) when they instituted that idiotic one year rule. The team owners and David Stern just want to use college as a one year audition/minor league so that they limit the risk in the kid they are drafting and sinking money into.

And honestly...have the risks been limited? What is the difference in the NBA on and off the court the past4 years from the 4 before that? It's such a mindless rule.

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I don't mind an age limit but the 1 year limit is a bit of a joke IMO it either needs to be taken away or made 2 years but I expect it to be taken away

I agree with this. Either make 2 - 3 years of NCAA basketball or not required at all. If they are worried about player development isn't that what the D League is supposed to be?

Edited by Cable Guy
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Does Duke still go with that 3 year graduation track that they adopted last decade?

I believe that is a rule you must follow to play at Duke. This is the sport Duke makes a ton of money off of. Wouldn't you want to have experienced players year after year to continue to be successful.

Edited by Cable Guy
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Guest AtlWhite84

Good. Age limit is stupid, especially because of the fact that you can go into the NBA out of highschool and dominate. Why should these guys have to go to college? Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, Kevin Garnett, Amare Stoudemire, Dwight Howard, Josh Smith, Tracy McGrady etc.

Quit making these dudes go to school for no reason.

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I never liked this rule so I hope it goes away. IMO they should adopt a system like baseball has. I think this would improve both leagues. The quality of basketball and basketball player in college has really gone down. No knock on Duke last year, but that was not a great team.

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Good. Age limit is stupid, especially because of the fact that you can go into the NBA out of highschool and dominate. Why should these guys have to go to college? Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, Kevin Garnett, Amare Stoudemire, Dwight Howard, Josh Smith, Tracy McGrady etc.

Quit making these dudes go to school for no reason.

It was put in place because although you can dominate straight from high school, the number of guys who actually do dominate is really really small compared to those who try

If a kid thinks he can go straight from high school to the pros, declares and then gets cut or goes undrafted, he's left himself with very limited options

I agree that the one year thing is silly and should be dropped or bumped up to 2 years

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