Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: On the Peace Train
Re: Teenager ditches high school to play pro basketball in Israel
Moses Malone skipped college when that was unheard of in the NBA (as I recall, he started in the ABA not long B4 the merger) and became a Hall of Famer. Whereas another Sixer center, "Chocolate Thunder" Darryl Dawkins had only a so-so NBA career coming straight out of high school, and is better known for breaking backboards.
Anyhow, Lebron's success was sure to make this more "fashionable". And frankly these guys have a point, best expressed by legendary sportswriter Frank Deford: that (men's) college basketball and college football are huge cash cows for the big schools, and the players (who its illegal to pay, though "boosters" sometimes quietly do) are in a legal form of slavery.
So I guess it was only a matter of time until this spread to other countries, and to high school level. (The days of 4 year college careers are largely history for the very talented; much more common is Carmelo Anthony going pro after a year @ Syracuse) Of course Magic sort of started that trend by leaving Michigan State after (1 year or 2, Darrin?) for the riches of a Lakers career.