The 2006 NBA All Stars

The amateur histories of the 2006 NBA All Stars are hardly collegiate, but significantly foreign and financially wise. The NBA All Stars are coming straight out of high school and from overseas at an increasingly alarming rate. Collegiate players own 10 of the 16 team titles that this year’s NBA All Stars have captured, but only one of them has done so without the primary assistance of a foreign or high school driven star. NCAA basketball is not producing NBA All Stars at its traditionally historical level. They are however teaching team basketball. Twenty-four All Stars, 41 seasons combined of college hoops, an average NBA entry age of just over 20, 4 Most Valuable Players and 2 seventeen year old draft picks from the 1996 draft. Amateur histories of superstar basketball players are traditional no longer.

Twenty- four All Stars. Fifteen went to college and only 3 of them played all 4 years in school. Two of these are the MVP’s.

Four foreign born players. Five high schoolers. Nine out of 24, thirty-seven and one half percent foreign and finacially wise.

The ’96 draft is leading the makeup of this year’s All Star squads. The first, fifth, seventh, thirteenth, and fifteenth picks. That’s Allen Iverson, Ray Allen, Jermaine O’Neal, Kobe Bryant, and Steve Nash. Two MVP’s, a 3 point shooting champion, and a dunk contest award winner, not to mention first team All NBA’s, defensive player of the year awards, and NBA titles. Why go to school when the stars didn’t?

Team basketball of course is the major statutory principle. College breeds a system into these young guys. That system is not leading the league professionally. Hands down, it’s a fact!

Great team basketball just doesn’t exist anymore. The Pistons have 4 All Stars. Two of them had been All Stars before. They don’t apply. They’re just the result of great drafting and front office management, ’03 #2 aside.

To win in the leauge these days a team has got to have a superstar player, and not just one, but two, three, several. The best players, the best superstars are exponentially not going to college and/ or are coming from abroad. Europe, China, South America is producing some sensational players. Telling these kids to go to school, to get an education is morally wise, but financially inexperienced. Only in America can you find a person with a limited education making millions of dollars legitimately.

What does this say about the educational system in general though? Musicians, athletes, actors; what makes people belive that the best and the brightest, the most talented are in American universities? Who is preaching this crap? Education. It’s a program, and internationally it’s losing. Globally? Four All Star imports this year. Heck, I am all for it!

Nine out of 24 All Stars did not even step foot inside a classroom. Six more were at a Division 1 school for 2 years or less. That’s 15 out of 24 not even going after a degree and making bank. They are financially independent and secure. How many college graduates in the last dozen years can make that claim?

The odds of course are small. Many come in and out of the league seemingly overnight, but at least they picked up a paycheck that will hold them over for as long as they need. They can afford to go back to school if they realize that they haven’t been able to pick up basic communication skills, or arithmetic. Younger players mean more energy for assaults on the record book, faster action to generate revenue, and jive ass quotes to print in the morning headlines that really irritate educated readers; educated readers who can barely make their own house payments.

Part of the reason these young players are getting so good so quickly is the media. The media blows these young kids into an obliviion and by golly a bunch of them have the skills and the competitive fire to fill that space up. Some of them don’t. Five high schoolers on this year’s All Star squad have and are continuing to make the best out of their opportunities. If anything, the league should be proud.

Colleges on the other hand better pick it up. Statistics are making it obvious even to uneducated ball players that going to college doesn’t make sense, and when the players are there, they’re harassed by mules like Bobby Knight. That boy better appreciate every recruit he gets because they are not dumb for choosing school, but right because that is the morally wise move in the long run, presumably, because history is changing.

The amateur histories of the 2006 NBA All Stars are hardly collegiate, but significantly foreign and financially wise. They’re not coming from school at an increasing rate. Some are happy. Some are concerned. Money is the bottom line in a capitalistic society, and education is promoted as a means to, but in the NBA that is no longer true. It is no longer the rule. Nine of 24 stars are from distant lands and high school playgrounds. The same is probably true in the rest of America’s economic enterprises, and if it isn’t it should be because it is a growing trend. Not just in the NBA, but in society at large. The whole economy has to keep their eyes and ears open for talent, skill, and fire in untraditional places from unorthodox backgrounds. Why? Because they’re the best players! This is something that is hardly encouraged, but should be. Just look at the salaries, the exponential increase, the NBA is growing at a soaring rate. Here’s to the day laborer, the blue collar worker who tells the system that he’s got a better one. Yeah.

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