Kareem Abdul-Jabbar thinks nobody under 21 should play in the NBA
If NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar were the commissioner of the league, the landscape would be very different.
Abdul-Jabbar told Sean Deveney of The Sporting News that he does not think any player under 21 should be allowed to play in the NBA and that they should first have to go through the G-League:
“I would say that no one under the age of 21 should play in the NBA,” said the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers legend. “Have the developmental league, let them go through that. Then they can come in when they’re 21 and have some emotional maturity.”
So, if it were up to Abdul-Jabbar, guys like Jayson Tatum and Luka Doncic would not currently be playing in the NBA and would have to go through the process of spending time developing in the G-League before setting foot on an NBA floor.
Heck, going back further, that means players such as Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant, Tracy McGrady and LeBron James would have had their careers shortened by a couple of years, as they all entered the NBA straight out of high school.
If this were to happen (and obviously it won’t), it would send shockwaves through both the NBA and the NCAA, as you probably would not see nearly as many one-and-done players on the collegiate level.
Abdul-Jabbar’s take doesn’t make much sense. What is the purpose for this? If his point is to say that players under the age of 21 are not ready for the NBA, well, he’s wrong, because there is ample evidence spanning decades that proves otherwise.