Thursday, May 13th, 2010 at 10:00 am  |  52 responses

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: Raise Age Limit to 21

Kareem tells the AP that the NBA needs to up its age limit, and presumably, for you to get off his damn lawn: “Are spoiled brats running amok in the NBA? Well, former Lakers great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar might not go that far, but he does agree that the league should raise its minimum-age requirement to 21. During a speech at a sports-related banquet in Omaha on Wednesday, Abdul-Jabbar told the audience that the NBA has been victimized by young players who are really interested only in big pay days. ‘They get precocious kids from high school who think they’re rock stars — ‘Where’s my $30 million?’ ‘ Jabbar said, according to the Associated Press. ‘The attitudes have changed, and the game has suffered because of that, and it has certainly hurt the college game.’ The NBA’s all-time leading scorer, who continues to work as a special assistant to the Lakers, says college is the key to helping young players mature both emotionally and physically. Abdul-Jabbar pointed to the valuable life lessons he learned while attending UCLA.”

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  • AdrianC513

    I kinda Agree, and oh yeah first

  • http://www.nba.com/suns Dacre

    Agree? Kareem is just trying to protect his all time points record. If you can come play in the NBA then by all means…..come play.

  • Addam

    All rookies should also be required to watch “Basketball wives” before their 1st season tips off.

  • http://slamonline.com Brad Long

    This is what happens when you have to personally tutor Andrew Bynum for 3 years.

  • http://www.hoopsvibe.com/features/overdribbling chiqo

    i like the idea of raising the age limit but allowing those who don’t want to go to college to hit the minors. short of making it a case by case basis, there’s never going to be a rule that’s best for everyone.

  • http://manutebogues.blogspot.com cramzy

    I think he’s got it confused with the NFL. The Nba rookie scale curves all that to a degree. You’ve got to perform to get that 30 mil. Why sit in college 3 years and let them cake up off you when you can go get it. The rule is fine as it is. We’ve had some pretty strong draft classes since the 1 year rule has been in place.

  • underdog

    Young Andrew Bynum made, a bad, baaad impression on someone.

  • http://www.slamonline.com/ niQ

    Translation: No one is touching my record.

  • http://theurbangriot.com/ NUPE

    I agree. Raise the min age and give these kids time to mature. If it ‘forces’ some to go to college and actually attend class for more than one year, then the discipline they would learn/exhibit would only help the NBA in the long run. Other players may go to the D league for some time and learn some lessons there where they are not earning millions.

  • http://www.slamonline.com/ niQ

    Whatever, Lebron and/or Durant will surpass that scoring record if they continue playing the way they do.

  • The Philosopher

    Kareem is the greatest center who has ever lived.

  • http://slamonline.com Lang Whitaker

    He followed this up with, You kids get off my lawn!

  • http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a78/nursetpd/TSB/Danny_Ainge_Shamwow.gif ENDS

    GET…Off my Lawn. I agree though, maybe not 21, 20 is fine shaq came in at 20 so did mike and magic. if not send them to the D-League

  • http://www.springbored.net letsmotor

    i agree with him. sure there are a lot of great players who came in at 20 or younger, but you have to realize things are different now. basketball has become much more of a business, and it’s so easy for kids to get greedy. even if they have the skills to play in the nba at 18, some time to grow up would only help their game.

  • mems

    should be two years removed from high school, just like football. it would be better for college bball and the nba

  • ab_40

    what college game? it’s 20% three point shooting and watching the players go on a layup contest. 35 seconds for an ofense are you kidding me. 20 minute halfs… college ball is less attractive for a reason and no it are not all the early entry players.

  • http://slamonline.com Yknot

    So what about the people who stayed in college and still squandered their money? (Toine) College is not for everyone, and it doesn’t gurantee maturity either.

  • http://www.slamonline.com wayno

    I think their pay should be determined by thier performance. If they play like they should, they get thier check, if not, they get cut.

  • Saku 39

    Daniel Orton is going to be a first round pick, but I don’t think he’ll contribute much this year. As a paying customer, I’d want first round picks to be NBA-ready. 2 years or age 20 might be better.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com TADOne

    Shortly after Kareem’s comments, he was summoned into the back kitchen for cookies and apple sauce and the promise of a nap.

  • Kendrick is God

    way to drive players to europe! a guy’s attitude towards money and greed will not change in 3 years eough to justify denying them the chance to come to the L early; let em come straight from high school if they want it should be on them, they are officialy adults, schools shouldn’t have to deal with guys who dont want to be there and who could be helping their fam and making a living already.

  • http://staticseth.blogspot.com Seth

    Kareem fears Ricky Rubio.

  • http://aol.com RUN’N'GUN219

    Daniel Orton is going to be good. He is Al Horford 2.0

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    Personally, I can see where he’s coming from with the whole lack of maturity thing. When I was in the Marines it blew my mind how immature these 18, 19 year old privates and PFCs were, and this was after 3 grueling months of boot camp meant to instill discipline and maturity. Yeah,, I know, the NBA ain’t the Marines (though those fools always wanna talk about how “it’s a war” or “we’re in a battle”, b*tch please!)but y’all get the idea. 19 year old kids in general, not all, are still immature and not very bright. I have to say though, LeBron was very much an exception.

  • http://www.rich-imaging.com Dutch Rich

    So was a Greg Oden.

  • http:slamonline.com Allenp

    Can’t believe a brother as intelligent as Kareem is advocating for players to pimp themselves out to the NCAA. Unless he’s also calling for athletes being paid, then I disagree with the Cap vehmently.
    College is great, but you don’t have to go to college to learn about life. And the rookies salary scale means NOBODY is getting $30 million fresh out of school. That’s just a lie.

  • mems

    yea let them go to europe and get their asses kicked. thats what that one genius did who decided he wanted to get paid insted of finishing high school. that worked out great for him. not only did he give up on the team but now he cant even play college ball. XD two years would be great for scouts because they’ll be able to weed out more busts and players who aren’t ready for the NBA. its not a coincidence that the talent in the past couple of drafts has been so great

  • http://Twitter.com/pdxgaybball Dma

    What’s the point of going to college when they know they’re being used in the NCAA/school and are gonna bail the very first chance they get? They’re wasting a scholarship that could have been given to someone who needed and wanted it more. It’s the owners and GMs that are ruining the NBA game if you ask me. Ultimately THEY are the ones drafting kids that aren’t ready.

  • http:slamonline.com Allenp

    Employers in every business take a risk when they hire folks. Just as many college players flame out as high school players and just as many Fortune 500 CEOs do a horrible job as NBA players. It’s a fact. Busts are everywhere. Cats are just angry these young brothas are getting mega rich out the gate.
    That’s not what’s hurting the game, poor talent evaluation and a media in love with hindsight are hurting the game.

  • http://slamonline.com/ Ryne Nelson

    I wouldn’t have a problem with this.

  • LA Huey

    The kids that need some maturity won’t be going to Duke, Syracuse, or the schools that will help them with their games. They’re going to be coached by the Caliparis of the world that will just harness their current skill set for the school’s good. Whatever, Kareem. The NBA’s mentor program is good so far. (Fun fact: Durant got paired up w/ Iceman)

  • http://www.stuffwhitepeoplelike.com Tarzan Cooper

    Jay williams? …….. Kareem later added, im keeping this football!……damn whippersnappers, get a job!, uh, I mean go to college, cuz it was great for me, thats means it would be the same for everone……..

  • http:slamonline.com Allenp

    I don’t understand the need for an age limit to play basketball.
    If the problem is that kids are too immature, then refuse to hire them as individual GMs. If an individual GM wants to take a chance on someone’s potential, why should they be prevented from doing this while a player risks injury in college?
    This rule would protect teams from their own idiocy, while at the same time pushing the risk and burden on to college players who are being exploited by their respective schools.
    It’s amazing to me that the cats who support these rules don’t even acknowledge this aspect and instead talk about the need to “protect the game.”
    Protect the game from what?
    It’s funny how there is no rule preventing you from becoming a venture capitalist, or lawyer, or doctor and marine biologist based on your age. Nope, it’s all about your qualifications and your employer’s willingness to hire you.
    But, when it comes to dribbling a basketball, then you have to have a certain level of maturity. Can’t be paid millions of dollars to shoot basketballs, but you can be trusted to make life and death decisions involving the Afghan people.
    The blatant hypocrisy would be shocking if I wasn’t used to it.

  • scompson

    kareem abdul jabaar is simply the man. i personally think the age limit to play in the nba should be 22, which would require student athletes to complete all 4 years of college. the best players will mature and excel at basketball all while receiving a college education. if a basketball player who is good enough to play d-1 basketball and doesnt want to go to college than take a page from brandon jenning’s book and go overseas. its a shame that college basketball loses talent after one season to the nba. heres a list of 1 and dones that could have made college ball and their college careers legacies; rose, beasley, durant, mayo, oden, conley, evans , wall, cousins, favors, holiday, love, bosh(georgia tech would have won the title in 2004 b/c they would have had bosh, elder, jack, bynum, etc.). the list goes on. this just flat out amazes me. i hope david stern reads this and listens to jabaar b/c we both know what we are talking about. the college game needs to be solidified and will be if the age limit is raised to 22. god damn.

  • Shem

    I think that they should make players attend atleast 1 year of college. That works for players and the NBA but i’d hate this rule if I was an NCAA coach. One and done’s can really ruin an NCAA team’s chemistry and can lead to a lot of inconsistency.

  • Brickshooting J

    @ Allenp: Hear, hear!

  • http://www.stuffwhitepeoplelike.com Tarzan Cooper

    Co sign allenp x1000000

  • k

    @scompson, what about guys like roy hibbert, who graduated at 21, or guys like emeka okafor and jay williams who graduated in 3 years? should they just be holding their d***s for a year?

  • k

    oh and hoo-rah @allenp

  • http://minusthebars.blogspot.com Don

    Stop HATING, Kareem!

    Times are rough. You think the family of a superstar player cares that the NBA is watered down?

    Proof that Kareem Abdul Jabbar has reached grandfather stage.

  • pennydunk_1

    @allen p. hoo-rah from me too.we need more comments like this

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Co sign allenp x1000000

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    I still think athletes are way overpaid, but hey, the business is there. I’d rather see the players getting paid, than the men in suits sitting back and collecting dough for not giving a sh!t about the game.

  • MikeC.

    College isn’t the answer for everyone. What about the guys that are just flat-out too dumb to get into, or stay in college? If they’re talented enough to play in the NBA, do they have to wait 4 years before they can be drafted? What happens to them then? My suggestion is abolish the age-limit rules altogether. If kids are good enough to play, they’re good enough to play. There are cautionary tales: Shaun Livingston (not physically ready), Kobe (might have learned how to not be a douche by carrying bags for the seniors at Duke), Kwame Brown (might have learned a post move…any post move). There are lots of success stories too (KG, Lebron, Amare). I think the real answer is for the NBA to establish a true minor league system like MLB, and expand the draft to have more rounds They can draft players based on readiness in the first round, and then draft for potential in the later rounds. The ‘potential’ players can play in the minors, learn the game, develop their skills and bodies, make some money and get truly ready for the L. The players can gauge their talents, and if they actually do want an education, can save and go back to college if they don’t make it in the L, or get scouted by Euro-teams. Those with the skills will get called up and stick. I think it’s a solid idea. Anybody have other ideas?

  • MikeC.

    By Euro-teams, I didn’t mean the Raptors.

  • Sturm Drang

    The NCAA makes millions of dollars off of college kids… who DO NOT GET PAID. While in college, these kids get crappy medical care and put serious mileage on their bodies.

    Scompson, you mentioned Greg Oden in your list. Well, suppose he did stay in college… he would have STILL had major knee problems. He would NOT have gotten medical care as good as available to an NBA player. He would NOT have a great college legacy because of being plagued by injuries, and after all that, the NBA would no longer have drafted him. The same goes for Sean Livingston.

    I used to be for the age limit because I thought education was more important. But like lots of people have already said, college isn’t for everybody. If I was 7 feet tall and had great skills, I’d be pissed off at all these self-righteous guys saying I need to get banged up and possibly end my career in college without getting paid just because OTHER people have put in an age limit that has nothing to do with my relevant abilities.

    If they raise the age limit further, you’ll see all the great young players go to the Euroleague, which will REALLY kill the talent in college ball. And hey, if you really care about maturity, they will mature a lot more there, in another country, dealing with prima donna coaches and refs (if you think NBA refs are bad…) and most importantly THEY’LL GET PAID.

  • shammgod

    Kareem, don’t be so protective of your record.

  • Elias

    This rule should be only for big men.

  • kickflip

    If the GM’s of the NBA Teams Draft players who are not ready to play, are head cases or demand too much money, maybe they need to change. let the ones who are not ready go undrafted. If the majority of declared underlcassmen wasn’t drafted, maybe the next class will think twice about declaring. no need for a age rule, just a need to draft right.

  • http://www.nba.com/suns Dacre

    We’ll pay you to die in a war zone, but we won’t pay you to play in a 3-2 zone…

  • Papa Bear ATL

    I say pay all the rookies league minimum, that makes it a harder choice to leave school. If they are that good they’ll get paid on endorsements! It saves the NCAA from one and done and the NBA from spending bookoo bucks on a bust.

  • LetsGetIt

    Yea he’s just salty because he knows his record will be broken