Kevin Durant would be on the Bulls if David Stern didn’t change the high school to the NBA rule

The worst rule change in sports history has to be when David Stern announced the NBA would no longer accept high school basketball players to go straight to the NBA.

The number two high school sophomore in the country Harry Giles in the grey shirt will have to attend college (Thomas Frey)

The number two high school sophomore in the country Harry Giles in the grey shirt will have to attend college
(Thomas Frey)

The first class of high school players that weren’t allowed to the NBA was the Greg Oden and Kevin Durant class. Oden would have been number one pick to the Toronto Raptors and probably wouldn’t be this injured. The Chicago Bulls had the second pick which they traded to Portland. Lets assume that Chicago hadn’t traded that pick, because frankly, if Durant were available they wouldn’t have traded most likely. Chicago fans, your team had some decent guys, adding Durant would have meant championships. What a perfect place for Michael Jordan’s heir to play.

The 2004 and 2005 McDonald’s All American games were great. The practices of those years were more competitive then the 2006-2013 McDonald’s games combined. Their was so much on the line. Stern pretty much made the McDonald’s game pointless to watch. It is a great honor to be named a McDonald’s All American, but when the NBA isn’t on the line, it isn’t as important. It used to be the best.

I salute players like Brandon Jennings, Jeremy Tyler and Latavious Williams. Instead of going to college and making the greedy NCAA tons of money in exchange for pretty much nothing, they turned professional. Jennings and Tyler went to Europe while Williams played in the development league.

Why should a player risk millions of dollars and go to college? Lets take a look at some former number one rated high school players.

Josh Selby was the number one prospect in 2010. He had eligibility issues and had to miss part of the season at Kansas. Then when he was able to play in mid-season he was out of the mix and could never get in the groove. He then declared for the draft. Instead of being a high pick out of high school and being richer then he could have ever imagined, he had to waste a year of his life in college and has never made more then a million dollars in a season.

Shabazz Muhammad exited high school as not only the top player of his class, but one of the best high school players in history. He had to miss time like Selby and had trouble in college. Muhammad would have been the first pick in the draft out of high school. After a year at UCLA he still was a first round pick, but he wasn’t a top ten pick.

I believe that Selby and Muhammad would be NBA stars if they didn’t have to go to college.

Their are many players who were ranked as top ten high school players that couldn’t go to the NBA and lost their draft stock in college.

Imagine if you knew you were going to make a minimum of ten million dollars in the NBA, would you want to take college classes?


A look into Tyrone Shelley’s time in high school and college

Tyrone Shelley goes up for a slam in a game in mid-January 2010. — Earnie Grafton / Union-Tribune

Tyrone Shelley goes up for a slam in a game in mid-January 2010. — Earnie Grafton / Union-Tribune

There aren’t too many high school basketball players who are unstoppable. Tyrone Shelley is one of them. When my high school, Clairemont, played them, it created a buzz around school. Students knew who he was. Our school was an average team who could hang with most teams, but playing against Crawford, we were fairly certain of two things, that Shelley would put up great numbers and that we didn’t stand much of a chance. They beat us by about 30 and he scored about 30.

When Shelley left Crawford he was San Diego’s all time leading scorer with 2,962 including a record 76 point game. He finished as the eighth best player in the state according to behind NBA players James Harden and Austin Daye.

Shelley had scholarship offers to schools like Arizona, Arizona St., Connecticut, UCLA and Washington, he choose to go to Pepperdine. “I was around people that wanted to be around me so with Malcolm (Thomas) and Tyler (Tucker) it made the move a little easier,” said Shelley. He would lead the team in scoring and was fourth in the conference with 15.1 points per game and scored more then 20 points nine different times. After his freshman year, Shelley would transfer to San Diego State. He really liked the coaches and the environment.

After sitting out a required year, Shelley stepped on the floor for the 2009-2010 basketball season. Three games stood out most in Shelley’s mind. The first game was against a Fresno St. team led by current NBA superstar Paul George. Shelley scored 17 points, including the clinching free throws with 2.9 seconds left in the Aztecs 62-58 victory.

The second game was against Northern Arizona where Shelley scored 17 points in just 19 minutes off the bench. He was 8-10 shooting and he had a team high of four steals in the 89-41 win.

The third game that stuck out was the game against the University of San Diego. He contributed in every category possible. He went 4-4 from the free throw line, scored ten points, had six rebounds, three assists, three steals and three blocks while committing only one turnover in the Aztecs 69-62 overtime victory.

However, injuries kept Shelley off of the floor. It would lead to him transferring away from San Diego State. He still had two years of eligibility left so he transferred to NAIA Georgetown College in Kentucky.

“NAIA was different, alot of hard practices and long nights and early mornings on the east coast,” said Shelley. He was able to adjust well to that though and put up great numbers. He was all conference on a team that went to the NAIA Final Four and finished 32-5.

Now he is back in San Diego.

“I’m having fun and hanging out until I get back in the game of basketball,” said Shelley. He will be getting his diploma and he will start playing basketball again soon.