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 rivals.com 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?

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5 NBA players who I thought would be way better

Over the years, I have thought certain NBA top ten draft picks would be team changing stars. Here are five that I was wrong about.

When the Portland Trail Blazers drafted Martell Webster sixth overall in 2005, I thought he would be the franchise savior. In the two drafts before that, guys like Lebron James, Dwight Howard and Josh Smith showed that high school basketball players could be good. But I was wrong. He is still in the NBA and he isn’t terrible, but for a player drafted that high, I thought he would do more. He has averaged just over nine points per game throughout his career.

Adam Morrison of Gonzaga is next on my list. Outside of J.J. Redick, I haven’t seen a better college basketball player. I wasn’t the only one who thought he was great. He was compared to Larry Bird and the Charlotte Bobcats drafted him third overall. He averaged 7.5 points per game in his NBA career and is presently an assistant coach for his alma mater.

Michael Beasley had a very good freshmen season at Kansas State. The Miami Heat drafted him second overall. He has averaged 13.7 points per game throughout his career. That is okay, but I thought he was going to be one of the greatest players in NBA History.

Each of my final two disappointments were from the 2009 NBA Draft. Hasheem Thabeet, is 7’3 and he had a very successful career at UCONN. Memphis thought he could turn them around and they selected him second overall. It never worked out. Thabeet has bounced from team to team and has only averaged 2.2 points per game in his career.

Jonny Flynn is one of my favorite college basketball players. He was so much fun to watch at Syracuse. I didn’t think there could be anyway that he wouldn’t be a great NBA player. The Minnesota Timberwolves found out the hard way when they took him sixth overall. He isn’t in the NBA right now and he averaged 9.2 points per game in his career.

There are other players who I was also wrong about like Josh Childress, Tyrus Thomas and Shelden Williams, but those five are the most shocking to me.

Sports that I want to see the most

San Diego has a lot of sporting events, but there are some other places I would like to go.

I want to go to a SEC football game. Seeing a game in an atmosphere like that would be awesome. I love SDSU football, but there isn’t much fan involvement. I would also like to see a high school football game in either Texas or Oklahoma. I’ve read Friday Night Lights and its looks pretty legit.

I would also like to go to basketball games at Kansas, Kentucky and Duke. Those places had some of the best players and they have so much history. I want to see what the fan support and particularly the student section is like and how it compares to SDSU’s student section, The Show. The traditions are what appeal to me the most.

The next event I want to go to is a major horse race like the Kentucky Derby, Preakness or Belmont. Those tracks have so much history.

I went to the 2009 NBA Draft but I want to go to another draft. It was one of the best events that I have ever been to. The suspense that comes with each pick is hard to beat.

I’d like to go to every NBA, NFL, MLB and NHL stadium but there are a few I would like to go to more then others.

Fenway Park is a place that I will not miss for anything. If they announce theirs only two years left or something, I would make sure that I get there in time.

Wrigley Field is another MLB stadium I would like to go to. It wouldn’t be that bad if I never make there though. I would rather go to most of the other places on this list. Lambeau Field is sort of the same way.

I’d like to see all of these places but for now I have the Padres, Chargers and Aztecs to enjoy.

Getting to the NBA Draft

The NBA Draft is one of the best nights of the year. All year I look at mock drafts and even make one of my own. If you look just once a week at mock drafts, starting now, you will know who all of the players are.

When a player leaves high school as one of the best in the country, they are most likely thinking and planning of ways to get to the NBA.

I love to see the players emotions when there name is called. They made it, there future is bright and all of there hard work payed off.

There are many events that make draft day what it is.

Once the Super Bowl is finished, NBA and college basketball will get almost all of the attention. Watching college basketball is pretty fun when you try to project which players will make the NBA. By this time college basketball is right in the middle of conference season and its pretty intense.

After the regular season you have some great match ups in the conference tournaments. Nobody wants to lose to your rival in the conference tournament, so they normally play with all of there intensity. Having a good conference tournament can help your draft stock immensely. Big games against big teams help you more then anything.

The best place to have a big game is the NCAA Tournament. Your draft stock can jump up or down many positions based on game. The players are playing for their schools, but I’m sure they know what is at stake for them to.

As teams get eliminated players start declaring for the NBA draft. That is exciting for multiple reasons. They are immediately judged and there draft stock is projected immediately. Another reason its exciting if because his college team loses him and you start to wonder who will take his place.

Then as soon as the Final Four is over, the NBA draft replaces college basketball as a discussion. By June, players have done workouts and the draft has become more of a mystery. There are so many possibilities it can make you crazy thinking about them.

Then the draft day comes and each team only has five minutes to pick. The more I know about the players, the funner it is for me. I immediately evaluate  every pick in my head. I love it.

There are normally a bunch of trades as well. In the second round many teams will draft international players. That international player many never play in the NBA but if he does, he will only be able to go to the team that drafted him.

The draft is a journey and it completes the college basketball season for me. I like to root for guys I’ve seen in person or players that I’ve watched a number of times and like. Generally, I’m happy for every player drafted though.

I went to the 2009 NBA Draft and had a seat at the top. Almost everybody left after the first round, so I got to go down to the lower level. I sat down there and could hear scouts and draft experts talking. I talked to a Sports Illustrated writer who made some predictions that both turned out to be correct. I also was able to see legendary North Carolina coach Roy Williams.

I recommend going to the draft if you love sports. It was at Madison Square Garden in 2009. The New York Knicks picked eighth. Everybody booed when Stephen Curry went seventh and every booed again when the Knicks took Jordan Hill eighth.

All the fans there, it least the ones sitting around me at the top, knew who the prospects were. They were major fans. It made it an absolutely unbelievable experience and I would love to go back.

San Diego State basketball is going to prove you wrong this year

The NCAA Tournament is my favorite playoff to watch. Every team always has hope. Teams like George Mason in 2006 never gave up and they played there tails off and made the Final Four.

By the NCAA Tournament, my soul is entrenched into college basketball. The team just played in the Mountain West Tournament, Before that they had two months of heated conference play. By then you want them to win so bad. As a San Diego State fan, they always are the underdogs against the schools from a big conference. I don’t like it, it makes me wants the Aztecs to win more. So know what, I do like it. The chance to see future NBA players always is appealing to me. I want to beat them bad though. The game that sticks out to me is the UCONN game. They finished 34-3. But because they lost in the Sweet 16 they finished 11th in the final poll. They lost to Jimmer twice and the national champion. Thats it. 11th is disrespect on all levels.

Right now, SDSU is back in the top ten and I’m excited. A school not in the big conferences don’t get much respect. There 10th, but there only loss is to #1 Arizona. This is another year there gonna prove all the voters wrong. Butler making it twice to the Finals shows that a small school is close. George Mason and Wichita State have come close. This could be the year that a big school doesn’t win it. Why not San Diego State?

They play better defense then anyone. The Arizona game was a lot close then the boxscore final of 69-60. They were down 62-58 with under two minutes left before Aaron Gordon made an And-1. Even though they lost, SDSU was only down four to a team still undefeated who has beaten Duke, Michigan and UCLA.

SDSU plays great defense, they have one of the best point guards in the country in Xavier Thames. Winston Shepard has become a great player and I don’t think hes even close to his full potential. I will be surprised if he isn’t a lottery pick after his junior year. Maybe even this year if he becomes dominant. He gets better every game I think.

SDSU has two big men who outscored Joel Embiid and Perry Ellis who play for Kansas and both are projected high first round draft picks. Skylar Spencer and Josh Davis are absolute beasts. Spencer is one of the best shot blockers in the country while Davis is one of the best rebounders.

JJ O’Brien is a very good scorer and rebounder. He also can shoot the ball. When he has a good game, the Aztecs are very hard to beat.

Then you have guys like Dwayne Polee, Aqeel Quinn, Matt Shrigley and Dakarai Allen who have all brought there A-game on defense and they can also be depended on to score. This is a great team and I think they go to it least the Final Four. I think they will pair the West bracket with Arizona and SDSU as the top two seeds. Then when they meet in the Elite 9, the Aztecs will get revenge and win.

The coaching staff has lots of postseason experience. They are magnificent recruiters and Steve Fisher is a winner. He took Michigan to three Final Fours and he won a national title. He built SDSU from scratch and had them ranked as high in 2011 as #4. One guy on that team came to SDSU straight from high school was was a rivals.com top 150 player and that was Kawhi Leonard. They weren’t ranked to start that year. They weren’t ranked this season to start the year either.

Its a great time to be a SDSU basketball fan. This is a team everybody will pick as the team to get upset early in the NCAA Tournament. That won’t happen this year. Let your tournament bracket ride with SDSU. It takes picks like this to win bracket leagues.

Why not the Aztecs?

Top 10 High School Draft Picks from 1995-2001

From 1995 until 2005, 12 high schoolers were drafted in the top ten of the NBA Draft. Some became legends, while most are now forgotten.

Kevin Garnett was the first player since 1975 to go straight to the NBA out of high school. The Minnesota Timberwolves rolled the dice and took him fifth overall in the 1995 NBA Draft. It was a great choice. He made Minnesota a good team every year he was there. After Minnesota, Garnett went to Boston where he won an NBA Title. He is currently on the Nets and he has averaged 18.8 points per game in his career. Other highlights from the future hall of famer include being a 15 time All-Star, the 2004 NBA MVP and a gold medalist in the 2000 Olympics.

The next high schooler to go in the top ten was Darius Miles who went third overall to the Los Angeles Clippers in the 2000 NBA Draft. Miles had an average career where he bounced around between the Clippers, Cavaliers, Blazers and Grizzlies. With an average of 10.1 points per game, Miles is generally known as a draft bust.

In 2001, four high schoolers were drafted in the top ten and it started with number one overall pick, Kwame Brown who was drafted by the Washington Wizards. Brown is known as one of the worst number one picks of all time. Between the Wizards, Lakers, Grizzlies, Pistons, Bobcats, Warriors and 76ers, Brown only averaged 6.6 points per game. 

Tyson Chandler was drafted second overall, right behind Brown. Starting with the Bulls, Chandler has played on five teams and is currently with the New York Knicks. When Chandler was the starting center on the Dallas Mavericks they won an NBA championship. Chandler has also won an Olympic gold medal. In the NBA, Chandler has averaged 8.7 points and 9 rebounds per game.

The fourth overall pick, Eddy Curry also went to the Bulls. Curry was compared to Shaq. Many people called Chicago, ‘The Baby Bulls’, because Chandler and Curry both were straight from high school. They had very high expectations. Finally in 2005, the Bulls went to the playoffs, but Curry was sidelined because of an irregular heartbeat right before the playoffs. That Bulls team was fun to watch, but it was done. In the 2006-2007 season with the Knicks, Curry averaged a career high 19.5 points per game. He battled injuries his whole career but was able to average a respectable 12.9 points per game in his career and he even won a championship with the Miami Heat. 

Cleveland selected Dasagna Diop eighth overall. Diop was expected to develop into a great player but it never happened. He averaged only 2 points per game in a career where he only got 93 starts with four different teams.