• IS “ONE-AND-DONE” ABOUT DONE? — During last week’s NBA draft, the first round was top-heavy with freshmen.
Because of that, the NBA is strongly considering changing its often-criticized “one-and-done” rule, which is greatly exploited by the rule’s godfather, John Calipari of Kentucky.
Calipari’s use (or abuse) of the rule recently was the subject of an ESPN 30 for 30 documentary, in which he basically admitted he’s not as interested in national championships as he is getting his players ready for the NBA. That’s why he annually brings in the top recruiting class in the country because players know if they go to Kentucky they’ll go high in the draft and earn millions.
Calipari offers no apologies. He doesn’t care what his fellow coaches think of him, he’s going to do it his way. By playing mostly freshmen, his teams often make young mistakes, though their immense talent generally masks some of their shortcomings.
Let’s face it, the rule is a joke. Talented players coming out of high school are forced to play one year of college before they can be selected in the draft even if they don’t want to be there. They really have no interest in academics in college because they know they’re going to be worth millions once they have completed their apprenticeship and can hire people to take care of their finances.
What I would like to see is for the NBA to allow high school graduates to jump right to the show. If they do bypass the NBA, however, I believe they should be required to spend a minimum of two years in college.
That would help both the pro and college game. NBA teams might be leery of picking a player right out of high school because only a handful are truly ready for the rigors of an 82-game season, not to mention the grind of traveling all around the country. And if players stay for two years, that can only make their college teams better.
• ROYALS IN DETROIT — We’re a week away from the halfway point of the Major League Baseball season.
The Royals, after a 10-20 start, are finally treading water at 37-37 as they have played 10 games over .500 in their last 44.
They could face a make-or-break road trip with three games starting today with Detroit, followed by three games with Minnesota.
In their glory run, the Royals’ success came by beating up on their division rivals. But this year, they have struggled mightily.
Fortunately for Kansas City, Minnesota has the worst home record in the American League at 16-25, but curiously are 23-10 on the road. And Detroit has lost eight of its last 10 and has been entertaining thoughts of starting to deal off some of its longtime parts.
I still have a hard time seeing the Royals as a contender given their depleted starting pitching. They announced on Monday that Nathan Karns has been moved to the 60-day disabled list. I have a feeling we won’t hear much more from him the rest of the season. At least Danny Duffy should be back in a couple of weeks, which will be a shot in the arm.
• FIGHT A JOKE — For those who follow fisticuffs, boxing champion Floyd Mayweather is scheduled to fight UFC box office magnet Conor McGregor on Aug. 26.
Never will more people be conned out of their money.
McGregor views himself as the toughest guy on the planet. But he’ll be a fish out of water against Mayweather, not a renowned big puncher but a peerless technician.
This reminds me when Muhammad Ali took on wrestler Antonio Inoki in what as a farce of an exhibition.
Mayweather is the master at making money, one reason he’s called Floyd “Money” Mayweather. He’s going to be paid millions for what will be a walk in the park. I know McGregor is a brawler, but he has no chance — no chance at all.
Never will so many pay so much for so little.