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DenButsu
07-30-2008, 11:19 AM
Brandon Jennings, with his decision to get paid playing in Europe rather than take the more traditional collegiate route to the NBA, is injecting equal parts fear and hope into the basketball world.

The NBA Players Union is showcasing Jennings as the champion for their cause to end the NBA's age limitation rules. As their executive director Billy Hunter puts it, "This kid from Compton with a single mother just made life easier for everyone else. This is courage, to stand up and say no to the system and say, 'I have a right to earn a living.' "

Meanwhile, NCAA basketball has breathed a collective sigh of relief as their fears that more of America's premiere high school graduate ballers would follow in Jennings' footsteps and pursue immediate Euros in favor of NCAA accolades have failed to pass.

But this reassurance could well be temporary.

The experience that Jennings goes through over the next year will do much to sway the decision making of this year's high school seniors. This was definitely a high-risk, high-reward move, and apparently one that was too experimental for other players in Jennings' situation to embrace this summer. But there is a chain of "ifs" that answered affirmatively could open the floodgates of a European exodus.

Brandon Jennings will face some tough obstacles on his European road to the NBA. He'll be sharing the basketball court with seasoned professionals who will present him with tougher opposition on the court and tougher competition with his teammates to get playing time in the first place. Had he gone to school in the U.S., he'd almost certainly be The Man. Now, he'll probably be fortunate to be a 6th man, and although it remains unclear how this will affect his draft stock, it will be much harder for him to be seen as a standout.

But...

IF he is able to sign a contract for enough Euros to amount to some serious appeal to young players - enough to make them feel it's worth the trouble of leaving their home country, and

IF he's able to sign with a club that has a high enough profile to keep his name on the radar screen, and

IF that club actually gives him enough minutes in the rotation that he has the opportunity to make an impact, and

IF he's actually able to rise to the occasion and deliver an impressive basketball performance on the court and a degree of professionalism in the locker room, and

IF the final result of all this is an elevated draft stock as the 2008-09 season draws to a close and starts moving into the offseason,

...then we can probably expect that a significant number of elite high school ballers will be sold on the dream that they can not only make a good salary but also gain professional basketball experience and maintain a high draft profile by taking a detour through Europe on their way to the NBA.

Obviously, that's a boatload of "ifs". But if they pan out, then we just might see a deluge, or at least a mini-flood, of high school's best pouring over to Europe.

And if that does indeed become viewed as a serious and legitimate alternative to the traditional route, then those elite HS grad ballers will have to face the question:

Which is the best path for them to take to the NBA: Through Europe, or through college?

BALLER71
08-02-2008, 04:55 PM
Easily Europe.
Europe is in a higher level than College basketball and these high school players will get paid.
Smart decision all-around.

cambovenzi
08-02-2008, 04:58 PM
Easily Europe.
Europe is in a higher level than College basketball and these high school players will get paid.
Smart decision all-around.
really?
i would say easily college.
gets your name known in the country your playing in.
and there aren't country to country problems.
you can just hop right into the NBA after your 1st college year.

if you dont really shine in europe you might not get to the NBA.

daleja424
08-02-2008, 05:09 PM
gotta be europe... why would the top prospects go to college when they could make 10 mil in contracts and endorsements while the rest of college players risk there careers for nothing...

daleja424
08-02-2008, 05:10 PM
Its also better for the NBA to see these kids playing with other professionals. maybe there would be less Busts outta the top 10 picks?

BALLER71
08-02-2008, 05:29 PM
really?
i would say easily college.
gets your name known in the country your playing in.
and there aren't country to country problems.
you can just hop right into the NBA after your 1st college year.

if you dont really shine in europe you might not get to the NBA.

Don't you think scouts will keep an eye on these guys who go to Europe?

DenButsu
08-02-2008, 08:37 PM
Its also better for the NBA to see these kids playing with other professionals. maybe there would be less Busts outta the top 10 picks?

The flip side of that argument, though, is that by these players thrusting themselves into high profile/high pressure professional baller jobs right out of the gates, they may be cheating themselves out of the opportunity to properly foster their development.

A pro team with a kid on a one year contract will be hoping/expecting for him to deliver immediate results. A college ball program will have a lot more patience with him and tolerance for bumps in the road he might hit along the way.

AgentViet
08-02-2008, 09:00 PM
I think he'd stir up more attention and be able to prove more of his talent if he went to college. However, he may be needing the money to help out his family so it may be the best decision for him from a life and not basketball stand point.

Sixerlover
08-02-2008, 09:03 PM
Depending on the Kid's talent level. LeBron out of HS could of went to Europe. Oden / Durant / Rose / Beasley could of went to Europe and should have if they needed the money. People that had to develop a little like Jermaine O'Neal and Louis Williams would be better suited at the college level where your coach will help you.

Basically if your a stud go to Europe out of H.S. If your a 3.5 / 5 star player or lower, go to college.

daleja424
08-02-2008, 09:11 PM
The flip side of that argument, though, is that by these players thrusting themselves into high profile/high pressure professional baller jobs right out of the gates, they may be cheating themselves out of the opportunity to properly foster their development.

A pro team with a kid on a one year contract will be hoping/expecting for him to deliver immediate results. A college ball program will have a lot more patience with him and tolerance for bumps in the road he might hit along the way.

I dont think guys who need the seasoning would go... but liek was said b4... the elite level prospects that wanna join the nba right away anyways (despite the rule) wouldnt be hurt by this.

SAVAGE CLAW
08-04-2008, 12:58 AM
Its a good idea if you go to a middle of the pack team, because you will get playing time and they will let you develop.

But jennings chose a bad team to Start With, Rome is a contender, he may easily not see any playing time, or have to play with the youth scheme.

cambovenzi
08-04-2008, 01:00 PM
the thread says best path to the NBA.
not best path to making money the quickest.
if the players dont perform right away in europe, they could possibly get benched, or forgotten about. not exactly a quick way to the NBA.

DenButsu
08-04-2008, 01:09 PM
the thread says best path to the NBA.
not best path to making money the quickest.

Yeah, that really gets to the heart of the question I'm trying to ask.

Perhaps a LeBron could have done a year in Europe, thrived, made a big name for himself, and still entered the draft at 19 and been picked number one.

But he's an exceptional player. One in a million. Even rarer than that, actually.

So what I'm really talking about is the guys who may or may not be inspired by Jennings to go down an unproven path. The appeal is obvious - the money, the trial by fire as a pro rather than comfortable ease into collegiate action, the exotic aspect of international travel. But for the "average elite" player, if I could use such a term - not LeBron when he was a high school senior, but the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th guys after him - would they be fast tracking to a more successful slide into the NBA or selling themselves short by nipping their development in the bud?

daleja424
08-04-2008, 02:28 PM
It also doesnt say the fastest path to the NBA...it says the best. some people would argue that it would be a better path to the NBA to spend 3 yeas in Europe improving their game AND making millions... even if it doesn't get them there the fastest.

steelcityroller
08-04-2008, 02:55 PM
A couple questions

(1) Are contracts guaranteed in Europe? If not then the money they get for going over there means jack **** IMO There have been players go overseas and never see any of there money in both hockey and basketball.

(2) How many people speak English in most of the European countries? I guarantee you that these top talent basketball players arent gonna be fluent in French, German, Russian etc.

daleja424
08-04-2008, 03:13 PM
A couple questions

(1) Are contracts guaranteed in Europe? If not then the money they get for going over there means jack **** IMO There have been players go overseas and never see any of there money in both hockey and basketball.

(2) How many people speak English in most of the European countries? I guarantee you that these top talent basketball players arent gonna be fluent in French, German, Russian etc.

In yesterdays USA basketball game the announcers said that english is the language of basketball in Europe... and almost all the players over there are fluent in english.

even if big names like jennings never see a dime they will make tons of money on shoes contracts and other endorsements that they wouldnt otherwise have...

IndiansFan337
08-05-2008, 12:35 PM
Easily Europe.
Europe is in a higher level than College basketball and these high school players will get paid.
Smart decision all-around.
No way. Most kids aren't mature enough to be out of there own country, getting paid hundreds of thousands of dollars, and still work hard enough to improve & prepare themselves for the next level. They also are forced to deal with a culture change. Some kids can handle it, but many can't.

Going to college with kids there own age is the best thing for these kids. It helps them grow up, there's no major culture change/shock. They don't head straight into the "work force". Although they don't get paid, they can get an education that can serve them later in life if they don't expect to make it big as a basketball player. If they expect to make it big as a basketball player, then they can focus mostly on improving their draft stock while also getting an education as a backup plan.

rico
08-06-2008, 04:49 AM
No way. Most kids aren't mature enough to be out of there own country, getting paid hundreds of thousands of dollars, and still work hard enough to improve & prepare themselves for the next level. They also are forced to deal with a culture change. Some kids can handle it, but many can't.

Going to college with kids there own age is the best thing for these kids. It helps them grow up, there's no major culture change/shock. They don't head straight into the "work force". Although they don't get paid, they can get an education that can serve them later in life if they don't expect to make it big as a basketball player. If they expect to make it big as a basketball player, then they can focus mostly on improving their draft stock while also getting an education as a backup plan.

i understand your argument, but if it were me the whole culture change/shock would just help me concentrate MORE on basketball since thats what im familiar with, and the competetion there would make me a better player. you become better by playing better competetion making you up your game.

fredv
08-22-2008, 08:58 AM
Europe. The kid's get toughter playing over there and It is always a good experience to travel and see the world. The probably mature alot too and that can also be a safety for scouts.

IndyRealist
08-22-2008, 04:14 PM
gotta be europe... why would the top prospects go to college when they could make 10 mil in contracts and endorsements while the rest of college players risk there careers for nothing...

Brandon Jennings was asking for $300k-$800k in salary, most European teams offer salaries in the range of $80k-$100k. An entire French league team has a payroll of $8M, including front office and operating costs. Very few teams can offer the kinds of salaries that say, Josh Childress, will earn. ESPN's article on the matter can be found here (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?page=euroamfactfiction).

The danger here is that Jennings will go over to Europe and will be playing against seasoned veterans whereas in college he'd be playing against players no more than a couple of years more experienced than him. Professional ballclubs are there to WIN, not develop young talent looking to showcase for NBA scouts. If Jennings can't keep up with the likes of Sarunas Jasikevicius (http://www.euroleague.net/news/i/11829/180/item) or Ricky Rubio (http://www.nbadraft.net/admincp/profiles/rickyrubio.html), he will very quickly find himself at the end of the bench with little hope of re-signing or making it to the NBA.

txravis12
08-23-2008, 11:07 PM
even if he does end up getting benched in europe he still will be able to try out for the nba, correct?