By: Tim Speros (Special Contributor to EMM)
Remember Keanu Reeves and Gene Hackman in The Replacements? No? Ok, the movie wasn’t an Oscar winner but I enjoyed it. Who wouldn’t want to be Keanu in that situation? You’re dating the head cheerleader for a pro sports team and have your own boat. Boss!
How does this relate to the NBA? If a new CBA is not put in place before Halloween, (the usual time of the NBA season tip off) millions of fans will be disappointed when they have to stream footage of Bestikas (on eurohoops.net/ we now have game.html) or to see Deron Williams cut in and out (on their screen, not on the court).
Let’s say this lockout does not end, couldn’t the NBA owners just find replacement players? I’m sure there are plenty of guys out there who would play in the NBA for say $300,000.00 a year. The minimum NBA salary last year was about $472,000.
This could be ideal for the NCAA, their current players, and former stars. This could help college basketball become more competitive and more exciting. Recent NBA drafts have consisted of mostly college freshman, sophomores, and international players. Before that, (before the draft rule changed a few years ago) kids were going from high school to the NBA and the NCAA was losing talent.
There are two reasons the CBA could be good for college basketball.
First, many of those college athletes who declare for the NBA Draft and leave school two or three years before they should, will be reluctant to do so, especially the potential lottery picks. Why? There won’t be a massive paycheck waiting for them. It would be better for them to stay in college and wait out the lockout. Think Harrison Barnes, Jared Sullinger, Perry Jones, etc.
So we have our former Carmelo’s, Derrick Rose’s, John Wall’s, and Kyrie Irving’s still playing in the field of 64, 65, 68, 95…however many teams there are now. Imagine if this past year’s Kentucky Final Four team had John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins still on it? UConn’s run might have ended a game earlier…
Secondly, college superstars like Troy Bell, Sean Singletary, Tyrece Rice, Ed Cota, Louis Bullock and Shawn Bradley 2.0, Neil Fingleton, (to name a few of my old favorites who never made it) could be playing in the NBA come October.
They could be the replacement players.
All those players you loved to watch play college hoops can still play. They are still talented. Maybe they are not as athletic as the guys who made it, but they can play exciting basketball. Grab a pen, make a list of 12-15 guys that you watched play college hoops, and put them on one roster. Now ask yourself, would you watch that team play? I know I would.
If you like what you see here check out more of Tim’s work @LeftHandLayup on Twitter