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Silver: 2 years of college best for NBA players

Posted Mar 25, 2014 12:26 AM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- Adam Silver says he's heard the "Bill Gates theory" numerous times from critics over the last month: You shouldn't be required to attend college to become a millionaire.

But the new NBA commissioner believes basketball players should spend at least two years in college - instead of just the currently required one.

Fair or not, he said it's simply best for the league. Speaking before Monday's Rockets-Bobcats game in Charlotte, Silver said: "I think two years is the right balance."

That means if Silver had his way, Jabari Parker and Andrew Wiggins would be staying another year in school. But there's little he can do about that.

An agreement between the league and the players' association is not imminent.

"I've heard all sides of the issue," Silver said. "I've had players say that a young man should have the right to earn a living at 18 and I've had others say we'd be a better league with more experienced players. I'm sensitive to both sides of the issue and it's not something that I could unilaterally change even if we wanted to. It's an issue that would have to be collectively bargained with our union."

Silver said the NBA has been waiting for the players' association to appoint a new head of the union before beginning negotiations on a potential change.

The NFL currently requires players to be three years removed from high school before being eligible to enter the draft.

Silver also believes there should be input from colleges. He said at this point he hasn't had any formal discussions with college administrators.

"We say one-and-done players, but in most cases it's really one semester and done, because they're coming in and retaining their eligibility for one semester and then if the team makes the tournament, they continue playing and once they lose, they prepare for the draft," Silver said. "In an ideal world, four years of college would be appropriate, but I recognize that's not realistic.

"There has to be a balance in terms of the economic opportunity and us putting the best product on the floor in the NBA. It's awfully risky to use your first pick on someone with limited experience in college and, to me, the right balance would be two years."

Silver said there is no economic benefit for the league on whether or not a player enters the league at 19 or 20 years old.

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