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Duke’s Coach K wants to change NBA one-and-done rule; maybe not what you’d expect

Duke men's basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski says it’s time to go back to letting players enter the NBA straight out of high school.
Duke men's basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski says it’s time to go back to letting players enter the NBA straight out of high school. TNS

Duke men’s basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski has had plenty of one-and-done players, who spent a single season in Durham before signing up for the NBA draft.

Krzyzewski believes the NBA should return to allowing kids to enter the draft straight out of high school. He’s dead-on right about that.

“I believe a kid should not be denied an opportunity if he’s good enough to pursue his dream right away,” Krzyzewski said on a pre-draft radio show on SiriusXM NBA radio. “You can do it in baseball, you can do it on Broadway (acting). I think guys (in basketball) should be given that opportunity.”

They have a dog’s life in earnings. ... If it’s a 12- or 15-year career, that’s it. ... So the sooner they get going in that, the better ...

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski on NBA players’ earning potential

In coaching Team USA in the Olympic Games, Krzyzewski has coached a preps-to-pros success story in superstar Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James. Under rules negotiated between the NBA and the players association, a U.S. player now can’t be draft-eligible until one year removed from his high school class’s graduation.

That means prodigies such as James and new Charlotte Hornets center Dwight Howard would have spent at least one season in college ball or playing overseas. Considering the average NBA career lasts less than five years, Krzyzewski thinks players deserve the option to turn pro right out of high school.

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski would also like to see a system where once a player commits to college basketball, he stays for at least two seasons.

“They have a dog’s life in earnings. Hopefully it’s a long (career). If it’s a 12- or 15-year career, that’s it; they’re not doctors and lawyers,” Krzyzewski said. “So the sooner they get going in that, the better, and the NBA now has developed a G-League (developmental league). I’d say 75 to 80 percent of the league has these teams.

“Now the league has these two-way contracts between (the G-League) and their parent club. Like Major League Baseball, you have a minor-league team. If a kid wants to go out of high school, then he’ll play every day; he’ll be part of the (San Antonio) Spurs or the (New York) Knicks or whoever it is.”

If they go to college, to legitimize the educational process, I think they should be there for two or more years.

Mike Krzyzewski on one-and-done rule

Momentum for some sort of change in the draft-eligibility rule is growing. NBA commissioner Adam Silver recently said no stakeholder in that process is happy with the status quo.

Krzyzewski would also like to see a system where once a player commits to college basketball, he stays for at least two seasons.

“If they go to college, to legitimize the educational process, I think they should be there for two or more years,” Krzyzewski said. “They’d be halfway towards a degree and they probably needed that level of maturity” before turning pro.

Mike Krzyzewski, coach of Duke University’s men’s basketball team, rings the opening bell at the Nasdaq stock exchange in honor of the Emily K Center in Durham. The nonprofit educational center, named for Krzyzewski's mother, works to prepare low

Bonnell: 704-358-5129: @rick_bonnell

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