Steve Kerr: ‘NBA Players Union Look At The Age Requirement As The Last Chip That They Hold’
Selection Sunday – “One of the best days of the year,” Steve Kerr said – is just 26 days away, but as the college basketball season rages on, there’s a sense that there are no great teams out there. There are some very good teams, but no great ones.
Is that accurate?
“Yeah, I think that’s accurate,” Kerr said on The John Feinstein Show. “I think there are going to be outliers – Kentucky a couple years ago was a great team, mainly because Anthony Davis was just spectacular and dominant. But they had such a collection of talent that just fit and worked. The next year they had the No. 1 recruiting class in the country and didn’t make the tournament. I just think that (2012 championship team) was the exception, rather than the rule.
“Because when you think back to the truly great college teams from years ago – when you and I were growing up – you had teams that grew together over a number of years,” Kerr continued, “and you had teams with tons of talent that also benefited from being together for three, four years. Georgetown with Patrick Ewing, for example. I mean, those teams were so dominant. If Ewing had left after his freshman year, we never would’ve seen that. I just think it’s the nature of the game and the way things aren’t really allowed to unfold in a natural progression because of all the early departures.”
Elsewhere in college basketball, newly appointed NBA commissioner Adam Silver recently called the one-and-done rule “a disaster.”
Is it possible the rule could be amended from one-and-done to two-and-through?
“It all comes down to the union,” Kerr said. “The league wants to change it, and I’m with them. I’d like to see two years. But it has to be negotiated with the union, and the way I see it – and I’ve been part of that union for a long time – it’s not so much that guys are adamantly opposed to the rule change; it’s more that the union has just gotten their butt kicked in every collective bargaining agreement for the last two decades. They’ve had one thing after another taken from them, and they look at the age requirement as the last chip that they hold.”
Kerr thinks the union could be willing to part with that chip – but only if concessions are made.
“I don’t think the league is going to be too anxious to give up what it’s gotten in the last few negotiation sessions,” Kerr said. “So I think there could be a problem trying to get this through – unless there’s a real concession given on the league side, and I don’t know that they’re willing to give anything up.”
Then again, it could help that Silver – and not David Stern – is now at the negotiating table.
“Adam definitely has a gentler feel,” Kerr said. “You can see it, you can hear it. He’s really a fantastic guy. He’s very well-educated and (had an) unbelievable apprenticeship under Stern the last couple of decades. Adam’s ready for this. I love that he went to the players over All-Star weekend and really kind of asked what they need and what they’re feeling.”