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brought to you by: EspreeNet News Service

Published May 06, 2003



"Hardship; Stay or Go."
Two of Americas Most Wanted Carmello Anthony and LeBron James Make Moves Toward The NBA

TERRILL DEAN
EspreeNet News Service



Syracuse, NY (ENet News) - Well, folks here we are again. It's that time of year in which the top college prospects decide if they want to take their skills to The League. There are many who debate on whether or not to stay in school or go. For some it is an inner turmoil for others it is a clear decision.

This topic of should these players stay to finish college or for that matter to enter college, has been a huge discussion with many family, friends, players, and colleagues. I myself choose not to get wrapped up in it. Why, because of a persons right to seek opportunity and gainful employment. The thought of one seeking gainful employment on the professional level of basketball goes back to the throwback days. In that time it was called "hardship". Hardship was to provide an opportunity for someone to earn money in The League with out graduating from college.

Hardship began with one persons voice who felt he had accomplished everything he needed to do on the collegiate level. He spent one year in junior college, Trinidad State JC and one year at the division one level, University of Detroit and he won a gold medal for team USA in 1968. Who is that person? Spencer Haywood. He took on the NBA for the right to grant sole wage earners to play in The League. He was the pioneer and a true hardship case. Up next, Moses Malone. Straight from the high school ranks to the pros. (Of course both of these brothers played in the ABA first then a proving ground and competitor, then they stepped into The League.) Another pioneer how can we forget "Love Tron" himself, Mr. "Chocolate Thunder", Darryl Dawkins. He too was a hardship case. Since the Haywood, Malone, and Dawkins' hardship days, there have been changes to the definition of why people entered the draft early. Only they know their reasons.

Fact, there have been a total of 416 players who entered the draft early from 1976 to 2000. 32 were international players, 24 junior college players, and 12 high school ballers. Their hardship was looking for work to improve their lives!

As one can see, there is and has been a pattern or a history of leaving early. So I ask, was there drama when, "The Big Ticket" Kevin Garnett left high school in 1995, Kobe Bryant and Jermaine O'Neal in 1996, Tracey McGrady in 1997, Al Harrington 1998, Deshawn Stevenson in 2000 and most recently, Amare Stoudemire, left high school? Sure, but nowhere near as much as it is now! They left for their own reasons, but they left because they had the skills to do work in "The L."

Next question, why the large out cry and controversy for the next level of stars? You know, Lebron James and Syracuse University's savior Carmello "Mello" Anthony. (Who are like Pac and Snoop Dog, "Two of Americas Most Wanted".) People, if it happened in the past, what makes you think leaving early won't and shouldn't happen again! They both can find work in The League. And isn't that what everyone wants their child to have, gainful employment. I know I wouldn't mind seeing those fellas getting paid. And if they have skills the National Basketball Association and its Players are looking for, then they should be with that organization.

What if "The Chosen One" goes to college who gets paid, him? I don't think so. It will be the NCAA, the school and the coach. (Just ask "Mello" how much money did he get from the jersey and t-shirt sales at the Final Four alone.) "The Chosen One risks all the nonsense of the H2 and the throwbacks coming to light, if he goes to Money University. Ok, "Mello" stays,'Cuse may vie for another title, and he gets what for the pockets? (And if "Mello" did get hit off, can you say violation?) These players know what's good. They have only done what hardship has ended up being, they have accomplished everything they wanted and now it is time to take on another challenge! THE L! I knew Mello would be out and what a way to go.

Oh by the way, congrats Coach Boeheim and thanks for keeping it real in 2002-2003 about "Mello".

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