Did you see where LaVar Ball is pulling his 16 year old son, LaMelo, out of high school? LaMelo was a rising junior at Chino Hills High School in Los Angeles, but he was pulled out of school to be “home schooled.”
This isn’t an education thing. Lavar admits he’s pulling his son out of school so he won’t have as many distractions in his quest to make LaMelo the “best basketball player ever.” What do you think of that, LeBron?
As you probably know, LaMelo is the third of the Ball brothers. Oldest brother Lonzo is a rookie second overall draft pick of the Lakers and LiAngelo is a freshman at UCLA, where Lonzo was a star for the one year he was required to attend.
My question is, who is going to home school LaMelo? Is dad qualified to do this? Mom? Does anyone really care? If he’s the best basketball player “ever,” he’ll make tons of millions of dollars and sell his shoes for five or six hundred dollars, so who needs school, anyway?
This is the farce that college basketball is today. LaMelo will surely get into UCLA whether his academic work is acceptable or not. He’s going to be a very good basketball player, whether he’s the best “ever” or not.
You’ve read about the scandals involving other colleges, paying parents $100,000 so their basketball star son goes to a certain school and wears a certain shoe. It’s a joke.
It’s time for college basketball to be college basketball again. I think professional basketball should emphasize the development league and strongly encourage players to go straight to that league instead of college if they’re not interested in being students. The one-and-done stuff isn’t good for the colleges and it isn’t good for the pros. It makes a farce of the institutions they represent, i.e. the University of Kentucky.
If basketball had a minor league system like baseball it would solve the problem. The minor league teams would actually be attractive to watch, much more so than the NBDL Roanoke Dazzle we had a few years ago. With the Dazzle there was a chance someone would get to the NBA and be on the end of a bench. If the best high school players would go to the developmental league for two seasons, instead of masquerading as college students, it would be excellent basketball to watch with players who were going to be NBA regulars, comparable to Triple-A baseball.
The good thing is, the players could be getting paid legally by the NBA affiliates. That way they would still make a buck without having to take under the table payments as pseudo-college students, and they wouldn’t have to feel dirty while doing so.
The only thing it would hurt would be big time college basketball, because they wouldn’t get all the best players any more. They would get the very good players who aren’t there for just one year because they have to be to play in the NBA, ala Lonzo Ball.
And isn’t that what college basketball should be about?
TWO OUT OF THREE AIN’T BAD
I like the two wild card teams from each league in the Major League Baseball playoffs, but I don’t like the one-and-done game.
Please note I’m writing this Tuesday afternoon before the Yankees and Twins game Tuesday night and, obviously, before the Rockies and Diamondbacks play Wednesday. So, if anything goofy happened I had no idea at the time.
In the current system the two wild card teams play one game for the right to join the three division winners in the regular playoffs. I don’t know that one game is a fair judge of who deserves to advance after a 162 game season.
First of all, anyone can win one game. If you have a decent pitcher the worst team in baseball can beat the best on any given day. It’s hardly a fair way to decide a playoff spot that’s very important to the teams involved.
I think it should be a best-of-three. It would only take another day or so and it would be a fairer test for the two teams involved. You could start on Tuesday after the season ends Sunday and play three games through Thursday, then take Friday off and begin the regular playoffs on Saturday. The wild card team with the better record would have the choice of the first game at home or the last two, like the Carolina League used to do. I remember one year the Buccaneers had the better record but selected the first game at home because they felt that would have a big advantage if they could win that first game.
Meanwhile, the three division winners in each league would have a five-day break before opening the playoffs. That would give them a much-needed rest and a chance to set up their pitching rotation any way they like. That would be a just reward for winning the division and an edge over the surviving wild card team, who most likely used the best arms on the pitching staff in the three game series. It would make winning the division even more meaningful, and you have a similar situation in football where the teams with the best records get important first round byes.
AND, and the owners are going to really like this, it would add a possibility of four more playoff games to sell out and line their pockets. What owner wouldn’t like that?
I think it makes a lot of sense, so it will probably never happen.
Did you bet on the Redskins Monday night? If you did, I feel for you.
Washington was seven point underdogs to Kansas City and the Redskins were covering the spread for virtually the entire game. Then, with seconds remaining and Washington trailing by three, the Redskins tried one of those plays where you lateral all over the field. They ended up fumbling and a Kansas City player picked up the ball and ran it in for a touchdown with no time on the clock, giving the Chiefs a 10 point win.
If you had the Redskins, it was a kick in the stomach. I’ve been down that road and it’s not a fun ride.
SPARTANS ON THE RUN
Hannah Moran is running at the University of Virginia and recently helped the team place first in the Virginia/Panorama Farms Invitational in Charlottesville, where she finished as the team’s 5th runner. Overall she was 16th out of 95 runners.
Also, Salem’s Ellie Look is running with the Radford Women’s Cross country team this fall. She has been working to recover from a sore knee.
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