NBA commissioner David Stern taking NCAA to task

USA TODAY Sports

It's Friday and that means that many of you will begin celebrating another week gone by with the freedom that the weekend brings.

If any of you are like me, that means you have your "go to" authors that you like to read on a daily or weekly basis. Well, if you'll indulge me - add Tom Ziller to your list. His "The Hook" daily NBA columns are absolutely fantastic and he brings you up to date on all the happenings around the league that you may or may-not otherwise read.

Like this gem he found on David Stern (full article here):

"The thing I'm equally proud of and its importance will emerge in the future years as the discussions of the NCAA and its relationship with the NBA heat up, we have a full-fledged development league.

"I'm very proud of the development league. It's working. That march is continuing. The drumbeats I hear about colleges not liking what they refer to one-and-done . We now have a league in the NBA Development League that will accept players that are 18 and will do a better job of educating them than the college programs in which they are.

"Take that."

And then he offers you his take on Stern's words:

1. Whoa.

2. I wrote in the offseason that the D-League is damn near a real minor league. It'll be there within a couple of years, at this rate. And Stern was pulled into this topic by a question about Jeremy Lin, who would have been in Europe or a different line of work after college graduation if not for the D-League. The D-League absolutely works excellently for those professional players on the fringe. There's no question about it.

3. Stern needs to soften the boasts, though, until the D-League pulls a top prospect away from the NCAA system. Anthony Bennett and Shabazz Muhammad would have been great fits in recent years. They went to UNLV and UCLA, respectively. Stern and Adam Silver can crow about the success of the D-League vis a vis the college system once, like, at least one All-American chooses the Fort Wayne Mad Ants over the Kentucky Wildcats. Right now the D-League is a minor league system in that it allows NBA teams to pull prospects and vets from an increasingly local reserve of replacement-level players. It's not yet an MLB-style substitute for college sports. Not even close. Stern knows that. The NCAA knows that. How long will it take to change it?

Ziller does an excellent job of covering various NBA stories with his "The Hook" columns and has some other gems in his piece - like Pau Gasol's impending free agency, NBA scouting, and some advanced stats stuff too. Make his columns part of your NBA reading routine.

-Check out this fantastic breakdown on Larry SANDERS! by Mike Prada and as you're going through his column (video and pictures included), think about how what Prada is talking about could look good if JaVale McGee followed suit.

A snippet:

Horford gives Sanders a pump fake, which would have prompted many players to take a step towards Horford, if not fly out by him. But Sanders knows that Horford prefers to go to the rim, and instead of sliding out, he uses the space he's afforded to slide down to the spot that Horford is looking to elevate to the basket.

Happy Friday folks and have a great weekend!

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