I recently had a discussion with someone who works for the NBA about why I thought college basketball was more entertaining than professional basketball. My point was that the NBA has a short shot clock, which leads to too much one-on-one. The players just don't seem to have the same passion in the NBA. The runs and excitement of underdogs just makes the college game better. It's more of an art. The teams have 35 seconds to set up their plays and really make plays based on schemes.
I'm not saying the NBA isn't fun to watch, especially come playoff time. And yes, I know there are different types of schemes in the NBA, but it just isn't as interesting. I also grew up in Pittsburgh and we don't have an NBA team, so I'm sure that plays a part. I like the current system the NBA has with a soft cap, and as a major sport, it's in much better shape than the NHL and MLB.
I also think it was a good marketing tool by David Stern to make players at least go to college for one year. It was hard to like and follow players who were coming out of college because we didn't know who they were. If we get to watch them develop in college instead of on NBA benches it lets us fans develop opinions of these players. It's good for both college and the NBA.