It has become my opinion over the years that the NBA draft is the time in a basketball players life that they care more about a paycheck than they care about the game. I am not saying that this does not happen in other sports, but the NBA is the epitome of me first. Team is not important. The game is not important really. What other sport is out there where there is such a desparity between college and the pros?
Before you jump on me and say baseball, let me say this: Baseball is not played in it's intended form until you get to a professional level. Playing with a piece of aluminum is not how Doubleday intended his game to be played. That is not to say that playing with an aluminum bat is not fun or lessens the games for kids, but when a high school kid gets up to bat and starts swinging an aluminum bat at the plate it's a lot easier to get the ball to drop in a gap when it gets there twice as fast as if he had used a wooden bat. But I digress.
I bring up the NBA draft because players are once again skipping 3 quality years of college, where it truly takes a team to succeed. If you want to argue with me about needing a team in the NBA may I direct you to Eshibit A: Last season's Eastern Conference Finals. If you don't know what I am talking about, you obviously didn't watch the Series or SportsCenter or listen to any talkshow. LeBron James single handedly beat the living crap out of the Pistons. So what is my point? Most players that will enter this years draft will never be a star. Some will never play with a star. Most will collect a paycheck that is far more than they deserve to play a sport that lacks the appeal that it should have. It isn't their fault that they get paid so much, but it is their fault that they pass up an opportunity to play one of the greatest games on earth for one of the most mediocre. College basketball depends on a team to excel. Texas didn't fall off the face of the planet when Kevin Durant left last year. Yes, Ohio State had a drop off, but they were still the best of the worst, and probably could have made the tourney if every conference didn't get an automatic bid.
I say all of that to say, boo to those that have already decided to leave early, and good for you who are staying. Take your time and appreciate a great sport. Enjoy it while you can. Eventually, you will have to go make millions and never know what it feels like to play the sport you love again.