The NBA Kiddie Care Day Center

"You Gotta Be Kidding!"
by Mickey Charles CEO,

Kwame Brown
McDonald's High School All-American Kwame Brown was selected first-overall by Washington.
Hatboro, PA (Sports Network) -- Think about it. The NBA does not run an annual draft. It has a maternity ward. And it conducts this rite of summer without any shame whatsoever. Whether we are speaking of inner city stars, ghetto celebrities or pre-determined college dropouts whose only intention was a short run on that particular stage, the process has become a travesty.

If you can run, jump, shoot, dunk, dribble between your legs, block a few shots, pass behind your back or any combination of the aforementioned the NBA has its lecherous and greedy eyes set on you. And you have an agent telling you that education is a lot of bunk. Who cares whether you can put an intelligent sentence together - stringing more than one in sequence is thought to be the equivalent of becoming a Rhodes Scholar.

My assistant passed along some reasons not to idolize sports figures the other day, upon discovering the direction of this week's feature, and I am sure that someone out there deserves a great deal of credit for digging these up so here they are. They make the point.

Chicago Cubs outfielder Andre Dawson on being a role model: "I want all the kids to do what I do, to look up to me. I want all the kids to copulate me."

New Orleans Saint RB George Rogers when asked about the upcoming season: "I want to rush for 1,000 or 1,500 yards, whichever comes first." (From the Yogi Berra School of Higher Education)

And, upon hearing Joe Jacobi of the 'Skins say: "I'd run over my own mother to win the Super Bowl," Matt Millen of the Raiders said: "To win, I'd run over Joe's Mom, too."

Football commentator and former player Joe Theismann 1996: "Nobody in football should be called a genius. A genius is a guy like Norman Einstein."

Senior basketball player at the University of Pittsburgh: "I'm going to graduate on time, no matter how long it takes."

Bill Peterson, a Florida State football coach: "You guys line up alphabetically by height." And "You guys pair up in groups of three, then line up in a circle."

Boxing promoter Dan Duva on Mike Tyson hooking up again with promoter Don King: "Why would anyone expect him to come out smarter? He went to prison for three years, not Princeton."

Stu Grimson, Chicago Blackhawks left wing, explaining why he keeps a color photo of himself above his locker: "That's so when I forget how to spell my name, I can still find my clothes."

Shaquille O'Neal on whether he had visited the Parthenon during his visit to Greece: "I can't really remember the names of the clubs that we went to."

Lou Duva, veteran boxing trainer, on the Spartan training regime of heavyweight Andrew Golota: "He's a guy who gets up at six o'clock in the morning, regardless of what time it is."

Pat Williams, Orlando Magic general manager, on his team's 7-27 record in 1992: "We can't win at home. We can't win on the road. As general manager, I just can't figure out where else to play."

Chuck Nevitt, North Carolina State basketball player, explaining to Coach Jim Valvano why he appeared nervous at practice: "My sister's expecting a baby, and I don't know if I'm going to be an uncle or an aunt."

Steve Spurrier, Florida football coach, telling Gator fans that a fire at Auburn's football dorm had destroyed 20 books: "But the real tragedy was that 15 hadn't been colored in yet."

Alan Kulwicki, stock car racer, on racing Saturday nights as opposed to Sunday afternoons: "Its just the same, but basically darker."

Frank Layden, Utah Jazz President, on a former player: "I told him, son, what is it with you? Is it ignorance or apathy?' He said, 'Coach, I don't know and I don't care.'"

Shelby Metcalf, basketball coach at Texas A&M, recounting what he told a player who received four F's and one D: "Son, looks to me like you're spending too much time on one subject."

And The Gem: Oilers coach Bum Phillips when asked by Bob Costas why he takes his wife on all the road trips, Phillips responded: "Because she's too ugly to kiss good-bye."

Teams no longer have locker rooms. They have changing rooms where diapers are tossed and new ones donned after every practice session. Bonuses with contracts are multi-colored binkies. Instead of a warm-up suit, these kids get blankets. Who needs twin beds on the road any longer - just a big room with three or four cribs will do. Remember when chewing gum was so noticeable with folks like Kobe? Look for this new group to be sucking their thumbs before foul shots are taken.

Kwame Brown was not selected by the Washington Wizards because of his IQ. Being 6' 11" with the wing span of a condor, averaging 20.2 points, 13.3 rebounds, 5.8 blocked shots and 3.2 assists per game in the last season had something to do with it and no one cared whether he knew who the president was or not.

Not to be outdone, the L.A. Clippers went into the receiving room, did a breathing exercise and walked out with Tyson Chandler, immediately trading him (with power forward Brian Skinner) to the Chicago Bulls in exchange for center Elton Brand. At 7 feet he towered over the rest of the babies and his 26.0 average, coupled with 15 rebounds and 8 blocked shots per game didn't hurt.

When the selection process wheel turned around to Chicago, the Bulls took Eddie Curry, the 6' 11" high school child out of Illinois. Forget grades. He averaged 22 points, 10 rebounds and 4 blocked shots per game in his senior year. The three "R's" are no longer reading, 'riting and 'rithmatic. They are rebounds, rejects and records.

For those that paused to play the collegiate game - for that is all it is with no intention of education, just showcasing talent - Jason Richardson left Michigan State after two years. I am sure that he is ready to be a governor somewhere when his playing career in the NBA is over?or he can just purchase the title.

Eddie Griffin left Seton Hall after one year, was chosen by the New Jersey Nets and then traded to Houston where the Rockets gave up rights to Richard Jefferson, Jason Collins and Brandon Armstrong.

Here's a beauty. Cleveland selected DeSagana Diop, a 7-footer out of Oak Hill Academy in Virginia. It seems that being a McDonald's All-America brings with it a lot more than cheese and fries.

It goes on and on. What the NBA is doing is a disgrace. The obvious argument is that these people have a particular talent and there is no reason to hone it anywhere else, especially at such discredited institutions of higher learning as colleges and universities. After all, are any of them really going to that next level to learn anything other than how to play the game in a superior fashion? Do they take courses the equivalent of which are basket weaving and social studies in the lounge during breaks or do they take real courses? Has anyone noticed how many of the teams playing in the final stanzas of March Madness graduated more than 50% of their athletes? Would you like to know? How about just one? Duke.

Blame the schools, the coaches, the players and their families/advisors/agents, the media and, most noticeably, the NBA. It is scandal scoffed at by the NBA. They simply do not care. If they were not running a major sports league they would be selling babies in Third World countries. Such is their mentality.

As the song in Cabaret, the Broadway show, put it so eloquently and to the point, "Money, money, money, money, makes the world go 'round." And, as far as the NBA, the National Babies Association, is concerned, that's all there is to it. They are not forcing anyone to drop out of elementary school (that is their next target), junior high, high or college. They are just accepting them into their folds when they do. How utterly convenient!

Does the NBA think that it is doing anything wrong? You gotta be kidding!

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