Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill apparently likes her ballers to be upperclassmen.
She took to Twitter Monday night to say her rooting interests were with public school Wisconsin and its senior-laden team rather than private school Duke and it’s presumably early NBA-bound stable of über-talented freshmen.
Well, the Democrat got much the same reaction you might expect had badger and soon to be professional reserve Frank Kaminsky weighed in on Obamacare or sanctions against Iran. The sports world was unimpressed by the politician’s take on college hoops.
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It brought out the H8rs.
Like politics, the folks who care about sports care deeply and are quick to share their opinions.
Though the senator didn’t expand much, we can surmise where she was likely coming from.
The collective bargaining agreement between the NBA and its players associations — McCaskill is a fan of unions — prohibits the league signing players who aren’t at least a full year removed from high school. No room for the Moses Malone move these days.
Instead, the most promising players typically put in time at high-profile universities (meaning those with celebrated basketball teams) whether they entertain academic ambitions or not.
For the two dozen or so best players in the country, that means maybe a semester and a half at school, and on the court, before signing an agent and hoping they go high in the NBA draft.
These are the so-called one-and-dones who spend a season as ostensible student athletes and move on to big paydays. They’re heavily recruited by the highly paid Krzyzewskis, Caliparis and Selfs of the college basketball world.
Anyway, it was in this context that McCaskill lamented that Duke’s roster seemed more populated by the one-and-done phenomenon than Wisconsin.
The Twitterverse was not all-approving. Some saw her comments as a slam on players, who observers noted were making quick stops in the college game only because that’s what logic dictated.
So McCaskill walked back a step or two.