ARLINGTON, Texas — Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson doesn’t see what the fuss is about over “One and Done” players.
He was calling out critics Friday who don’t like the practice of college players leaving for the NBA draft after one year in school.
The “One and Done” routine is in the spotlight with Kentucky reaching the Final Four. The Wildcats have five freshmen in this year’s starting lineup, a few of whom are expected to leave after this season.
Robertson said he doesn’t think the practice is hurting college basketball. He said some schools and coaches want to keep players with NBA potential on campus longer for selfish reasons.
“These colleges are greedy, man. They want to keep a kid ... in school if they start to win,” Robertson said. “They want to keep them in school because it helps them — it helps the coach, it helps the winning percentage.”
Robertson has taken an active role in player issues since his days in the NBA, once serving as president of the players union.
Robertson had also joined a lawsuit led by former UCLA star Ed O’Bannon over, among other things, the unauthorized use of college athletes’ likenesses in video games.
A couple weeks ago, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said he believed basketball players should spend at least two years in college, one more than the current requirement. He said there should be balance between economic opportunity and putting the best product on the floor.
“That’s the owners’ problem. It’s not a players’ problem,” Robertson said. “If you’re going to give a young kid 3 million bucks, is he going to take it? Of course, I’d take it.”
Robertson was at AT&T Stadium to present the USBWA award for player of the year to Creighton’s Doug McDermott — a four-year player.