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Lorbek is poster child for early-entry insanity


May 30
Can you believe that more than 70 college underclassmen and high-school players have declared early for the NBA draft? Are you kidding me? There are only 58 slots in the draft's two rounds! Sure, a number of players should leave for the NBA, and they will go early in the first round.

I can understand Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade and T.J. Ford saying bye-bye to college. Ford captured most of the national player of the year honors in college basketball this past season. These guys are ready to ink mega-contracts and to compete at the next level.

Erazem Lorbek
Michigan State freshman forward Erazem Lorbek averaged 6.6 ppg and 3.4 rpg.
But it amazes me that some of the names on the early-entry list are guys who were riding the pine in college. There are guys who were on the All-Airport team, players with great potential who haven't yet lived up to those expectations. Still, they've decided they have a shot at making it in the pros, so they declare for the draft.

What is the thinking process when bench-warmers think they're ready to face the elite athletes of the world? I'm talking about the crème de la crème, the best of the best. The NBA has the greatest athletes of them all. You can talk about the hockey players or soccer players, pick whatever sport you want. Nobody is more gifted than the athletes on the NBA level.

Just look at Michigan State freshman Erazem Lorbek. The fact that he thinks he's ready to compete on the pro level, whether in the NBA or overseas in Europe, is beyond me. Last season, the 6-10 forward averaged 6.6 points per game and 3.4 rebounds per game.

True, Lorbek got more playing time later in the season and averaged 12 ppg and 5.5 rpg in the NCAA Tournament. But how can you say he wouldn't be better off with another year of experience? Getting real playing time is different that trying to learn at an infrequent pro practice session. Michigan State is going to have a super team -- coach Tom Izzo has a potential top-five club.

It blows my mind that Lorbek thinks he's ready for the big leagues!

It's a wacky world out there. It seems even crazier when kids who don't even dominate on the collegiate level think they're ready to go to the next level with the big-timers. When will these guys get a reality check and understand that this is not a reality show?

The drama of sports is serious business. It is genuine and real, and guys like Lorbek just don't get it.

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