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and Gag Rule
By Bob Ley
Special to ESPN.com
Weekly Outside the Lines
You can argue about the basketball wisdom of their decisions. But the fact is that in the past several years, as high school players have become fixtures in the NBA draft lottery, these youngsters -- for the most part -- have adjusted well to professional life and have been good basketball citizens.
This year could test that.
The draft does hold examples of lives redeemed. Caron Butler, who played two years at Connecticut, has left behind his early teen problems with the law -- which were considerable.
Lee Benson hopes to be drafted in 10 days, following his release from eight years in prison for drug trafficking and a firearm crime.
Players with such issues in their lives get extra scrutiny from NBA teams about to expend a precious draft pick. The buzzword is character.
Sunday, we'll have the story of a high school player who is talented and available. A young man who must answer the critical question -- just how far is he from the trouble in his past?
DeAngelo Collins is a Southern California star who has served two sentences in juvenile detention, each time for violent behavior. Will an NBA team overlook that, and concentrate mainly on the facts that he is just 19 years old, 6-foot-10 and a developing player?
Also this week, sports will have to confront a federal law, which takes effect next April, that tightens patient confidentiality laws for health care providers. In other words, without express permission from players, sports teams or leagues will not be authorized to discuss injuries.
While the law might be amended in the meantime, the possibility of such a change in the sports dialogue is very real. We'll investigate it from the area where information is not just power, but money: Las Vegas, where oddsmakers must handicap games with the best info available.Send this story to a friend | Most sent stories
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