Charles Barkley Says Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker Aren't Ready to Play Against Grown Men


Andrew Wiggins faltered in Kansas’s loss to Stanford today, scoring just four points on 1-6 shooting. He’s still the presumptive first overall pick in the upcoming NBA Draft on account of his astonishing upside potential, but he’s probably not going to come in and take the league immediately by storm. This dynamic is of concern to Charles Barkley, who has consistently said that he wishes college basketball players would stay for at least two years.

“I want these kids to stay in school longer because the NBA is worse than it’s ever been,” Barkley said. “It’s not good basketball. It’s frustrating for me to watch. These kids aren’t physically or emotionally ready to come and play against grown men.”

More specifically?

“Jabari Parker and Andrew Wiggins are supposed to be top-3 draft picks,” he continued. “They didn’t have very good games — and it’s just one game — but if they’re going to struggle against Mercer and Stanford, they’re really gonna struggle against grown men.”

Jim Calhoun expressed similar sentiment earlier this week, and it does seem like Adam Silver is going to inevitably mandate a two-year rule — it’s rather unlikely that a players association that is rudderless in the first place is going to cape up for players who aren’t even in the union yet at the direct expense of NBA veterans.

Philosophically, those who oppose the two-year rule on the basis of restraint of trade would likely be more amenable to it if these players — especially the elite ones who are money-making machines for their universities — were compensated with something more tangible than a college scholarship.