Draft pressure does players no favors

Updated: December 11, 2011, 8:40 PM ET
By Doug Gottlieb

Meyers Leonard looks devastated. His team just beat St. Bonaventure in a game in which he made a huge shot and tipped out two key offensive rebounds to help the Illinois Fighting Illini remain unbeaten. But with his white, orange and navy Beats by Dre headphones around his neck, his head is down, and it looks like the weight of the world is on his shoulders. The same happy-go-lucky kid, who was punting basketballs for distance with teammates before shootaround six hours earlier, now looks as if he just lost his last game -- all because he fared poorly against Bonnies center Andrew Nicholson, a player who, like Leonard, is considered a legitimate NBA prospect.

It's not his fault he feels this way, however; it is ours.

No one ever really thinks about the wide-ranging ramifications of the one-and-done rule. In fact, as the NBA and NBAPA agreed to kick the can down the street and revisit the rule in meetings to come, an open and honest discussion about how completely poisonous the rule is never took place.