BY: John Mamola
Now that Kansas forward Andrew Wiggins and Duke guard Jabari Parker are done for the remainder of the NCAA Tournament, the focus now turns on their future and if it involves any more games at their two representative universities. Wiggins and Parkers are expected to be the top two selections in the upcoming NBA draft if they both choose to leave college after a single season and enter the NBA.
NBA on TNT (and college basketball maven) analyst Charles Barkley spoke on the topic of Wiggins and Parker leaving the NCAA for the NBA during the CBS post game show, and said that both would have problems playing in a league with "grown men."
"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."
I'm sure new NBA commissioner Adam Silver is happy to know that the league's signature analyst believes the NBA is as worse as it's ever been. Or is this just 'old NBA player syndrome' (meaning it'll never be as good as when I played)?
Then again, Barkley's comments are getting plenty of support online.
Agee w/ my man Charles Barkley, kids need to stay in college a minimum of 2 yrs.— Jay Williams (@RealJayWilliams) March 23, 2014
Charles Barkley making wonderful points and it's why he is a DIFFERENCE maker in any role TV puts him in. The NBA has suffered w/one & done!— Tim Brando (@TimBrando) March 23, 2014
I promise I agree with Charles Barkley about its hard to watch the NBA because of so many undeveloped players. Stay in school young guys 👍— Derek L. Anderson (@DerekLAnderson) March 23, 2014
Tom Jones was born and raised in a suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and studied English at the University of South Florida from 1982 to 1986.
He began his writing career with the St. Petersburg Evening Independent in 1985. He then went on to work for the St. Petersburg Times from 1987 to 1991, the Tampa Tribune from 1991 to 1996, the St. Petersburg Times again from 1996 to 2000 and the Minneapolis Star-Tribune from 2000 to 2003. He then rejoined the St. Petersburg Times for a third time in his career in 2003, where he worked ever since.
Jones has spent most of his career covering the NHL, including being a beat writer for more than 15 years of the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Minnesota. Wild. He also spent two years on the Tampa Bay Rays beat. He then become a columnist at Times starting in 2007. Jones has won several national and state writing awards, including a top 10 game story in the nation in 1998 as named by the Associated Press Sports Editors.
Over the course of his career, Jones has covered the Olympics, the World Series, the Super Bowl, the Stanley Cup finals, baseball and hockey all-star games, the NCAA basketball tournament and the Frozen Four.
Jones lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Patty, and sons, Sam and Andy.
With over two decades of reporting on professional and collegiate sports for the Tampa Bay Times, through performance and work experience in journalism and broadcasting in television and radio, Rick Stroud has cultivated an impressive list of sources and utilized his knowledge to produce an outstanding body of work in both print and electronic mediums.
During his career, Stroud has reported on national sporting events including 22 Super Bowls, the NCAA Final Four, and the Major League Baseball Playoffs. While working as the beat writer assigned to the University of Florida at the Times, Stroudâ€™s stories documented NCAA rules violations by the football and basketball programs. The stories for which Stroud won second place for Best Investigative Reporting from the Associated Press Sports Editors, led to sanctions against both Gators programs.
Since 2004, Stroud has appeared as an NFL Insider for ESPN2â€™s First Take and is a regular contributor to ESPNâ€™s SportsCenter, NFL Live, Outside the Lines and Herd with Colin Cowherd on ESPN Radio. He also contributes to NFL Networkâ€™s Total Access.
Stroud becan covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the National Football League in 1990. Since then, the Bucs have undergone seven coaching changes, the death of owner Hugh Culverhouse and the sale of the franchise to billionaire owner Malcolm Glazer and a stadium referendum. They also celebrated a Super Bowl XXVII victory. His reporting was referenced in Tony Dungyâ€™s best seller, Quiet Strength, particularly because it was Stroud who informed Dungy of the Bucsâ€™ plan to replace him with Giants Super Bowl coach Bill Parcells.
A former Div. I-A baseball player at Arkansas , Stroud brings a unique perspective to sports reporting. During the NFL lockout in 2011, he also served as one of the Timesâ€™ beat writers responsible for covering the Tampa Bay Rays.