“Among the first 15 picks of the 1990 draft, 13 had been college seniors. By 1994, only one college senior was drafted in the first seven selections. The NBA had become a high-stakes, cutthroat business. Executives drafted players based on potential as much as on proven talent. A younger prospect meant a higher ceiling.”
I’d read Abrams as a journalist a few times over the years. This book’s topic sold it to me more than the author’s name though. Boys Amongst Men is a detailed journey through the process — before, during and after — several prominent NBA players took in jumping straight from high school to the League.
Abrams doesn’t try to make to whole picture so pretty, however: He tells the less-known stories of several players whose preps-to-pros jumps were less successful, for basketball and their lives in general.
Being a basketball fan who’d come of age in the 90s, I knew a good amount — but not all — of the stories of Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant, Tracy McGrady and LeBron James. I still enjoyed the details and info nuggets that filled in a lot of gaps in these guys’ stories.
You Should Read Boys Amongst Men IF: You’re a fan of basketball.