If you are like me and can remember high school pretty vividly (because it was only a decade ago), you probably remember some type of assembly where teachers or some special guest speaker — or, if you went to a fancy private school you would get a three-screen multimedia extravaganza with movie clips mixed in — giving you stories of the perils of drugs, sex and, possibly, rock and roll.
The scare tactics work on some kids. Most kids probably ignore them. For some, they probably have an impact about as long as the current news cycle — which is to say until the next thing gets their attention.
Whether these scare tactics actually prevent teens from what they are trying to prevent is debatable. So what happens when you try them on a bunch of soon-to-be NBA players?
The stories that come out of the NBA’s Rookie Transition Program are always fun. We get the great video of the rookies taking their photos for their trading cards and wearing their team jerseys for the first time. Then we get to hear (only hear) about the inspirational talks they receive from former players and guest speakers along with advice for saving money.
But what Sarah Lyall of The New York Times Magazine reports the league showed the players as part of their groupie training is downright graphic:
Money is one thing; women are another altogether. “We joke that the moment you sign your contract, you become far more handsome than the day before,” Taylor said. Detlef Schrempf, who was at the program to share his own experience in the N.B.A. in the 1980s and ’90s, agreed. “You’re talking about superstar athletes and male hormones,” he said. “For those who want to partake, it’s easily accessible 24/7.”
To deter the rookies from partaking, there was a slide show juxtaposing photographs of beautiful semi-clad women with photographs of hideously diseased genitalia. There was also a handout listing how much child support the rookies would be required to pay in various states, should they find themselves in sudden possession of a child after a one-night stand. “It was disturbing,” said Tyler Ennis, 20, a freshman star at Syracuse University who was drafted to play for the Phoenix Suns.
That might be what it takes to get the message across. Lyall detailed some of the other tips the rookies got including fashion tips and interviewing tips. All things that are professional necessities for the incoming rookies.
We will see how this class does in staying out of trouble. And getting to the Prom sober.