NBA athletes developed a flair for making gassed quotes during the NBA lockout. This time, New York Knick forward Amar’e Stoudemire mentioned the idea of players starting their own league. The sentiment has been tossed around over the past couple of months by writers as a “what-if” scenario. But this is the first time I’ve heard an All-Star talk about it publicly, at least in passing, to ESPN.
“If we don’t go to Europe, then let’s start our own league; that’s how I see it…
Stoudemire was asked to gauge “how serious” the idea is being considered.
“It’s very, very serious. It’s just a matter of us strategically coming up with a plan, a blueprint and putting it together,” he said. “So we’ll see how this lockout goes. If it goes one or two years, then we’ve got to start our own league.”
I’ll believe him when this new league has an All-Star weekend with half-nekkid cheerleaders running about. In all seriousness it’s easy to mark his words as hot air. Creating a league, to combat the NBA no less, is a colossal undertaking. Plus it’s evident players just want to play ball and get paid in a situation they’re familiar with. Therefore, it’s obviously in their best interest to get this lockout nonsense situated.
Then again seeing a new, proper league emerge could be refreshing since the NBA and all parties involved are really damaging their brand. I’d personally like to see a 20 city league come about with a 50 game season. The Association’s talent pool is quite shallow and, with 30 teams, it’s very difficult for regular losers to come up. Bottom feeders will still exist with a 20 team set up but the smaller amount, along with a stiff luxury tax, could help super teams from being created and encourage front offices to think more critically about potential signings. Eighty-two game marathons are also straight overkill as fatigue, lack of rest and a bunch of meaningless mid season games weaken the quality of pro ball. Fifty games with one or two games a week would make games more important as something as simply as a 3-5 game losing skid would have far greater effect on playoff hopes. Moreover the shorter season would allow talent to recuperate better between outings and travel less frequently on top of make space for bye weeks.
It’d also be great if ticket prices didn’t hit astronomical levels for decent seats and hand checking would be allowed. I could go on and on but you get the point. Competition breeds a better product and a serious, new challenger to the NBA’s dominance on pro basketball would be huge. But it just doesn’t seem feasible given the circumstances. Oh well, you can see Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless argue about it in the video provided. I just want to say sorry in advance for including their shouting match in all this.