Time to Start a New League?

Amare stoudemireMore and more of the NBA season is slipping away by the day and it still seems like there’s no end in sight. The lockout continues to tarnish the reputation of the NBA, so here’s an interesting question: is the NBA even necessary?

New York Knicks forward Amar’e Stoudemire has come out and asked the question on lots of people’s minds, why can’t NBA players start their own league? Stoudemire says he’d seriously start considering it if the lockout lasted more than a year or two.

“If you don’t go to Europe, then let’s start our own league,” he said. “That’s how I see it.” He said such a league would only happen if the lockout “goes one or two years.”

“It’s very, very, very serious,” he said. “It’s just a matter of us strategically coming up with a plan and a blueprint and putting it together.

“We want to play N.B.A. basketball, but if it doesn’t happen, then what are we going to do? Sit around and not do anything. So we got to figure out ways to now play basketball at a high level against top competition and have fun doing it. So that’s the next step.” 

It’s an interesting proposal. The players have all the talent, they’re what the fans pay to see, and the owners are virtually just middlemen. OK, that’s probably taking things a little too far. I know as much about running a professional basketball league as I do about making repairs on the International Space Station, but if all the players just agreed to get together and play, people would pay to see it.

I actually think it’d be cool to see a player-run league. In fact, when I really thought about the logistics, there’s a lot of potential. It could be like playground basketball, the league could have team captains that would just pick their players, and start playing. Now obviously, figuring out where to play, how to sell tickets and millions of other little details would need to be figured out, but if the idea is there and talented players want to play basketball, I think it’s definitely doable.

Unfortunately, as much fun as it is to think about a purely fun, competitive, professional basketball league, it’s most likely not in the cards. There are probably hundreds of legal restrictions that would keep this from happening, and the details would be overwhelming, but hey, it’s really just fun to think about professional basketball again when visions of a real season seem like just a dream.