It’s an idea that’s been tossed around. The fans have thought it. It’s certainly crossed the mind of the players, Amar’e Stoudemire even came out and said it. What do you need the owners for? Why not start a player-run league?
Slam Online reports that Billy Hunter, the former head of the players’ union, has come out and said he thinks starting a new league would be possible.
“Maybe we can start our own league,” said Hunter. “There are faculties where we can do that. Can’t play at MSG but can play at St John’s. … There’s talk of getting a TV deal and creating a new league but it’d have to be with a network that’s unafraid to cross the NBA.”
Surely landing a TV deal and finding a place to play aren’t the only logistical items that would need to be worked out. If this did happen, there’s no doubt in my mind that it would be a huge mess, but it’s a decent idea. At the very least, the threat of starting a new league would give the players some leverage that they desperately need. It might push the owners to be a bit more considerate at the negotiating table.
I think people are missing basketball so much, they actually wouldn’t mind if you took all the NBA players that want to start their own league, picked 10 team captains, picked teams, and played a short season. People would still buy tickets to see LeBron’s team take on Amar’e’s team, even if it was played in a smaller college arena.
If we’re not going to get a real NBA season this year, it’s definitely worth considering. Rather than watch all these scrimmages in obscure cities, let’s play some games that mean something. That’s what the people want to see.