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Can the NBA players create their own league?

by ja on 7/26/2011 12:00:00 PM

I've heard a few people mention (including me as you'll see) that the nba players could just start their own league. That would show "the man". We'll forget where I stand personally on the whole lockout deal - whether I am pro union or pro ownership. Let's just talk about the merits of the idea of the players creating their own league.

So my inititial thoughts on the subject were "OMG owners... you should be scared. The players might wise up eventually and start their own leagues!" It would be so cool. I mean, they willingness to play are the only real weapon they have against the owners so why not? Plus it would show they mean business. And in starting their own leagues they would prove that they know something about business and that it was not all just smoke an mirrors. Yeah! But...

Okay, who's paying the salaries for this league? The players are? with their own money? So they're paying themselves to play? How long do you think that will last?

Who is running the front office? You know GMs and whatnot. What about coaching? Who are they paying to coach and how much? The NBA coaches aren't leaving their huge salaries to coach in the NewNBA. And the players couldn't afford it if they did.

Would ESPN, TURNER, ABC, etc be willing to pony up to buy the rights to display the games when they are already paying to show the real NBA games that's aren't even happening? I mean, the owners have guaranteed TV contracts whether games actually occur or not. So you think the TV network folks want to pay twice?

Where will they play? The owners own the arenas. The players can not just throw one up in a month. And if you play in too small of a venue you don't make any money from ticket sales.

What do you call your teams and how do you get branding up quickly enough to make any money off of branding? So again, from where is your income coming?

Who's going to play for player insurance? You think guys that can stand to make multimillions in the big league are going to want to play in the little league just to prove a point knowing that it'll take years before salaires in the new league can catch up to even close to what they are now?

What happens after a few down years? And yes... in the beginning they will all be down years. How in the hell do you bring in more people to play once the original deep pockets are no longer deep b/c they've spent everything they had getting the league going?

I don't have answers for all of these and almost any one of them shows that you're basically tilting at windmills to make it happen. I'm also not ruling a new league formation out, but it's a long and tough row to hoe if that's to be part of the plan.

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