Saturday, November 12, 2011

Some Completely Irresponsible Advice For The NBA Players

Walk away from the table.

Walk away from the Association.

Walk away from your teams, your cities, your teammates, your contracts, and your security.

And embrace the freedom that's been earned by your hard work, your training, your skills and your dedication.

In short, start your own damn league.

Pool together the best couple hundred of you. Invite as many startling talents as you can; forget about all of the guys that are just organizational soldiers, hanging on for a paycheck, or coach wannabees. If a guy doesn't have handle or just exists to take hard fouls, forget him.

Arrange to meet at one place. Hold a secret ballot where each man votes for a team captain, and can't nominate himself. Take the top eight of that list, determine an order by lot, then have each guy pick a name from the remaining player pool in a live event. Make it like the ultimate playground pick 'em game. Enjoy the otherworldly ratings this event gets, and encourage players to take reality show levels of umbrage at where they were picked.

Televise all of this, of course. Stream it on the Internet. Call Versus or Spike or BET or whatever cable company decides to give you the most money for it. Feel free to cut every channel that the NBA is currently working with to choose between the new league and the old empty laundry. No middle ground.

Then, have these eight teams train together for a week. Hold a two-month season, followed by a single elimination tournament. Put it all in a small college arena, maybe in Vegas. Have your hottest women on the sidelines. Have fun playing the games, but hire the best refs you can -- you can decide who they are, since the Association won't be paying them, either. Crowdsource the uniform designs, and sell the hell out of the new gear.

In short, have the guts to walk away from everything these lying, parasitic scumbags are *not* offering you, and make your own world. For better or worse. This isn't baseball, where you need a ton of guys, or football, where the players don't have a long enough career to hold leverage. This is hoop; it requires very little in the way of a setting, and has the most superstar-affiliated fan base outside of pro wrestling.

Be men.

If, for no other reason, then to watch how fast these tinpot tyrants cave and go back to the status quo...


snd_dsgnr said...

I don't see how this is remotely possible. You're talking about a group of people who in many cases have little or nothing more than a high school education, who have no experience negotiating television or stadium contracts, who have no infrastructure in place for the production of gear, etc.

That's without even getting into the specifics of how player salaries would be determined or who would guarantee those payments. I get that brand loyalty doesn't matter as much in the NBA where fans frequently follow players instead of teams, but that doesn't mean that those players are in any better position to take over all of the intricacies that go into actually producing the product.

DMtShooter said...

I'm talking about people who have negotiated player contracts since they were children, given AAU and college and pro. I'm talking about people who have negotiated endorsement deals for the same, and the management of a team of people who cater to their needs and well-being. We're also talking about people who, in the wake of the Three Heat Summer, have been made very well aware of the need to work in concert to ensure a preferred working condition.

Oh, and many of them have major bank, and the ability to attract people who also have major bank, since the investors in a successful new venture could get them in on the cheap with internationally recognized talent in a world where everyone can see hoop on the Internet.

You learn by doing. It's time for the players to start doing.

snd_dsgnr said...

Players by and large have agents that negotiate their playing contracts and endorsement deals, and while those agents may be pretty good at that they aren't any more experienced at negotiating tv deals than the players are.

And yes, some of the players are very wealthy. But do you see the wealthier ones putting their own money on the line to pay the salaries for lesser teammates in a joint venture to start up a new league? Because I really don't. That's not intended as a knock on anyone either, because I'd be extremely hesitant to put my money on the line in their shoes.

Also, you have to figure that the moment that the higher profile players started up their own league anyone who was left out would immediately cave to the owners and go back to work. The new league would the star power, but the less talented NBA would still have the brand recognition and network deals in place.

I just don't think that starting up a professional sports league is all that easy. It would be an interesting experiment, but I couldn't see it actually working for very long. At best the threat of setting it in motion might pressure the owners into sweetening their offer.

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