Las Vegas League Starts Soon

Basketball starts soon.

Every morning I go to ESPN’s NBA page and check the headlines section, half expecting there to be a resolution to the lockout. I don’t know why I do it, maybe because I can’t believe greedy millionaires are fighting between themselves about who can make that extra million, and hurting the fans in the process. It’s a simpleton opinion, but in essence it is true. Owners are millionaires, players are millionaires, and yet they’re not content with their riches and refuse to come to a reasonable agreement. Once the lockout does get resolved, we’ll be bombarded with NBA promotions like “NBA Cares” and expect to act like nothing ever happened. Business as usual.

I’m fickle, most fans are fickle, we’ll all soon forget that there was a thing called a lockout, and resume spending our time and money on the NBA, ignoring that these owners and players do not give a rat’s ass about missing games. The quotes coming out of both camps is that the season is there to be sacrificed, like it was nothing at all. It’s being branded as a necessary evil for the long-term health of the league, when anyone with a sense of thought knows that there is absolutely no reason why this lockout should last more than two weeks. This might have started as a negotiation about money, but it’s turned into a question of pride, and once pride is involved, the volume of reason is lowered.

If I had to pick between the owners and players, I’d pick the players. Why? Because I can tune in to players playing basketball, I can’t watch owners doing whatever the hell owners do. So with that in mind, I’m rooting for the Vegas league:

Rosters are still being assembled, but Impact has relationships with many notable players, which means this league has the potential to be very entertaining.

Chauncey Billups, John Wall, Paul Pierce, Al Harrington, Corey Maggette, Kyle Lowry, Paul George, J.J. Hickson, Austin Daye, Jared Dudley, Dahntay Jones, Jermaine O’Neal, Craig Brackins, Marreese Speights, Eric Bledsoe, Matt Barnes and Manny Harris are among the players that have worked out at Impact’s two locations in Las Vegas and Los Angeles this summer.

They might play in the league, along with other veterans that have been training at Impact for years such as Kevin Garnett, Rudy Gay, Baron Davis, Rajon Rondo, Tayshaun Prince, Monta Ellis, Tyreke Evans, Mo Williams, Josh Smith, Ron Artest, Yi Jianlian, Glen Davis, Sebastian Telfair, Al Thornton and many others.

Some of the rookies that worked out in Las Vegas during the pre-draft process could also return including Alec Burks, Kawhi Leonard, Jordan Williams, Josh Selby, Darius Morris, Isaiah Thomas, Malcolm Lee, Greg Smith, Xavier Silas and Jon Diebler.

Other players who haven’t trained at Impact in the past will also be invited to compete. Many players have already started communicating with their teammates and friends around the NBA, which means entire NBA squads could play if they so desire. With so many teams meeting up for workouts and minicamps this summer, this league could be a way for teammates to stay sharp and on the same page.

Read more NBA news and insight:

It’s only a two-week league, with two games being played every day, but I hope it catches on like wildfire and makes David Stern think twice. Obviously, a short fortnight in Vegas does not a league make, but it could be the success of something this small that might spark something big. If this is even half-decent, all they need to do is promote it a bit more and come back in November when basketball fans will be wondering what’s missing in the air. Throw in a TV contract and suddenly you can promote Paul Pierce vs. Rudy Gay matchups on cable TV. Of course, the casual basketball fan is going to miss out, until of course ESPN catches wind of this thing and will have airtime to fill between NFL Sundays. They’re not going to show hockey highlights for more than 5 minutes on Sportscenter, and there’s only so much you can do with NASCAR.

If the players want to drive the owners’ asking price down, just create a source of revenue not named the NBA.

To Top