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kartyea
11-21-2011, 02:09 PM
It’s been whispered and laughed about for months. Bill Simmons and Jay Kang wrote a silly proposal for how it might work back in October. And now (some job title including the phrase “Players’ Trade Association”) Billy Hunter is saying it could happen. I’ll bite: It’s time for the players to start their own league.

Let’s start with the obvious, that we are all aware that it now makes more financial sense for current players to simply take the 50-50 deal proposed by the owners (which involved a new measure of BRI so that it’s actually worth less than 50% for the players, but we’ll pretend no one is aware of that, which is painfully close to the truth) than to carry on with their de-unioning, lawsuit-filing ways.

It’s clear at this point that the players’ stance is about pride and not allowing those who already profit the most from the NBA—owners—to profit even more so without any sort of checks or balances on how terrible of a job they do running their franchises. The players would rather earn nothing, knowing that the owners are also getting nothing, than a much smaller slice of a $4 billion pie.

That being said, it makes simplistic sense to say, “Well then just play ball on your own under your own rules.” The problems with this type of plan are pretty clear: They need some serious cash to get this thing going, they need to organize how the whole league looks and runs (including TV rights and arena issues), and they need to attract fans to this renegade league that is supposed to be the NBA without the name NBA. Let’s address these issues one at a time, and please keep in mind I’m no economist and I’m keeping things simple, but I’ll try to apply a little bit of logic where it fits.

The Players Need Cash To Bankroll This Venture
Simmons and Kang already handled this by pointing out that a players’ league should simply bring in America’s third-richest man ($33 billion), Larry Ellison, who has already tried to purchase the Hornets and the Warriors. He more than has this thing covered dollar-wise, obviously wants his hands in pro basketball, and what better way to screw over David Stern who did not allow him to buy the Hornets so that the NBA could take it over than to start a competing league made up of all the best players in the world? He blew around $200 million so that he could win the 2010 America’s Cup (yachting), so he seems just reckless and determined enough to truly commit to such a project.

Now I’m not proposing that Ellison becomes 100% owner of this thing, simply that he is the chief investor who starts it and is paid down to a small ownership percentage over a set period of years. I think the players’ salaries should be tied in part to partial “ownership” stakes, which I put in parentheses since each player would only be a “part-owner” during the time he’s actually playing in the league. The current players as a whole, however, would be the actual owners of the vast majority of the league as they’re buying Ellison out over time (although never completely). How on-board would players be with helping a league grow and improve if their salaries depended on it? I’ll go with totally.

And if they need more money to keep it going after the first year or two? Then it’s IPO time – open up the league for public investors. Don’t let any one person own a significant portion of the new league, but get fans into the action. They will no longer gripe about ticket prices or whatnot if they’re getting a portion of it back as owners, plus there are more than enough people who would feel more comfortable investing in something they understand and appreciate than whatever mutual fund you can’t name that’s in your portfolio (example of this working: the publicly owned Green Bay Packers). Get that TV contract and put some big-time events on pay-per-view (Dana White can help explain how to take on the big boys in this regard), place teams in cities that can actually support them, and the money will roll in. Sure it won’t instantly have the cash flow of the 2010-11 NBA (although sponsorship on jerseys would certainly help), but you also won’t have owners hiding profits all over the place which means players could actually make the same amount as they did last year by having a much larger slice of a smaller pie.

Believe it or not, people will pay to watch the best basketball players on the planet playing the game – it has nothing to do with the NBA brand. The league brought in $4 billion last year because people want to see those players, and those same players will still be playing—just now in this new league—so there’s cash to be made.

Organizing This New League
Please don’t fall into the common trap of thinking the players are too stupid or lazy to build their own league, therefore it can’t happen. The players won’t be designing squat, so it doesn’t matter how business-smart they are; that will be left for people who actually know how to put companies and the like together. Of course I don’t know the nitty-gritty details, but start by placing 30 clubs in cities that make sense (look at the link above [hint: Vegas, Montreal, The Inland Empire] and seriously consider 5 in NYC), hire Jon Spoelstra to develop the marketing plan (greatest sports marketer ever by a longshot), put some economists in charge of figuring out how to split the players’ ownership/equity pie so that league growth equals increased dough for the talented workers, and start working on “the arena issue.”

Yes, this is severely glossed over and lacking major details, but it would cost Ellison what—maybe $1 million?—to put together a team of smart people to pound out the basic structure in about a month. Players everywhere are organizing Durant-headlined All-Star contests left and right with about 2 weeks heads up to the fans who are buying out every overpriced ticket the minute they’re available. I’m sure a group of smarty pants assembled by Ellison can make some headway reverse-engineering the NBA.

Attracting Fans to This New Product
Ever heard of the ABA? They formed in 1967 as the NBA was expanding from 9 to 10 teams, and the elder league had a little bit of momentum on their side: an amazing dynasty that was still going (Celtics), a historically great team that had recently moved to LA (Lakers), legendary players the fans were in love with (Russell, Chamberlain, West, Robertson, Baylor), and 15 years of infrastructure. Within 5 years, the NBA was up to 17 teams, their New York franchise became a dynasty for the ages, their LA franchise had a season for the ages (69 wins, 33-game winning streak in ’71-72) and they landed most-anticipated-player-ever Lew Alcindor. The result? The talent in the ABA had caught up to and very soon thereafter surpassed that in the NBA.

Unfortunately the ABA was run by a series of terrible commissioners who knew nothing about making money (the league’s ultimate downfall) and never did get a TV contract, something that would be far easier to accomplish today. And if commissioner George Mikan didn’t completely botch the luring of Lew Alcindor in1969 (who said “The Nets [ABA] had the inside track and blew it.”), the ABA’s talent level would have been overwhelmingly dominant by the mid-70’s with almost all of the exciting stars of the decade in that one league.

Image that was happening today, with TV networks everywhere tripping over themselves to broadcast big-time sports, with a league that starts out with all the talent the fans already adore and want to see, and with a competent person put in charge who has some business sense (again, Jon Spoelstra – although I’m sure he might be hesitant with his son coaching in the NBA right now). You’re telling me they wouldn’t have every pro basketball fan lining up to buy tickets, to watch it on TV, and to purchase a new wardrobe of new merch? Start everything off with a massive draft on pay-per-view (Simmons/Kang idea) that would bring in a zillion dollars and lots of fan interest, consider the creation of a two-tiered league like the English Premier League in which regulation gets far more fans interested at the end of the season, and within 5 years people would wonder why the players didn’t screw billionaire owners over sooner.

So there it is, an admittedly basic plan for how the players really could make their own league. You can nitpick my lack of real details all you want, but it doesn’t take a genius to realize that the players have the goods that fans pay to watch. They always will, no matter what logo you put on top of it. So like the ABA could have done in the ‘70’s, it may be time for something new that takes down the current NBA structure.
http://http://www.opposingviews.com/i/sports/nba/nba-lockout-analysis-should-players-start-new-league

Shmontaine
11-21-2011, 02:27 PM
The Players Need Cash To Bankroll This Venture
Simmons and Kang already handled this by pointing out that a players’ league should simply bring in America’s third-richest man ($33 billion), Larry Ellison, who has already tried to purchase the Hornets and the Warriors. He more than has this thing covered dollar-wise, obviously wants his hands in pro basketball, and what better way to screw over David Stern who did not allow him to buy the Hornets so that the NBA could take it over than to start a competing league made up of all the best players in the world? He blew around $200 million so that he could win the 2010 America’s Cup (yachting), so he seems just reckless and determined enough to truly commit to such a project.

Now I’m not proposing that Ellison becomes 100% owner of this thing, simply that he is the chief investor who starts it and is paid down to a small ownership percentage over a set period of years. I think the players’ salaries should be tied in part to partial “ownership” stakes, which I put in parentheses since each player would only be a “part-owner” during the time he’s actually playing in the league. The current players as a whole, however, would be the actual owners of the vast majority of the league as they’re buying Ellison out over time (although never completely). How on-board would players be with helping a league grow and improve if their salaries depended on it? I’ll go with totally.

i'm sure ellison is willing to do all this for charity, right?? he won't expect any return on his investment.

bolded: if they had that structure today, the players wouldn't have made any money, so i'm sure they would be against such a rule...


And if they need more money to keep it going after the first year or two? Then it’s IPO time – open up the league for public investors. Don’t let any one person own a significant portion of the new league, but get fans into the action. They will no longer gripe about ticket prices or whatnot if they’re getting a portion of it back as owners, plus there are more than enough people who would feel more comfortable investing in something they understand and appreciate than whatever mutual fund you can’t name that’s in your portfolio (example of this working: the publicly owned Green Bay Packers). Get that TV contract and put some big-time events on pay-per-view (Dana White can help explain how to take on the big boys in this regard), place teams in cities that can actually support them, and the money will roll in. Sure it won’t instantly have the cash flow of the 2010-11 NBA (although sponsorship on jerseys would certainly help), but you also won’t have owners hiding profits all over the place which means players could actually make the same amount as they did last year by having a much larger slice of a smaller pie.

again, stock market investors need a return on their investment... they don't just give money away as this guy is suggesting...


Organizing This New League
Please don’t fall into the common trap of thinking the players are too stupid or lazy to build their own league, therefore it can’t happen. The players won’t be designing squat, so it doesn’t matter how business-smart they are; that will be left for people who actually know how to put companies and the like together. Of course I don’t know the nitty-gritty details, but start by placing 30 clubs in cities that make sense (look at the link above [hint: Vegas, Montreal, The Inland Empire] and seriously consider 5 in NYC), hire Jon Spoelstra to develop the marketing plan (greatest sports marketer ever by a longshot), put some economists in charge of figuring out how to split the players’ ownership/equity pie so that league growth equals increased dough for the talented workers, and start working on “the arena issue.

again, these companies doing charity?? they will charge a ton of cash to 'set up' this league knowing the players can't...


Yes, this is severely glossed over and lacking major details, but it would cost Ellison what—maybe $1 million?—to put together a team of smart people to pound out the basic structure in about a month. Players everywhere are organizing Durant-headlined All-Star contests left and right with about 2 weeks heads up to the fans who are buying out every overpriced ticket the minute they’re available. I’m sure a group of smarty pants assembled by Ellison can make some headway reverse-engineering the NBA.

right... and what about everything else that comes with running a league?? or, more charity...


So there it is, an admittedly basic plan for how the players really could make their own league. You can nitpick my lack of real details all you want, but it doesn’t take a genius to realize that the players have the goods that fans pay to watch. They always will, no matter what logo you put on top of it. So like the ABA could have done in the ‘70’s, it may be time for something new that takes down the current NBA structure.

yep... this is about right... completely neglecting/ignoring promotion cost, transportation cost, insurance, facilities, and more... great article...

PhillyFaninLA
11-21-2011, 02:34 PM
No they are not intelligent enough as a group, I'm sure select individuals are, to create anything that wouldn't fail miserably. I doubt they have any sense of everything that goes into creating, running, financing, and maintaining and growing any sort of company let alone a multi-billion dollar business with international appeal and attention.

Hellcrooner
11-21-2011, 02:35 PM
its easier to join a structure that is already functionging, signing the players will raise the interest the tv contracts and etc.
there are several leagues already working in usa if im not mistaken, and then there is the europe or china option.

Leandres_sf
11-21-2011, 02:42 PM
The players would never invest their money as at risk capital. It'll never happen, the "negotiating" process proves they don't know enough about business anyways.

kblo247
11-21-2011, 02:42 PM
I agree that it is doable and could be made a success.

Step 1 - Get Larry Ellison to bankroll it and see if guys like Vince McMahon/Dana White (has a good relationship with many venues globally and is a ppv mogule so you cna work out a LP like system) and Donal Trump are interested in being minority owners

Step 2 - Sell the show to NBC/Universal who were robbed of the NBA deal years ago. They have the platform. USA is the number 1 cable network in America. They have NBC for national broadcast games. They have Versus which is being rebranded to NBC Sports as well as G4/SyFy which have underwent program and demo changes.

Step 3 - Set up roughly 24 teams with the players. That way you have talent that isnt dilluted like in the NBA with the likes of the Bobcats, Raptors, Wolves, and so on. At the same time though you limit the chance of stars being unhappy for cutting into ones playing time and roles.

Step 4 - You take away the age limit making it viable for high school grads or focring the NBA into taking away their age limit and investing in raw unproven players to screw up their quality

Step 5 - Set up a main office in California.

Step 6 - Do a promotional offer that attracts fans. And set up your own CARES program to hurt the NBA as they would be exposed for not actually doing charity, but leasing the players out to do it. I mean have you ever seen Stern with a shovel or hammer at one of the events?

Step 7 - Reach out to a handfull of big name coaches like Jackson or Brown to show that your league has cred top to bottom.

Step 8 - Liscencing. Call up 2K and give them video game licensing rights. After all the NBAPA has to sign off on their likenesses being used as a union and they are the reason the game is sold. Losing that income would hurt the NBA big time. Then you get Nike who were cut off from the league as it related to merchandising, and with them being the topo merch producer you can make money off selling their gear.

Risky move, but doable if they are motivated. And they could force the league to cave into some demands or cut the dead waste teams/owners like Jordan, Minny, and so on. They dont have to bankroll it themselves and I never got the argument they did. And at the end of the day people would choose to watch it over some random college, d-league, euro, high school scrubs wearing NBA jerseys that were once prestegious.

The NBA is star driven, always has been marketed as fantastic anmd the one place where you are close to the stars and can see their faces. That could bite them in their *** if the players are united and invested in getting the right backing. There are plenty of people bitter and powerful enough to make it happen with the disgruntled stars, Ellison, NBC/Universal, 2K, Nike, and so on.

kartyea
11-21-2011, 02:56 PM
I agree that it is doable and could be made a success.

Step 1 - Get Larry Ellison to bankroll it and see if guys like Vince McMahon/Dana White (has a good relationship with many venues globally and is a ppv mogule so you cna work out a LP like system) and Donal Trump are interested in being minority owners

Step 2 - Sell the show to NBC/Universal who were robbed of the NBA deal years ago. They have the platform. USA is the number 1 cable network in America. They have NBC for national broadcast games. They have Versus which is being rebranded to NBC Sports as well as G4/SyFy which have underwent program and demo changes.

Step 3 - Set up roughly 24 teams with the players. That way you have talent that isnt dilluted like in the NBA with the likes of the Bobcats, Raptors, Wolves, and so on. At the same time though you limit the chance of stars being unhappy for cutting into ones playing time and roles.

Step 4 - You take away the age limit making it viable for high school grads or focring the NBA into taking away their age limit and investing in raw unproven players to screw up their quality

Step 5 - Set up a main office in California.

Step 6 - Do a promotional offer that attracts fans. And set up your own CARES program to hurt the NBA as they would be exposed for not actually doing charity, but leasing the players out to do it. I mean have you ever seen Stern with a shovel or hammer at one of the events?

Step 7 - Reach out to a handfull of big name coaches like Jackson or Brown to show that your league has cred top to bottom.

Step 8 - Liscencing. Call up 2K and give them video game licensing rights. After all the NBAPA has to sign off on their likenesses being used as a union and they are the reason the game is sold. Losing that income would hurt the NBA big time. Then you get Nike who were cut off from the league as it related to merchandising, and with them being the topo merch producer you can make money off selling their gear.

Risky move, but doable if they are motivated. And they could force the league to cave into some demands or cut the dead waste teams/owners like Jordan, Minny, and so on. They dont have to bankroll it themselves and I never got the argument they did. And at the end of the day people would choose to watch it over some random college, d-league, euro, high school scrubs wearing NBA jerseys that were once prestegious.

The NBA is star driven, always has been marketed as fantastic anmd the one place where you are close to the stars and can see their faces. That could bite them in their *** if the players are united and invested in getting the right backing. There are plenty of people bitter and powerful enough to make it happen with the disgruntled stars, Ellison, NBC/Universal, 2K, Nike, and so on.

I agree completely, and the fact that the nba is a star driven league makes it more than doable!!!

Canterbury
11-21-2011, 02:58 PM
No they are not intelligent enough as a group, I'm sure select individuals are, to create anything that wouldn't fail miserably. I doubt they have any sense of everything that goes into creating, running, financing, and maintaining and growing any sort of company let alone a multi-billion dollar business with international appeal and attention.

The biggest reason on why they would make their own league is because they need the money. When you have players in control of determining their own worth and how much they should get paid, it can go to go south easy. They could hire business consultants, but which suit can they trust enough?

blahblahyoutoo
11-21-2011, 03:48 PM
Step 5 - Set up a main office in California.


why would anyone set up anything in CA unless they love big govt and taxation?

Rosh
11-21-2011, 03:51 PM
No.

beliges
11-21-2011, 03:54 PM
why would anyone set up anything in CA unless they love big govt and taxation?

Because its only the greatest state in this country.

PhillyFaninLA
11-21-2011, 04:03 PM
why would anyone set up anything in CA unless they love big govt and taxation?

I take it your saying that you are a member of the GOP and want to turn someone's post into a political statement because that is the only possible thing you can mean from what you wrote.

utl768
11-21-2011, 04:04 PM
itll never work but id be in favor of a tournament of some kind setup among all the best players

ClippersE.G
11-21-2011, 05:35 PM
Baseball ****** up by giving players ownership stakes...like arent they offering Pujols a share in ownership if he signs with them or something? This is what the NBA guys want to do...they want to be bigger than the game...so I just hope they try and start their own league so it fails miserably

ink
11-21-2011, 05:53 PM
Looks like things will have to get much worse before they get better.

A player-run league is what I would call "much worse".

Imagine 82 All Star games per season per team. :facepalm:

gwrighter
11-21-2011, 06:03 PM
They should retire instead of wasting their money on a new league that will take at least a decade to recover initial expenditure assuming they don't implode before hand.

Tom Stone
11-21-2011, 06:06 PM
There is some major flaws in the plan......If the players want their league to thrive, they will have to have a hard cap....even if they were cool with having 4 teams compete each year for the championship......The smaller market teams will lose big money...it will be a big problem for the players....and what player is going to want to play for a team that has no shot at really compeateing......If the players become Part Owners....you watch, they will want the same thing, the owners want now.....What a tangled web we weave.

gwrighter
11-21-2011, 06:19 PM
There is some major flaws in the plan......If the players want their league to thrive, they will have to have a hard cap....even if they were cool with having 4 teams compete each year for the championship......The smaller market teams will lose big money...it will be a big problem for the players....and what player is going to want to play for a team that has no shot at really compeateing......If the players become Part Owners....you watch, they will want the same thing, the owners want now.....What a tangled web we weave.

exactly thats the fundamental flaw. By going this route they will be tacitly siding with the owners and discrediting themselves.

blahblahyoutoo
11-21-2011, 06:23 PM
I take it your saying that you are a member of the GOP and want to turn someone's post into a political statement because that is the only possible thing you can mean from what you wrote.

what is GOP? is that another bball league?