Blog Entry

Pro basketball league takes shape in Las Vegas

Posted on: September 3, 2011 8:19 pm
Edited on: September 3, 2011 8:26 pm
Posted by Ben Golliverjohn-wall-dance

About two weeks ago, we brought you early word of an informal league being launched by Impact Basketball, a well-known training facility frequented by NBA players, in Las Vegas. The premise behind the league was simple, but surprisingly foreign: provide a structured, non-NBA environment for professional basketball players to compete during the ongoing lockout.

The New York Times reports that all systems are go for the league, which plans to begin a two-week slate of games on Sept. 12.
The site will be the Impact Basketball gymnasium, about two miles from the Strip. The unofficial commissioner will be Joe Abunassar, a longtime trainer of N.B.A. players. More than 40 players, locked out of N.B.A. facilities because of a labor standoff, have committed to play. Chauncey Billups, John Wall, Zach Randolph and Stephen Jackson will be among the headliners.

“This is an effort on our part to get these guys as ready for training camp as they can get, without going to training camp,” Abunassar said in a phone interview. “That’s the allure of it.”

The tournament has been named the Impact Basketball Competitive Training Series.
The league plans to sell a limited number of tickets to the general public and to provide live video streams of the games online. The Times reports that the following players also plan to participate: Shawne Williams, Iman Shumpert, Kyle Lowry, Chuck Hayes, Chase Budinger, Courtney Lee, Mo Williams, DeAndre Jordan, J.J. Hickson, Eric Maynor, Al Harrington, Jermaine O'Neal and Jared Dudley.

This league sounds like a noble and well-thought out attempt at getting professional basketball off the ground during the lockout, but it doesn't particularly sound like a made-for-TV event (aside from the presence of Wall, who is always made-for-TV, whether he's balling or dancing). The focus seems to be on staying in shape and skill development with a secondary emphasis on building chemistry between teammates. This league will likely have more in common with recent exhibition games or maybe the Las Vegas Summer League rather than an NBA game. The scope will be narrower and the sideshows will likely be non-existent. 

For hardcore hoop heads, that won't matter. But the casual fan likely won't pay this league any mind. Unless, of course, some bigger stars throw their hats in the ring.

Since: Jul 29, 2009
Posted on: September 5, 2011 12:31 pm

Pro basketball league takes shape in Las Vegas

"Colorful personalities?" You got that right Coach! There a virtual who's who of nut jobs, strip club regulars, gun enthusiasts,drunks and other various forms of raunchy low-lifes, but boy they can play some ball. Vegas may never be the same after these cats spend a few weeks in the desert. Just think back to the NBA All-Star weekend that almost brought down Sin City and made the PacMan the dude that he is. "Making it rain" became a household phrase after that epic 3 day debacle.

Since: Jan 8, 2008
Posted on: September 5, 2011 10:15 am

Pro basketball league takes shape in Las Vegas

Yeah, the NBA is a pimple on the NFL's ass.

Since: Aug 31, 2011
Posted on: September 4, 2011 8:09 pm

Pro basketball league takes shape in Las Vegas

This article pisses me off because I didn't think of having a league during the lockout first.  I mean getting NBA players to come play in a less than NBA formal setting.  The NBA is full of colorful personalities and should be a fun atmosphere for players and fans. I think this is a great idea and they could even look at having these in the offseasons.

Since: Jul 29, 2009
Posted on: September 4, 2011 4:25 pm

Pro basketball league takes shape in Las Vegas

This is a stroke of genius. NBA dudes in Vegas for a couple of weeks? Perfect! Most people tire of Sin City after 2 nights of drinking and dropping a couple of grand. These NBA cats can ball in the evening, party all night, and sleep all day. Where do I sign up? The Vegas economy needs a shot in the arm and these unemployed, rich, strip clib patrons are just what the doctor ordered to jump-start the casinos. However; there should be a mandate that these knuckleheads must bring along their respective posses to help keep violence and mayhem to a minimum.

Since: Jul 5, 2010
Posted on: September 4, 2011 3:52 pm

Pro basketball league takes shape in Las Vegas

If casual fans dont appreciate this league then they arent fans at all.

Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: September 4, 2011 1:04 pm

Pro basketball league takes shape in Las Vegas


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