Some of your favorite NBA stars will be returning to the hardwood in 2016, as part of a non-NBA affiliated ‘Champions League’ which will feature 16 teams including New York, Boston, Miami, Philadelphia, Washington, Orlando, Atlanta and Cleveland.
The league’s Chairman and CEO, Carl George, has said that New York’s squad has already been formed and it includes Al Harrington, Rasheed Wallace and Maurice Ager.
According to USA Today:
Sixteen teams to begin competing in the summer of 2016, with a strong preference for players who have competed in the NBA during the last three years.
According to George, the New York team is already fully formed and includes former NBA players Al Harrington, Rasheed Wallace and Maurice Ager. Teams in Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, Miami, Orlando, Atlanta and Cleveland are up next, with the goal to employ approximately 250 players in all (170 on teams, others as player-coaches or in other roles).
Each team would have two former NBA All-stars on the roster and a Hall of Famer in the front office. George said that 60 players have committed to this point, with many more “in the pipeline” while the subsequent teams are rolled out….
On average, George said, players would make approximately $200,000 per year (for 80 or 90 days of work) in their pay structure if they take part in both the season and the charity events.
The strategy to attract the best-of-the-rest players is simple: provide a far better payday than the NBA’s Development League (top tier approximately $25,000) while offering a more-comfortable alternative to the overseas route that can certainly lead to more money but that, inevitably, requires a life-changing relocation.
Getting enough former All-Star caliber players to commit seems tricky, but apparently George is optimistic that he’ll be able to fill 16 rosters. And in terms of the fans, who says no to this idea?
My only issue is, why limit it to guys that have only played within the last three years?
I’ll sign up right now for the chance to see a Philly team consisting of Allen Iverson and Eric Snow go up against a Washington squad with Gilbert Arenas and Antawn Jamison. Or better yet, Larry Hughes!
Dudes would be getting injured left and right, but it would be riveting television for the 10 days that they were healthy, and the live events would be nothing short of electric.
Let us know some players that you’d like to see in this ‘Champions League’ in 2016 [not named Kobe Bryant] in the comment section.