Good Morning Generation

I haven’t posted the highlights yet, but in case you hadn’t heard, several NBA All-Stars got together last night for a dream matchup on the campus of Morgan State University.  The game was billed as the Melo-Goodman showdown with the Melo League (from Baltimore) featuring NBA stars LeBron James, Chris Paul, and Carmleo Anthony while the Goodman League (from Washington DC) featured Kevin Durant and Jarret Jack.  The best part was undoubtedly LBJ and KD, unquestionably the two best players in the game right now, going at one another all night.  Durant scored 59 on the King but LeBron’s team came away with the easy victory.

This latest summer league matchup was of the highest importance though. Whereas they hadn’t been seen for most of the offseason, what the Melo League really represented was the lion’s list of clients signed to LeBron’s juggernaut sports agency CAA.  This was the first time all summer they found the court and word leaked that they plan on doing a lot more of the same.  With all that in mind, let me present my short, improvised plan for NBA players during the lockout.

We all love basketball, right?  We all love watching these players in these Summer League games, right?  Does it make way too much sense for these guys to get together and organize an eight team street ball league?

Here’s the plan: create teams in eight of the biggest basketball cities in America.  I’m thinking New York City, Chicago, LA, Washington DC, Baltimore, Houston, Atlanta, and Philadelphia.  Organize a mini season where each team plays every team in the league twice (one home, one away).  From there rank the teams one to eight and hold a playoffs featuring all the teams to decide the winner.  The best part?  We’re getting this thing on national television instead of having to watch highlights through YouTube the day after.  The obvious choice is to go straight to Bristol and try to convince ESPN to air it.  This is a 50/50 shot given their strong relationship with the NBA, but let’s not forget this is the same network that aired The Decision.  If ESPN can’t come through, you go straight to their main competitor in NBC Sports and try to get coverage on the Versus channel which just got renamed.  I know they’d enjoy nothing more than making David Stern and the suits at Bristol get all pissed while their product is being stolen.  And if all that fails, there’s always pay-per-view.

What’s that you say?  You’re concerned about booking venues to hold the games?  Trick please!  Giant arenas are nowhere near intimate enough to hold art like that will be achieved in this postmodern barnstorming tour.  We’ll hold them at college field houses and famous outdoor courts across the country and let fans stand inches from the game.  All tickets are general admission and recording devices will be highly encouraged to capture all of the action and enhance the legend of the performances.  Think of this league as a highly evolved And1 tour that actually has players who can hit an open jump shot and take isolation defense personally.  Plus, you actually know the players.  To give you a quick look, imagine some of these lineups:

NYC: Sebastian Telfair, Jonny Flynn, Lamar Odom, Elton Brand, and Joakim Noah.

Chicago: Derrick Rose, Dwyane Wade, Evan Turner, Andre Iguodala, and Shawn Marion.

LA: Brandon Jennings, Russell Westbrook, Paul Pierce, Kevin Love, Tyson Chandler.

Washington DC: Chris Paul (a stretch, being that he’s from North Carolina, throw Jarret Jack in if you want to get technical about it), Allen Iverson, Patrick Patterson, Kevin Durant, and Roy Hibbert (for the Georgetown connection).

Baltimore: Ty Lawson, Gary Neal, Rudy Gay, Carmelo Anthony, and Michael Beasley.

Houston: TJ Ford, Daniel Gibson, Stephen Jackson, DeAndre Jordan, and Kendrick Perkins.

Atlanta: Jodie Meeks, Al Thornton, Josh Smith, JJ Hickson, and Dwight Howard.

Philadelphia: Tyreke Evans, Kobe Bryant, John Salmons, Hakim Warrick, and DeJuan Blair.

Does that not entice you?  And that’s just the players who are from those cities!  I didn’t even mention how we’re allowing each team two free agents to cover the rest of the cities not represented with LeBron James obviously being the number one target (my bet is he goes with the Baltimore team).  I personally would get John Wall (North Carolina product) on the phone immediately because there is no way anyone can stay in front of him in a pickup game with little to no team defense.  If you’re more inclined towards the big men LaMarcus Alridge and Chrish Bosh are still out there, that is assuming they don’t organize team Dallas as an expansion team.  Which gives me an idea for a tenth team featuring only international players.  Does a lineup of Steve Nash, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobli, Dirk Nowitzki, and Andrew Bogut sound legit?  Let’s have them hailing out of Nash’s hometown of Vancouver just to prove the NBA can thrive up there.  Then, cap the teams with seven man rosters because, as any pickup player can tell you, nobody likes to come out of the games. 

Is that not a recipe for success and awesomeness?  Would you really not tune in to watch them play?  Sign me up immediately, name me the commissioner, and let’s get this thing started.

God I’m going to miss the NBA.

Generation Y, where I still don’t understand why the Dolphins or the Browns don’t give LeBron a try out at TE.