This idea is unrealistic and it has little chance of happening, but despite its unlikeliness it is great! There is no better time to discuss this great idea than now. There is no basketball being played in the NBA all the big name stars are out of the picture as far as free agency goes. Rabid NBA fans are just waiting for Lois Amunsdon to be signed so they can have something to think about. This is the perfect time to discuss hypothetical ideas that may be "great" but are very unlikely. (Scroll Down and wait for the bold text to actually see the idea if you don't want to read about boring reasoning)
Remember the end of last year? Remember the cries for the Warriors to purposefully lose. Even now fans are bitter that the Warriors didn't lose more games. We could have lost out on Cousins, on Favors, Johnson, Evans, or even Wall if we had just lost a little more. Where is the fun in that? It takes away the meaning of sports and competition. Half the teams in the NBA become irrelevant and being a Warriors fan this usually happens too quickly in the season.
Another annoying aspect of basketball is the d-league. Despite the fact that many talented players play in the D-league players who are probably better than many of the late 1st round draft picks. It is a steep climb for many of these players they have to work so hard just to get noticed. The D-League is by its definition the developmental league, meaning that basketball played in the D-League is a learning experience when many of the players in the D-League can do no more development.
What if the D-League was destroyed scattered into oblivion and the replacement would be another NBA, a second tier NBA. What if large markets that were not represented got these teams. Seattle, San Jose, Las Vegas etc. What if they actually played for something worthwhile, something that could change the careers of the coaches and players on the team, something that could change the very nature of the economy of the city they play in? What if.... Here comes the great idea!
The Winner of the
D-League 2nd tier NBA championship, as well as their top rival got to enter the NBA and got the 1st and 2nd draft picks in the draft. What if the bottom two NBA teams had to go to the D-League 2nd tier NBA? This would transform the NBA and I think for the better.
Here is why it will be better for the NBA.
1. More Competition: Teams will not try and "tank" at the end of the year instead whole cities will have their teams sitting on the verge of near irrelevance. Imaging how much your heart would be thumping if a win or a loss at the end of the season could mean your team being kicked out of the NBA.
2. More Exposure: People in larger markets that don't have an NBA team but to have a 2nd tier NBA team would have a reason to follow the sport, thus creating whole new markets.
3. Money: Making games super relevant at the end of the year creates more money for organizations who otherwise would have empty seats at the end of the year. Also more people would go to
D-League 2nd tier NBA games creating more revenue for the league overall.
4. Team Play: Team play would be more important than individual performance because winning not stat padding would be the most important thing for a team at the upper echelons of the 2nd tier NBA or gutter of the regular NBA. Star players on bad teams would not be shut down due to minor injury.
5. Local Culture: Sports franchises have the ability to help local economies and bring people together. This system would allow cities like Las Vegas, and Seatle to have an avenue to get their own teams without having to move another team. Teams would be playing for something so large that it could literally change the culture of the city they play in for years to come, thus making basketball more relevant.
I think that UNDOUBTEDLY this situation would make basketball more entertaining and better for the reputation of the sport, but I do see some insurmountable road blocks for this process.
1. Players: Players would not like this because they could actually get demoted to a 2nd tier team because of their crappy teammates. Players would all scream for trades if their team were to be kicked out of the 1st tier. Also 1st tier NBA teams could not draw from 2nd Tier talent pools they would have to hire international players or scrubs or something to replace their own players.
2. Money: Ownership would have to get rid of a lot of expenses, owners would go bankrupt people's entire financial livelihood would be in jeopardy, local economies would suffer simply because your NBA team is not good for one year. Ownership would immediately have to drop contracts.
3. Markets: I could see teams crying foul if suddenly their neighboring city has a team in the same league, therefore creating unforeseen market competition. Their would be no incentive for 2nd tier NBA teams to build a large enough arena and teams that get kicked to the 2nd tier NBA would be stuck with a large arena and all the expenses that pertain to having a large arena in a suddenly smaller market.
Ways to solve these problems!!!
1. Players: All large contracts and top 10 draft picks have a clause in their contracts stating that if their team drops rank their contracts are void and they become free agents if they want to be free agents. The 2nd tier NBA teams could protect 5-8 players that the 1st tier NBA teams could not touch to replace injured players, this would allow the NBA to grab somewhat talented players but not the best players from the 2nd tier NBA teams. This measure would give great exposure to lesser known players as well and probably drive up the minimum salary for the lower tiered players.
2. Money: Owners would have incentive to be competent. Owners who are in a good market yet do not produce a winning team get punished severely. Owners that create a winning team in the 2nd tier NBA get rewarded. I think this is actually fair, this will lead to more competence from NBA ownership.
3. Markets: The only way to solve this road block is to strategically put 2nd tier NBA teams into areas that do not conflict. 2nd tier teams would have to have the money to build arenas with a large minimum seating capacity, or have a plan on the books for an adequate arena in a certain amount of time.
Conclusion: My plan is great! This fact cannot be disputed, this would make basketball better for everyone. Many European sports leagues do this already. American business interests are probably too scared to even try a venture like this, despite the fact that the model works extremely well in Soccer leagues all over Europe almost all exist within a market economy. This plan would take years to implement but if David Stern were smart he would start the plan immediately. It is my honest belief that this plan is so great that it would make basketball at least the second most popular sport in the country and start a whole new golden age of basketball.
My idea being "great" is open to interpretation, reiteration of the word "great" was used sarcastically, my idea could very well be horrible. With that being said my idea is great! On another note after reading the title are you not glad that this is not yet another article binging up a Monta Ellis trade(probably for Iguodala)!