In the history of basketball, neighborhoods have always played each other. Different teams in one city have played one another. Those aren’t original ideas, says Mac Williams, Goodman League webmaster. But playing different leagues from different cities? That’s a relatively new idea. And it’s one that the Goodman League is taking full advantage of.
“Summer leagues, with some pros and non-pros mixed together and going out and playing each other in other states, I think we pioneered that,” says Williams. “The whole, ‘You come over here and play,’ I think that’s something that hasn’t taken place.
“Every summer, it’s always been you play in your own city with your own group of people and you play each other whereas now we’re taking it to a national level where we’re trying to take on all comers and play everybody.”
The famous D.C. summer league played against L.A.’s Drew League and Baltimore’s Melo League in August, and will play against the Indy Pro-Am at the Indianapolis Convention Center on Sept. 24. The league also has tentative plans in place to play EBC at Rucker Park on Sept. 30 and is working out the details to play an Atlanta team featuring Josh Smith in October.
As of now, the game in Indianapolis includes Kevin Durant, John Wall, Jeff Green and DeMarcus Cousins for the Goodman League and Lance Stephenson, Eric Gordon, Gordon Hayward, Shelvin Mack and Danny Granger for Indy. Goodman League commissioner Miles Rawls is hopeful that Michael Beasley will also be able to suit up.
Rawls can’t pinpoint a specific reason as to why summer leagues haven’t gone across the country and played each other before, but it’s easy to point to the lockout as a main reason why they are now. With no NBA in sight, there are more opportunities for games like these.