We’ve seen the potential a league of superstars could have. These lockout games showed us: lots of dunks, huge crowds, a public attraction. We’ve reported on overseas tours, starring the very best players in the world. We added an idea from our friends at TheHoopDoctors.com about what it would be like if the NBA only fielded the eight teams currently making money. We’ve heard the conversation that the NBA needs to contract and that the product on the court isn’t where it once was (during the 1980s) because there are too many teams and too few actual star players. We’ve said it all. Now Amar’e Stoudemire is joining the fray.
Stoudemire told NYTimes.com:
“If you don’t go to Europe, then let’s start our own league,” he said. “That’s how I see it.” He said such a league would only happen if the lockout “goes one or two years.”
“It’s very, very, very serious,” he said. “It’s just a matter of us strategically coming up with a plan and a blueprint and putting it together.
“We want to play N.B.A. basketball, but if it doesn’t happen, then what are we going to do? Sit around and not do anything. So we got to figure out ways to now play basketball at a high level against top competition and have fun doing it. So that’s the next step.”
Take perhaps eight teams, field rosters of eight, each teams gets two superstars. We hold a draft, find sponsorships, secure arenas and what would we have? A pretty entertaining level of basketball. One of the problems with that though, as Stephen A. Smith alluded to on First Take today, is it undermines the players’ authority in negotiations, and leaves hundreds of good-to-average NBA players on the curb. You couldn’t field a whole new league, at least not without some significant planning. You could put this together for the best players, and create the ultimate superstar league to spite the NBA and David Stern. But at what cost to the other players around you? Wouldn’t Derek Fisher feel completely naked sitting down in New York City to talk business with the owners? At this stage in the game, why not just get to a meeting and negotiate or accept an offer, rather than put yourself and the league through the risk?
Stoudemire didn’t stop there. In-between introducing his new signature sneaker – the Nike Air Max Sweep Thru – STAT also decided he’d rather have Carmelo Anthony than LeBron James.
He told NYPost.com:
“I’m going Carmelo Anthony, baby,” Stoudemire said.
“Carmelo is a clutch player,” Stoudemire said. “Carmelo is definitely known for making those last-second shots. Comes down to the last few minutes of a game, you want to have Carmelo on your team. LeBron is a great facillitator and ultimate team player.”
Anthony is considered one of the most clutch players in the league – and has been for a while, pretty much ever since they started keeping track of game-winning shots and clutch statistics in the final five minutes of a close game. STAT also happens to be teammates with the man in New York City. That alone was probably enough to sway his public opinion.
LeBron? At this moment, you really can’t argue for him. He is the better all-around player, but in winning time I can see the argument for ‘Melo. A better isolation player. More complete scorer. Unafraid of the big shot. Can make free throws. Can rebound. Has a killer instinct. James has some of those qualities – he showed them for 10 consecutive games against Boston and Chicago so don’t act like it isn’t in him – he just needs to master them.
Perhaps we could find a solution to both questions: form a superstar league to see if it could succeed, and then a draft to see who gets chosen first: Carmelo or LeBron…
Do you agree with the stuff that he’s saying?
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