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Old 07-23-2008, 09:26 PM
DazedAndAmused DazedAndAmused is offline
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Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 1,066

Originally Posted by nksports View Post
The biggest thing it would take would be a change in basketball culture. Where I live, the average Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference game (NAIA Division II) draws more than the average minor league basketball game. Our local team, a small college with about 500 students, averages maybe 1,000 a night in a gym that seats 1,800, more in years when the team is competitive.
College is still king.
When the NBA was allowing high school grads to come out, the D-League had a chance to break out if it would have taken the ones who were not quite ready for prime time, but the one-year in college rule has given the colleges a breather. It would make more sense for the NBA to have a league for high school grads who wouldn't have gone to college (thus depriving Kansas State it's one good year).
Some NBA teams are using their D-League teams like Class AAA baseball. Some (the Lakers come to mind), use their teams like reserve teams.
The ABA, PBL, CBA etc. right now have no apparent purpose in terms of what happens with its players. If they move up, great. If not, so what.
If there is a new model, it is going to come from, of all places, the shoe companies. They are already tired of dealing with those darned high school and college eligibility standards. In the future, you may see some sort of 6- to 8-team Nike League as well as an addidas League.
You may see a shift from prep and college basketball to club, which is the way it's done in Europe. Now whether a model like this can sell tickets and make money is anybody's guess.
Here endith my rant.
NK, I agree with much of this, all the way up to the nike or adidas league (already done by And 1 to a degree with some relative success.) This works because there is a single brand to be reinforced from companies making 100s of millions that can justify funding such leagues as a marketing expense. I do however think they will stay under the category of "niche leagues" that wont have strong ties to the local communities.

However, I see the NBA going way before I see a shift from Division 1 college basketball. You already implied why. TV ratings and ticket sales (by certain metrics) are much great for college basketball. That translates to money. Some of the strongest brand names in sports are from major D1 colleges, not NBA teams. Personally I have a problem with this (see my prior rants) because we end up with students who do not meet even the below average standards of other students at their respective schools. Bluntly, they have no business being at those schools in many, many cases. It makes a mockery of higher education. So, while I wish there was a venue for these players, such as a U23 league funded by the NBA, I don't see it happening.
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