Creating A New Lane To Stay In (Day 21)
21 21 21 21! Day 21 of the Anion Sports 25 Days of Christmas blog. Today I am discussing LaVar Ball creating a basketball league for kids who graduate high school, but do not want to attend college. His plan is to have 8 teams playing in various NBA cities. At first glance, I love it and here’s why.
His plan is to have the minimum salary in this league be $3,000 and the maximum being $10,000 a month. I don’t know how long the season is projected to be, but if that is possible over a five or six-month period, that would be a solid alternative to going to college. For a lot of these kids, college is an extra, sometimes unwanted step towards their NBA careers. If they want to go pro, their options include going to the G-League or going overseas. While both offer money, they would be playing in a league where they are facing grown men on a nightly basis.
This is where I can see it succeeding. If the funds are in order and BBB can find locations to play, the kids will come. All it takes is a few upper prospects to bring respect and scouts. If it simply becomes a place for kids to go and practice against other kids their own age and talent level, how is that a bad thing? Scouts pour out in droves to go watch the McDonald’s All-American game, but they wouldn’t go to watch this?
Take the case of Louisville freshman Brian Bowen. He was kicked off the team after it was revealed his family accepted a bribe of $100,000 to go to that school over rival programs. Assuming that the G-League isn’t desirable, Bowen could have gone to this alternative. He could have competed with people closer to his level of ability while “earning” a similar amount of money offered to him illegally.
I think LaVar is really onto something with these ideas and this one might be his best yet. According to the Big Baller himself, “The JBA league is for basketball players who intend to pursue the sport professionally. With the introduction of the JBA, allowing the NCAA to regulate and control the eligibility status of top basketball prospects will no longer be an issue. There is no need to partake in an institution that claims its purpose is not to help you prepare for your professional career.” (Calle, 2017) It is all dependent on if he can recruit the kids to come play. But I think it will sell itself. Only time will tell though. His intended purpose is amazing in that the NCAA legitimately does say it is student before athlete when these kids will be athletes before students. He is giving them what the NCAA doesn’t or hides behind its student-athlete term. I’ll be sure to bring this up on this week’s episode of Can’t Be Stopped!