Amar'e Stoudemire says NBA players, locked out by owners and facing a complete loss of their season because labor negotiations are going absolutely nowhere, should consider starting their own league.
That is a brilliant idea. Here are five things we want to see out of the Renegade Basketball Association (or whatever the hell we’ll call it):
1. Charles Barkley named league commissioner
What else is Chuck going to do if there’s no season? Yeah, he could call college basketball. But that will only go so far. Barkley was somewhat reserved last year when he moonlighted on NCAA Tournament coverage, and you could easily see him losing interest in a poorly played 30-point blowout. But he’d be perfect as RBA commissioner. The RBA would naturally be everything the NBA isn’t – a loose, exciting environment with no dress code, political correctness and straight hoops. Sounds like Sir Charles to me.
2. A red, white and blue ball
The ABA ball is freaking awesome. This is non-negotiable.
3. All tie games settled with a dunk contest
If the game ends in regulation with no victor, we don’t go to five-minute overtime periods. We go to a dunk-off. Each team picks a guy to do two dunks each. A panel of anonymous dunk judges located in the league offices – which are in somebody’s basement – watch on an Internet feed. Player with the most points after the two dunks wins the game for his team.
4. Franchises in far-flung locales
Forget big cities. Let’s go semi-local. The ideal league would have 12 teams, so let’s try these 12 cities: Seattle (OK, big, yes, but this has to happen), Albuquerque, Grand Rapids, Mich., Austin, Texas, Peoria, Ill., Nashua, N.H., Piscataway, N.J., San Diego, Tallahassee, Fla., Columbia, S.C., Baltimore and, yes, Las Vegas.
5. A March Madness-esque playoff system
Top four teams get byes. Remaining eight have one-game play-ins. Then another round of one-game playoffs with the top four teams. Once you get to four, best of five semifinals and best of seven finals. Simple as that.