The NBA lockout hasn’t deterred the players from playing basketball. All summer long, players barnstormed all over the country ballin’ for bragging rights to the fans’ delight. They proved their love of the game by playing for free.
Now that the first two weeks of the season have been canceled, reality has set in. Playing in playground leagues and small gyms won’t pay the bills.
Needing to sustain their lifestyle, players are considering starting their own basketball league. If the players are able to organize and assemble a league in a short period of time, one thing we know for sure is this won’t be the NBA as we know it. Here are nine possible rule changes:
1. Players are encouraged to car pool to games—as in, arrive in stretch vehicles equipped with a swimming pool in the back. A league favorite will be the aquarium-styled Excursion SUV.
2. The dress code will be amended to allow up to 30 pounds of jewelry worn before and after the game. Every individual is responsible for their own belongings.
3. All firearms are banned from the arenas. But katanas, clubs, maces and a “smashing rock” are OK. Gilbert Arenas will be banned from the league.
4. Basketball wives are seated courtside, directly in the line of sight of television cameras and the paparazzi. The girlfriend(s) of married basketball players must enter through the back entrance and take the service elevator to the balcony. They are not allowed to wear their paramour’s jersey. A separate Shawn Kemp section will be reserved for players with multiple girlfriends and/or children.
5. All players are unrestricted free agents. Length of contracts is by number of games. There is no trade deadline, and players can be traded during games, even to opposing teams. There is no salary cap.
6. The game will be played with three balls simultaneously. The third ball will be an ABA-styled red, white and blue ball.
7. Coaches are for cosmetic reasons only. Players are allowed to ignore play calls and freelance without penalty. Coaches can only give positive encouragement.
8. Traveling is called after seven steps. If a player is charged with traveling, he is allowed to appeal the call to a third-party appeals board. The board has three weeks to render a decision. During the appeal process, the player is allowed to continue playing and can’t be charged with traveling again (double jeopardy) until the decision comes down.
9. After hours of deliberation, Antoine Walker gets his wish and a four-point shot is a part of the game. Any shot taken behind the three-point line with the multicolored ball will be worth four points if it goes in. Despite his contribution, Walker still won’t find employment.
Randolph Charlotin writes a sports blog at www.randolphc.com Send any questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.