On the heels of NBA TV’s Dream Team documentary, and the NBA season only a couple weeks away from finishing, I thought it would be a great time to write about an idea that’s been brewing in my mind.
The NBA Silver League. That’s right, let’s bring back the old players and give them their own league.
What? You don’t think watching an old “Dream Shake” would be entertaining? Hakeem can still do it folks. Go to Youtube and search for the videos where he is training Dwight Howard or Kobe.
What about MJ’s fadeway? Um…he still can do it folks. Again, Youtube!
Just because you are older doesn’t mean you’ve lost your drive to compete and succeed. Some players retire because they just can’t keep up, and/or their skills have eroded, think Gary Payton and Michael Jordan. Some could have kept playing, but didn’t want to deal with the 82-game schedule, think John Stockton. Some suffer an injury that puts them below an NBA level of athleticism, think Penny Hardaway and Isiah Thomas.
Should that be the end of these legends?
No. Think about it. Don’t you think Clyde Drexler would love to have another chance against MJ? Or what about Reggie Miller? Are you telling me you wouldn’t want to watch that during the dog days of summer? What about seeing Reggie Miller stroke a 3 in somebody’s face and talk to them all the way down the court? Not only would I watch, but I’d buy season tickets!
I’ve read that Magic still plays alot. Penny Hardaway just played in the Ultimate Hoops gym league. The list goes on and on. Many would love to still play if they had a proper structure to play within.
What about their past injuries?
Some great healing technologies have surfaced in the last few years. Kobe’s career had a resurgence because of the platelet-rich plasma therapy he received in Germany last summer.
There are also many stories about stem cell therapy being very successful for NFL athletes. And let’s not forget, they won’t have to run with the Lebrons and the Durants of the league. They’d be battling against players their same age.
With a shortened season, 40 minute clock, only having to compete against your peers and the technological advances of today, this idea is very plausible.
These guys aren’t in shape though!
Have you seen the latest Hanes commercial with Michael Jordan in it? I was appalled to see him with a beer belly. I would have never thought I’d see the day. I can’t imagine Kobe ever letting himself go like that, but that’s a different article. Alot of these guys allow themselves to get out of shape not because they want to, but because they don’t have a reason to be in shape. You best believe MJ wouldn’t have a beer belly if he was in this league. Case in point, a group of 40ish, 50ish, and 60ish year old guys actually
taught me to play basketball at the downtown San Diego YMCA. These guys will still run you out of the gym. They are in phenomenal shape. It’s very possible to be in great shape at those ages.
Would people really watch?
Yes. These guys have built their brands over decades. Brands we’ve come to love and cherish. The Dream, The Admiral, Stockton and Malone, Clyde the Glide, I could go on.
The storylines would be fabulous. You’d have guys trying to get revenge on MJ. You’d have Clyde Drexler trying to prove he could go left. You’d have players who fell into drugs when they were younger and never made good on their God-given talent actually come back and prove they really had what it took. You’d see guys who didn’t win a championship in the NBA actually get one in the Silver League. You’d see guys retire again and a new crop come in.
I’d make the minimum age be 40 years old. That means we only have to wait 4 more years to see A.I. try to cross somebody over again. If we’re lucky we might get to see a killer crossover by Tim Hardaway, albeit slower! Guys like Kobe and Kevin Garnett who eat, breath, and sleep basketball would definitely be joining this league.
Are you telling me this wouldn’t be a vastly superior product compared to the WNBA?
Ok, maybe you are almost convinced, but you are thinking, when would the season be?
Well, I’d love to see the WNBA go away, and be replaced with my idea, but it doesn’t seem like they are going anywhere, so it looks like we’d have to wedge the NBA Silver League in between the WNBA schedule and the NBA schedule. The league could start on August 23rd (WNBA season ends 8/22) and could go until the day before the NBA opening tip. So that would be August 23rd – October 30th. A 2-month season. Short for scheduling purposes, their age, and other commitments these older guys have. There would be very limited traveling, have the season in one place.
This is a dope idea isn’t it? If you think so then give then LIKE the NBA Silver League Facebook Page.