Wednesday, October 12th, 2011 at 9:00 am  |  92 responses

Amar’e Stoudemire: ‘Let’s Start Our Own League’

by Marcel Mutoni@marcel_mutoni

Like every other NBA player, Amar’e Stoudemire is unhappy with the prospect of missing out on games. Should the lockout drag on over the next year, or (heaven forbid) even longer, STAT thinks the players should form their own league.

Stoudemire — who’s optimistic about the lockout ending soon, by the way — says that if playing overseas isn’t an option for some of the guys, why not create a competing entity to the NBA?

From the NY Times:

[Stoudemire] said he had received calls about playing overseas, but was not considering them. But he also said that if the lockout dragged on he “may entertain it more and more.” He then offered a more ambitious idea. “If you don’t go to Europe, then let’s start our own league,” he said. “That’s how I see it.” He said such a league would only happen if the lockout “goes one or two years.”

“It’s very, very, very serious,” he said. “It’s just a matter of us strategically coming up with a plan and a blueprint and putting it together. We want to play N.B.A. basketball, but if it doesn’t happen, then what are we going to do? Sit around and not do anything. So we got to figure out ways to now play basketball at a high level against top competition and have fun doing it. So that’s the next step.”

There’s no doubt that, if they were truly serious about this new league idea, NBA superstars could convince some sponsors to hop on board.

However, considering the long-standing relationships the L already has with the players’ biggest potential allies in corporate America — media conglomerates, sports apparel companies, marketing firms, etc. — it’s impossible to imagine that Stoudemire and friends would make anywhere near the kind of money they do in the NBA, to say nothing of the logistical nightmares that come with organizing and running an entire sports league.

The entrepreneurial spirit is noble and all, Amar’e, but the best thing for everyone involved here would be to quickly end the lockout, and get players back into NBA gyms.

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  • http://sajkflf.com Jukai

    ….. good luck, Amare….

  • Co Co

    Would you not agree that the reason the L has such long-standing relationships with all of these entities is because of the players?

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    What a freaking communist!

  • http://www.slamonline.com UNFROZEN CAVEMAN LAWYER


  • marc

    Bring the ABA back lol

  • BlackStar

    Amare is buggin if he thinks it would be that easy for the players to start a new league and get the same amount of money he current gets from the Knicks. There’s so much stuff that goes on behind the scenes that people like him don’t deal with on a daily basis. These kats better hope this lockout ends sooner than later because making zero duckets after making millions each year is no bueno.

  • shm

    J$s*s Ch%st……cosign the last sentence of the article…..

  • http://www.slamonline.com Nick Tha Quick

    College education is important, kids.

  • BlackStar

    @ Nick – Word up!

  • http://twitter.com/#!/SaggyWheels @saggywheels

    @blackstar – where in that article does he say anything about getting the same amount of money he currently gets? And where does he insinuate that he will deal with any behind the scenes, planning, etc.? Someone would bite on the idea, and its a point of leverage if the players actually have to take it there. Its all highly improbable but its not bad to discuss it.

  • tony

    word to al davis amare

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    Get off some of your millions, Amare and get it started yourself.

  • http://slamonline.com Ugh

    NYC, Chicago, Boston, Miami, Philadelphia, LA, Houston, the Bay Area, Dallas and Seattle. Five teams per conference, all with good histories of attendance and a love for ‘ball (and then Dallas). Get players to opt in, have a draft, maybe each city can keep one star player from its NBA team. 50 games per season with some ‘barnstorming’ road games like the old NBA did, three rounds of playoffs. Fewer teams means the talent pool is far richer, means fans get to see the superstars more often. Fewer games means the players are fresher for more of the season, means higher highlight reels.
    It’d work if someone put up the capital outlay – the only problem being the players can’t pay themselves. Oh, wait. Shaq could bankroll this league singlehandedly.
    Let’s get to work.

  • Jake

    It would probably be a better idea to use one of the leagues already in existence

  • kj

    Intresting write up from Bill Simmons a few days ago. Its about making a new leauge is the lockout persists.


    How about a NEW NBA minus the small market teams that are the real source to this lockout?

  • http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/chicago-bulls-talk/2011 Diesel

    I’d like to see this. Let’s start our own league!!! Only problem is none of us are qualified to do this, so let’s higher some lawyers and business professionals to plan this for us. Wait, these lawyers and businessmen are starting to boss me around a little too much. Where’d all my money go? Damn!

  • bike

    This is shaping up to be one of those laugh your a%$ off days on the SLAM site.


    Sorry to those fans in small markets that need to be enabled by blood sucking system changes, but contraction is looking like a solution.


    Melo’s a top 5 talent, and he’s clutch. I’ll take that everyday of the week and twice on Sunday’s at the 3 in the Garden.

  • http://Www.fiba.com Darksaber

    Amare should take over on the two and a half men set for Kutcher, since he’s doing an excellent job telling jokes lately.

  • http://slamonline.com LA Huey

    This kind of talk is more empty than the majority of the superstars saying “I’m considering playing overseas”

  • BlackStar

    @saggywheels – My man … I think it is a fair assumption to say that Amare would want to make the same amount of money, sooner or later, if the players started their own league because going from making millions of dollars a year to getting paid wages that are possibly 1/10th of what he makes now is quite frankly retarded. Let’s say you make 100K at your job right now, but your boss locks you out of your job and you decide to go and do your own thing. Even making half of what you made before will hurt your pockets severely because you still have bills to pay and you need to live right? So whether the article states he’s expecting the same amount or money or not, as a business person, why would you get involved in something that isn’t going to bring about a solid return … or at least the same return that he had when he was in the NBA? And if Amare and other players don’t participate in the behind the scenes work and planning, who do you think would? That’s what happens when you start your own business … You have to do EVERYTHING for yourself. They are getting away with all these “charity” games at these gyms for now, but if they hold real games and expect fans to pay to see them, don’t you think the owner of the gym would charge the players for the use of their facility? And getting lawyers and businessmen to help with the process costs MONEY too. These kats are only celebrities due to the NBA … No one is going to “give” you anything for free for that long. I appreciate you playing devils advocate, but there’s not much to debate here. If these players don’t figure something out soon, they are going to be working at Home Depot along with Delonte West. Point, Blank, Period!

  • http://redoftoothandclaw.ca/ niQ

    Well there’s always the Impact League… lol

  • http://www.twitter.com/_dfrance dfrance21

    What about that league where the dudes jump around on trampolines and stuff? Slamball!

  • Ali


  • robb

    What’s up with Amar’e today?

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    They should have thought of this a long time ago. Who needs DStern and those greedy a** owners anyway, the NBA has always been all about the players and will always be.

  • Yesse

    Well, it’s not gonna be that easy.

  • http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/chicago-bulls-talk/2011 Diesel

    Jtaylor – the players need them. Someone has to front the money to enable everything these players have become accustomed to. I’d like to see what Amare has to say when he has to front $100 million of his own money for basketball related activities and he has no guarantee that his new league he constructs will bring that money in. Or if he goes overseas and has to worry about whether or not the team he signed a contract with will actually pay him. Why do the owners need the players? You think the owners can’t just take all the NCAA & foreign players right now and create a league that’s almost as profitable? No the talent won’t be as high, but neither is the college game and that gets all kind of attention and draws in all kinds of dollars. Take your head out of the players’ a$$es and realize that as greedy as they are, the owners do serve a purpose and provide a service that the players need…otherwise, they would have created their own league a long long time ago.

  • Patrick

    Accept the 50/50 bri deal

  • Marx

    Since Amare landed in NY I swear everything that comes to mind shoots right out his mouth. Don’t get me wrong I have been fan of his from day one but sometimes saying a little less would make him seem more sane.

  • http://slamonline.com Ugh

    @Diesel – They don’t need ‘owners’, they need capital outlay to front wages and costs until the league becomes profitable. You don’t need a league of owners, which is what the NBA is right now, you can simply make do with investors. You think Nike and Apple don’t have the cash-in-hand to front a ten team league? Watch the American Basketball Co-operative, live on your iPad!

  • http://slamonline.com Ugh

    @Black Star – No, you have to do everything yourself when you start your own small business. If you think Amar’e and Melo would be driving the team bus and doing the accounting for the New York Whatevers you’re smoking rope.

  • http://bassbesteck.wordpress.com Bassbesteck

    this reminds me of an episode of “married… with children” where al and his buddies open up their own baseball league because of a player’s strike.

    But seriously: Why wouldn’t that work? There are enough endorsers, that have the money to put into teams. So maybe you would have sponsor’s Logos on the jersey, maybe teams be called McDonalds High Flyers or Dunkin Donuts Dunkers or whatever.

    That said: the possibility the same situation we are in now would happen again is still there.

    I generally think a smaller league (and maybe a bigger D-League) would help… Why keep franchises runnin and runnin, even if they fail to make an impact/succeed?

    20 Teams, each play 4 Games against each other, still enough season games and still enough basketball… done

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    No, the owners can not just take some NCAA & foreign rejects and start a profitable league. First off, no top NCAA player is just going to play for some league that has less than ideal competition/talent and most of the top european players rather stay in europe than play for a rag-tag league.
    What the players need is some serious capital, I’m pretty sure that there are some billionaires out there that would be willing to fund a player’s league. The problem would be coming up with a viable business plan but hey, what are lawyers and accountants for?

  • David Moore

    The A.B.A (Amare Basketball Association) LOL!

  • http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/chicago-bulls-talk/2011 Diesel

    @ Ugh – I’m sure there’s a line around the block for people willing to provide capital outlay to an organization that will most likely lose large amounts of money its first few years…with no guarantee of it ever producing any profits. Not to mention your major competitor with brand recognition is still out there and can create huge competition and roadblocks along the way.
    This new league – it would have to play in front of some fairly sizeable crowds in order to draw a significant profit. Most of the stadiums that can support something like this are either dedicated to college teams at the time, owned by current NBA team owners, or owned by the city and have an existing contract in place with the NBA team. All previous footage of the player’s playing basketball in the NBA is owned by the NBA. The players can never use any of that footage to promote themselves ever again. You would need a sizeable media/tv deal (other than the ones already locked into contracts with the NBA) in order to draw viewers and advertising money…I doubt a bunch of people watching on their ipads would generate enough revenue to pay all these player’s current salaries. I’m not saying I agree with the owners, I’m just saying all this new league stuff is dummy talk. Players have little to no leverage, especially if they don’t decertify. So sign the deal and move on.

  • BlackStar

    @ Ugh – You might want to do a better job of proofreading your comments before you post them … Lol. Your first sentence sounds like you’re confused about agreeing with me or not. Whether Amare and Melo drive the team bus, do the accounting or find others to do it, the responsibility of making sure it happens is still in their lap. What Amare is saying is about the equivalent of a scientist deciding to leave the top pharmaceutical company in the world and start their own to rival his former employer. Can it be done? Yes. Will it be easy? Hell no!!! And who do you know “smokes rope”?

  • http://philosopher.view@blogspot.com The Philosopher

    YOU ppl are so afraid of change!! hated lebron for teaming up with superstars. hate change, why? start your own league!!! dont nobody wanna be a worker all they life. think of the FUTURE!!! they have plenty of money and plenty of wealthy companies that would sponser them. everybody scared to leave the plantation. S/O to amare

  • BlackStar

    @ Diesel – Thank you Chief for bringing up so many valid points! I’m with you … I’m on the players side, but if the owners really want to be gangsta, they will cancel the full season and get replacement players for next year. As much as we all love the current players, I would still watch the NBA with replacement players because I love basketball too much. The players better go for that 50/50 deal, or 51/49 if they are lucky, and keep it moving or their pockets will dry up quick!

  • http://philosopher.view@blogspot.com The Philosopher

    but then again, when you think like a worker you’ll always be a worker. but when you think about creating for yourself (even tho it comes with criticism) you can have your own!!

  • http://www.slamonline.com nbk

    never would work. sorry dreamers

  • AD

    this would be good… Amare may not be a businessman… but in this case he’s like an investor and im sure there are people who are willing to buy in2 this if their are enough players…. Of course they wont make enough money but it could be a solid threat..

  • http://www.slamonline.com UNFROZEN CAVEMAN LAWYER


  • http://www.slamonline.com UNFROZEN CAVEMAN LAWYER


  • BlackStar

    Lol @ Caveman. Word …

  • dma

    Rule #1: No defense
    Rule #2: No fighting for rebounds
    Rule #3: Dunk hard

  • Double J

    The return of EBOY!

  • Cheryl

    It worked once and it can work again. NEW LEAGUE!!!!

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    The NBA is really entrenched. This would be almost impossible, particularly since the new League’s assets are all under contract with another League.
    How would it work if the owners decided to meet the players’ demands? Would their new league just fold? How would the investors feel about this?
    I don’t see it happening.
    But, it’s a little disturbing how so many of y’all think NBA players are idiots. Amare has consistently shown himself to be an intelligent dude, but people act like he and the rest of the superstars can’t navigate the business world.
    Newsflash, all rich people aren’t smart. Or hard working. Most of them just took advantage of an opportunity.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    No, no, no.. My little Kobe could get hurt in a league with out strict authority figures..

  • bull22

    the new league would fold, and all this is pure foolishness…. i guess amare has not learned from the unified mass tweets they made that blew up in their faces..

  • Jeremy

    @bull22 has some racial issues I see

    He always come with the negative ish

    your mama and daddy must be related?

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Allen, I don’t think Amar’e is an idiot. But he says idiotic things.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Everybody says idiotic things sometimes.
    There is an undercurrent that is disturbing about athletes. It’s also amazing how many people get upset with them for problems with their grammar and spelling.
    It’s telling.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    haters gonna hate. I just think Amar’e should get educated on some of the things he says. Not everything, but some stuff just makes him sound ignorant.

  • ALEX80

    Can I play in this league??

  • Jim

    amare sorry man, but creating your own league is simply not smart…

    maybe you should’ve went to college…

  • Brahsef

    It would all depend on how much star power the players league could get. If LeBron, Kobe, Wade, etc came on board investors would flock for the opportunity. While the NBA has name recognition, its actual players have way more name recognition. This isn’t football or baseball, it’s a players league. If you’d start off small in large northern cities and have stars accept smaller wages, television contracts and large sponsors would come. The first 5 years would most likely not net a profit, but most large investments like this don’t. In a perfect world, this would happen. In ours, unlikely. It definitely is possible though.

    Owners are nothing but very rich people. That void can be filled.

  • http://therurbangriot.com The NUPE

    It would be alomst impossible for the players to start their own league. But the key word there is ‘almost’. If the entire season was cancelled, I’m sure there are several ‘smart’ businesses/investors who would/could get backing to start another league. I think Amare is right that this would only be possible if the lock-out lasted more than one season (which is highly doubful). A cancelled NBA season could mean that some international leagues expand the # of teams in order to accomodate more NBA talent. This in itself could start wheels in motion towards a ‘collapsed’ NBA. All of this is highly highly doubful, and as it stands right now, the owners are still clearly in position to wait out the players. It won’t take too long for investors and overseas markets to try to take advantage. I’m not sure how it would/could work, but when there is this much money involved, I’m sure someone is going to figure it out eventually. Right at the moment it’s way to early to speculate on who it will be and the timing, but if the season is cancelled and games lost next season, you never know.

  • Brahsef

    I love the people who say Amare should’ve gone to school. College adds nothing to actual intelligence. I’ve graduated and the majority of people in college are still retarded.

  • bluntz

    Amare would be a great fit commissioner in this new league. You know, since David Stern is Jewish and Amare spent some time last summer getting in touch with his jewish heritage.

  • http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/wizards/a-quick-guide-to-the-issues-of-the-nba-lockout/2011/10/11/gIQAon1ZbL_story.html unf*ckwitable

    Somebody snatch the mike from this clown.

  • bike

    There are plenty of pro athletes that are very intelligent and well educated although there are quite a few that seem to say incredibly stupid things publicly. What Amar’e is saying sounds pretty stupid right now. That doesn’t make Amar’e an idiot– it just makes him sound delusional. If the players are 100 percent united on the lockout like Hunter claims, then they should all be preaching the same line about getting the deal they desire, ending this work stoppage, and getting back to playing ball.

  • http://www.offthebackboard.wordpress.com Off The Backboard

    Talk is cheap. Sure, designing a new model for a league and creating one sounds well and good, but actually implementing it is going to cost Amare more than he can handle. He might have to end up doing another nude shot for ESPN the Magazine to get money on the side.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Of course it would be difficult to outdo the NBA but it’s kind of funny when people have a knee-jerk reaction to the idea of employees actually owning a stake in their company.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    It isn’t funny at all.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    There is just no way the Owners & Arena Owners let another league pop up. It would probably end the lock-out a lot faster if they got something like this in motion, but I can’t ever see it coming to fruition.

  • Galagu

    that’s cute amare.

  • http://sajkflf.com Jukai

    You know, I don’t think Amare is too smart, Allen. This is not a knock on Amare, I love him and he is a personable guy. He’s dedicated, charming and happy-go-lucky. He doesn’t have to change… but he’s spoken out of his ass a lot.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    I think he is smart just ignorant. He processes information well but doesn’t have enough information. People mistake ignorance for stupidity as often as they mistake an accumulation of information for intelligence.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Do y’all realize that given current total revenues and the way BRI is setup if the owners got a 50/50 split on BRI they would collectively earn $500 million more than the players? The BRI would breakdown to $1.9 billion each. Then the owners have $500 million that doesn’t go to BRI. So with an “even” split the owners will now get $2.4 billion to the players 1.9 billion.
    That is how you come up.

  • http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/blog/ball_dont_lie/post/Video-Don-t-tell-Kobe-Bryant-what-he-can-t-do?urn=nba-233572 nbk

    I wish my dad made more money then his company. Could you imagine if Bill Gates made more money then Apple? Or if the President lost more money every year then the government? think about it

  • http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/blog/ball_dont_lie/post/Video-Don-t-tell-Kobe-Bryant-what-he-can-t-do?urn=nba-233572 nbk

    I mean microsoft, damnit.

  • http://myspace.com/gametimeweezy Gametimeweezy

    As long as David Stern, Craig Sager and Bill Walton aren’t involved im all about a new league. We dont need Ahmad Rashad either.. keep everybody else.

  • http://www.rich-imaging.com Dutch Rich

    I’d rather that than Amare runnin’ round TimesSquare snatching jesuzpieces offa muhfu****s…. Realtalk!!
    We’ll call that league the
    Jay-Z be the president and we got endorsements from Applebottom Jeans, Popeyes Chicken, Domes barbershop and Western Union. That way we got all angles covered.
    Somebody write a song about it please and the rest of you lighten up…….

  • http://sajkflf.com Jukai

    Allen: Could be. Impossible to say since neither of us actually know him.
    Which is unfortunate.

  • Davo

    I feel that the players should have formed their own league long ago. Those that feel it is impossible to do, only say that because they don’t want to see a league controlled by blacks. It’s ok to bust your ass on and off the court and allow the “owners” (masters) to make a killing! We live in a world that fears control to be turned over. Look at how Lebron James was vilified for thinking independently. The league is probably 90% black, produces billions of dollars annually, and how many majority owners are black??? WAKE UP-WAKE UP-WAKE UP!

  • MikeC.

    @Marx – it’s not so much that since he’s been in NY, whatever he thinks comes out of his mouth. It’s more that he’s now in the media capitol of the world and he’s getting way more media attention than he was getting in Phoenix.

  • ghettablaster

    Just go with the 50/50 deal

  • Live

    Now way can the players make anywhere near the money they would get in the nba by making their own league

  • hushabomb

    How about a college tournament style format. 8 teams play a round robin and then let em have at it.

  • http://dodgers.com Joey E.

    lol amare. talk about hot air…

  • http://slamonline.com YoLu

    Nbk, you’re a dumbass. NBA owners alone don’t make more than the rest of their company (in this case NBA organization) combined. Keep your ideas to yourself and stick to sucking Allen’s dick.

  • JD

    i like this idea, it could work well as a temporary measure, though they wouldnt get anywhere near the same money, they dont get anywhere that amount in Europe either,so just for this season it could be cheap substitute, and if the lockout keeps going and if they split from the league, sponsors would grow bolder, and eventually fund it as much as they did the nba

  • http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/blog/ball_dont_lie/post/Video-Don-t-tell-Kobe-Bryant-what-he-can-t-do?urn=nba-233572 nbk

    Soooo sorry Yolu, let me clarify, I meant the NBA Owners make more then they spend on their product. Its like if the principal (for lack of an actual owner) made more money at your school (where you got so smart) then they actually spent on teachers. Sorry my comment was confusing. The president part was a consciously horrible joke. You can go back to the shadows or choke on whatever it was that you had to get air from too type your earth shattering comment.

  • http://slamonline.com Ugh

    @Diesel – My posts in this thread are a joke. I can’t believe you responded to that.
    @Blackstar – See above. Seriously, dude.

  • http://slamonline.com Ugh

    Now I’m trying to remember the brain-in-a-vat joke I made last year. Another highlight.
    Word to bike @ 10:47. Good times.

  • http://none Stefano

    we are talking playing basketball…. they are professional athlets … but which other job they can do (or most of them) that pay them all that millions ……….. look at what is happening in US and around the world with millions of people loosing 1K USD month job and don’t have food for their children …. and pros are crying because instead of making 10Million per year the will get only 5 million per year?
    i’m an old basketball fan and I love it, however players and NBA needs to come down to earth and not talking/paying millions of USD like pinuts …. compare the average salary of the ABA – the best years of basketball. Most of ABA players had to find a job after retirement … now most of NBA players enjoy few years of salary to make nothing or close to nothing activities after retirement. That crazy and indecent against the normal (poor) common people which have difficulties to survive up to the end of each month.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Wouldn’t it be better if both the players and OWNERS agreed to make less money?
    They all reduced expenditures and profits. Reduced ticket prices. Agreed that less money overall to make the game more accessible was a good idea?
    Why don’t people ever make that argument? Why is it always “That players should take less money and be happy they have what they have.”?
    Don’t people find this practice curious?
    If the argument was “Owners and players make too much money, their business isn’t essential enough for them to charge so much and earn so much” I would agree completely.
    Instead the argument is “Players make too much money. Their jobs aren’t essential enough for them to make so much money.”
    There is a lesson in that state of affairs.

  • Mark

    Another brilliant comment from the self-named “Black Jesus.” Stat should concentrate on keeping his mother out of the pokey and just the “H” up. Thank God the Suns let him walk; he’ll never win anything because he simply doesn’t care.