Retired NBA Players to Launch a New League

Great news: you’ll be able to watch old basketball players limp up and down the court next summer! From ThePostGame: “The USPA, a sports and marketing business built around ex-athletes from the NBA, NFL, NHL and MLB, is an opportunity for now-retired athletes to continue their involvement in the sports world in different, unique ways. Its goal, as CEO Carl George said, is ‘to extend the careers of professional athletes.’ One particular method of doing this is the USPA Extension Basketball League, which is set to launch in the summer of 2014. The league will be home to former NBA players who are one to four years removed from the sport, and will give those players a chance to not only keep doing what they love, but stay connected with fans, the community, and increase their own profile in the process. The USPA has a relationship with the NBA Players Association as well as the Retired Players Association. There’s no direct connection with the NBA. But they have worked with NBA Television on a deal to have their games broadcast in July and August. Players involved in the Extension League will be compensated per appearance, which includes the opportunities for additional marketing and basketball events as well as the games themselves. An integral part of the USPA is the way that the opportunities are split into all different age levels. In this summer basketball league, for example, the players will be the younger guys just out of the league, but there will also be coaching opportunities for those who have been retired for a bit longer. One notable coach is former Knicks star John Starks, who will be leading the league’s New York team next summer. […] The league — which George stresses is a ‘compatible’ league that takes place during the summer as to avoid any conflict whatsoever with the NBA’s schedule — will be broken up into two divisions with eight teams in each division. They will play 14 games in July and August, seven home and seven away, with a championship tournament in September. The markets are New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, Miami, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Detroit, Chicago, Houston, Dallas, Denver, Phoenix, Los Angeles and San Francisco. George says he expects 5,000-6,000 fans at a home game in a city like New York, which will play its games at locations such as St. John’s and Rutgers.”