A new basketball league consisting of entirely professional players is beginning in September. Impact Basketball, an elite training facility in Las Vegas, will host the league, which will reportedly consist of nearly 70 NBA players.
The league does not seem like it is meant to compete with the NBA, but it will provide players the opportunity to play competitive games during the NBA lockout. (HoopsWorld)
Joe Abunassar, the founder and head trainer of Impact Basketball, confirmed that the league will kick off in mid-September, likely during the week following Labor Day. Two games will be played each day and the league is expected to last at least two weeks long. There is a possibility that the games will be streamed online.
“It will start in September, with two games a day,” Jared Dudley told HOOPSWORLD. “There will be a blend of all-stars, veterans and rookies. We’ll play by NBA rules – have a 24-second shot clock and everything. You heard of the Drew League and Goodman League, but the difference with this league is that it’s not a pro-am. There will just be NBA pros. It really gets guys ready for the NBA season. I’m excited every summer because at Impact, you only can get better. Now, the games are there to put what you learn into action on the court.”
Many NBA players, including Celtics Paul Pierce, Jermaine O’Neal, Glen Davis, Rajon Rondo and Kevin Garnett, have trained at Impact Basketball through the years. Alex Kennedy reports that Pierce and O’Neal (among others) “might play in the league,” and that Garnett, Davis, and Rondo are also possibilities because of their existing relationship with Impact Basketball. Others who have never trained at Impact Basketball will also be invited to join the league.
The NBA players are far more prepared for an NBA lockout now than they were in 1999. Leagues are being organized. Players are finding alternative work overseas. There’s a better plan now for the players to stay in shape and survive during the lockout.
Impact Basketball’s league is the next step, and it’s a good one. Well, that is, unless you actually want the NBA to return. Then, the thought of another basketball league that begins soon is only the latest indication that this lockout could last a very long time.