Updated: October 24, 2011, 1:50 PM ET

Owners, Players Still Split On BRI

A League Of Their Own?

By Peter Keating
ESPN The Magazine

IS THERE ANYTHING MORE BORING than a lockout? One gray-haired, grimly smiling guy steps from a fleet of SUVs to a battery of microphones and says he wishes the two sides weren't so far apart. Another gray-haired, grimly smiling guy steps from the next line of SUVs to the same microphones and says his side's resolve is stronger than ever. Instead of highlight reels, we get a dull, corporate scorpion mating dance.

But a footnote in history says our sports don't have to be held hostage by negotiations. In 1890, a group of baseball stars formed the Players League, which shared profits among athletes and investors. Greed and mismanagement doomed the league after only one year, but its concept of solidarity still applies. Now that the NBA lockout has already brought, as of press time, the cancellation of at least two weeks of games, the sport's stars have even more incentive to take control of basketball's most valuable resource -- their talent -- and start a league of their own.

"I've discussed forming our own league with LeBron," Carmelo Anthony told The Mag in mid-October after playing in the South Florida All-Star Classic, a packed-house charity game that also included King James, Kevin Durant, Chris Paul and Dwyane Wade. "You can see the fan reaction here. They need it, we need it. I can tell you that I'm working on something. We'll see what happens."

Read the full game plan for a players' league from Keating Insider


You must be signed in to post a comment

Already have an account?