The NBA Development League needs further development.

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By Bill Smith

Sporting News Today reported that the NBA is making a basic change in the way that the Development League is going to be managed next season. The Development League is a replacement for the original Continental Basketball Association which Isiah Thomas, the current head coach of the Florida International basketball team, bought and drove into the ground like a Canadian goose shot out of the air by a canon.

The change that the NBA is going make is to allow the current investor/owners of the teams to maintain their positions but give total control basketball operations of the teams to their NBA affiliates. The NBA teams will assume funding responsibility for basketball operations. Does that remind those of us that owned Citibank stock of the recent “bail out” and government takeover? As usual, when control is taken away from those that own the assets, there are a number of problems that Big Brother has created that will not be solved and will certainly be made worse.

The greatest problem is that there are 30 NBA teams but only 16 DL teams. That number will be increased next year to 17 as part of the change. Now, multiple NBA teams share DL squads. But that will have to change. Two NBA teams are as likely to be able to agree on the direction of a DL team as the Republicans and Democrats are about the direction of the country. It just won’t happen.

So in their infinite wisdom, the NBA has decide that sharing power among 2 NBA teams is not viable. So 13 NBA teams will not have DL affiliates in the 2009-2010 season. Maybe the league will use the draft ping pong balls to determine which 13 teams will be left out. Furthermore, the NBA has said they have no intention of expanding to 30 DL teams in the “short term” whatever that means.

This is a stupid move. The current system allows players from all 30 teams to develop promising players from their organization. Why in the world should 13 teams give up the right to participate in a DL team?

The NBA is in a power play mode and wants to run the DL. Leave the system alone. The NBA has enough to do. Let local business people run their teams with the input of the NBA teams that has the rights to the players involved. Chances are good that these folks can do a better job running their teams than Big Brother can. The turnover in NBA coaches gives plenty of evidence that they know very little about running a team.

The other issue is why would anyone want to invest in and own an asset over which they have no control? Good luck keeping your current investors let alone finding new ones to fund the new team and replace those that pull out because of the change.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

My email is [email protected]

Technorati Tags: NBA,NBA Draft,Continental Basketball Associationm,Thomas,Development League,Citibank,Florida International,college basketball,ownership,Sporting News Today


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