As I drove to and from Maine for the Middlebury/Bates football game on Saturday, my mind drifted as I dodged moose poop, various road kill, and tried to figure out where on the back roads of Maine, Cow Hampshire and Vermont I could get coffee and take a much needed pee break. When it drifted, the state of the ABA came to mind. Yes, I laughed quite a bit at some of the outrageous things I have seen and heard, but then I composed my three brain cells and came up with the following...........
I really think that the end of the league is near and that it will not survive the season. There is just too much going against it right now, mainly the Play On deal falling through. The league does not have any money right now, there is very little coming in, and the reputation of the league has scared away potential corporate sponsors.
The league needs money, but with the way Mr. Newman has run his league, he won't get any from anyone. Brad is in a terrible position where he has fantastic ideas but Mr. Newman refuses to listen to him because Joe thinks he is always right about how the league should be run. As we have seen, he is quite delusional in his thoughts.
As it stands now there are teams that have not been heard from, others jumping leagues or folding, and the crucial piece of this puzzle is that there isn't a cent of revenue coming in. Combine that with astronomical debt, I simply don't see how the league can survive.
For the teams that are run well, like those in the Northeast, I would get out before the ship sinks. Obviously there are teams who run themselves well, draw well, and have the overall concept as to how to run a team. Those teams should in my opinion leave the league and create their own. Have Alex Wolff be commissioner, involve the guys from Strong Island in the new league, as well as a select few who will set guidelines and follow them.
Minor league basketball has a place in sports, but just not the way it is being run now. Look at the CBA for example that has been around forever. They have solid teams, strong guidelines, conduct extensive due diligence on prospective teams, and as a result they have been a success. Their players are scouted, and signed by not only overseas teams, but NBA teams as well.
The only solution is for Joe to sell the league. Sources have told me there is an offer on the table but he has declined to sell. If Joe doesn't sell the league, it goes down the toilet. When the league goes down, he will probably be forced into bankruptcy. Obviously this is something Joe does not want to see happen to himself and his family.
Many may give James of the Bulldogs a hard time, but at least he is trying. Owners like Larry seem to have these grand plans for their teams, but they don't do a darn thing about it. Words are one thing, actions are another. This is a league that seems to be all talk, but the action does not exist. Give James credit, he at least tries to make his team solid and has done a good job with publicizing his new franchise.
Brad Hester is just too good for this league. I know some don't seem to care for the man, but he has solid ideas, strong desire, and a love for the game. A man who cares as much as he does and works as hard as he does deserves a better fate.
Hang it up Joe, and do it before you tarnish the reputation of all of minor league basketball and take some good people with you.