January 24, 2012

The Big Idea: Why the NBA Should Move the D-League to Europe

By - Brian Harrington

We're starting a new segment here at The Bleacher Briefings entitled "The Big Idea." In it, I take ideas that I think might improve or update certain sports, or all sports as a whole, and in turn, you can share your thoughts on said ideas.

First up, why I think the NBA should move the Development League to Europe.

Photo from: nba.com
Let's face it, the NBA isn't what it used to be. I used to love watching pro basketball in its heyday. "The Jordan Era," as some refer to it. That was basketball at its pinnacle.

Now, it's all about paydays and flashy play. There are almost zero fundamentals left in the NBA, and probably never will be again. Therefore, the league, as a whole, needs a boost. Something to pick up a little more talent. Because frankly, there are some guys playing in the NBA that I'm pretty sure I could beat one on one.

The lockout showed us quite a bit. One thing it showed us is that the NBA players aren't afraid to jump ship and go for the big bucks playing for leagues all over Europe. So why not take the NBA Development League (or D-League, as the kids these days call it), and ship the entire thing overseas?

You've already got several players in the league that came from international teams that have made a splash at one point or another: Dirk Nowitzki, Manu Ginobili, the Gasol brothers. Not to mention, the increasing talent of the Olympic national teams, mainly due to the inclusion of these international NBA players.

Now I'm sure someone will say, "Well NFL Europe didn't work, why would the NBA?" How about, because the NFL tried to force their product down the throats of people who really didn't care about the sport. Soccer (or futbol) is king overseas. Football is nothing more than a bastardized conglomeration of soccer and rugby. The NBA has shown that the talent base is there and that international teams can prosper.

Anyway, that's my idea. Share your thoughts.


  1. Interesting idea. You would think MLB would want to try something along those lines with triple-a clubs as well, given the amount of foreign-born players in professional baseball. I don't think you could have the entire league overseas in either sport, but it wouldn't hurt to expand the products. Seems like ideas like this are brought up from time to time, but in the end none of the leagues pull the trigger on such a move. Probably just don't want to risk failing.

  2. An even better idea would be just to shutdown the NBA period. Who would even care? It sucks now.

    1. I'm actually semi-inclined to agree with you. Lol

  3. Really no reason to do this. If there's a good player playing overseas that an NBA team wants, they already just go get them anyway, so whats the point? Plus the NBA isn't the same type of cash-cow that the NFL is. Probably half the teams in the league barely break even. Sending the entire D-league overseas would cost most teams affiliated with them too much money.

  4. The NBA isn't the cash cow the NFL is, you're right. But sadly, at one time, it was. And like any business, they want to get back to that status. It's not going to happen unless they do something at least a little drastic. People are bored with the NBA. Hell, the shorter season might be a good thing, maybe I should have written on that.....

  5. I went to the Grizzlies/Bulls game on MLK Day and the place was packed for a noon game. On a Monday. It's hard to see that and then hear the NBA is dying. Of course the league isn't what it once was, but that doesn't mean it's inclined to disappear completely. It's not the everyday man's game now, it's got more of an urban feel - but that's ok, there's still plenty of money to be earned there.