NBA Lockout: Can Kobe Bryant and LeBron James Lead a Player-Owned League?

NBA commissioner David Stern recently announced that the league would cancel all games through Dec. 15th, but if you have been paying attention to the on-going labor saga, then the prospects of even more lost games seems very likely.

The players and owners may be further apart right now than at any other point in negotiations, and the union's decision to decertify could lead to a lengthy and prolonged battle in the courts of justice.

Which means the only on-court, hardwood battles NBA fans will see before January will probably take place in the college ranks.

Or, if you are really hard up for an NBA fix, there are always the barn-storming scrimmage games that various league stars have assembled to play in multiple arenas across America.

The spur-of-the-moment events have drawn decent crowds to mostly small venues, and a friend of mine suggested that maybe the players should make the ultimate statement to owners by forming a league of their own.

My friend's idea is not original, and there may have even been several players who broached the subject, but is there really a possibility that a player-owned professional basketball league could work?

In my friend's opinion, the most important first step would be to establish instant credibility by having the game's greatest global stars serve as the primary owners and faces of the new league.

After all, no one packs league arenas to see the owners in the first place, and if it really boils down to the action on the court then there are no better ambassadors of the game than Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant and Miami Heat forward LeBron James.

Both James and Bryant have developed a large international fanbase, and Bryant's recent appearances in China and Europe have drawn crowds by the thousands.

So maybe Bryant, James, Dwyane Wade, Kevin Durant and others are popular enough to generate legitimate interest in a ...

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