If the mainstream media had its way, the average reader would believe that there is absolutely no chance of a new professional basketball league enjoying any success, let alone legitimacy. But the truth is that most new organizations don’t experience instant success. LaVar Ball’s Junior Basketball Association (JBA), which is set for its debut this summer, is no exception to that rule.
Predictions of the JBA’s demise aren’t anything new, but salivating members of the media who clearly relish the idea of Ball’s failure doubled-down on their hating hunches on Monday when it was widely and rabidly reported that the new league was having trouble attracting ticket buyers.
USA Today’s For The Win (FTW) called the JBA ticket sales “comically abysmal.” The always-reputable New York Post said the JBA “is not going well.” Total Pro Sports jumped on FTW’s headline bandwagon and wrote the ticket sales were “comically bad.”
The probable truth of the matter is that, naturally, basketball fans aren’t sure what to expect with the JBA, so many are probably taking a hurry-up-and-wait approach to actually attending a game in person. That reaction to something new and unfamiliar wouldn’t be unique for the JBA.
In fact, all indications are that everything else is going according to LaVar’s JBA plan, including attracting top talent who prefer to earn a modest salary instead of being a so-called one-and-done player for a single season in the NCAA, which has been compared to slave labor for how athletes generates billions without being monetarily compensated. That alone makes the JBA a more than viable alternative to college hoops and the NBA’s G-League, which serves as a minor league to the 30 franchises.
Tryouts were successfully completed last month and games have already been scheduled for later this month in Canada, Houston, Seattle, Chicago, Dallas ands New York City, according to the official JBA website where tickets were being sold. More games were scheduled for July and August, as well.
Ball’s confidence knows no bounds, as he’s repeatedly shown for the last couple of years. But he has another reason for excitement surrounding his latest venture in the JBA: Other professional basketball leagues, including the NBA, also didn’t take off immediately before flourishing into profitable machines.
Ice Cube’s BIG3 three-on-three professional basketball league, which is coming off its inaugural season last summer, ultimately proved to be a success. And while its ticket sales data weren’t available, the fact that it has launched a new ticket promotion for its upcoming season shows that it also wasn’t selling out its games. That fact, of course, didn’t make the BIG3 a failure.
The NBA also didn’t experience overnight success. According to NBAHoopsOnline, “the league” stuttered through several iterations before actually becoming the National Basketball Association that the world knows today.
As with any business venture, of course there is the chance of failure. But there is equally the chance of success. And if history is any indication, LaVar Ball and JBA will be just fine.