The Thursday Show Prep

I'll say this about the man, he's crazy.... But he might not be wrong on this one.

Reports came out yesterday that LaVar Ball, the pitchman and owner of the Big Baller Brand as well as father of three young basketball players, has announced his plans to create a new basketball league that would essentially allow kids who don't want to deal with the NCAA to play sports and get paid.

Now there are a lot of logistical details which need to be worked out before this thing sees the light of day. The ambition is pretty outstanding, but as strong an idea as it is, the list of hurdles to make this into a success of any kind is daunting.

Ball said his Junior Basketball Association -- which he said is fully funded by his shoe company -- plans to pay the lowest-ranked player a salary of $3,000 a month and the best player $10,000 a month. Ball is looking for 80 players to fill 10 teams that will seek to play at NBA arenas in Los Angeles, Dallas, Brooklyn and Atlanta.

Again, the ambition is admirable. But there's going to be plenty of other obstacles along the way here. 

Who's going to see these players in these NBA arenas?
How is Ball going to pay for the space in these arenas?
Will these games be seen on television and how much will a network charge for the broadcasts?
Will this have any impact on the NCAA at all?

The last couple of questions are the most intriguing ones to me. The NCAA likes the attention they get, whether it be through CBS and its multiple entities, which broadcast the NCAA Tournament every year, or even more so through ESPN, which broadcasts more than a hundred live men's basketball games and spends a great deal of time, money and other resources on the sport's coverage.

Both those networks also like their "exclusivity" if you will, and they won't likely help enable Ball and his fledgling startup league. 

But if Ball can attract some big names right out of high school and if he can keep a highly touted 17-year-old from going the college route and taking that to the NBA, does it perhaps help soften the stance of the NCAA which firmly stands behind the idea of not paying student athletes.

Give it to LaVar Ball, for as much as I believe he's a constant distraction and overall not a good influence on the sport itself, he is keeping basketball and the business behind it very much in the spotlight.

"Why can't you have better friends, Tommy?"

Quarterback Tom Brady has a friend named Alex Guerrero.

Brady's coach, Bill Belichick, apparently doesn't approve of Guerrero for whatever reason.

We've all been kids at one time or another. Chances are we've all spent time with other kids who didn't fit the social norms or acceptable standards are parents tried to ascribe onto us as youngsters.

Many of us have watched as our kids chose friends and pals. Many of us have looked at those other kids with some level of disdain. Maybe we know the parents of that particular kid and think ill of them. Maybe we take one look at the kid and make a preemptive assumption about them.

But there's something brewing here between Belichick and Brady's friend, who also happens to be his personal trainer and the man behind much of the quarterback's ballyhooed TB12 methodology.

Guerrero is a close friend of Brady's as well as a business partner who helped launch the TB12 Center, where Brady and several other Patriots players have trained and received treatment since it opened in 2013.

According to a report in the Boston Globe, Guerrero, who has an office near the Patriots' locker room in Gillette Stadium, is no longer permitted to treat players other than Brady in the office. He also is reportedly banned from boarding Patriots jets and had his sideline access revoked.

Asked Monday about a possible rift between Guerrero and Belichick, Brady told WEEI, "I don't have any comment on that other than to say Alex, it's been well-documented, has been a huge part of what I do, and I'm so fortunate to have him not only as a friend, but with everything that we've been able to do together."

Brady also said Guerrero "has been a huge, huge reason why I'm still playing" at age 40.

In a piece earlier this year in ESPN The Magazine, Brady's connection to Guerrero became well-known. 

Brady credited Guerrero's "genius" for his recovery from a devastating 2008 knee injury and for helping him to achieve the peak "pliability" that is extending his career.

Further, the Globe reported in 2015 that Guerrero's role with the team had caused some friction among the Patriots' medical and training staff, who were concerned that Guerrero's alternative treatments clashed with the team's methods. That led some staff members to approach Belichick with their concerns. However, according to the Globe, Belichick indicated to the training staff that his hands were tied because of Brady's special status on the team.

News services contributed to this report.

Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor

Is Floyd or isn't Floyd? Rumors abound in MMA community

Having too much attention focused on you for such a long time means that once the spotlight is turned off, it's hard to adjust to a so-called normal life.

Maybe that's what's driving the current narrative where presumably we're close to hearing something official regarding undefeated boxer Floyd Mayweather coming to a fight card near you in the UFC.

According to Dana White, president of the UFC, there is talk of Mayweather considering a fight in the octagon. He told that to reporters earlier this week only to then have those statements rebuked by Mayweather late Wednesday night.

According to, Mayweather shot down (or did he?) any sort of conversation regarding White's comments:

"If I choose to get in the UFC and fight for the UFC, or fight three fights or four fights and then fight Conor McGregor, I could make a billion dollars, which I can. I could do it in three fights or even four fights. I could make a billion dollars. We just don’t know what the future holds for Floyd Mayweather, and I don’t look forward to getting back in the boxing ring. That’s what I don’t look forward to doing. So, I’m just saying, I could (make a billion in the UFC). I’m not doing it. But I’m saying, what I could do is make a billion dollars quick if I wanted to do that. That’s what I was saying.”

While choosing to overlook the gross negligence of referring to himself in the third person, Mayweather's "denial" doesn't really sound all that convincing. 

So yes kids, here we go again.


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