The NBDL is out and about now, with
all their teams in the Southeast, in a bit of a surprise.Â In one sense
it's smart, because it limits their travel, and it puts teams in cities where
there isn't a whole lot of entertainment competition.Â
One thing we
notice right away is that fair or not, and as people with Southern roots we
don't think it's entirely fair, is that a lot of these cities, or the states
they are in,Â have not-so-great reputations, with Asheville the notable
Tips Encouraged & Appreciated
Alabama has a reputation even in the South, which is probably
unfair, at least today, and needs no elaboration here. Fayetteville had a supremacist murder caseÂ a few years ago which was particularly ugly.
Anyway, our point is not to impugn these cities and states, but it is fair to point out that a) it is not the NBA, not the glamour dream or the millions, and b) African-American players who go to some of these cities are likely to be a bit leery. We remember the story of a former Duke player who told younger kids at Duke that the smartest thing to do when the team went to Clemson was to stay on the bus whenever possible.
Is it fair? Depends on your perspective to some extent, but
race is a part of American life, and certainly a complexity of basketball.Â
You have to factor it in.
Fayetteville is probably taking a smart approach, stressing
community and trying to incorporate the team into the city life as much as
possible.Â On the other hand, and not to knock Robert Brickey'sÂ and
Jeff Capel's hometown too much, but it's not exactly Manhattan.Â It's not
even Asheville. $30,000
to live in Fayetteville, or Mobile, or Charleston is a stretch. Why not go
to college and live a King's life for a few years? If you pick the right school
you could even make more! And, as Bill Cosby used to say, you might even learn