Should The NBA Be Worried Maybe

Updated: February 19, 2008




What have we learned from the sub-prime mess Barack Obama‘s rise the Football Giants expect the unexpected Reality is not what it appears to be Conventional wisdom is that the National Basketball Association is on top of the world. SupeStar players. Vaulable franchises. Expansion plans worldwide. Commissioner David Stern is a Genius. Isn’t he. It’s an easy view to accept except maybe it’s not true.

Could Joe Newman be the Real Genius !!

Say WHO …… the heck is he We’ll get to Mr. Newman in a moment. But we aren’t finished with the NBA or their Commissioner David Stern yet. And their rose colored glasses. How successful can one of the most successful Sports leagues in America be if it must broadcast its All Star Game on cable on TNT. Or even more when most of its post-season games have been relegated to cable except for the Championship Series. How successful can the NBA be when 10 of 15 teams in the Eastern Conference have BELOW .500 records.

For all practical purposes 2/3 of the teams in the Conference are OUT of the running for the post-season let alone the Championship half way into the season. And half of all the 30 NBA teams are at least 10 games out of First Place in their Divisions. While NBA TV audiences are trending DOWN toward minuscule at the same time the average seat price is the highest in any Sport and average player salary is the highest in any pro sport.

That isn’t everyone’s idea of success not Joe Newman’s ( WHO ?? ) OKOK while David Stern fantasizes taking the NBA “success” and turning it into a worldwide juggernaut with “successful” NBA teams all over Europe in the next decade and then every corner of the Globe creating the GBA or if you prefer the Global Basketball Association controlling Basketball everywhere …..

Along comes Joe Newman and partners With a much different idea. To build a NEW American Basketball Association with pro teams in dozens maybe eventually a hundred smaller but still sizable communities around the United States that David Stern and the NBA wouldn’t and with their bloated franchises couldn’t give any attention but where there are real basketball fans who want to watch basketball at its best in their home towns and without going broke doing so.

Rather than us speaking for Joe Newman and the ABA here he is live in person …

Why did Dick Tinkham and you create the new ABA?
Dick and I felt that there was a need for top quality professional basketball at affordable prices. There were many great players and coaches available that did not have a place to play or coach.
How does the ABA differ from other pro basketball leagues ?
Two answers to that question. Off the court, the ABA is the most diversified professional sports league in history with about 70% of its owners being black, Hispanic, Asian and women. On the court, it is the highest scoring fasted paced basketball anywhere because of its unique rules that create a full court game emphasizing both offense and defense.
Why does the ABA have so many teams ?
One of the keys to a successful league at our level is keeping operating costs down. One of the largest costs is travel. By having many teams within 3-4 hours of one another, we can lower the cost of travel and improve chances to financial success. It also allows us to have “home grown” recognizable players and to create regional rivalries.
How big will the ABA grow ?
We believe that the ABA will ultimately have around 100 teams in the US, Canada and Mexico and more than that with our SE Asia, European and South America expansion plans. The ABA business model is second to none. When the ABA plan is followed, it can be a very exciting, fun and profitable experience.
What’s the best thing about the ABA ?
The way our team owners and their teams have become integral parts of their communities, working with Boys & Girls Clubs, YMCA’s, youth groups, schools, churches and not-for-profits. They are truly role models and their programs within their communities are inspirational.

And who exactly is Joe Newman we are about to tell you ….

Joe Newman is co-founder/CEO of the American Basketball Association (ABA). He was formerly CEO of Joe Newman Advertising, Inc., an Indianapolis-based advertising agency for 20 years and represented clients like Kentucky Fried Chicken, Arbys Roast Beef, Paramount Pictures, Ice Capades, Ringling Bros. Circus,
RCA, Whirlpool, Jiffy Lube and others.

He also owned The Remote Unit, Inc., an audio-video production company. For 10 years, he was the CEO of Alliance Broadcasting Group, Inc., a chain of 16 radio stations in Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Indiana and Michigan. He is the creator of the well known sales training course, PeopleFirst Selling ( and has received numerous civic and community awards from Indiana Black Expo, Junior Achievement, YMCA of Greater Indianapolis, Hispanic Chambers of Commerce, Indiana State Police and others. Joe and his wife Connie did several TV and radio shows for years including The House Detective, No Holds Barred, Dining Out with Connie and Joe, and The Sunday Morning Sales Meeting. They have six children, 11 grandchildren.

Now you know who Mr. Newman is and

as for the American Basketball Association

take an entertaining trip over to their Website Here is the Point of Wednesday’s Black Box. There is a world of Basketball out there not controlled either by the NBA or the NCAA. Basketball is the second most universal Sport after Soccer and interest in Basketball is growing worldwide. But that future whether in the USA or around the world may well NOT be defined by the NBA as much as they have convinced themselves it is. And for one very GOOD reason.

The NBA is a lumbering behemoth ever more expensive to operate and with average games that become less exciting to watch with each passing season witness the very low TV ratings the ultimate barometer of interest and …..

……. coupled with live seat prices that are astronomical while at the same time in half or more of the NBA cities the best reason to go to a game is to watch the visiting team if you are lucky enough to see one with a winning record if either team does cause chances are better than 50-50 your team doesn’t. Especially in the hapless Eastern Conference.

So there is no doubt Joe Newman and the American Basketball Association have a good idea and more than a good idea. A real pro league that is growing by leaps and bounds at the same time it experiences necessary growing pains and of course there are some franchises better financed and better run that others. That is inevitable. But it is instructive to remember what happened to the “original” ABA, first dismissed by the NBA. A group of those franchises are now part of the NBA.

While it is very unlikely the NEW ABA will be embraced by the NBA at lest not in the same way, the NEW ABA actually provides more of a “threat” to the NBA both due to the hidden but real National Basketball Association weaknesses but even more the changing character of Sports in the 21st century.

Most of all predicated on the ever growing capacity of the Internet THE GREAT EQUALIZER. The Internet takes away many of the formerly inherent advantages that big bulky organizations like the NBA always benefited from. When it comes to a team’s or a league’s all important on line Web identity – The Big Boys have no special advantage. It’s just a easy to find the ABA and its teams on the Internet worldwide.

But even far more …

BROADCASTING the key to success in Sports is being “revolutionized” on the Internet. It will soon be as economically viable for the ABA to broadcast select teams and games LIVE on the Internet even in HD just as well as the NBA can and by the way will also shift to the Internet model. And when you can just as easily watch an ABA game as an NBA game and as more and more star players find the ownership and the management of ABA teams more to their liking, and get some equity for themselves, and since many outstanding college and non-college players never get to play in the NBA well …..

Within 5 years and probably less many Basketball fans and many new Basketball fans drawn to the game on the Internet will choose to watch ABA games NOT NBA game because they will want to watch BETTER and yes more entertaining Basketball ABA Basketball Welcome to the Future Joe Newman’s and Basketball’s future

Joe Newman