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Brandon Roy, Rasheed Wallace To Participate in New Champions League in 2016

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The former Portland Trail Blazers All-Stars will join the forthcoming league, featuring recently-retired NBA stars and role players.

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Sam Amick at USA Today reports that a new non-NBA affiliated league will debut in the summer of 2016. The idea is to provide basketball entertainment during the NBA's downtime. Carl George, the new chairman and CEO of the league, will reportedly make a formal announcement today and it will look like this:

• Sixteen teams to begin competing in the summer of 2016, with a strong preference for players who have competed in the NBA during the last three years. According to George, the New York team is already fully formed and includes former NBA players Al Harrington, Rasheed Wallace and Maurice Ager. Teams in Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, Miami, Orlando, Atlanta and Cleveland are up next, with the goal to employ approximately 250 players in all (170 on teams, others as player-coaches or in other roles). Each team would have two former NBA All-stars on the roster and a Hall of Famer in the front office. George said that 60 players have committed to this point, with many more "in the pipeline" while the subsequent teams are rolled out.

Another former Trail Blazer gets a mention later in the story:

The first charity game, scheduled to be aired on ESPN's digital channel, ESPN3, will take place on Jan. 29 in Saint Louis University's Chaifetz Arena. Proceeds from the event will go to the Jimmy-Valvano-inspired "V Foundation" and the "Stuart Scott Memorial Cancer Research Fund" which is in honor of the ESPN broadcaster who died of cancer in early January. Among the expected participants in that game, according to George: Rip Hamilton, Brandon Roy, Josh Howard and Harrington.

Lest readers mix up Carl George with George Karl we have this:

"We are committed to being well capitalized, and all that precedes the play," said George, who describes his background as "building software companies" and whose bio cites 25 years of "business development history" that includes involvement with four businesses that were purchased by Fortune 100 companies. "You see a lot of people launch (these kinds of leagues), and then run out of (financial) runway. We said, ‘Let's build the runway, and let's make sure it's there — take a day and stop and look at it and smile about it — and then let's start landing planes on it.' That's the sequence."

There's plenty more to read at the above link and much of it is intriguing, including some of the financial backers.