Retired NBA player Kendrick Perkins expressed his displeasure with Irving and later apologized.
Legendary Detroit Pistons big man Ben Wallace, though, is in support of Irving’s idea.
Appearing on a recent episode of Fox Sports Radio’s Listen In With KNN, Wallace was candid, telling host Kelsey Nicole Nelson:
Yeah, you got a lot of guys talking starting another league or a different league or whatever. I think that just come from, you know, looking at to get educated on the business side of the games and realizing that what type of power that they have, you know, their, how marketable they are. And when you look at it at the end of the day, though, you know, the players are the ones on the court, you know, the players are the ones that [are] putting their body on the line and sacrificing, sacrificing their bodies, sacrificing their family time, and going out there and playing the game and putting on a good show that’s entertaining for everybody to watch.
Ben Wallace: ‘Without the Player, There is No League’
Wallace won an NBA championship with the Pistons in 2004. The four-time NBA All-Star and four-time NBA Defensive Player of The Year thinks that modern NBA players have gotten smarter and have a sense of ownership.
“When guys start making a proposal of starting their own league, it’s something that everybody should take serious and should pay attention to,” he told Nelson. “Because without the player, there is no league, without the players there is no basketball, no baseball, no football no soccer. The players are the driving force behind all these things and with the players out there playing and being productive on the floor, a lot of people, who’s invested in these teams, they get to see a great return on [their] investment.”
NBA Restart Will Begin July 30
Irving’s idea for a new league came to light with the NBA’s restart plan, which was finalized in June. Beginning on July 30 at Disney World in Orlando, 22 teams will compete to fill the league’s 16 playoff spots in both the NBA’s Eastern and Western conferences, with the NBA Finals slated to start on September 30 and finish no later than October 13.
Wallace said that players like Irving have more interest in the business side of basketball.
“I just think that the players take it upon themselves to say, ‘Hey, we want to be a bigger part, we want to play. We want to be in our major players in this in this game, not just as, as a player, but also as a businessman, you know,’” Wallace said. “So, so it’s strictly about business right now and if they serious about it, then they need to, you know, put forth some action, and try to get it done.”