By Ed Odeven
Summer of 2010
Every other e-mail or conversation regarding the bj-league includes at least a few words about the league’s financial woes.
And yet there’s a mad rush to keep expanding — three new teams for the 2010-11 season and more on the way the year after that.
Sure, the league needs the infusion of cash that new teams bring, but is the current business model really sustainable?
It appears 11 of the 16 teams will have new head coaches in 2010-11. Yes, sometimes change is good, but wholesale changes reflect badly on the league.
The circuit’s basic structure screams for some semblance of stability. Commissioner Toshimitsu Kawachi and others in charge have not provided it.
And it starts with player development, and not enough of that is taking place in college.
By expanding so often and so quickly, the talent level, especially among the league’s Japanese players, is getting watered down.
As one coach said in a recent interview, “The players at the tryout camp were by far the lowest level in the three years I’ve been going, maybe the worst ever.”
In other words, the league is expanding too quickly.
And its long-term survival is becoming doubtful at this point.