The NBA labor dispute is threatening to cancel pro basketball for this season. Basketball lovers like Grantland chief Bill Simmons aren't taking the threat of no basketball well. In his latest story on the site, Simmons talks up Kansas City as a great city for a renegade basketball league. This is all dreaming, but Simmons says some nice things about the Sprint Center (and some not-so-nice things about the Chiefs and Royals):
"And Kansas City is a no-brainer as the fifth team: It has a state-of-the-art NBA arena, and it's also on suicide watch right now with the Chiefs and Royals. Nobody needs this league more than Kansas City. You're right, Seattle needs it more. My bad."
Simmons' e-mail exchange partner, Jay Caspian Kang, agreed:
"Kansas City does have that arena and might draw some of the Jayhawk crowd, especially if you stocked the team with KU alums. I'm in on that."
We can dream, right? They even named Kansas City's franchise, the Klondike Bars. Eh, sure. Here's your starting lineup: Derrick Rose, Amar'e Stoudemire, Al Horford, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen. Sweet.
"Our most complete team from a position-by-position standpoint," Simmons wrote. "Couldn't you see Pierce thriving for the Klondike Bars with all the Jayhawks fans screaming for him? And Kang, can you believe how seamlessly I'm working Grantland's sponsors into this column? This doesn't feel forced at all!"
Oh, and Simmons picks KC to make the finals. But it ends in true, heartbreaking Kansas City fashion.
"My finals pick: Hartford over Kansas City in the finals. That's right, Hartford and Kansas City … bathe in those big-market ratings, Kang!"