The NBA is the most popular basketball league on the planet, but it’s not the only league out there. Many semi-pro leagues exist in America, such as the famous Drew League. Overseas also has many basketball leagues.
In the past, the world has seen the ABA rival the NBA, and today we have Ice Cube’s BIG3 basketball league. All of these basketball leagues are great in their own way, but none of them can compete with the uniqueness of the SlamBall league.
A TV screenwriter imagines a new basketball game
It was 1999, and a former TV writer for the shows Kenan & Kyle and Cousin Skeeter had a sporty new idea. This writer’s name is Mason Gordon, and his idea was to play basketball on trampolines.
Sounds crazy, right? Well, Gordon introduced his new sport to his boss, film and television producer, Mike Tollin.
“One day he came into my office with a briefcase and said, ‘Dude, look at this,'” Tollin said of Gordon’s idea. “I politely patted him on the shoulder and said, ‘Thank you, I’m going to do a movie. I’ll see you in six months. And lo and behold, when I came back from filming he was still sitting on the couch, still showing his briefcase, still insisting it was the next big thing. And, I finally paid attention long enough to realize he was onto something.
Not only did Tollin love the idea, he decided to fund it. Soon, a new basketball league will be born.
SlamBall: Trampoline Basketball
How did you come up with the idea of playing basketball by bouncing on trampolines? As you might think, this idea sounds far-fetched, and it was. So how did Mason Gordon come up with the idea for the SlamBall?
“SlamBall really started with this idea of making a sport that felt like an actual human video game,” Gordon explained.
Gordon needed to test his new idea, so he needed to find players. He researched local streetballers in the Los Angeles area.
The first five players recruited were Sean Jackson, Jeff Sheridan, James Willis, David Redmond and Michael Goldman. With Gordon, two teams were created: The Chicago Mob and Los Angeles Rumble.
The games played were successful, and this success led to the league entering into a television deal with The National Network (which would become Spike TV).