NBA stars invited to join Mill Rats and Rainmen
Should NBA stars LeBron James or Dirk Nowitzki find themselves getting rusty during the league's lockout, they've been invited to lace up for the Halifax Rainmen or the Saint John Mill Rats.
Andre Levingston, president of the newly formed National Basketball League of Canada, on Tuesday invited NBA stars to join his league, should their season not start on time.
"What a great opportunity for NBA players," Levingston said in a media release. "NBL Canada can provide them with highly competitive play in professional arenas with great fan bases, while still being relatively close to home."
Levingston, who also owns the Halifax Rainmen, pointed out that two of the NBL's seven head coaches have NBA experience.
Mike Evans of the Rainmen was once head coach of the Denver Nuggets and was an assistant coach with the Toronto Raptors.
Mill Rats head coach Jaren Jackson won an NBA championship with the 1999 San Antonio Spurs.
"I am confident that NBL Canada can give NBA players an environment that will help keep their skills sharp and maintain their physical conditioning until the NBA resumes play," said Evans.
Levingston said three of the NBL Canada teams suited up former NBA players last season as part of the Premier Basketball League.
NBL Canada is set to tip off in November with a 36 game regular season schedule ending in March. Details have not yet been released.
The NBA locked out its players on July 1 when its collective bargaining agreement expired. Teams are prohibited from having any contact with players, including use of practice facilities.
No NBA players have yet responded to Levinston's offer.