PBA Introducing New Team Format With Celeb Owners Including Chris Paul, Jerome Bettis
Clippers G Chris Paul, former NFLers Jerome Bettis and Terrell Owens and comedian Kevin Hart will "be among eight celebrity owners in the PBA's new team league for the game's top pros," according to Gary Mihoces of USA TODAY. The eight teams in the league "will consist of five players each" and a draft "will be held Friday." The nickname for Paul's L.A.-based franchise "hasn't been revealed" yet, but Bettis will be "affiliated with the Motor City Muscle of Detroit, Owens with the Dallas Strikers and Hart with the Philadelphia Hitmen." Though Bettis' team is based in his hometown of Detroit, its members "will wear black and gold, a nod to his Pittsburgh Steelers days." The other four owners have yet to be announced. PBA CEO Geoff Reiss said the new team format "has the potential to be a real leap forward for the PBA." Reiss added that the eight initial owners "won't be required to pay franchise fees," though subsequent owners will. He said that the owners will "get a share of any advertising revenue." Mihoces notes the PBA "eventually hopes to have 20 teams." League play will begin January at a series of PBA events, where team members "will begin racking up team points." They will "determine seeding for a series of five team vs. team rounds that will air on ESPN beginning Jan. 27." The top four teams will play in the championship in late March. Players "will get salaries, ranging from $10,000 for a franchise player to $2,000 for a fifth-round pick" (USA TODAY, 11/7).