So I waited until one day I got a call from an 818 area code and had a very polished gentleman who identified himself as Cerruti Brown on the other end. I had asked some other people questions about Mr. Brown prior to this call and no one knew anything of substance. It seemed to be by design, which raised some questions… But I was open to hearing the story. We had a very nice and pleasant conversation and I agreed with many of the points Mr. Brown was raising in reference to creating an alternative and offering a better paying option than the D-League or overseas for American players who were not in the NBA. If the most important question involved – financing – was in place, clearly the concept was a home run. After we had established the genius behind the concept, it was my turn to ask questions that I knew would tell me everything I needed to know.
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What have you done to secure signage, balls and uniforms? How are you going to make this look like a professionally-run league as opposed to a bunch of recognizable players playing pickup basketball? The answer I received to this question let me know right away that the AmeriLeague would unfortunately never exist in real life. “We haven’t thought a lot about that yet, but I am sure we will figure something out. We haven’t ordered uniforms or signage yet but that should be the easiest part.”
One player agent told Sporting News that he didn’t like the feeling he got from the league and Alexander. He requested anonymity to protect his clients’ future opportunities. “We can advise our guys but we can’t force them to do anything,” the agent said. “I advised my clients highly, highly, highly against it from Day 1. I knew something was fishy. But when you’re dealing with a guy who is a former NBA player and is getting $3,000 a month offers overseas, our No. 1 plan was the D-League. But this Vegas league approached us about $200,000 for a few months, and my response was, ‘This is not good.’ ”
Others told similar stories. Ethan Norof was an NBA editor at Bleacher Report when AmeriLeague piqued his interest, and he became the league’s first commissioner before quickly becoming one of its first resignations. Alexander Chea wanted to build out his portfolio as a Web designer, so he signed on to build AmeriLeague’s website shell for free — only to have Alexander offer a job if he did more work on it.
Heck, AmeriLeague still exists. And the league’s third commissioner, Marcus Bass, initially hired for marketing, said Alexander’s identity being revealed isn’t a problem for the league itself. “The brand is as strong as ever,” Bass told D-League Digest, the blog that has been at the forefront of much of the coverage. “Cerruti Brown is a scam. AmeriLeague is not a scam.” So yes, you could see games being played one day in the AmeriLeague — though no one interviewed would bet on Bass’ optimism. And yes, this good idea could be revived in another format, another year, with new leadership.
The founder of the fledgling pro basketball league AmeriLeague, identified publicly for months as “Cerruti Brown,” told the league’s operations manager Wednesday night that the persona is fictitious and he actually is a former basketball standout who has numerous criminal convictions for fraud, Outside the Lines has learned. “I talked to him, asked him, and he admitted he was [former McDonald’s All-American] Glendon Alexander,” Marcus Bass, AmeriLeague’s operations manager, told Outside the Lines. “He told me he was stepping away and to tell the staff that there’ll be new ownership. I was in shock. I’m just hoping that all the people who have worked on this project can land on their feet.”
Late Wednesday night, hours after Outside the Lines began questioning current and former league officials, the AmeriLeague website prominently displayed: “Cerruti Brown is Glendon Alexander. YEAH you should google GLENDON ALEXANDER, he is a con artist.” It was later removed from the site.
Little else is known about Brown. In an attempt to obtain more info about him, D-League Digest performed a Spokeo search on a phone number reportedly belonging to Brown, only to find out its registered to “LV Dealers” and nothing more. D-League Digest attempted to contact Brown via the phone number provided but there was no answer. D-League Digest was scheduled to interview Amerileague President Jonathan Jordan for this article. Upon clarifying a scheduled time, his email account responded with the following: I have resigned from my position with AmeriLeague. Please refer all inquiries to email@example.com.
Several agents who spoke to D-League Digest said they are highly skeptical of this league moving forward with such little information on Brown or the financial backing. “There’s not a chance I’d let any of my clients sign with that league, it’s too good to be true,” according to one agent. “(Amerileague) needs to build up its own credibility before we put our own on the line,” a second agent representative said.
Adam Johnson: According to one source, Amerileague CEO Cerruti Brown last spoke to one head coach over 2 weeks ago. No contact since.
The AmeriLeague and Henry Walker, have agreed to the terms of a contract that will allow the 6’6 small forward to compete in the 2015-16 season. Per league policy, terms of the contracts were not released.
Jeff Zillgitt: Royce White, the 16th pick by the Rockets in 2012 draft, is the latest player to agree to a contract with the AmeriLeague, based in Vegas.
Sam Amico: Ex-NBA big man Melvin Ely named assistant coach in new AmeriLeague, per source. Ely on Martin Knezevic’s staff (Las Vegas High Rollers).
Alex Kennedy: Henry Walker – who spent last year with the Miami Heat – is the latest player to sign in the AmeriLeague, according to league announcement.
Alex Kennedy: Former NBA player Josh Selby has signed a contract to play in the AmeriLeague, according to sources. http://t.co/KamCJjjXdk
Alex Kennedy: Myck Kabongo is the latest player to join the semi-pro AmeriLeague, according to a league announcement.
The AmeriLeague, a potential competitor for the NBA Developmental League, has named former Hawks center and longtime assistant coach Tree Rollins as a coach of one of its six franchises. The league also has added former NBA players Terrence Williams, Antoine Wright, and David Harrison to its rosters. The league will begin play on Nov. 9 at the Cashman Center in Las Vega
Alex Kennedy: Recap: AmeriLeague says they signed Terrence Williams, Dajuan Wagner, Antoine Wright, recruit Ted Kapita. Tree Rollins hired as first coach. Oh, and I left one former NBA player off of the list of players the AmeriLeague announced: former Indiana Pacers big man David Harrison.
The AmeriLeague have acquired forwards Terrence Williams and Antoine Wright. Both have agreed to the terms of a contract that will allow the former 11th (Williams) and 15th (Wright) overall NBA draft picks to compete in the 2015-16 AmeriLeague season.
Adam Zagoria: The @AmeriLeague will add 8-10 former NBA players in coming days, source tells @SNYtv
Adam Zagoria: Speaking of the semi-pro @theAmeriLeague, they are also in talks with Nolan Smith, Negus Webster-Chan and Nick Williams.
Former first-round pick David Harrison has verbally agreed to a deal with the semipro Las Vegas Dealers, who are also in significant discussions with ex-NBA player Royce White. The Dealers are part of the startup Amerileague, which intends to target top high school talent and well-known former NBA players.
Harrison has a contract offer for $200,000, according to his agent Zach Charles. White also has a deal on the table worth a guaranteed $200,000, league commissioner Ethan Norof confirmed to ESPN on Thursday night. “We’re excited to have David join the Amerileague and look forward to adding additional NBA talent in the near future,” Norof said. “We also plan to stay aggressive in our pursuit of the top high school prospects.”
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September 27, 2022 | 2:51 pm EDT Update
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