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.
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.”
04 Nov 15
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.