The basketball version of the XFL is making a comeback, and we have a Boston Celtics veteran to thank for it.
SlamBall, the basketball league that rode a short wave of fame in the early 2000’s, is making a comeback in 2023, according to Doug Greenberg of Front Office Sports. The league’s relaunch is charged by a star-studded lineup of investors, who are combining to bring back the lovechild of basketball, football and trampolines.
The Series A funding round, which raised more than $11 million, was led by Roger Ehrenberg, a stakeholder in the Miami Marlins. Joining him are Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin, social media influencer founder Gary Vaynerchuk, Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils co-owner David Adelman and — get this — Celtics veteran and all-time dunker Blake Griffin.
The sport/league is set to return as a six-week series, plus a seventh week for playoffs in July. It will be played in Las Vegas, with games lasting roughly 20 minutes.
Griffin’s link to SlamBall is simple. Other than the fact that he’s a millionaire looking to invest, the six-time NBA All-Star is known as one of the greatest dunkers of all time, despite his new title as “glue guy.”
The league does not yet have a distributor, but according to NBC, is looking to have games aired on a traditional TV network, a streaming service and a social media platform. The XFL and USFL have each had success finding networks to take on relaunched leagues, with ESPN taking on the XFL and FOX broadcasting the UDFL.