The Crew League: Waste or Worth? By JP Terrell



One of the hottest business endeavors of the past few years for sports-minded investors has been off-season “professional” sports leagues. Some of the most famous examples are the XFL, which is primed to make a third comeback in 2023, and the Big 3, Ice Cube’s 3-on-3 basketball league. The reasoning for success is sound (people still want to watch football in the spring), but finding a balance between the actual gameplay and the gimmicks that attract viewership is tough. One of the newest attempts at a league of this sort is The Crew League, a 5-on-5 basketball tournament where famous hip-hop artists such as Tyga, Chris Brown, G-Eazy, and others form teams, while also gracing the court themselves. After checking out a few of the games, I was pleasantly surprised at the basketball skill, as many former NBA players including Nick Young and Cleanthony Early found their way into the league this season. Nearly every player has an elevated level of talent, but watching NBA experienced athletes go against lesser players will always be entertaining (shoutout the Olympics). Also, the court is barely large enough to fit two high-school distance three-point lines, so seeing players pull-up from legitimately full-court is not unheard of, adding another unique element to the league. 

Gimmick-wise, the entire premise for the league is just asking to not be taken seriously. Does anyone really care if King Combs’s team can win a glorified pick-up game against Rowdy Rebel and a bunch of his friends? Not likely. However, the trash-talk that can be heard on every microphone in the building is incredibly entertaining, and the production value of the pre-game interviews is better than most actual NBA interviews, which says more about television broadcasting than The Crew League. And, if absolutely nothing else trips your trigger about the Crew League, Druski and Jack Harlow are the analysts in the booth, which is more than enough to make anything watchable. There are plenty worse ways to spend 20 minutes than throwing on any of the match-ups from The Crew League, and as the NBA playoffs come to a close there will be a massive hole in the basketball-watching market until the Olympics tip-off in Tokyo. So, as goofy as it may sound, The Crew League is worth the time. 

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