Don “Moose” Lewis’ attempt to start a white Americans-only professional basketball league has certainly received plenty of attention over the past week. Apparently, he wants more.
He told me Friday afternoon that he now wants to add an all-star game to the 2010 All-American Basketball Alliance schedule. He wants the best players from his all-white league to play the top stars from some other league - preferably, he said, an all-black league.
“We could call it Snow Ball vs. Bro Ball,” Lewis said. “It lightens everything up when you give it a name like that.”
If attention is what he wants, he’s gotten it. Since it first broke Monday afternoon on AugustaChronicle.com, the story has tallied more than 150,000 page views. Much of that traffic came from links posted on various Internet blogs on sites such as USA Today, Sports Illustrated, Deadspin and HuffingtonPost.com.
And it’s not just a story to be read. Thanks to the Internet, it’s also a story to chime in on. Combine Monday’s breaking news story, Tuesday’s online story and Scott Michaux’s column, and Augusta Chronicle readers have posted almost 500 comments on this one topic.
Whether you’re for it, against it or take a hands-off approach, it seems everyone has an opinion. My regular work has been interrupted this week with calls and e-mails from readers and fellow members of the media. I’ve fielded comments from Seattle to South America. It’s nothing compared to what Lewis himself has received. He said he even got a call about a possible reality TV show centering around the league.
“I’m astounded. I never in my wildest dreams anticipated the wildfire of interest,” he said Friday afternoon.
Really? Come on. You didn’t see this coming?
I’ve given this guy way too much attention already to continue on about his league (which is why this story is in my blog and not in print). But I will keep readers up to date on any plans he has for Augusta. Lewis, who voiced displeasure that Augusta Mayor Deke Copenhaver wouldn’t support his league, said he still intends to put a team here. He doesn’t yet have a coach or a venue, but the season isn’t scheduled to start until June.
I asked him how he could possibly still consider Augusta as a potential home. He pointed to a WJBF viewer poll online that, on Friday at 4:30 p.m., showed 60 percent (or 608 voters) thought the team is a good idea for Augusta and 40 percent (408 votes) didn’t think it was a good idea.
“See, people are smarter than you give them credit for,” Lewis said.
Credit is something many minor league teams around here seem to need a lot of lately. Smarts seems to be something they don’t have at all.