The response from a lot of you might be is Who is Steve Rifkind, what is the ABL and do we need another D-League?
Short answers. Steve Rifkind is the founder of Loud Records, the label that helped kickstart the careers of the Wu-Tang Clan, Mobb Deep, Big Punisher, Three Six Mafia and a lot of other talented rappers. The ABL is the Amercian Basketball league that will start it’s season in January 2013 and the D-League is the “NBA Minor League” that up to now was the only league Americans could play in and stay in the United States while having a decent shot at making the NBA.
With Steve Rifkind partnering with the ABL, he hopes to help a lot of talented ballers make it to the big stage the same way he did in the 90s with a lot of talented but overlooked future rap stars. Remember the Wu-Tang Clan was made up of a bunch of unknown rappers lead by two (GZA and RZA) that had failed solo albums. Mobb Deep’s first album on another label did nothing. Their debut albums under Rifkind belong in the hip hop hall of fame. Big Pun’s first album became the first album by a solo Latino rapper to go platinum.
Rifkind understands spotting and growing talent as well as from the ground up businesses and that’s why he’s a perfect fit for the American Basketball League.
What excited me about the new league the most, besides the fact that it’s in the United States, is that the pay is competitive with the D-League (up to $3k a month). If there’s one thing we see a lot of is shady promoters and wannabe agents ripping off professional but non NBA players that are trying to get exposure and make enough money to get by. Having another competitive league that will offer these talents a place to show off their skills and pay the bills is a great thing.
Most of the teams are based in South Florida and Texas which means Ballislife might be covering a lot of the Texas events.