The Basketball Tournament is a 32-team five-on-five single-elimination tournament with a $500,000 winner-take-all prize. Perhaps you read about this brilliant idea several months ago on Grantland when the teams were still being formulated. Anyone who was a legal U.S. resident, 18 years or older who was willing to forego his or her amateur status, was eligible to play. Contractual rules prohibited current NBA players from entering the tournament. Teams can have anywhere from seven to ten players and must also have a "general manager" who selects players, manages the team and recruits "fans." Those fans are eligible to win prizes that include a $25,000 cash prize, a trip for 10 to Las Vegas, and a trip for two to The Basketball Tournament championship.
The 32-team tournament consists of the 24 teams with the most "fans" as well as the additional eight teams which the tournament committee selected, provided they had at least 100 fans. This helped ensure that the committee would have at least some say in who was in the tournament. The four teams with the most fans will be allowed to pick their first round opponent. The Basketball Tournament begins on June 6th at Philadelphia University and the championship game will be held on June 28th at a location to be determined by social media voting. You can find a list of all 32 teams here, but I'll break down some of the most intriguing teams below.
Big Apple Basketball
Big Apple Basketball is a team that features Wake Forest's own Justin Gray, who is a former teammate of Chris Paul. This team has the potential to be up-tempo and we're still waiting to see if Kobe Bryant shows up to cheer on Smush Parker.
- Justin Gray (Wake Forest/Europe)
- Rashad McCants (UNC/NBA)
- Russell Robinson (Kansas/NBDL)
- Darius Washington Jr. (Memphis/NBA)
- Smush Parker (Fordham/NBA)
- Ryan Whittman (Cornell/NBDL)
- Jeff Foote (Cornell/NBA)
- Louis Dale (Cornell/Euro)
- Jon Jaques (Cornell)
- Scottie Reynolds (Villanova/Euro)
- Dante Cunningham (Villanova/NBA)
- Dwayne Anderson (Villanova/Euro)
- Corey Fisher (Villanova/Euro)
- Reggie Redding (Villanova/Euro)
- Hakim Warrick (Syracuse/NBA)
- Marshall Henderson (Ole Miss)
- Reggie Williams (VMI/NBA)