I don't understand the criticism towards LK.
Just prior to LK - we had a league with no sponsors, no TV, 3 viable teams with Money (one being LK's Melb Utd). NBL had run out of white knights, consortiums, Associations able to or willing to assist.
The talent well was dropping in favour of foreign leagues, or the AFL. There was no marketing, no business nouse, nobody with any credibility willing to talk to the league.
The league imploding and magically coming up with a sustainable league - who funds that? You've got a choice of nobody and nada. Who organises it?
Where does revenue come from? What TV network pays for that disaster?
Fast forward, and we've got all games on FOX, 2 games per week (roughly between 25-30% of games) on FTA. We've got naming rights sponsor, numerous other major sponsors.
The quality of the league has improved considerably talent wise - we're stealing back players from foreign leagues.
I've been banging on about how there's no point in an entertainment product where the entertaining part is competitiveness, to have a situation of 'haves' and 'have nots' where a team just buys their way to the finals each year, where the season becomes a foregone conclusion.
IMO, the sheer and obvious corruption of early 000's til only a few years ago is no longer so prevalent or at least visible. The 'haves' and 'have nots' still exist to an extent: with that said it has become very clear the 'have nots' like 36ers, Bullets, Hawks have received a fair bit of assistance from LK.
The NBL is on a very positive trajectory, what I think will define its success and sustainability will be the types like Adelaide, Brisbane finding a way to replicate the type of club management competence of Perth Wildcats.
That will assist in leading onto the second part, avoiding the 'haves' getting away from the 'have nots'. The equalisation type strategy is a good starting base, especially if that money isn't tied to particular uses.
For instance, if a club like the Hawks in previous years who were talented on a budget can use the money better for marketing to bring in fans, that may be a better strategic use of the money.
With the glut of sports, and the type of capital behind Cricket and Soccer these days, if the LK can reduce it's production losses, they don't need to "make" money from media rights to succeed, especially if enough sponsors come on board and value that media exposure.