This is specifically inspired by soccer, and would involve NBA players but not NBA teams. What’s the most passionate form of soccer? That’s easy. It’s the World Cup. National teams are so ingrained with pride that the Italian team belts out the anthem with tears streaming down their cheeks before friendlies and Euros alike.
However, the USA vs. the world format has been done before, and nobody cares. What I’m proposing is state versus state, individual European countries, or even just regions. You’re telling me a team full of New Yorkers playing all Chicagoans wouldn’t prompt a million arguments on Twitter? There could be an Eastern European squad featuring Luka Dončić and Nikola Jokic (both pictured).
The Pacific Northwest team would be incredible. So would the South squad, with Ja Morant and Zion Williamson both hailing from South Carolina. It’d take some tweaking, but fans love to rep hometown guys and show pride in their city or part of the world.