Our Long National Nightmare Is Over, SlamBall Is Coming Back

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SlamBall Is Returning Our National Nightmare Is Over

Our Long National Nightmare Is Over, SlamBall Is Coming Back


Geriatric millennial nostalgia is all the rage in pop culture these days. One such staple is returning this summer – SlamBall is making a comeback according to Front Office Sports. 

Last year, SlamBall founder Mason Gordon announced the sport was returning. Today’s announcement is the first time any kind of dates have been put behind it. If the above video wasn’t self-explanatory, SlamBall is a full-contact version of basketball played with trampolines surrounding the court. 

Gordon was working as a television writer in the late 90s when he had an idea for a new sport. He approached his boss who thought he actually had something here and SlamBall was born. Gordon recruited street basketball players to test out the new sport in 2001 and the following year it made its television debut on SpikeTV.

Then-76ers owner Pat Croce signed on as a partner and former NBA player Reggie Theus signed on as a commentator to bring some legitimacy to the new sport. The league was also able to sign up some notable coaches. The Rumble, who won back-to-back titles in 2002-03, were coached by Ken Carter, the inspiration for the movie Coach Carter. Kobe’s dad Joe “Jellybean” Bryant and former All-American and NBA All-Star Xavier McDaniel coached during season two.

SlamBall Was a Hit…and Then It Was Gone

Slamball was a surprising hit. Its second-season premiere in 2003 had over 600,000 viewers and almost had as many viewers as a Major League Baseball game on Fox that same afternoon. However, like a supernova, SlamBall burned brightly but also flamed out quickly.

SlamBall went away not because of declining interest, but because of internal drama. Gordon had a major disagreement with one of the production companies involved in the show. The sport was dissolved after the second season in 2003. It returned for two seasons in 2007 and 2008 with more celebrity coaches but wasn’t able to gain traction.

Fortunately, with elder millennials now part of the primary income earning bracket, reboots that appeal to their sensibilities are en vogue. So one of the weirder and very dated examples of early 2000s pop culture is returning. If SlamBall provides us with a bunch of viral moments of guys bouncing off trampolines and dunking on a dude’s head, who are we to complain?

Author: Dan Weiner

Hailing from Atlanta and attending college at the University of Texas, Dan is passionate about sports, particularly college football and soccer. He's a diehard Atlanta pro sports and Texas Longhorns fan. He likes every sport and will watch anything and everything the weirder the better. He joined Betsperts after an 11 year career in television production at ESPN.