Well, for starters, both have a rebel streak in them.
Davis served in numerous leadership capacities, including as commissioner of the upstart AFL. He played a huge role in the merger, forcing it to happen you could suggest.
There's no merger yet in Japanese basketball, but Toshimitsu Kawachi has changed the course of history for Japanese basketball during his tenure as commissioner of the upstart bj-league, now with 19 teams to the old-guard JBL's eight.
If Kawachi and his inner circle are able to convince -- or raid -- the JBL teams of their top Japanese talent, the bj-league could become more relevant. It might be the best move they could make, in fact.
If Yuta Tabuse had signed with the Tokyo Apache or another bj-league club in 2008 instead of not rocking the boat and signing with the Link Tochigi Brex, Kawachi's Davis-esque image would've grown.
Indeed, Al Davis' passing at age 82 on Saturday reminds us of his long-established method of doing things his own way. He was an icon in American football. but was never afraid to take risks.
Kawachi, former Japan national team coach, TV commentator and Niigata Albirex GM, knows a things or two about breaking away from the status quo. The six-team bj-league circa 2005-06 is now an entirely different entity. It matters more and more each year. Just ask fans of all the new teams that have entered the league since then, or the journalists who cover the sport, or the sponsors who have attached their identities in various ways to all these teams.
I think it's time for him to play hard ball with the Japan Basketball Association and JBL and fight harder for real recognition, a common draft between the leagues, competitions, more air time on TV, etc. Using those tactics as his M.O., Al Davis would've approved -- of that, I'm certain.