Dear Rich: I came across this post in doing some research for a book I’m about to write.
I’m looking at writing a satirical sports novel with references to real life people but with names changed of course.
As far as professional teams go, am I allowed to use the names of real NBA, MLB, etc. teams in a fiction book or do I need to rename them altogether along with creating a fictional professional sports league, too? Yes, you can write about real teams and leagues in a fictional work. That's because the law permits editorial or informational uses of trademarks. This article explains the basic principles. As we've advised previously, you want to avoid use of those trademarks in the title, cover or any other aspect of the book that advertises the book. As far as satirizing real baseball players and changing their names, you may want to look at another post.