If any of ya'll know me you would know that one of the pieces of news I find most intriguing when it comes to minor league sports is expansion, team movement, and team foldings. I have been in professional sports for six years now. I have worked for two teams that have folded (In Harlingen and in Edinburg), a baseball league that has folded. I have seen a new league formed in the old league's place. I have seen countless teams relocate, added, and fold in the Central Hockey League, Arena Football 2, all over indy baseball and even in the D-League and CBA. It evens happens in the NBA Heck in the last decade this team has played in three different cities and frankly judging by these numbers, they could stand to move again.
Memphis used to be in Vancouver, Charlotte was added after these guys moved, The Nets are supposed to move here. The Sonics are set to move here. So even in the NBA these type of things happen. Heck even this year in the CBA we have seen one team cease operations, and another cancel their remaining home games, when did the CBA become the ABA?
But I digress. The D-League is growing and will continue to grow and will never die at least not on David Stern's watch. The D-League is his baby and his way to pull a fast one on this idiot coach of the New York Team. Remember Isiah Thomas owned the CBA ran it into the ground and tried to sell it to the NBA??? The David Stern said.. yeah um no... let me start my own league.
We have already hear the announcement of one team for next season. Reno, Nevada. Which technically isn't really an expansion team, it is basically a re-location of the dormant Ft. Worth franchise, but its a new town. Reno is a rapidly growing city, they will be getting a Triple-A baseball team down the road and frankly indoor sports make much more sense in Reno than baseball. Just my opinion. I love baseball, but Nevada is a desert. I am not going to watch a game in the desert. Sorry not happening.
There will be a second new team. Yes Two New NBA D-League Teams...AH AH AH AH although there is talk the league will still have 14 teams next year. Does that mean the end for Bakersfield or Anaheim who frankly have more people on staff than in the stands? But if the league is at 16 next year, the D-League will be officially past the halfway point of a one-to-one affiliation. Which is the D-League's eventual goal. Also expect the 09-10 season be another 4 team boom. There are plenty of markets interested and a lot more NBA teams interested in a set-up like Los Angeles and San Antonio have with their D-League teams. Don't be surprised to see Toronto, Cleveland, and Dallas get involved sometime soon.
There are many rumors as to who the other expansion team is for next year. Portand, ME? Frisco, TX? Youngstown, OH? Harlem, NY? Trenton, NJ? Manchester, NH? Buffalo, NY? Hamilton, ONT? Or maybe some old CBA towns like this one or this one?
I have a hunch that this town in Pennsylvania will be the lucky winners this year. However don't expect the rumored Cleveland affiliation to last for more than one season, if the Cavs succeed in taking over this building.
Coach Hoffman and I discussed expansion on last week's coaches show.
WARNING!! SHAMELESS PLUG: Vipers Coaches Show Friday's at 5:00 pm on ESPN RADIO 1240AM
It is always exciting to see the new towns join the league. It will add some variety to the league and maybe ease on the travel. I can see a scenario in which the League changes the Divisions around a bit and perhaps have a Northen and Southern Conference. 16 teams might also see a playoff expansion. Obviously if the league also ever went to a one-to-one affiliation the Rockets would be our team. It would be nice to see more people embrace the Rockets down here. I know, I know this is Spurs country. But, you can't tell me you didn't root for the Rockets during their title years. In fact a lot of Spurs fans were freakin Bulls fans in the 90's anyway. But logistically the Rockets would be our team farm system wise. The Spurs have Austin. The Mavs will likely place a team somewhere, probably in Frisco. The Rockets have the Valley. To me that is just perfect.