Obviously this is tough for both Jordan..who had been playing out of his find the last few games for RGV. Also the Vipers will have to entrust Mo Carter with the offense for the time being.... did I mention the next four games are against Austin (1st SW Division) and Colorado (2nd SW Division) who the Vipers are a combined 0-4 against this year... YIKES.
Coach Moser has been workin the phones a lot so I expect some moves to be made...I don't know what he has planned, but all I can say is stay tuned.
A lot of people have been asking me about any new teams for next year in the D-League....I think there may be some interesting changes next year and they don't just include expansion cities, but perhaps some teams being re-located, sold, or folding. The state of our US economy has not been kind to minor-league sports and lets face it, there are some teams in this league that just don't work. There are some markets with little to no fan support, and others who do really well. Minor league teams will always last until the fans stop coming or the sponsorship pool runs dry.
This news broke about Colorado...I have to say it doesn't surprise me. Broomfield is way to close to Denver and if I have a choice of wether to go to a Nuggets game or a 14ers game... what do you think I am going to choose. The development around the arena is going to be awesome... but they almost built the event center too close to Denver and not around anything else. The fact is they should have built that arena closer to Boulder. It looks as if Rio Rancho, NM is having similar problems with their CHL team. Global keeps building these arenas where no one lives. Rio Rancho is too far outside Albuquerque for them to draw much from those bigger cities into the suburbs.
But, back to Colorado, I think the D-League has a few options... (also it depends on who is managing the building)
1. Sell the team to the Nuggets and have them operate it and keep it in Broomfield
It seems as if Kroenke sports group may be interested in managing the facility. If that happens I would also expect the Nuggets to buy the 14ers and keep them alive in Broomfield. The development will eventually happen around there and if it is a separate front office... (currently their front office works hockey, basketball, and events at the same time)
2. Sell the team to the Nuggets and move them to Loveland, CO
Loveland-Ft. Collins would be a nice little extension of the Nuggets much like Austin is for the San Antonio Spurs. It is far enough away that it is a separate market of fans who aren't likely to make the drive to Denver everyday. But its close enough that everyone in Loveland who is a basketball fan is a Nuggets fan. The CHL team at the BEC has sold out every game since they opened the building 6 years ago. The D-League would salivate at selling out half the games in the same period. The one problem is... the Eagles are king in that building. Battle for quality dates would be tough...but if the Nuggets own the team that may not be a problem and the Eagles sellout no matter what day of the week they play....Personally I love this scenario because Loveland-Ft. Collins are SPORTS FANATICS and I think the Nuggets would be looking great to their Ft.Collins fans if they put their owned and operated team in their backyard.
3. Fold the team.
This is the worst case scenario. I think the D-League likes being in Colorado...somewhere in Colorado. But if something can't be worked out, and if the Nuggets don't want to buy the team...then the team will go away. I expect the D-League and the NBA will do everything they can to keep the team somewhere in Colorado... but again you never know.
The team that will be coming in for sure is Portland, Maine and that is no secret. As for other teams joining. Halifax wants in BAD. But they are so remote, I doubt the other teams would want to add them into the fold. I wonder if you could take a boat to Halifax from Portland? I keep hearing a lot of the same cities we always here. Frisco, TX, Trenton, NJ. Springfield, MA, Hamliton, Ontario. But nothing is really concrete. Honestly people just aren't willing to buy teams right now. It is a HUUUGE investment. Unless NBA teams (who are trying to save money themselves right now) buy D-League teams... I expect expansion to slow down a little bit. But, I have been wrong before.
The D-League wants to be strong in the markets they are in, and they want to strengthen the relationship with their NBA affiliates. Expansion just for the sake of expanding would not be smart right now. One thing I would like to see the league do one the league is above 20 teams. Have two conferences with two divisions each. Either East and West or North and South conferences. Stay with the 50 game schedule. Have two showcases and play only within your conference to cut down on crazy travel. Triple-A baseball has two different leagues who don't play each other... the D-league should look at it like that. This is no longer a bus league and you can save a lot of franchises from going under if you help cut down their travel.
That's all for now.. I'll have another post from the arena tonight.