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Louisville is totally serious about getting an NBA team

Sep 16, 2012, 3:00 PM EDT


Louisville’s basketball crazy, and they want more of it. The Louisville Courier-Journal reports that a group of business owners met with the mayor and other government officials recently to talk about the possibility of the city bringing in an NBA team. And they sound pretty psyched about the idea. From the Courier-Journal:

A group of community leaders convened by restaurant franchisee and former professional basketball player Ulysses “Junior” Bridgeman met with Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer on Friday to discuss the possibility of a National Basketball Association team coming to Louisville, Fischer’s office said.

In a statement, Fischer said the meeting gauged the “level of interest” and the “conditions necessary to attract a team.”

“There was a lot of excitement in the room about what an NBA team could mean for Louisville’s global recognition and as a job attractor and economic engine. There are many elements involved in a journey such as this,” the mayor said. “This must be a win for the University of Louisville, as well as other stakeholders. I’m excited to be part of the dialogue and I continue to believe we should be ready if an opportunity presents itself.”

via Mayor, community leaders discuss NBA possibilities for Louisville | The Courier-Journal |

Here’s the deal. I think it’s awesome that Louisville wants a team. I’m not being patronizing there. I genuinely think it’s great to see a community actively excited about bringing the prospect in, especially when so many current locations have such a lackluster response to their own teams. Louisville knows basketball, it would have a great, excited fanbase, no doubt, and it would allow the NBA to make strides in an area that  has been absolute death for them over the years, the Southeast (outside of Florida… /awkward glance towards empty Hawks games).

But this won’t happen.

I love the idea of expansion teams. New talent, more teams, more exciting basketball, more rosters to consider. And I’m of the opinion that if the NBA did a better job with its development, they could support more teams. But they don’t, and the overriding sentiment towards people on the East Coast (or as I like to call them “apparently the only people who matter”) is that the league is watered down and we need fewer teams, not more. So expansion’s out.

And if expansion’s out, Lousiville goes on a list that includes Seattle first and foremost, Kansas City, San Jose, Anaheim, Vancouver, another Chicago franchise, and a few other places. They probably land somewhere between the California markets and right around, if not above, Kansas City. The big problem? Their arena. The city wants to use the KFC Yum! Center (which I will never, ever call it if they do get a team) which is owned by the University. They want the pro franchise to use the college kids’ court. This is not going to fly with a modern NBA owner who will want their own arena, subsidized by the taxpayers (because that makes sense), with all the modern styling and accouterments.

So this is not likely to happen. If it does, good on Louisville. But they’ve got a ways to go for this to actually become a reality.

  1. 00maltliquor - Sep 16, 2012 at 8:06 PM

    Another small market team!? Great, all I need now is to hear another fanbase cry foul about how my Lakers don’t play fair and how there needs to be more “competitive balance”…ugghh! Why not build an NBA team somewhere that’s actually desirable to live?? Hawaii, Santa Monica, Las Vegas (I know, and I don’t care, I don’t want to hear it!), hell, Seattle should get a team back. SMH. But….Louisville?

    Look, if it’s a basketball town I’m all for it, look at the fans in OKC…in-cred-able! But I don’t want to hear about it when players don’t want to re-sign/sign to a city no one wants to go to! What? What was that? Louie-what? Let’s see YOU move to Louisville then! I’ve never heard anyone talk glowingly about taking a vacation to……Louisville!

  2. tomshoe - Sep 16, 2012 at 8:29 PM

    Get in line, Louisville.

  3. prov1x - Sep 16, 2012 at 11:25 PM

    not that I think the ‘Ville should get a team, but have you ever been to the Yum Center? as nice of an arena as most NBA teams play in.

  4. bcdc26 - Sep 17, 2012 at 12:03 AM

    00maltliquor- you’re a fool.

  5. Alex K - Sep 17, 2012 at 8:58 AM

    About the Yum Center…It’s brand new. So it has all the modern accouterments, but the point stands that an NBA owner probably won’t want to play second fiddle to the local college team in their building.

  6. ljl2 - Sep 17, 2012 at 1:22 PM

    “I love the idea of expansion teams. New talent, more teams, more exciting basketball, more rosters to consider.”

    This is an awful view of what actually happens during expansion. It does not bring in new talent, it spreads out the talent that already exists. The bottom 5 roster spots on NBA teams are almost always barely hanging on in the NBA, how would making it the bottom 6 or 7 make the talent any better? The fact is, expansion does not improve gameplay but hinders it as there are the same amount of top quality players and more lesser quality players.

  7. surly1n1nd1anapol1s - Sep 18, 2012 at 6:39 PM

    They’re using this to bail out their stupid local government decisions on the funding on the Yum Center. Check out Field of Schemes blog for good back story. They have real reporting rather than certain large public owned news organizations.

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