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  #1   IP: 74.67.49.204
Old 06-02-2009, 06:04 AM
Chuck the Writer's Avatar
Chuck the Writer Chuck the Writer is offline
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Default The CBA - gone but not forgotten

I know right now that it's fashionable to kick the CBA like a dead dog.

Personally, I'd rather remember the league's successes.

That includes the dozens of former CBA players and coaches who became head coaches in the NBA - names like Phil Jackson, George Karl, Flip Saunders, Rick Carlisle, Bill Musselman, Eric Musselman, etc.

That includes the 600 times from 1978 to 2006 that the NBA called up CBA players to NBA rosters, and the ones that stayed - names like Mario Elie, Anthony Mason, John Starks, Chris Childs, Jamario Moon, Rafer Alston, Smush Parker, Charlie Criss, etc.

That includes successful decades-long runs in places where minor league sports had not previously thrived - including Yakima, Sioux Falls, Albany, Rockford, La Crosse, etc.

The times when CBA basketball received monster ratings on ESPN, when Bob Ley and Kevin Laughery called the CBA Game of the Week broadcasts.

Yeah, it's easy to throw the blame around about the CBA's demise. Blame Isiah Thomas. Blame the economy. Blame Joe Newman. Blame underfunded owners. Blame the NBA for cherry-picking the top teams for its D-League. Blame travel costs. Blame freezeouts. Blame this person. Blame that organization. Blame all you want.

Whatever the blame, realize this - the CBA made it through 63 seasons kicking and clawing and fighting its way through. It was given up for dead a year after its founding in 1946, when several teams bolted for the American Basketball League. It was given up for dead in 1961, when a new top-tier American Basketball League raided the available talent. It was given up for dead in 1967, when the new American Basketball Association cherry-picked whatever talent they could take. It was given up for dead in 1974 with a four-team season. It was given up for dead in 2001 after the Isiah Thomas debacle. It was given up for dead after the NBA cherry-picked its top teams in 2006.

But even throughout all that, the league survived - until it could do no more. Even when it had to go cap in hand to Joe Newman's ABA and try to work out an interleague deal so that there would be some sort of basketball played, the fact of the matter remained the same - the CBA tried, until it could do no more. Every time something happened to the league, it would have been so easy to shut down and box everything away. But that wasn't the nature of the CBA. It kept on fighting, kept on playing, kept on trying - until it could do no more.

Without the CBA, there would be no D-League. There would be no top coaches and players and officials who learned the tricks of the trade in Wichita Falls and Omaha and Lawton-Fort Sill and Lancaster and Gary and Anchorage.

And while everybody else is willing to kick the CBA, allow me a moment to acknowledge its successes. How many other sporting associations and leagues that started up after the post-World War II economic boom are still around today? Other than the CBA, you've got the NBA and that's it. Maybe the closest was the original International Hockey League, which died in the 1990's.

How many other North American-based minor league basketball circuits have lasted even fifteen years in the post-World War II era? The USBL, sure. But after that, the D-League is barely finishing its first decade, the PBL is starting its third season, and who knows what the ABA is up to. I suppose if you count the name changes for the Eastern Basketball Alliance, they should be up to ten years by now. All the other leagues - the 1999-2001 IBL, the IBA, the Western Basketball Association, the AABA, the MIdwest League, the GBA - all those leagues combined still wouldn't have outlasted the CBA.

So inbetween all the snide comments on OSC about failed franchises and questionable ownership, let's at least give the CBA credit for the successes they've achieved over the past 60+ seasons.

The CBA is gone. It won't be forgotten.
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  #2   IP: 71.182.210.141
Old 06-02-2009, 07:55 AM
psbf psbf is offline
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Thanks for the thread, Chuck. I typed my own memories of the Piranhas and the Xplosion but I was apparently offline when I did it.
Unfortunately, neither team had any call-ups, but we had some great players.
Nobody(very few) mention the Piranhas(1 year) and I seem to be the only one who remembers the Xplosion(3) who have seen some of their players move on to overseas action. It's sad that with the last record they had(29-19) others only remember the lack of support and not the team. I know that you were among the few who did recognize their acomplishments and I thank you for that, Chuck.
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  #3   IP: 24.107.59.172
Old 06-06-2009, 11:14 AM
Dan K Dan K is offline
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Chuck,

I had a question about the CBA lineage. I thought the CBA officially folded in the second half of its 2000-01 with some owners sitting out the rest of the season and some owners moving to the IBL (original fall/winter version). The "new" CBA started up the next season, but I thought this group had basically purchased the rights to the CBA name and it was in no way related to the other CBA. Your thoughts?
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  #4   IP: 74.70.197.177
Old 06-06-2009, 11:11 PM
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Chuck the Writer Chuck the Writer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan K View Post
Chuck,

I had a question about the CBA lineage. I thought the CBA officially folded in the second half of its 2000-01 with some owners sitting out the rest of the season and some owners moving to the IBL (original fall/winter version). The "new" CBA started up the next season, but I thought this group had basically purchased the rights to the CBA name and it was in no way related to the other CBA. Your thoughts?
It's complicated, but the best way to put this together is as follows:

When the CBA shut down in the 2000-01 season, several former owners of the teams were offered the opportunity to buy back their teams. Some of them did so, and finished out the season in the IBL. When the IBL went dead after the 2000-01 season, the remaining CBA teams that could still function (Rockford, Grand Rapids, Gary, Sioux Falls) hooked up with some IBA teams, bought the rights to the CBA name, logo and statistics from bankruptcy court, and continued the CBA. The quarter-point system remained intact, as did the other CBA-related rule modifications (two referees, no foul outs, no possession arrow for jump balls, etc.).

Thus, the CBA lineage remained. That is also the reason why the IBA's statistics didn't carry over to the new CBA.

It's also the reason why even if the remaining CBA teams did join another circuit, such as the PBL or ABA or D-League, those statistics would not transfer over in that neither of the three aforementioned leagues would be a continuation of the CBA.
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  #5   IP: 24.107.59.172
Old 06-06-2009, 11:58 PM
Dan K Dan K is offline
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Thanks, Chuck. I forgot about the IBA, which also folded after the 2000-01 season like the IBL. Although there was talk of some original IBL teams joining the revamped CBA, they never did make it to the 2001-02 CBA, which consisted of four of the 2000-01 CBA/IBL teams, three 2000-01 IBA teams and a new CBA expansion team.
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  #6   IP: 173.29.192.240
Old 06-07-2009, 06:47 AM
minorleagfan09 minorleagfan09 is offline
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It really is a shame for the league to be gone. It really has a lot of name brand recognition from around the country. I'll quickly post what I wish the CBA would turn into.

I'd like the CBA season to start in May and end in late July. I'd like to see 10 regular season games, a pre season game, a short weekend playoff turnament, and an all star game. I'd like to see all the games played on weekends so coaches players, etc who would like to continue a career could.

I'd like to see a 4 round CBA draft in late April. I'd like to see the remaining 8 players come from each team's local tryouts.

I'd like to see each team put in $5000 cash each spring to secure their team in the league BUT if they meet all their obligations to the team and league they get the money back. (That means no league fee). The league can keep 250-500 bucks a year if they want BUT only if the website is professional and updated.

Each team should go out and get 3 refs and pay them 50 bucks each per game. They also should have 3 gameday staff and one security guard that are paid the same per game. All of those members of the organization should also get some free tickets for the family.

The coach should be paid 100 bucks a game. He or she should do the job because they want the exposure just like the players do.

The first rounders from the draft should be paid $150 per game. The second rounders should be paid $125. The third rounders should be paid $100. The fourth rounders and all local tryout players should be paid $75.

Each home game should cost a team $1450 (add a gym for no more than $200-$400 per game)

Each road game would cost $1150 (plus 3 minivans rented with a special deal from a car rental place $300-600 with gas depending on distance).

What this means is that teams run on budgets of $25,000 to $35,000 a year. You also have to add in food, insurance, and lodging which is why the wide range. If you work a good deal with a local motel or extended stay place you could come in on the 25k side. Pretty much what it costs just to get into the IBL.

So here is a break down of what you'd have to sell. Let's say you have 10 home games with an average of 400 fans at 8 bucks a ticket. That alone before sponsorships and concession sales brings you to $16,000. So yes these teams could actually break even from year one.

As teams grow on the business side you could slightly increase salaries but be prepared to slash them when the economy takes a downturn.

And yes you must play in a cluster. If it takes more than 8 or 9 hours to get there it is too far. Motels aren't budgeted for this.

I'll give you an example of the cluster I'd do.

Eastern Conference
Casper, Wyoming
Billings, Montana
Great Falls, Montana
Logan, Utah
Missoula, Montana
Butte, Montana

Western Conference
Coeur D'Alene, Idaho
Boise, Idaho
Twin Falls, Idaho
Idaho Falls, Idaho
Pocatello, Idaho
Lewiston, Idaho

People just have to knock of the greed and get together and set something reasonable up. You can blame the economy all you want but for the most part I blame the relationship between the NCAA to the NBA and bad decision making in minor league basketball. The only reason leagues like the ABA exist is because people are stupid enough to fork over that check for 10k. It never works out, Joe Newman never trys to make it work out, and he just pads his bank account and secretly laughs at the fools that send him money.

Last edited by minorleagfan09; 06-07-2009 at 06:54 AM.
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  #7   IP: 75.3.72.3
Old 06-09-2009, 09:49 PM
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Ken, Steelheads fan Ken, Steelheads fan is offline
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I agree that any future league should be spring/summer. There's only failure in the fall. That's a slam dunk.
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  #8   IP: 71.182.220.215
Old 06-09-2009, 10:59 PM
psbf psbf is offline
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I disagree with the summer concept, too much competition with Baseball and soccer.
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  #9   IP: 97.95.63.235
Old 06-09-2009, 11:49 PM
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Aaronhere Aaronhere is offline
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Default MY Memories....

I miss Boot Bond of the Wyoming Wildcatters shooting free throws with jump shots...
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  #10   IP: 207.200.116.132
Old 06-10-2009, 03:01 AM
skippy skippy is offline
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I miss Bill Klucas and Musselman.

As a small child and towel boy, these two taught me ways to combine words that I had never even dreamed of.

They were the masters of profanity.
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