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IBL, ABA 2000 call off merger

by Paul Reeths
December 5, 2000 - International Basketball League 1 (IBL 1)

IBL, ABA 2000 call off merger

By Paul Reeths

The International Basketball League and the American Basketball Association 2000 have called off their planned merger, according to officials from both leagues. The six-team IBL, which will begin its second season this week, and the eight-team ABA 2000, which is preparing for its first season, had announced the merger just two weeks ago.

The IBL stated that the two sides did not have enough time to finalize details before the season tipoff. "When we announced the merger two weeks ago all parties were in agreement that time was against us," said IBL CEO Ralph Rossi, Jr. "The IBL worked diligently and put forth its best offort to pull together this merger, and I'm proud of the way that we came together to make this happen. With our first game of the season scheduled for this Friday night in Trenton, it became apparent that this merger just wouldn't have the time it needs to become a reality."

Officials from ABA 2000 pointed to more fundamental differences. "As the merger process proceeded, it became increasingly apparent that the two organizations did not share the same vision," said ABA 2000 executive committee chairman Gary Elbogen.

"I also believe that once we started discussing the future of the merged league we discovered some fundamental differences in what each league believed in," added Rossi. "For example, the IBL is working towards a future relationship with the NBA and its developmental system."

With this decision, both leagues return to their original operating plans and game schedules. ABA 2000 will tip off December 26.

The ABA 2000 will move forward as earlier announced with eight teams, located in Los Angeles, San Diego, Kansas City, Chicago, Detroit, Indianapolis, Memphis and Tampa Bay. The IBL will operate with franchises in Richmond, Trenton, Albuquerque, Cincinnati, Las Vegas and St. Louis, after losing Baltimore and San Diego in the offseason.

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