It Is Time For a Change.
Basketball like America, started off small, with only a few teams reaching as far west as the Minneapolis Lakers. When the Lakers moved to their current home in Los Angeles, the league slowly but surely started expanding westward. The Warriors found a new home in the bay, the former royals of Cincinnati moved down to Kansas City and eventually settled in Sacramento as the Kings. More than these regional movers expansion teams started being founded out west, and the ABA merger and some of those teams being assimilated to the league, the NBA had a problem.
Much like when your mom was stingy with the kool-aid powder, the league was watered down. Superstars were spread thinner than small t-shirt on a potbellied pig. Thankfully an influx of talented players in the late 70’s and 80’s headlined by Magic Johnson and the Hick from French Lick, the NBA was full of flavor again. Teams started getting talent and the league was starting to attain some balance. Hopefully, the NBA has learned from its past mistakes with expansion. However, it is time for a change.
It is time to expand the current NBA, we have not had an expansion since my Bobcats came into the league back in 2004. Basketball’s popularity has gained national attention as shown by last years finals being one of the most watched finals in history. There are many markets that would be ideal settings for the next great NBA team. Along with the cities primed for a franchise, the league’s talent is at an all-time high. We have enough talented players, that if we expanded two teams, we could expand, but not dilute the talent too much. Without further ado, here are some of the cities that would be prime for an NBA team.
Just as a disclaimer, I am suggesting we only add two teams right now, it would make the number of teams be 32 just like the NFL. I will also talk later about how we would arrange the conferences.
It has almost been 10 years since the Supersonics left Jet City. How have we not expanded there already? Seattle deserves a basketball team as compensation for how crappy the Thunder’s ownership left Seattle. We have seen a lot of talent out of the University of Washington and Washington State, with quality players like Isaiah Thomas, Terrence Ross, and hopefully the next great Spur In Dejounte Murray and from Washington State, NBA champ Klay Thompson. Oh my! I almost forgot Gonzaga! Kelly Olynyk Domas Sabonis and the assist/steal king John Stockton. With all this, Seattle should be put back in the Northwestern Division.
Bring back the Green and Gold, you can rename them the Supersonics, or go all 2004 Charlotte and run a contest for the fans to vote on the new name, then completely disregard the fan’s choice (Damn, I would have loved to root for the Charlotte Dragons or the Charlotte Fight)
My Bad Name Pick: Seattle Sounders
O Canada, our home and native land, for your next basketball team we will stand. O Canada you have grown players strong, With Wiggins, Thompson and Nash, picking Anthony Bennett #1 was brash. O Canada, the Raptors have gone so far, Put a team in BC and it will rise above the bar.
Enough of the singing, my voice is too choked up with Canadian pride, Vancouver was the original home of the Grizzlies, Bryant Reeves anyone? Then you actually have guys whose impact lasted longer than one great season like Mike Bibby and Shareef Abdur Rahim. Let’s be honest, Pau Gasol would have been just as effective in Canada as he would have been in Memphis. The Vancouver fans are nuts for their Canucks, (a bit too fanatic if you ask me and members of the Vancouver Police)
My Pick for a crappy Name: Vancouver Woodchucks. It rhymes with Canucks and who doesn’t love a woodchuck?
Kansas City or St. Louis
Not since the Kings of Kansas City, has the beautiful state of Missouri had a basketball team. If the state can support both the Royals and the Cardinals as baseball teams, could we not add a basketball team in one of these beautiful cities? The Midwest is basketball country, look at programs like the Kansas Jayhawks. The Hawks used to play in St. Louis, the Kings played in Kansas City, I say we bring back another team to the Midwest!. Imagine watching a game and they show you a beautiful panoramic shot of the Gateway Arch at night. That is majestic... and I am running out of ideas. I don’t know, stick them in the Southwestern Divison
My terrible/horrible/no good/very bad idea: St Louis Bulldogs. So many college teams have the Bulldog as their mascot, how has the NBA not adopted this fierce canine as a mascot yet?
I hate, I absolutely DETEST, the Chargers moving to Los Angeles. That is a rant for another article where I can just be angry all the time. The Rockets and Clippers used to be based down in beautiful San Diego. Southern California only has the Padres left. So it is high time for a basketball team to come back and join the Pacific Conference. The city has an untapped fan base who is looking for a sport to entertain them during the winter, now that their beloved Chargers have moved northbound. Put a team down there and fans will flock to see their team’s initial season go 20-62 in the Pacific Division
My Somewhat decent name: San Diego Seals. They got beaches and La Jolla is where the Seals come to sunbathe. Either that or the San Diego Jacks (Make the mascot a “Card like Jack” kinda like a knight, but it is really named after San Diego lover Jack Johnson.)
So, my editor who loves my writing gave me the green light to basically throw reason and logic to the wind, these are far, far reaches, like Bella Hadid or Bella Thorne ever dating me (Like I said, ladies if you somehow are reading this, call me) However for giggles, these are my personal places that Adam Silver needs to plop down a franchise.
Just adding a team that plays in Hawaii, would triple every team in the Western Conference’s travel budget, skyrocket, it would honestly cause the NBA’s scheduling program to self-destruct (Even though my boy Matt Winick, who used to CREATE THE ENTIRE SCHEDULE BY HIMSELF. ALL IN HIS HEAD) I want to see a franchise in Hawaii just because I love to see chaos. Imagine the Celtics making their two trips from Boston to Honolulu, btw that is more than a 15-hour flight. Imagine a team marketed as the laid-back team, hula dancing cheerleaders, some relaxed guys shooting mellow 3’s. Dang, I would like to see that.
My mehhhh you already have rambled on so whatever name: Honolulu Outriggers. Throw some history to how the islands were settled. Make the mascot a guy rowing an outrigger canoe for all I care.
New York City has two teams, do they need two? Both are garbage, sorry Jeremy Lin, you will always have my heart for your year in Charlotte. If New York can support the Jets/Giants, Yankees/Mets, Knicks/Nets, and the Islanders/Rangers, then Upstate New York can throw a basketball team into their fandom. Anything in upstate New York, maybe it will bring some economic life back to Rochester someday. Plus with Syracuse nearby, it is brimming basketball country. So while showy garbage ball is being played down in the city, pure, maybe even decent basketball can flourish upstate.
I am running out of ideas fast name: The New York Miracles. The miracle on ice happened in upstate New York, if Disney can influence the Magic, then the greatest underdog story in Olympic history can influence this name.
Here comes my bias as an honorary Rhode Islander, I want to see a team return to Providence, yes I said return. 1946, the Providence Steamrollers were founded. They have their names etched in NBA history when Coach Nat Hickey became a player right before his 46th birthday. That makes him the oldest player to ever play in an NBA game.
We already have the Dunk, where the Providence College Friars and Providence Bruins play. Just give me this Adam Silver, I am sick of shelling out major cash to see the Celtics if you cannot grant me this, at least give me a “G League” team here, make them the G League associate for the Celtics. The Atlantic Division needs it.
Now, this is where things can get complicated, arranging the conferences to be kinda balanced out. If you put two of my above-mentioned teams in the Western Conference. Then to balance things out, you move the Grizzlies and Pelicans to the Eastern Conference Think about how much better would the powerhouse Pelicans do in the Eastern Conference, the Grizzlies may not be a playoff team anymore, but they could maybe eek out an 8th seed performance.
Geographically it makes sense, Chicago is almost as far west as New Orleans and Memphis is. It has always bothered me that Memphis is in the east and not the west. Now I say we let each existing team protect 8 players and the rest can be taken in an expansion draft that the two new teams have. I hope you enjoyed my ramblings, check out my other articles as well.