Portland, Maine D-League Ownership Hopefulls Get Lease Deal

If Halifax has any shot (and I still think it’s a slim one) to get into the D-League they need more North Eastern teams.  There are two organizations in US north east (Manchester, NH and Portland, ME) who want to bring a team there to be the D-League affiliate to Boston.  The organization in Portland just secured a lease deal if they manage to bring a team there.  Some things to note in there are that they’re only paying $2200 per event(!) compared to Halifax’s $10k plus per event, it’s only a 3200 person room, and the article is sort of poorly written.  It seems to suggest that the team already is in the D-league with its constant talk of “the team will,” but they are not currently a D-League franchise.

It’s a good first step and a team in Portland would really help Halifax’s slim chances of getting into the D-League.  So where do possible D-League teams in the east stand?  My thoughts after the jump:

  • Eerie, PA (Confirmed for 08/09.  Affiliated with Cleveland)
  • Portland, ME (no word from D-League.  Have lease deal.  Competing with Manchester to try to get the Celtics affiliation.  Aiming for 08/09)
  • Harlem, NY (NBA has said several times that it wants a team here to be affiliated with the Knicks.  Zeke hates the D-league since he wanted his CBA to be the minor league, and the management in general are in shambles, combined with the fact that a possible venue, the Harlem Ball Room is the one most talked about, would require major renovations and I’d say they’re 09/10 at the very best)
  • Southern Ontario (Missauga?  Hamilton) (The Raptors want a team here.  There has been some talk of them actually owning the team.  No word on where this is or when they’d try to play)
  • Atlanta (There has been no real talk about this, but I have heard rumours from good sources that there is interest in a team playing in one of the suburbs as the D-league affiliate.  This would not be the Vision.  Instead, they’d try to create the first AAA and AA basketball system with the Vision serving a feeder team to the D-league team.  Interesting concept.  The Hawks’ ownership mess is likely to delay this).

Basically, I can only see the D-League coming to Halifax if all these teams are also in the league so that travel is bad, but not horrible.  I guess the question then becomes:  Who are Halifax affiliated with if they do get in?  Boston and Toronto are the obvious choices but they’re out.  As are the Knicks and Cleveland.  In the North eastern-ish area I guess that leaves the Wizards, Jersey and Detroit.   As for cities we haven’t heard any d-league talk from in the east that are obvious choices I’d say Rochester and Vermont (though they have court size issues) are the ones up in the air.  Rochester and Jersey (who will soon be Brooklyn) are a good match.

It’s all random conjecture at this point, obviously.  I have thought about my GM comment from my last post and I have a new suggestion.  If the Rainmen do get in the D-league then I think they need to hire Will Voigt as the coach (would he even do it?  He needs to at least step up from the ABA) and at least interview Bill Simmons the GM job.  This is at least free publicity, though I doubt he’s moving here from LA to work in the D-league.  Still… it’d be hilarious and get free publicity.  We Want Bill!


One thought on “Portland, Maine D-League Ownership Hopefulls Get Lease Deal

  1. That’s too small for the NBADL.

    I also have questions as to whether the Millrats are still actively pursuing D-League membership. I read an article about the Millrats not too long ago, and they hoped to move in to a downtown venue. However, that venue was not the Verizon Center; it was named something like “the Armoury”. There was also no mention about the D-League for next year. That just doesn’t fit with their previous plans.

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