I didn’t manage to get out to the press conference, but fortunately Chad Lucas updated his blog quickly. This is not a shock at all but Lucas breaks down some other things that came out of the press conference:
– Levingston said he doesn’t know if the D-league will be a go for the year after next.
– Crookshank is going to play in Europe next year.
– Rick “Aussie Minor League Baseball” Lewis is back behind the bench next season. Fuck. At least it means that I have something to yell about even when the other team is playing well. Numerous players have told me that if Lewis returned to the team they wouldn’t be, I hope other players haven’t heard about this guy.
The PBl only plays from January to May and there will likely only be 10 home dates which, combined with being in a less expensive league should keep season ticket prices down which is a mixed blessing. I know that Vermont were looking for some home exhibition games and I am sure Manchester would be game – so I am hoping that we can get them up here for a trade off so all the teams get some extra games in. The major blessing with staying in the PBL is that we get to play against a number of franchises which are stable and have a history with the Rainmen.
So what sort of difference will this make for the Rainmen and fans? Here are some of the key differences between the PBL and the ABA:
– Shorter Season. This point is kind of moot because despite the 20 game v. 36 game seasons, most ABA teams never came close to play 20 games. For teams like Vermont, Manchester and Halifax this is a problem though. I hope some sort of tournament (like the FA Cup) can be organized in the first half of the season.
– Deeper Teams. From what I’ve seen of the PBL, there are the same number of minor league star level players in both leagues, but the PBL tends to have teams with more quality guys. Over all, the level of basketball is higher.
– More stable franchises. Less problems with teams folding or not traveling. It’s still yet to be seen if the financial crises in the US will kill this league despite its god intentions.
– TV deal. PBL will have all games broadcast online and many on traditional TV. (This means Halifax will need to hire a broadcasting crew)
– Less name recognition. Among casual/non-fans the name ABA is a lot more valuable than the PBL brand, but among fans and anyone with access to google the ABA name was nothing but a plague. Less league chaos and unprofessional insanity can only help the Rainmen.