Re: Could a NBA team make it in Kentucky?
A few thoughts:
* I don't think the presence of UofL and UK is necessarily a deal-breaker on an NBA team succeeding. Lack of corporate support might be.
* Louisville does fit the profile more than some other cities. Once outside the major markets that have everything, the NBA has a strong preference towards being the only game in town (pro-wise, at least). The last place it wants to be is in smallish markets where the NFL soaks up most of the attention, with rare exceptions like Indy.
* Louisville can't count on winning as a precondition of succeeding. This isn't college where you win just because you care more; the league is a zero-sum game. If the business model doesn't work if the franchise is just average, then it's not going to work.
* When I was a kid, I saw the Colonels play several times as my dad was working for a Louisville company that had season tickets. Other than the red-white-and-blue ball and Artis Gilmore dunking, I don't remember much, although I'm told that I had the rare privilege of seeing Julius Erving as a Virginia Squire.
Not all who wander are lost