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Thread: Could a NBA team make it in Kentucky?

  1. #16
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    Re: Could a NBA team make it in Kentucky?

    It was great for the ABA.

    Why not the NBA?
    "You can learn little from victory. You can learn everything from defeat."
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  3. #17
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    Re: Could a NBA team make it in Kentucky?

    Quote Originally Posted by WMR View Post
    I believe it would do a really good job pulling from Southern Ohio, Southern Indiana, and all over Kentucky.

    It would require a restructuring of the current lease with UL because they're set up to block it and they would do just that. Seeing the arena turn a profit isn't on the current agenda.
    Assume the Maloofs decide to pull a switcheroo and move Sacramento to Louisville.

    They already have Cousins starting at center/ power forward.

    Were I GM, I might look for a bench including a few of the following:

    Greg Oden C
    Jason Maxiell PF
    Lance Stephenson SG
    Jeremy Evans PF/C

    I might also look to sign/ trade for guys like Rajon Rondo, Courtney Lee, Eric Bledsoe, or others.

    There are a ton of those types of players in the NBA-- I'm only saying that, when given a choice, grab the one(s) that might boost ticket sales.

    Fwiw, it's the same thought process that Cincinnati's gone through over the course of the past 75 years or so-- the one that brought them, among others, Pete Rose and Barry Larkin.
    "You can learn little from victory. You can learn everything from defeat."
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    Re: Could a NBA team make it in Kentucky?

    Quote Originally Posted by Caveat Emperor View Post
    It's been my experience that the NBA has almost zero appeal outside of it's team cities. I don't know that a franchise in, say, Louisville would ever be able to count on consistent support from Cincinnati.
    While I'm not sure if it's the case in all regions, I think you're dead on when it comes to this area. Indianapolis is roughly the same distance from Cincinnati as Louisville and it isn't like the Pacers have ever generated much interest locally, I'm not sure why a team in Louisville would fare any better.

  5. #19
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    Re: Could a NBA team make it in Kentucky?

    Quote Originally Posted by joshnky View Post
    Cincinnati is a pro sports town like indy. Any NBA team in Louisville will come in third behind UofL and UK when competing for fans dollars.
    The best comparison to the Louisville would be Charlotte, which will always be third behind UNC and Duke. Does Charlotte do well in attendance? My impression is they don't but that may be due more to the fact that they're awful.
    I agree with these thoughts as far as Josh's post. I think UK- U of L would be # 1 and 2 as far as dollars.
    As you said....the winning would play a part though.
    I mean most of us love to watch our college teams as they are consistently near the top. If an NBA team was near the top then I think people would go to see a winner. I just dont think teams like Toronto for example, coming to town would be a big draw.
    As far as other comments, some have mentioned getting local players. That "might" help but it all comes back to winning as the primary factor. While I am a huge UK, I wouldnt want to shell out big bucks in todays economy, to go see a team like Minnesota beat our NBA team (even if it featured the likes of Jones/Lamb/Sosa etc) by a score of 110-81.
    Winning would be the draw. UK has shown that when you win and wear the UK jersey, it doesnt matter if you come from Chicago/Oregon or wherever. I think the NBA would be the same. The city gets a winner.....they can come from UNC/Duke/Kansas or wherever.
    I remember quite a few years ago, listening to ESPN radio one night and they inteviewed Chris Webber after getting traded to Sacremento. Basically Webber admitted on the air, he was only going to play till his contract allowed him to move on.
    However, they assembled over the years a team of Webber/Christie/Divac/Stojaković and Bibby and became a top team. They drew big crowds and Webber didnt want to leave and signed an extension.
    So while I understand about the local talent and we could mix in one or two even if fillers, a competitive team would probably be whether the ship would sail or would sink.

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    Re: Could a NBA team make it in Kentucky?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrap Irony View Post
    Lance Stephenson SG
    I wonder how many UC fans realize he's already right up the road in Indianapolis.

    I doubt very, very much if signing local guys would matter, especially local role players. People go to/watch NBA games to see stars and winning. An actual kid from Kentucky, who played at UK or UL may help a tad or a kid like Zeller might draw a few extra IU fans a night, but in the long run, if the team stinks, so will attendance.

    Does Louisville have the big-time corporate dollars to fill luxury boxes and premium seats 41 times a year? That's the question.
    When all is said and done more is said than done.

  7. #21
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    Re: Could a NBA team make it in Kentucky?

    Lord I don't want to see the NBA here in Louisville. Bring me hockey!

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    Re: Could a NBA team make it in Kentucky?

    I found this when I googled Kentucky Colonel attendance. The most they averaged in an ABA season was 8,811. I know this has been 40 years ago but that wouldn't cut it today. I have never thought Louisville would be able to support a team. The college game is too popular and I'm not sure the fan base would be big enough in the immediate Louisville area to support a team for 41 home dates.

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  9. #23
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    Re: Could a NBA team make it in Kentucky?

    Per the always-reliable wikipedia, Louisville ranks #42 in the list of US Metropolitan Statistical Areas. That would put it near the bottom of the list in NBA cities, ahead of only Oklahoma City (#43), New Orleans (#46) and Salt Lake City (#47), but still in the ballpark from a raw population standpoint.

    So, COULD an NBA team in Louisville "make it" -- in terms of just raw numbers, yes. UL would be an obstacle, sure, but you'd get a lot of initial support from people eager to back the first professional sports franchise in their hometown. If the product remains quality, I think a team could do OK.
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    Re: Could a NBA team make it in Kentucky?

    The difference between Cincinnati and Louisville is that Louisville already has a NBA arena ready to go. Cincinnati would likely have to build something to replace US Bank Arena.

    Drafting local talent really hasn't worked for the Charlotte Bobcats. Sean May, Raymond Felton, and Gerald Henderson didn't really work out there.

    I'm good with two nicknames, either the Kentucky Colonels or the Kentucky Thoroughbreds. Pays tribute to horses which Kentucky is known for, and speed, which basketball fans in Kentucky love.
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    Re: Could a NBA team make it in Kentucky?

    Quote Originally Posted by WVRed View Post
    The difference between Cincinnati and Louisville is that Louisville already has a NBA arena ready to go. Cincinnati would likely have to build something to replace US Bank Arena.
    Hamilton County is underwater on the deal that built Paul Brown Stadium and GABP -- I doubt you'll see public dollars pledged for ANY major capital campaigns in the county for a long time.

    Though, if I could choose, I would much rather have a new arena combined with a successful NHL / NBA team than a football stadium and a football team. From a purely economic viewpoint, an NFL team brings people downtown 10 times per year -- mostly on Sunday mornings and Sunday afternoons, where they're less likely to patronize other downtown establishments and spend money in the city. With an NHL or NBA team, you're talking 40+ home dates mostly at night -- where there at least exists a possibility for spillover business to local restaurants and bars pre/post game.
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  12. #26
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    Re: Could a NBA team make it in Kentucky?

    Quote Originally Posted by Caveat Emperor View Post
    Hamilton County is underwater on the deal that built Paul Brown Stadium and GABP -- I doubt you'll see public dollars pledged for ANY major capital campaigns in the county for a long time.

    Though, if I could choose, I would much rather have a new arena combined with a successful NHL / NBA team than a football stadium and a football team. From a purely economic viewpoint, an NFL team brings people downtown 10 times per year -- mostly on Sunday mornings and Sunday afternoons, where they're less likely to patronize other downtown establishments and spend money in the city. With an NHL or NBA team, you're talking 40+ home dates mostly at night -- where there at least exists a possibility for spillover business to local restaurants and bars pre/post game.
    I see where you are coming from on the economic standpoint. But I will use baseball as an example, attendance is always highest on the week-ends. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday games will normally outdraw Monday-Thursday ones. Why? I imagine it is due to people's work schedules. I use to have a Pacers season ticket package. Nothing worse than driving 2 hours one way to watch a game during the middle of the week that didnt get over until 11 pm and then drive 2 hours back only to get up at 6 am to go to work. It all comes down to whether a city can sustain attendance 41 times a year. And where that attendance base comes from to see the games.
    ...and this one belongs to the Reds.

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    Re: Could a NBA team make it in Kentucky?

    Quote Originally Posted by WVRed View Post
    Drafting local talent really hasn't worked for the Charlotte Bobcats. Sean May, Raymond Felton, and Gerald Henderson didn't really work out there.
    I'm not saying draft second round local talent in lieu of first-round others.

    I'm saying that a Louisville team might choose to boost attendance by finding local role players. Frankly, it's not as outlandish as some are suggesting. It's worked for OKC, San Antonio (in the past), Dallas, Indiana, and others.
    "You can learn little from victory. You can learn everything from defeat."
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  14. #28
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    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.
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  16. #29
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    Re: Could a NBA team make it in Kentucky?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrap Irony View Post
    A revisiting of the Kentucky Colonel name would make sense, as that team had a great-- though short-- pedigree.

    And, yeah, I think it'd work well as an NBA city. Louisville's centrally located and can draw from larger cities (Cincinnati, St. Louis) and smaller ones (Lexington) for a broad fanbase. The key, IMO, is signing local players.

    Then winning.
    Absolutely no one from Cincinnati is driving 100 miles to Louisville on a regular basis to watch an NBA game - outside of someone going once a year to see their favorite visiting team if it's convenient (Heat, Lakers, Celtics, etc.).

    There are scant few Pacers or Blue Jackets fans in Cincinnati for teams equal in distance or even slightly closer than Louisville. There are few Blue Jackets fans in Dayton despite the team's efforts to market itself as "Ohio's team."

    Want Cincinnati to care about and follow an NBA/NHL team? Build a new arena and put one here.
    Last edited by Reds/Flyers Fan; 02-04-2013 at 05:05 PM.

  17. #30
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    Re: Could a NBA team make it in Kentucky?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrap Irony View Post
    I'm not saying draft second round local talent in lieu of first-round others.

    I'm saying that a Louisville team might choose to boost attendance by finding local role players. Frankly, it's not as outlandish as some are suggesting. It's worked for OKC, San Antonio (in the past), Dallas, Indiana, and others.
    If you are referring to George Hill - my apologies if you are not - I have to believe that the Pacers targeted him because he provided them with an element that they clearly lacked at the time: a play-making combo guard with a 6-9 wingspan to shore up perimeter defense. The fact that Hill is a local hero is/was an added bonus.

    For the record, I'm inclined to agree with you about local heroes - assuming a front office has done their due diligence - filling roles in a rotation, now that you have put it that way. However, it may be too tempting to overplay a role-playing local hero/gate attraction to the detriment of the franchise.

    I can state a case of a local hero, who should have been a role player, miscast as a 30 + mpg starter because he was such a popular player, even though an obvious upgrade was sorely needed in order to at least reach the Conference finals.

    The player in question? Charlotte's 5' 3" Muggsy Bouges circa '93.
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