Going West

Image by ego technique from Flickr


David Stern said recently that the league would look at the option of contraction if needed. But according to a study done by On Numbers via Biz Journals, 22 markets in the United States and Canada have the financial wherewithal to support new NBA teams.

Via “Study: 22 Other Markets Could Support the NBA” by Royce Young

Well ain’t that good news! The NBA could theoretically support 22 additional teams for an overall total of 52! The only major hurdles are finding ownership groups and quality talent to fill out the teams (and a new CBA to actually allow the league to function).

Overlooking these minor obstacles, the NBA sincerely has a chance to profligate itself to a Wal-Martian degree. Now, I won’t bore you with my ignorant understanding of the financial aspects of such expansion, but I will enthrall you with the most fun aspect of any expansion… TEAM NAMES!

Note: In the interest of brevity, I will only name the top 10 candidates and not all 22.

10. Richmond Stonewalls

A hotbed of secessionism in the 1860s and gay rights activism a century later, I can think of no better name to slap upon Richmond than “Stonewall”. It was the nickname of Confederate General Thomas Jackson who died in combat in Virginia during the American Civil War and it was also the scene of a revolt by gay men against discriminatory policing. (Only one of these story lines is actually true).

9. San Jose Silicons

California’s 3rd and America’s 10th largest city, San Jose lies in the heart of Silicon Valley and the Bay Area could easily support a 2nd team. The only possible downside to the nickname is the double entendre with breast implants that will surely ruin the psyche of any cheerleader deemed to not be bosomed enough by society’s ridiculous standards.

8. Hartford Hansa

Hartford is one of America’s leading financial centers and in the spirit of that mercantile mettle,  I would saddle their team with the name Hansa, which is the Latin term for the Medieval alliance of merchant states in Northern Europe, the Hanseatic League. With Hansa, Hartford would get a rather imposing Teutonic mascot and alliteration. Always alliterate any available chance allowed.


Potential and slighly histocially inaccurate mascot for Hartford /Â Â Â Â Â photo by F.C. Woodhouse from History-World.org


7. Austin Sixers

Yes, the Sixers. Philadelphia is the Seventy-Sixers, so I’m sure Philly fans can go back to pronouncing 3 extra syllables. Anyways, back to Austin. The number 6 is very important to Austin in two ways. Firstly, the city is a hotbed of live music and notably served as a favorite spot for Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble. SRV like many Austin music notables plays the guitar, which has how many strings? 6. Secondly, the hub of Austin’s music and night life is what street? 6th. I rest my case.

6. Providence Steamrollers

Whenever you can resurrect dead teams, you do it. And let me tell you, this is gonna be one hell of a resurrection. The Steamrollers were one of the original 11 NBA franchises in 1946 but were ironically one of the first teams to be demolished in 1949. Not that anyone missed them much. The 1947-48 squad went 6-42.

5. Hampton Roads Monitors

Encompassing the Norfolk-Virginia Beach metro area, Hampton Roads has always been a center of naval activity. The most famous venture in these parts was the 1st ever battle between ironclad ships, the USS Monitor and the CSS Virginia during the American Civil War. Both ships just shot cannon balls at each other fruitlessly until they tired and settled for a draw. EXCITING STUFF!!!


Possible mascot for Hampton Roads since ironclad ships don't fit in basketball arenas / Photo by foto.rajith from Flickr


4. Las Vegas Sinners


3. Bridgeport Frisbees

Home to the Frisbie Pie Company, Bridgeport is considered in some circles the birthplace of the Frisbee. Children would eat the delicious pie and toss the Frisbie pan around afterwards for fun. Personally, I think it’s a bit ridiculous to now have 4 NBA teams in New England (Boston, Hartford, Providence and now Bridgeport). However, this tenuous state of affairs could be overlooked maybe even stabilized if Bridgeport went a step further and just went by Ultimate Bridgeport.

2. Montreal Patriotes

A second Canadian team would be marvelous and Montreal is one of the world’s finest cities. Naming the team “Patriotes” (French for “patriot”) is related to a quasi-nationalistic movement in the 1830s directed at overbearing British colonial rule. And what the world really needs is more sports teams serving as reminders of rebellion. And poutine.

1.Riverside Imperials

Comprising the center of California’s Inland Empire, Riverside reigns supreme on the list of potential NBA markets. From using Roman motifs to Galactic Empire storm troopers, the options for commercializing the name “Imperials” is a goldmine. Most importantly, they should have Little Anthony sing the national anthem as often as possible.

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