Next Saturday, the eight basketball teams of the National Basketball League of Canada will inaugurate the league’s fifth season.
This is nice. I’m back to work again, back handling statistics and player clearances and other stat-rat behind the scenes stuff. For me, this is fun – and I get paid for having fun.
For the Canadians that read my blog, the NBL has eight teams – four in Ontario and four in the Maritimes. Each team plays a 40-game regular season, en route to the playoffs. Each team carries a minimum of four Canadian players (yes, the league wants to encourage homegrown talent), while the rest of the roster is stocked with international talent – Americans, Europeans, etc.
Two Ontario franchises – the London Lightning and the Windsor Express – are both two-time league champions. Franchises from the Maritimes – the Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island area – have reached the finals, but have not yet claimed the championship. Maybe this year, things will change.
I used to have a running statement about finding the players with Albany Patroons / Albany legends lineage; so far, this list includes Gabe Freeman (played for Albany in 2008-09; now with the Saint John [N.B.] Mill Rats), while Marvin Phillips (played for Albany in 2006-07) and DeAndre Thomas (played for the Albany Legends in 2010) have claimed championship rings in the NBL (Phillips with the London Lightning; Thomas with the Windsor Express).
Well, actually this year we have a former Albany Patroon as league commissioner; David Magley played under Phil Jackson (and alongside Derrick Rowland and Lowes Moore and Ralph McPherson) with the Pats in their 1983-84 championship campaign.
Two new teams join the league for the 2015-16 season; the Halifax (N.S.) Hurricanes replace the previous NBL team in that city; while St. Catherines (Ont.) gets their own new team in the Niagara River Lions.
There’s also some franchise relocations; the Brampton (Ont.) A’s relocated to an arena in Orangeville; while the Mississauga (Ont.) Power moved – to a new league, becoming Raptors 905 in the NBA’s D-League.
And for the past few months, I’ve compiled all these stat-rat statistics and unique data into a pre-season media guide. I do two of these guides every year; one at the start of the season, and a season recap guide at the end. For me, this is a lot of research and a lot of work, but it’s also a lot of fun. In fact, if you want to see the kind of basketball work I do for this league, you can download a free copy of the 2015-16 NBL Canada Pre-Season guide at this link.
Yeah, that’s some of the stuff I do when I’m not taking pictures or building Dream Windows or playing trivia or blogging or enjoying life. In fact, working in this league is also part of me “enjoying life.” 😀
The season begins on December 26, and you can follow all the action at nblcanada.ca.