Six years ago, three men – Vincent Bernier, Ian McCarthy and Andre Levingston – broke their teams away from the independent Premier Basketball League and formed a new professional basketball circuit, the National Basketball League of Canada. I joined up with them for the 2011-12 season, and have remained with the NBL even after those three men left the league to pursue other interests.
And this year begins the sixth season of independent professional hoops for this league. Or as I refer to it, “my mistress for the next six months of my life.”
Actually, considering my relationship status right now – or lack thereof – that’s not a bad thing.
For the first time in league history, the NBL will sport ten teams – five in Ontario (the London Lightning, Windsor Express, Niagara River Lions, Orangeville A’s and the new Kitchener-Waterloo Titans), and five in the Atlantic Maritimes (Halifax Hurricanes, Island Storm, Moncton Miracles, the new Saint John Riptide, and the new Cape Breton Highlanders). Ten teams, each playing a 40-game season, with the top four teams in each division moving to the playoffs.
And the league has received growth and respect in the basketball world. Maurice Bolden, who played three seasons in the NBL for the London Lightning and Windsor Express, was recently selected in the first round (18th overall) by the NBA D-League’s San Antonio Spurs affiliate in Austin.
And with the season starting less than two months from now, I have to get my prepwork done. Statistics must be maintained. Player clearances must be achieved. High speed internet connection must be maintained, as all the NBL Canada games are streamed worldwide on YouTube. Awesome stuff.
And then there’s the personal matters. Such as, are there any teams that have a lineage with the Albany Patroons?
Well, the league’s commissioner, David Magley, played on Phil Jackson’s championship squad in 1983-84; and the Saint John Riptide’s Gabe Freeman was a member of Albany’s last squad in 2008-09. So there’s that.
This year, ten teams will begin “The Pursuit,” as the NBL’s sixth season hashtag #thepursuit makes clear. Check out this video and see what I mean.
This becomes my calming point. In this measure, ten teams and ten dozen players and ten coaches and ten general managers and a commissioner and a director of league operations all count on me.
I won’t let them down.
See, while other teams are focusing on #thepursuit of a championship…
I’m focusing on #thepursuit of a successful NBL Canada season.
This is how I roll. Trust me. I couldn’t shoot a free throw to save my life. But I can damn well make sure I have the statistical averages and free throw percentages for every player in this league.
It’s also nice to know that people and organizations can count on me. You know – just get the damn job done.
In the end… that’s all that matters.
Now of course I know I have many blog readers who couldn’t give two rebounds about basketball, let alone basketball in Canada.
That’s fine. There’s a bunch of other blog posts you can read, maybe I’ll post one today or tomorrow or two weeks from Friday.
And I apologize for being selfish on this front …
But at least if I can at least achieve success in this front …
Then all is good for me.