Lively Tales About Dead Teams

1999-2000 San Diego Stingrays

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1999 San Diego Stingrays ProgramInternational Basketball League (1999-2000)

Born: 1999 – IBL founding franchise
Folded: 2000

Arena: San Diego Sports Arena

Team Colors:

Owner:

IBL Championships: None

 

The San Diego Stingrays were a One-Year Wonder in the short-lived International Basketball League. The Stingrays were the sixth pro basketball team to fail at the San Diego Sports Arena since the building opened in 1966. The ‘Rays followed the Rockets, Conquistadors, Sails, Clippers and Wildcards into the city’s roundball graveyard.

Smokey Gaines, an ex-Harlem Globetrotter and former head coach at San Diego State, signed on to coach the team. Things got off to an embarrassing start when the Stingrays couldn’t reach contract terms with their top player in training camp, Phoenix Thomas. The 6′ 8″ power forward averaged 25 points and 13 boards in exhibition play and then walked away from the team before the opener.

The team gained some attention by signing hip hop star Master P (Percy Miller) in November 1999. Miller, the rapper and impresario behind Snoop Dogg’s label at the time, No Limit Records, made cameo appearances in several NBA training camps and minor league clubs during the late ’90’s. Miller’s time with the ‘Rays was brief and he was gone by midseason.

The Stingrays drew an announced crowd of 9,762 to their home debut at the Arena on November 27, 1999. The ‘Rays defeated the Las Vegas Silver Bandits 102-100 in double overtime. The team never drew another crowd of that size and they didn’t win many more game either. Gaines was fired at midseason and replaced behind the bench with former NBA All-Star Jeff Malone. The Stingrays finished last in the IBL’s West Division with a 19-45 record for the 1999-00 season.

The IBL contracted from eight to six franchises for the league’s second season in 2000-01. The Stingrays were one of the two eliminated clubs.  The International Basketball League itself shut down in July 2001 after the conclusion of its second season.

 

Links

International Basketball League Media Guides

International Basketball League Programs

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Written by Drew Crossley

November 19th, 2017 at 11:28 pm

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