Lively Tales About Dead Teams

Archive for the ‘Continental Basketball Association’ Category

1997-2016 Idaho Stampede

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Idaho StampedeContinental Basketball Association (1997-2006)
NBA Development League (2006-2016)

Born: 1997 – CBA expansion franchise
Moved: April 4, 2016 (Salt Lake City Stars)


Team Colors: Red & Black


  • 1997-2015: William Ilett, et al.
  • 2015-2016: Utah Jazz (Miller Sports Properties)

CBA Championships: None
NBA D-League Champions: 2008


The Idaho Stampede were a long-running minor league basketball franchise that played in both Boise and nearby Nampa during an 18-year lifespan. The Stampede survived a turbulent decade as one of the most stable franchises in the Continental Basketball Association before latching on the with NBA-backed D-League in 2006.

The Stampede won their lone league championship in 2008, defeating the Austin Toros in the D-League championship series.

Former NBA All-Star Antoine Walker, who infamously burned through a $108 million fortune during his playing career, played out his final two seasons of pro ball with the Stampede from 2010 to 2012.

A local ownership group headed by William Ilett backed the Stampede for nearly their entire existence. In March 2015, Ilett’s group sold the team to their NBA parent club, the Utah Jazz. The Jazz made positive noises about keeping the team in Boise and Ilett publicly vowed to fight “long and hard” if the NBA tried to move the franchise. All of which was a polite way of saying that the writing was on the wall. After one final season in the Treasure Valley during the winter of 2015-16, the Jazz moved the Stampede to Salt Lake City in April 2016 and re-branded the team as the Salt Lake City Stars.



Continental Basketball Association Media Guides

Continental Basketball Association Programs

NBA D-League Media Guides

NBA D-League Programs


1980-1982 Alberta Dusters

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1980-81 Alberta Dusters YearbookContinental Basketball Association (1980-1982)

Born: 1980 – CBA expansion franchise
Moved: 1982 (Las Vegas Silvers)

Arena: Canada Games Sportsplex (5,100)

Team Colors: Orange & Blue

Owners: Jack MolcakBob Alexander, Fred Burton, Ed Klone, Ken Kotkas, Perry Kotkas, Bernie Norton and Kelly Robinson

CBA Championships: None


The Alberta Dusters were a short-lived minor league basketball operation based out of the Western Canadian city of Lethbridge, Alberta. At the time the Dusters played in the early 1980’s, they were the only pro basketball franchise in Canada.

In the spring of 1980, team founder Jack Molcak looked into the possibility of entering a Lethbridge team in a proposed new Canadian pro basketball circuit.  The Canadian league never got off the drawing board, but Molcak connected instead with the Pennsylvania-based Continental Basketball Association. The CBA traced its roots back to 1946 as the Eastern Basketball League. For most of its history, the Eastern League was a weekends-only minor league active in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and a few others neighboring states. But in 1978 the Eastern League re-branded and expanded nationwide, placing teams as far away as Anchorage and Honolulu.

The Dusters never made much of a mark in the league. They finished in last place (11-31) in their debut season in the winter of 1980-81. The next year wasn’t much better with a 12-34 mark.

The franchise left town for Las Vegas in 1982 under new ownership and later drifted to Albuquerque, New Mexico before folding for good in 1985.


==Alberta Dusters Programs on Fun While It Lasted==

Season Date Opponent Score Program Other


1981-82 2/4/1982 @ Lancaster Lightning ?? Program



Continental Basketball Association Media Guides

Continental Basketball Association Programs


1986-2006 Rockford Lightning

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1989-90 Rockford Lightning ProgramContinental Basketball Association (1986-2006)
International Basketball League (2001)

Born: 1986 – The Baltimore Lightning relocate to Rockford, IL
Folded: 2006

Arena: Rockford MetroCentre (8,700)

Team Colors: Blue & Orange

Dance Team: The Lightning Flashes


  • 1986-????: Jay Polian
  • 1993-1998: Wayne Timpe, et al.
  • 1998-1999: Wayne Timpe & Judy Timpe
  • 1999-2001: Isaiah Thomas
  • 2001-2004: Wayne Timpe & Judy Timple
  • 2004-2006: Judy Timpe

CBA Championships: None


The Rockford Lightning were a popular attraction in Illinois’ third-largest city from 1986 until 2006. The Lightning’s twenty-season run was unusually long by the standards of minor league basketball. The club played in the Continental Basketball Association championship series on four occasions but never managed to win a title.

Throughout most of the Lightning’s run in Rockford, the CBA served as the Official Development League of the NBA. Players went back and forth from Rockford to the NBA a few times a season, typically on 10-day contracts as injury replacements. Rockford’s greatest success story was small forward Bruce Bowen. Bowen played parts of two CBA seasons in Rockford between 1995 and 1997 before earning a spot and sticking with the Boston Celtics. Bowen went on to win three NBA titles with the San Antonio Spurs and to earn eight NBA All-Defensive Team selections. The Spurs retired Bowen’s uniform number 12 in 2012.

The team nearly folded in 2001 following the disastrous intrusion of former NBA star Isaiah Thomas into CBA affairs.  Thomas purchased the entire league and all of its individually-owned franchises in August of 1999 for $10 million. Thomas destroyed the relationship with the NBA, spurning that league’s $11 million offer to buy the CBA outright in early 2000. The NBA then announced the formation of its own minor league (known commonly today as the “D-League”) and terminated its long-time developmental partnership with the CBA. When Thomas was offered the opportunity to coach the NBA’s Indiana Pacers in 2000, he was forced to divest his CBA holdings.  He placed the league into a blind trust, which ultimately starved the franchises of operating capital and forced the league into bankruptcy. The CBA folded midway through its 55th season on February 8, 2001.

Long-time Lightning owner Wayne Timpe swooped in to rescue the club after the CBA imploded. He re-acquired the franchise, reportedly for $1.00, and entered it into the rival International Basketball League to finish out the 2000-01 season. Timpe and a group of other former CBA owners then re-acquired the Continental Basketball Association’s name and marks from the bankruptcy court and re-launched the league in the fall of 2001.

The Lightning would go on to play another five seasons at Rockford’s MetroCentre. Wayne Timpe’s death from cancer in 2004 marked the beginning of the end for the franchise. Timpe’s widow Judy kept the Lightning going for two more seasons before announcing that the 2005-06 season would be its last.

In 2014, former Lightning player Carson Cunningham published Underbelly Hoops, a memoir of his time in the mid-2000’s CBA. Grab a copy on Amazon using our store link below.


Rockford Lightning Shop

Underbelly Hoops: Adventures in the CBA A.K.A. The Crazy Basketball Association by Carson Cunningham


Life On The Rim: A Year in the Continental Basketball Association by David Levine


Rockford Lightning Memorabilia


In Memoriam

Lightning owner Wayne Timpe died of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in January 2004 at the age of 62.

Ex-Chicago Bulls great, who served a brief tenure as the Lightning’s first head coach in 1986, died on February 26, 2009 at his home in Chicago. He was 61 years old. Chicago Tribune obituary.



2-6-1987 Rockford Lightning vs. Wisconsin Flyers Game Notes.



Continental Basketball Association Media Guides

Continental Basketball Association Programs


1987-1989 Rochester Flyers

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1987-88 CBA Media GuideContinental Basketball Association (1987-1989)

Born: 1987 – The Wisconsin Flyers relocate to Rochester, MN
Moved: 1989 (Omaha Racers)

Arena: Mayo Civic Center (5,200)

Team Colors: Royal Blue, Columbia Blue & Gold

Dance Team: The Flight Crew

Owner: Norm Gillette, Jr.

CBA Championships: None


Short-lived minor league basketball franchise that made its home in Rochester, Minnesota, not New York.  The Rochester Flyers posted losing seasons in both years of operation, including a last place 16-38 record in the Continental Basketball Association season during the 1988-89 season.

Flyers owner Norm Gillette Jr.’s father owned the rival La Crosse Catbirds CBA franchise in Wisconsin during the same era.  The Gillette family owned an Upper Midwest Pepsi bottling franchise with plants in La Crosse, Rochester, Mankato, Minnesota and Decorah, Iowa. In the spring of 1989 the younger Gillette cut his basketball losses in Rochester (estimated at $350,000 over two years) and sold the team to Omaha, Nebraska interests.


==In Memoriam==

Former Flyers owner Norm Gillette, Jr. died of pancreatic cancer in May 2003 at the age of 61. La Crosse Tribune obituary.



Continental Basketball Association Media Guides

Continental Basketball Association Programs


Written by AC

January 21st, 2016 at 9:32 pm

1987-1995 Rapid City Thrillers

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1990-91 Rapid City Thrillers ProgramContinental Basketball Association (1987-1995)

Born: March 16, 1987 – The Tampa Bay Thrillers relocate to Rapid City, SD
Moved: July 18, 1995 (Florida Beachdogs)

Arena: Rushmore Plaza Civic Center (8,000)

Team Colors: Red, White & Blue

Owner: John Samuelson

CBA Champions: 1987


Text coming soon…



Continental Basketball Association Media Guides

Continental Basketball Association Programs



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