Lively Tales About Dead Teams

Archive for the ‘Global Basketball Association’ Category

1991-92 Louisville Shooters

leave a comment

Global Basketball Association (1991-1992)

Born: 1991 – GBA founding franchise
Folded: November 1992

Arena: Louisville Gardens

Team Colors:

Owners:

GBA Championships: None

 

The Louisville Shooters were an ill-fated pro basketball outfit in the forgotten Global Basketball Association. The GBA began play in November 1991 with eleven franchises. Most were clustered in small cities in the Southeastern United States, but the league’s borders stretched as far west as Wichita, Kansas and north to Saginaw, Michigan.

Team founder Jim Tilton was a realtor and University of Louisville grad without the personal resources to fund a pro basketball team. But Tilton secured some financial backing from former Cleveland Cavaliers owner Ted Stepien to get the Shooters off the ground in 1991.

The Shooters signed some decent talent, including  ex-Louisville stars Jerome Harmon and Milt Wagner, former Boston Celtic Kelvin Upshaw, minor league war horse Alfrederick Hughes, and guard Eldridge Recasner, a recent grad from the University of Washington. Former Ole Miss and American Basketball Association star Johnny Neumann signed on as head coach.

The team hit financial headwinds pretty much immediately. Less than two months into the Shooters first season, Jim Tilton announced the team was in search of new capital. The Shooters finished the 1991-92 GBA season with a 35-29 record, good for second place in the league’s Western Division. The team was due to play the league’s best team, the Mid-Michigan Great Lakers, in the first round of the 1992 playoffs. But the Shooters declined to participate in the postseason for financial reasons and forfeited the series.

New owner David Gleason took over the team in July 1992. Improbably, the Shooters returned and attempted to stage a second season in November 1992. But the club folded after playing just three games. The rest of the Global Basketball Association followed the Shooters into the dustbin of history a month later. The league went out of business on December 19, 1992.

Jerome Harmon and Eldridge Recasner both went on to play in the NBA. While Harmon’s career lasted just 10 games with the Philadelphia 76ers in 1994-95, Recasner played for the better part of eight seasons in the NBA from 1994 until 2002.

##

 

 

Written by Drew Crossley

February 14th, 2018 at 4:25 am

1991-92 Music City Jammers

leave a comment

Music City JammersGlobal Basketball Association (1991-1992)

Born: 1991 – GBA founding franchise
Moved: 1992 (Jackson Jammers)

Arena: Nashville Municipal Auditorium

Team Colors:

Owner: Larry Schmittou, et al.

GBA Champions: 1992

 

The Music City Jammers were a Nashville-based minor league basketball outfit that lasted for just one season in the early 1990’s. The club was part of the Global Basketball Association, an all-but-forgotten loop with teams in the Southeast and Midwest. The managing partner of the Jammers was Larry Schmittou, long-time owner of Nashville’s popular Nashville Sounds minor league baseball club.

Schmittou wasn’t able to translate his magic touch from the baseball diamond to Nashville’s leaky Municipal Auditorium. A January 1992 profile of the Jammers in The Tennessean reported that the Jammers averaged fewer than 400 paid tickets per game through the team’s first 11 home dates.

On the court, the Jammers were mediocre. The team finished the regular season in 4th place in their division and barely earned the GBA’s eighth and final playoff spot. In fact, Music City’s record of 24-40 was second worst in the league. But the Jammers got hot at the right time. They eliminated the Huntsville Lasers in the first round and dispatched the Mid-Michigan Great Lakers in the semis. To cap it off, the Jammers knocked off the Greensboro City Gaters in the finals to claim the Global Basketball Association’s first (and only) championship.

Low attendance in Nashville forced Larry Schmittou to move the Jammers to Jackson, Tennessee.  The re-named Jackson Jammers returned to defend their title in November of 1992. But the Global Basketball Association came apart one month into its second season and folded on December 19, 1992.

Links

Global Basketball Association Pocket Schedules

##

Written by Drew Crossley

May 29th, 2017 at 11:02 pm

1991-92 Greensboro City Gaters

leave a comment

Greensboro City GatersGlobal Basketball Association (1991-1992)

Born: 1991 – GBA founding franchise
Folded: Postseason 1992

Arena: Greensboro Coliseum

Team Colors:

Owner:

GBA Championships: None

 

The Greensboro City Gaters were a one-year wonder in the pretty much forgotten Global Basketball Association. .

The GBA was announced in March 1991 with former ABA Commissioner Mike Storen as the front man.  The original plan called for a group of American franchises playing a fall/winter schedule with the “Global” element being the participation of a couple of European clubs from Estonia and the Republic of San Marino.  The Euro clubs never materialized and the GBA ended up clustered in the Southeastern United States (3 of the 11 clubs were in North Carolina), along with a few nonsensical far-flung franchises in places like Wichita, Kansas and Saginaw, Michigan.

The Gaters featured a couple of basketball names of cult interest.  Original Gaters Head Coach Ed McLean was the former high school basketball coach of Hall-of-Famer Pete Maravich.  But Greensboro fired McLean two months into the season.

The bigger name was Lloyd “Sweet Pea” Daniels, a can’t-miss New York City playground legend who missed badly due to drug and alcohol addiction.  Daniels landed in Greensboro in October 1991 as a weathered 24-year old. Nearly illiterate when admitted to Jerry Tarkanian’s infamous basketball program at UNLV, he was kicked off the team and out of school for buying crack from an undercover cop.  During the next four years, pro teams from Topeka to New Zealand rid themselves of Daniels for poor fitness and heavy drinking.  In 1989 he stole crack cocaine from two dealers back in New York.  The men tracked down Daniels later that night and shot him three times in the chest.

Daniels cleaned up with assistance from former NBA star, addict and rehab specialist John Lucas and landed in the GBA soon afterwards.  The 6′ 7″ forward regained his old scoring touch and won GBA Most Valuable Players honors for the 1991-92 season.

The Gaters finished the 1991-92 season at 30-33 and then disbanded.

##

The Global Basketball Association attempted a second season in November 1992. But the remaining teams fell apart almost immediately.  The league shut down in mid-season on December 19, 1992.

Lloyd Daniels made it to the NBA in 1992, reunited with Jerry Tarkanian on the San Antonio Spurs.  He appeared on and off in the NBA for most of the 1990’s.

 

Links

Global Basketball Association Pocket Schedules

Basketball blogger Ben Steele talks about the Greensboro Gaters and his childhood fascination with Lloyd Daniels on his Order of the Court blog.

##

 

Follow

Get every new post on this blog delivered to your Inbox.

Join other followers: