Alternate History Sports

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10/01/2020 1:51 pm  #41

Re: Basketball Alt-History

ABL Preview

The other top-tier professional basketball league starting up this year, the American Basketball League will feature 16 teams in the Southeast and Midwest. Each of the teams will play 66 games, 6 against each of their 3 divisional foes and 4 against the other 12 teams. The league will be broadcast on SuperStation WTBS. With only the division champions moving on to the playoffs and several should-be-close races, the season should be exciting.

The Atlantic Division appears to be a three horse race. The Raleigh Cougars hope that former standout UNC big man and the first draft pick in ABL history, Brad Daugherty, pairs well with Larry Nance. Their instate rivals, the Charlotte Hornets, look to be hot on their tail with a star-studded trio of James Worthy, Alex English, and Buck Williams. The third team in the running for the division is the Richmond Royals, who have their own star-studded trio of Moses Malone, Charles Oakley, and Ralph Sampson. The Tidewater Privateers are depending on Walter Davis, an aging Marques Johnson, and rookie Chris Washburn to keep the team relevant this year.

Perhaps the only division without a compelling division race is the Southeast, featuring championship favorites, Atlanta Phoenix. Through the draft, the Phoenix added John Salley of Georgia Tech to an already stacked roster featuring Charles Barkley, Karl Malone, Dominique Wilkins, Kevin Willis, and Orlando Woolridge. The other three teams in the division are fairly evenly matched, but have much hope of catching the Phoenix. The Nashville Titans, with their own Malone and Wilkins duo (Jeff and Gerald), as well as Clyde Drexler, seem like the team with the best, albeit still small, chance of doing so. The Tampa Bay Parrots drafted Chuck Person to pair with Reggie Theus and hope their supporting cast of Artis Gilmore and Tom Chambers can help the team along. The Miami Tropics, however, seem to merely be hoping that Xavier McDaniel, Otis Thorpe, and Mark Price can keep the team out of the cellar.

The Central Division is remarkably similar to the Atlantic, in that both have a trio of teams seeking the division title, while a fourth wallows among the dregs of the league. The Columbus Explorers splurged on Larry Bird and hope he can lead a team whose second best player is Alvin Robertson, to the playoffs. The Indianapolis Cardinals also hope that a big star can lead them to the playoffs; Larry Bird. In contrast to the other two, the Louisville Colonels are much more balanced, with Adrian Dantley leading a group that includes Joe Dumars, Darrell Griffith, and Rookie Kenny Walker. The Detroit Mustangs hope that rookie Roy Tarpley can grow into a future star under the veteran leadership of Rickey Green, with some help from former NCAA standout Earvin “Magic” Johnson.

Perhaps the most thrilling division race is in the Midwest, as both the Chicago Zephyrs and Milwaukee Robins appear to be two of the best teams in the league. The Zephyrs seem to have an ever-so-slight edge with their core of Bill Laimbeer, Terry Cummings, Derek Harper, and Eddie Johnson, as well as rookie Ron Harper. The Robins hope their trio of Sidney Moncreif, Mark Aguirre, and Kevin McHale can power them to the playoffs. The Twin Cities Loons seem to have constructed a perfectly average roster, with defending Naismith Player of the Year Johnny Dawkins joining a pair of West Germans, Detlef Schrempf and Kik Vandeweghe. The Omaha Pioneers are already looking forward to next year's draft, having assembled a roster led by Rolando Blackman, Joe Barry Carroll, and their surprising draft pick, NAIA standout Dennis Rodman.
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10/02/2020 11:15 am  #42

Re: Basketball Alt-History

Potential Basketball Expansion

Entering their first seasons, both the Premier Basketball League and American Basketball League have made public comments about expansion in the future. ABL Commissioner Jim Kehoe has said that the league hopes to expand to at least 20 teams by the start of their second season. The last time there were 28 major professional basketball teams was in the 1970-71, 1971-72, and 1974-75 seasons, when the NBA and ABA combined for 28 teams. Meanwhile, PBL Commissioner David Dixon is on record saying that the League is not looking to expand, but “If we see a group and a market that we feel will make the league better, we won’t hesitate to expand”. He also is not concerned that the ABL has beaten them to a lot of markets, saying they were “overextending” themselves.

Several groups have publicly been pursuing expansion teams in one or both leagues. Most major US markets have at least one group attempting to bring a basketball team there. Several former NBA owners are involved as well. Former Spurs and Nuggets owner, Red McCombs, is trying to bring a team to San Antonio. Sidney Schlenker, who very briefly owned the Nuggets, is attempting to bring a team to Denver. Former ABA owners are also in the mix, with the Silna Brothers attempting to bring a team to St Louis, where they owned the Spirits, and Bill Daniels is trying to bring a team back to Utah, the former home of the Daniels’ owned Stars. Other sports team owners are also involved, with Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt seeking to bring a team to KC, Browns owner Art Modell looking to get a team in Cleveland, and the Knox Brothers, owners of the Sabres, are seeking to bring a team to Western New York. Small markets are also in the mix for teams, with Fort Wayne, Providence, the North Carolina Triad (Greensboro, Winston-Salem, and High Point), Tulsa, and Dayton all reportedly assembling groups to get a team. The New York City Metropolitan Area has several groups looking to put a team there, either in the city itself, Long Island, or New Jersey.

Last edited by sportsfan7 (10/02/2020 11:15 am)
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10/03/2020 3:10 pm  #43

Re: Basketball Alt-History

Pre-Season Power Rankings

New York Gothams
Seattle Pilots
Los Angeles Jets
San Francisco Sea Lions
Phoenix Copperheads
Boston Shamrocks
Washington Senators
Philadelphia Brothers

Atlanta Phoenix
Chicago Zephyrs
Milwaukee Robins
Columbus Explorers
Richmond Royals
Indianapolis Cardinals
Charlotte Hornets
Louisville Colonels
Raleigh Cougars
Twin Cities Loons
Nashville Titans
Tampa Bay Parrots
Miami Tropics
Tidewater Privateers
Omaha Pioneers
Detroit Mustangs
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10/07/2020 9:24 pm  #44

Re: Basketball Alt-History

PBL Season Recap

The New York Gothams outperformed their high expectations on their way to a 45-3 record. Julius Erving had a turn-back-the-clock type season, leading the team and finishing runner-up in MVP voting and getting a place on the All-PBL team. Darryl “Chocolate Thunder” Dawkins and Patrick Ewing both contributed to one of the best teams in basketball history. The rest of the East Division was subpar, as was expected. Robert “The Chief” Parish led the Boston Shamrocks into the division’s other playoff spot. The Washington Senators had expected to be in contention for the playoff spot, but struggled early and could never quite get it together. The Philadelphia Brothers outperformed expectations, but still wound up in the league cellar.

The West was a much tighter race than the East, as was expected. The Los Angeles Jets were the only team to finish above .500 in the division. The Jets were led by League MVP Michael Jordan, who carried the team almost single-handedly. The San Francisco Sea Lions, led by All-PBL Forward Chris Mullin, were able to back into the final playoff spot, losing 8 of their last 10. The preseason division favorite Seattle Pilots received a surprising year from Rookie of the Year Brad Sellers. However, the Pilots established stars were unable to provide much help and the team missed out on the playoffs by 1 game. Despite All-PBL performances by both Hakeem Olajuwan and Fat Lever, the Phoenix Copperheads finished at the bottom of the division.

PBL Standings

New York Gothams 45-3
Boston Shamrocks 21-27
Washington Senators 17-31
Philadelphia Brothers 15-33
Los Angeles Jets 27-21
San Francisco Sea Lions 24-24
Seattle Pilots 23-25
Phoenix Copperheads 20-28

PBL Awards

MVP- Michael Jordan
ROY- Brad Sellers
All-PBL Team
G- Michael Jordan
G- Lafayette Lever
F- Julius Erving
F- Chris Mullin
C- Hakeem Olajuwon  

Last edited by sportsfan7 (10/07/2020 9:24 pm)
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10/24/2020 10:41 pm  #45

Re: Basketball Alt-History

Will this series continue?


10/25/2020 1:18 am  #46

Re: Basketball Alt-History

NeoPrankster wrote:

Will this series continue?

That's the plan. I don't think I'll be back to posting regularly until New Years-ish, but I think I'll be able to have a couple random posts between now and then starting next week.
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11/08/2020 11:46 am  #47

Re: Basketball Alt-History

I know I said this would continue this past week, but I'm an American so my attention has been ... elsewhere recently. I should be able to get the next post up tomorrow and hopefully settle into a routine of ~2 posts a week, but it remains to be seen if that's feasible.

Since I've already done the PBL season recap, would you guys rather I continue posting with the PBL and finish their season before moving on to the ABL, or do the ABL season recap next and alternate posts to the end of the season?
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11/08/2020 11:24 pm  #48

Re: Basketball Alt-History

sportsfan7 wrote:

I know I said this would continue this past week, but I'm an American so my attention has been ... elsewhere recently. I should be able to get the next post up tomorrow and hopefully settle into a routine of ~2 posts a week, but it remains to be seen if that's feasible.

Since I've already done the PBL season recap, would you guys rather I continue posting with the PBL and finish their season before moving on to the ABL, or do the ABL season recap next and alternate posts to the end of the season?

A. Take your time, we all have things to take care of in 2020

B. I’d go with option B do the ABL recap first then the PBL playoffs

11/09/2020 8:12 pm  #49

Re: Basketball Alt-History

ABL Season Recap

The Charlotte Hornets won the Atlantic Division by an unexpectedly large margin. “Big Game James” Worthy hit several clutch shots, with teams often forced to choose between putting their best defender on him or Alex English, while Mike Gminski remained a solid option in the paint. The preseason division favorite Richmond Royals started fast, but faded when both Charles Oakley and Ralph Sampson missed significant portions of the year, but Moses Malone was still able to capture a spot on the All-ABL team. The Raleigh Cougars struggled in their inaugural season despite solid performances from Larry Nance and #1 Pick Brad Daugherty. The Tidewater Privateers finished, expectedly, at the bottom of the Division, although 5’7” Spud Webb’s pregame dunk routine made them one of the leagues more popular teams.

The Atlanta Phoenix ran away with the Southeast Division and secured the #1 seed for the playoffs, despite failing to place a single player on the All-ABL team, although Charles Barkley and Kevin Willis were the 3rd and 4th highest vote getters at forward. The Miami Tropics, expected to be one of the league's worst teams, nearly made it to .500. The Nashville Titans faltered at the start of the season, but finished strong on the back of Clyde Drexler.

The Tampa Bay Parrots weren’t bad either, and Chuck Person won the Rookie of the Year award.
Despite winning the Central Division and having MVP Larry Bird and All-ABL Alvin Robertson on the roster, the Columbus Explorers managed to underperform this year. Isiah Thomas was unable to lead the Indianapolis Cardinals to a playoff berth, but did earn a spot on the all-ABL team. The Louisville Colonels had great potential, but never seemed to click. The Detroit Mustangs received a great season by Magic Johnson that remained many of his potential, but were unable to do much with it, finishing last in the ABL.

In the closest division race, the Milwaukee Robins, led by All-ABL Forward Kevin McHale, edged out the Chicago Zephyrs with a win at Chicago Stadium on the last night of the season. The Zephyrs had a 7-game losing streak in December that almost ruined their chances, but they remained in contention until the season's final night. Considered “perfectly average” before the season, the Twin Cities Loons were exactly that, finishing 33-33. The Omaha Pioneers were nothing special, but managed to sweep the Atlanta Phoenix, contributing to 4 of their 8 losses

ABL Standings

Charlotte Hornets 52-14
Richmond Bulldogs 39-27
Raleigh Cougars 25-41
Tidewater Pirates 14-52
Atlanta Phoenix 58-8
Miami Tropics 31-35
Nashville Titans 30-36
Tampa Bay Parrots 28-38
Columbus Explorers 41-25
Indianapolis Cardinals 32-34
Louisville Colonels 29-37
Detroit Mustangs 10-56
Milwaukee Robins 41-25
Chicago Zephyrs 40-26
Twin Cities Loons 33-33
Omaha Pioneers 25-41

ABL Awards

MVP- Larry Bird
ROY- Chuck Person
All-ABL Team
G- Isiah Thomas
G- Alvin Robertson
F- Larry Bird
F- Kevin McHale
C- Moses Malone

Last edited by sportsfan7 (11/09/2020 8:14 pm)
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11/10/2020 6:18 pm  #50

Re: Basketball Alt-History

PBL Playoff Preview

The New York Gothams, hot off one of the best seasons of professional basketball of all time, look to make quick work of the struggling San Francisco Sea Lions. The Los Angeles Jets are favored over the Boston Shamrocks, although it is projected to be closer than the other semifinal. The Gothams are heavy favorites to win the inaugural PBL Championship
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