Alternate History Sports

You are not logged in. Would you like to login or register?

9/01/2020 11:19 am  #1

Basketball Alt-History

NBA Votes to Suspend 1985-86 Season
Move comes 1 week after Turner pulled out of TV contract
October 7, 1985 

The NBA’s owners voted yesterday to formally suspend the 1985-86 season, after Turner pulled out of their national television deal. The owners voted 15-3 in favor of suspension, with only the Celtics, 76ers, and Bucks in favor of playing.
The Association has been beset with problems, both financially and image-wise, stemming back to the league’s refusal to grant stand-out Michigan State Guard Earvin “Magic” Johnson a hardship waiver to join the draft after his NCAA championship winning Freshman season in 1979.
The NBA’s recent financial struggles have been well noted. The San Diego Clippers, New Jersey Nets, and Cleveland Cavaliers all folded after the 1981-82 season, and the Kansas City Kings and Golden St Warriors were not expected to take the court this year, either.
The league has also faced a public-image problem relating to its players and their drug use, particularly cocaine. This includes Michael Ray Richardson, who has openly discussed his addiction and rehab, and John Drew, who has missed games for 2 separate stints in rehab, and was arrested earlier this year in Utah for passing bad checks.
Barring any surprises, basketball fans will be left with slim pickings this winter. The NCAA, like always, will be playing, as will the Continental Basketball Association, a minor league with teams in the Midwest and East Coast. Come Spring-time the United States Basketball League will begin its second season, with teams in the Northeast and Florida. It is unclear whether or not plays signed to NBA contracts will be eligible to play in these leagues.
The NBA hopes to return for the 1986-87 season

Last edited by sportsfan7 (9/01/2020 11:20 am)


9/01/2020 12:17 pm  #2

Re: Basketball Alt-History

Very interesting wonder where this goes from here


9/01/2020 12:41 pm  #3

Re: Basketball Alt-History

This is a really interesting start! A bit of a tip though, I'd add an introduction to your original post, could be big, could be long, just kinda explaining what the project is and kinda sets the stage for the story to get underway. That said your first dive into this alt universe is nice! It's a really interesting plotline so far and I'm excited to see where you take it. How many teams are currently still playing, since it seems as though 5 teams have already folded.
Also, are you going to be making any graphics for this project? Maybe some redesigns or expansion team designs.


9/01/2020 2:03 pm  #4

Re: Basketball Alt-History

MyTeamIsDr.Pepper wrote:

This is a really interesting start! A bit of a tip though, I'd add an introduction to your original post, could be big, could be long, just kinda explaining what the project is and kinda sets the stage for the story to get underway. That said your first dive into this alt universe is nice! It's a really interesting plotline so far and I'm excited to see where you take it. How many teams are currently still playing, since it seems as though 5 teams have already folded.
Also, are you going to be making any graphics for this project? Maybe some redesigns or expansion team designs.

Alright, I guess I'll make an introduction here.

I can't remember what exactly triggered it, but a long time ago I started this project surrounding an alt-history where the NBA folds in the 80s. As we know, the NBA had a lot of struggles in the 70s and early 80s, both with cocaine and with money, infamously having NBA Finals games shown on tape delay during the early 80s. I thought that it wouldn't be out of the question for the NBA to fold during this period. I know a lot of people point to Magic Johnson as a turning point for the league in the eyes of the American public, so I made my divergence point him not getting a hardship waiver. He struggled a bit during his next 2 years at Michigan St and is now a solid NBA starter. My plan for this series is to see what would happen if the NBA isn't as popular (at least in the 80s).

As far as the series structure goes, I already have it all written, I just dusted it off for this. The major teams will have starting fives (for the first few seasons I just did star players, before changing it up). I will also be using real players and will be incorporating some real life NBA storylines into the series.

As far as some of Dr Pepper's questions go; I won't be making any graphics, I'm not very good at design right now, but I may be in the future. As far as the NBA teams go, the remaining teams are as follows;
Boston Celtics
New York Knicks
Detroit Pistons
Philadelphia 76ers
Washington Bullets
Atlanta Hawks
Indiana Pacers
Milwaukee Bucks
Chicago Bulls
Dallas Mavericks
Houston Rockets
San Antonio Spurs
Denver Nuggets
Utah Jazz
Seattle SuperSonics
Portland Trail Blazers
Los Angeles Lakers
Phoenix Suns

However, none of these teams will be playing in the 85-86 season, but the NBA hopes to be back for the 86-87 season, once Turner pulled out of the TV deal, there just wasn't enough money to go around. If the NBA returns in the future, it is unlikely that it will be with this exact line-up of teams. Pro basketball this season will only be played by the CBA and the USBL.

I hope that explained everything better. If you have anymore questions, just let me know!

     Thread Starter

9/02/2020 10:39 am  #5

Re: Basketball Alt-History

Get to know the CBA

The Continental Basketball Association looks to be the only professional basketball league to play this winter (The USBL season begins play in the Spring). The league recently signed a deal with ESPN to broadcast its games. Here is what you need to know about the league before its 40th season begins.

Founded as the Eastern Pennsylvania Basketball League in 1946, the league has also been named the Eastern Professional Basketball League and the Eastern Basketball Association to represent the locations of its teams. The league became known as the Continental Basketball Association in 1978, one year after adding a team in Anchorage, Alaska.

Today, CBA is made up of 14 teams in 2 divisions. The East is headlined by the defending champion Tampa Bay Thrillers who are led by last year's MVP Steve Hayes. Their instate rivals, the Florida Stingers, are lead by former Denver Nugget Alex English, one of a few star players to take advantage of the NBA’s opt-out program that lets players sign one year contracts elsewhere and allows them to rejoin their NBA team if it starts up next year, barring injury. Some of the Thrillers top Eastern Division competitors include the Toronto Tornados, owned by former Cavs owner Ted Stepien and led on the court by Robert Smith, as well as the Baltimore Lightning, recently relocated from Lancaster and rostering Don Collins, last year’s Newcomer of the Year. The rest of the East is filled out by the Albany Patroons, led by Guard Clinton “Wow” Wheeler, the Bay State Bombardiers, and the Maine Windjammers.

The West Division is a little bit closer than the East, but still figures to be won by the Detroit Spirits, last year's runner-up. The Spirits added Joe Dumars to a roster that includes last year’s Rookie of the Year, Eric Turner, and Tico Brown, one of the most prolific scorers in CBA history. One of their closest divisional competitors figures to be the Evansville Thunder, who added Charles Oakley to their roster, pairing him with Claude Gregory. The Cincinnati Slammers look to also be in the mix. One team to look out for is the expansion Kansas City Sizzlers, who signed Benoit Benjamin and Xavier McDaniel. The Western Division is rounded out by the La Crosse Catbirds, Wisconsin Flyers, and Wyoming Wildcatters.

     Thread Starter

9/02/2020 12:50 pm  #6

Re: Basketball Alt-History

Interesting a lot of small market teams in the CBA but it should be a lot of fun


9/03/2020 1:16 pm  #7

Re: Basketball Alt-History

This should hopefully explain where this series is going.

New Major Basketball League Looks to Start Next Year
American Basketball League led by former NCAA and ABA executives
December 6, 1985

Former Minneapolis Lakers star and ABA Commissioner George Mikan and former University of Maryland Athletics Director Jim Kehoe announced the formation of the American Basketball League. The League intends to “provide the American public with high level, traditional, basketball, that can feel good about watching and supporting” starting in the 1986-87 Season. The League did not make any announcements about its teams.

Second Competitor of the NBA Announced this Week
Premier Basketball League led by former NBA Owners
December 11, 1985

The Premier Basketball League was launched today at a press conference today in Manhattan. Seattle SuperSonics owner Barry Ackerley, former San Diego Clippers owner Donald Sterling, Phoenix Suns General Manager Jerry Colangelo, New York Islanders owner John Pickett, and 43 year old African-American businessman Reginald Lewis announced the formation of the 8 team league, set to begin play next fall. The league will have teams in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Phoenix.

When asked about the future of the NBA, Ackerley said that he thought that “it is in a difficult position right now and some of the other owners are struggling for cash”. The PBL will have to compete with the American Basketball League, which was announced earlier this week.

Last edited by sportsfan7 (9/03/2020 1:17 pm)

     Thread Starter

9/03/2020 1:29 pm  #8

Re: Basketball Alt-History

Two rival leagues eh. Can’t wait to see where this goes


9/04/2020 12:15 pm  #9

Re: Basketball Alt-History

I, and I assume some of the readers, will be "out of the office" over the weekend, so I will not be posting updates. This should also be the end of the "Headline News" portion of the story for a little while. When I get back, my next few posts will be about the CBA and USBL seasons, recaps, previews, and playoffs.

 ABL Announces First 6 Teams; NBA Owners Involved
League primarily Midwestern; More teams to come
December 19, 1985

The American Basketball League revealed its first teams to the world today. League Commissioner Jim Kehoe made the announcements of the first 6 teams and their ownership groups. They are;

Chicago- led by Chicago White Sox and new Chicago Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf
Milwaukee- led by Milwaukee Bucks owner and Cable Television Executive Jim Fitzgerald
Minnesota- led by league founder George Mikan, former Minneapolis Lakers owner Ben Berger, and Minnesota Vikings owner Irwin Jacobs
Detroit- led by Detroit Pistons owner Bill Davidson and real estate developer Alfred Taubman
Atlanta- led by former Atlanta Hawks owner and former Georgia Governor Carl Sanders and Atlanta Falcons owner Rankin Smith
Charlotte- led by George Shinn, the only ownership group with no ties to the NBA

Commissioner Kehoe said that the teams would unveil their branding “shortly” and that the league “expect[s] to add more teams before [they] begin play”.

With 3 NBA owners being involved in the ABL and another, Barry Ackerley, being involved with the PBL, the future of the NBA is being cast very much into doubt. Jerry Reinsdorf said “The NBA has been pushing a stale, unexciting product on basketball fans who, quite frankly, deserve a lot better”. Reinsdorf also stated that he hoped that the NBA would take this as a wake-up call, seeming to leave open the door for a return to the NBA.

Rival Professional Leagues Make Dueling Announcements
6 more ABL franchises awarded; David Dixon made PBL Commissioner
January 6, 1986

In separate announcements today, the American Basketball League announced their expansion by 6, while the Premier Basketball League introduced their commissioner. The ABL announced that the following groups and cities would be joining their ranks;

Indianapolis- led by Indiana Pacers founder and owner Richard Tinkham
Louisville- led by former Kentucky Colonels, Boston Celtics, and Buffalo Braves owner and former Kentucky Governor John Brown Jr
Norfolk/Hampton- led by the President of Norfolk Southern Railway, Robert Claytor
Nashville- led by media mogul Edward Gaylord
Tampa Bay- led by former Tampa Bay Rowdies owner George Strawbridge
South Florida- led by the CEO of Carnival Cruises, Micky Arison

ABL Commissioner Jim Kehoe says that the league is happy with the 12 cities and ownership groups they have, but that expansion is “still a possibility”.

Barry Ackerley, owner of the Seattle PBL franchise and the SuperSonics, introduced David Dixon as the commissioner of the PBL. Dixon helped to found both World Championship Tennis and the USFL before stepping aside from both. “We are very confident that David Dixon is the right man to lead, not just the PBL, but professional basketball as a whole, into the modern era” said Ackerley.

Recent moves by both leagues seem to imply that the NBA is in trouble, as 5 of its team owners are now involved in either the ABL or PBL. Don Carter, the part-owner of the Dallas Mavericks, the youngest team in the league, recently said that he wasn’t “sure that the team has enough money to make it to next season, if there even is one”. Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss took a different stance, saying that “the Association should play next season, regardless of what these rebel owners are thinking and scheming”. The NBA’s team owners will meet sometime in the spring to discuss their options.

ABL Adds 4 More
Smaller markets targeted by League
January 29, 1986

American Basketball League Commissioner Jim Kehoe announced that the following ownership groups and cities received ABL franchises;

Richmond, Virginia- owned by former Virginia Squires, Baltimore Bullets, and Washington Whips owner Earl Foreman
Raleigh, North Carolina- owned by Hardee’s founder Wilber Hardee
Columbus, Ohio- owned by former Cleveland Indians owner and Stouffer’s Frozen Foods founder Vernon Stouffer, and Wendy’s founder Dave Thomas
Omaha, Nebraska- owned by The Tonight Show host Johnny Carson and former National Commander of The American Legion, William Galbraith

Kehoe confirmed that there would not be any more expansion by the ABL going into its inaugural season, however the ABL is looking at potentially adding teams for its second season and beyond.

Last edited by sportsfan7 (9/04/2020 12:18 pm)

     Thread Starter

9/05/2020 2:15 pm  #10

Re: Basketball Alt-History

Out of curiosity what are the names of the teams in the ABL? Right now all I know is the Cities that teams are in


Board footera


Powered by Boardhost. Create a Free Forum