State of the D-League -- Expansion, Selling, Etc.

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Although it hasn't technically been announced by the D-League, the D-League is going to be expanding to the Northeast this fall.  Portland, Maine, to be exact, and all that they're waiting on is a travel partner (Springfield, Massachusetts has recently popped up, but I've got nothing confirmed on this).  If the D-League was hoping to keep this expansion a secret, something went wrong.

I decided to create a Twitter account the other day (it's apparently the new cool thing), and noticed six or seven different Twitter accounts, seven facebook groups, and a website devoted to getting the word out there.  Along with that, on OurSportsCentral it says Portland is an expansion team, along with linking to five or six articles.  So, I'm not actually breaking anything, but rather giving a bit of a rundown with my thoughts attached.

The team looks like it's been spearheaded by Jon Jennings, a former assistant coach of the Boston Celtics.  Another investor is Bill Ryan, the former president of TD Banknorth, the bank that has the naming rights to the Garden where the Boston Celtics play.  While the Celtics won't own this team, at least initially, it seems very likely that they'll be heavily involved.

In other news I haven't been able to fit in easily recently, the last two of the original four David Kahn teams have changed hands.  Originally, Kahn, the former Indiana Pacers GM, bought the Albuquerque Thunderbirds, Austin Toros, Tulsa 66ers, and Forth Worth Flyers.  The Toros were sold to the San Antonio Spurs and the 66ers to the Oklahoma City Thunder during the past two Summers.  This season, in the past month, Albuquerque was sold to Sam Bregman, a local attorney and previous minority owner of the team.  At nearly the same time, the Reno Bighorns, who were apparently the same franchise as the Fort Worth team, were sold to SK Baseball, which is also bringing a AAA baseball team to Reno.

The Colorado 14ers also look like they could be sold, as Tim Wiens, owner of the Broomfield Events Center and the 14ers, has told the city he no longer wants to operate the arena.  While this doesn't neccesarily mean that the 14ers are going to be sold, chances look to be slim that they will remain in Colorado.  Wiens wasn't able to pay the utility bill in November and December due to limited resources, and I'm not sure they're going to improve anytime soon.

After the announced attendance of 724 (Take your pick.. either 72 total in arena or 24 fans, nice thought on combining though) in Anaheim tonight, I think they could be on there way to "New Owner or Fold" mode as well.

To end on a lighter note, what should the new Portland Maine team be named?  Let's get our support out there so we don't end up with any more Bayhawks, Jam, Energy or 66ers!  Leave your suggestion in the comments!

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