Today, wanting to learn more the other minor leagues and give them a little love on the web's best minor league basketball website, I decided to do some research and see which teams, in all of minor league basketball, had the best team names. I couldn't pick just one. Here are my results:
Majic Dorsey was the WBA’s MVP in the previous year, so, obviously the newest team was named after him, and the Buford Majic were created. I wish the D-League was more receptive to this. The Reno Powell’s would have been great. Especially if they could get all of the former D-League guys with the last name Powell: Kasib, Carlos, Roger, Josh. Since I have no idea how the allocation process works, I think they would have been allocated all of these guys on this basis. However, this would have been especially fun in 2003, when the North Charleston Lowgators moved. Had they been the Charleston Ansu Sesay’s, I think they’d still be around. What’s a Lowgator?
The IBL’s team names are all pretty common, save for the team from China called the "Shanxi Zhongyu". That might be a really boring nickname though when translated, so I can’t even use that. Instead, I’ll go with the entire team name, and have decided the Snohomish County Explosion win this one. I’m not sure where they play their home games, but that may have been a better choice for their name then representing all of Snohomish County. It is true that nothing quite goes with Explosion like Snohomish County.
For this league, it’s a tie. The Manchester Millrats is obviously a prime choice, as they named their team, as stated on the website, after large rats "known for their extraordinary size and cunning that occupied old riversidemill buildings". Who doesn’t love large, cunning rats? My second choice is the Vermont Frost Heaves. I’m not sure what a Frost Heave is, so I checked out their mascot. It’s a moose named Bump. Here’s an excerpt from his story: " One year he was struck by a car and, having repaired to a nearby farm to convalesce, met a cow named Dottie and fell in love with her." I don’t know what that means or why it matters, but AWESOME.
Since they only have 5 teams to choose from, this one was pretty hard too. I’ll probably go with the Minot SkyRockets. They relocated from San Jose, so that’s why they didn’t go with something a bit more North Dakota-y (such as the classic Snowbears from previous Minot minor league basketball team names). However, I’m not sure why they used Sky at all. Are there GroundRockets? If so, I believe someone should name their team that in the ABA.
Speaking of the ABA, they, with 4,652 teams listed on the ABA website, had a lot of BAD names to choose from, so this will be worst, not best. I’ll just list my favorites: Georgia Gwizzlies (Not a typo, as the logo spells it as such as well), the New York Internationalz (Really, what’s the point of the Z?), South Chicago Ball Stars (Why?), Westchester Phantoms (More so for their logo featuring a phantom of the opera mask colored like the ABA ball), Arizona Rhinos, Gallup Talons (They owe Napoleon Dynamite rights on this), Houston Takers (Takers, is this like Stealers, or Undertakers, or WHAT!?), Los Angeles Push (What’s a push? When playing blackjack and I tie the dealer, she always tells me "A push is a win." I don't get that either...), and the San Francisco Rumble (Just doesn’t seem fair to the city).
Last, but certainly not least, we get to the D-League. Really, as anyone might have guessed ,there’s only one clear choice for the D-League. The Dakota Wizards. Since Wizards run rampant in the Dakota’s, and especially Bismarck, this just makes sense unlike so many other team names out there. Also, I should give credit to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants. Named after General Mad Anthony Wayne, it shows some real rep-your-city spirit. However, instead of going with a mascot that looked like Yosemite Sam, who just seems like a Mad general and obvious choice, Fort Wayne's Jeff Potter thought outside the box and went with a really Mad Ant. It’s famous. And has really sweet dance moves.