Recently, the Charlotte Hornets announced that they are looking to field their own D-League team starting in 2016-17. Asheville is among the seven cities being considered. This is huge news and a great opportunity for Asheville and Western North Carolina.
The Hornets need this team desperately, as they share “their” D-League team (Fort Wayne Mad Ants) with at least 10 other NBA teams. Because of this, the Hornets cannot really give players who are usually on the bench needed playing time.
There are many reasons Asheville should be a favorite to win Michael Jordan‘s D-League team:
1. Renovated U.S. Cellular Center that was reconfigured with basketball in mind.
2. Other cities’ venues are just too large for minor league basketball. Our seating can be made much closer to the action.
3. Asheville has hosted the Hornets’ preseason training camp the last three years.
4. Asheville is still the only city to have won back-to-back D-League championships, never getting the chance for the “threepeat,” a term Michael Jordan knows very well.
5. Asheville is rated as the No. 24 minor league sports market nationally, according to SportsBusiness Journal, [and] No. 5 among cities with just one team.
Don’t listen to naysayers who talk about the “failure” of the Asheville Altitude. By that argument, the Hornets shouldn’t have come back! The previous team was from a top-down “McBasketball” approach, rushed with duplicate logos when the D-League really didn’t understand how to run minor league basketball. Don’t punish any city because of failures of a young NBDL.
Folks, this would be Michael Jordan’s D-League team! Do you want to help Michael develop players to bring an NBA championship to the Carolinas? Of course you do. So join us!
Time is of the essence. Go to www.twitter.com/BEElieveInAVL and follow us. Tell Michael Jordan to “BEElieve in Asheville!”
— Dennis Justice