Here Comes The BBL
We are just a couple of weeks away from the start of the BBL season and excitement is rising with some major changes in the league as well as within the personnel of each of the teams.
The first major change announcement was the loss of Leeds Force. After what was an exceptionally tough season where they only picked up one win and were dogged by rumours of major off-court financial issues. In their four seasons in the BBL, they made the Playoffs once and were able to pick up wins against every other BBL teams except Worcester Wolves. It wasn’t a dignified way to leave the league and their departure leaves a major hole with no professional team in West Yorkshire.
Taking a more cheery tone the BBL was quickly back up to twelve teams with the introduction of London City Royals. Piggybacking on some of the glories of the history of basketball at Crystal Palace they have made some serious claims for what they intend to achieve and their roster looks to be competitive if not quite deep enough to challenge the top dogs in the BBL. Overall it is a great step forward for basketball in the UK as London needs/deserves a second if not third team. I think that all fans in the UK (with the exception of Lions fans) will be hoping that they establish themselves quickly and build a strong foundation.
The next piece of great news to surface in the desert like summer months was the inclusion of Leicester Riders in this season’s FIBA Basketball Champions League. It is a logical step for the club but that shouldn’t reduce the plaudits that they receive. To see a British basketball club back in Europe will bring back memories for many of the sunny 90’s when British basketball was on the up and no one saw the cliff edge on the horizon. The realist in me knows that they will be fighting it out in Europe Cup after a valiant unsuccessful BCL qualification campaign. I for one will be rooting for them everytime they play in Europe as I am sure most of us basketball fans in the UK will. Who knows this could open the floodgates and we could see 2 or 3 British teams entering European competition every year.
So that’s the headlines and I will now set about putting together a team by team preview for you to enjoy of the coming weeks.
All aboard the BBL bus for another bumpy ride to the O2 Arena.