As we all know, Kentucky as a whole prides itself on sports, especially basketball. We have one of the biggest rivalries in college sports. Okay, I might be a little biased because I have gotten to experience it up close for four years while being a student at UofL. I will say though that we have big, loyal, crazy fan bases in both Lexington and Louisville. In Kentucky, we count down the days between seasons all year, especially for the rivalry games. It has gotten so big to the point that UK and UofL fans can argue about celebrities supporting their teams!
(Photos provided by Louisville Men's Basketball Facebook page and Josh Hutcherson's Twitter)
So what’s the next step for these fan bases? Rumors have been flying all around virally that Louisville is going to get the next expansion of a NBA team, but is this buzz valid? The answer to this is not yet. According to articles all over including on ESPN, the NBA is not ready to even expand this year and probably not for another 5 years and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver is strongly denying any idea of expansion at this time. It’s very difficult to franchise one of these teams and there are already teams that need help franchising themselves as is. There are a lot of downsides to expanding such as diluting the talent pool, a high number of teams can hurt the fan bases, and keeping a financially sustainable team. Rumors also say that the next team that would be franchised would in Seattle, rather than here. Does that mean it will never happen? No, I would not rule out that it could never happen but don’t hold your breath.
Social Medias have been made to promote this idea and have even included a number of reasons why Louisville would be the ideal city to expand to. They put up a valid argument for why Louisville is an ideal city, besides already having huge fan bases. Louisville has been ranked #41 by Forbes for Best Places for Business and Careers so it would be assumed that it could financially sustain the business for a NBA team. Louisville already has the KFC Yum! Center so an arena is available, backed up by sponsors, and ready for use. Finally, Kentucky has already had pro basketball experience. The Kentucky Colonels was a big team in the ABA in the 60’s and 70’s before merging with the NBA.
So bottom line, there is no Louisville NBA team yet, but we still have college sports to hold onto. Louisville also is having a Louisville Football Club come! Sports are not lacking here so it is no loss for us yet, but we will just have to wait patiently and see what this city has to offer.
Photo provided by the KFC Yum! Center Facebook page.