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Bring the NBA to Louisville


Bringing the NBA to Louisville has been a hot topic here on KSR, on twitter, on local news stations, and on the radio. The growing support of the cause by local government leaders and grassroots organizations are unwavering. Despite Rick Pitino and Tom Jurich not stepping up to support this cause, and even downplaying the reality that it could happen, it is indeed a possibility and it is a win-win for both UK and UofL. This week, David Stern even named Louisville as one of the viable candidates for a new NBA team in his retirement press conference. We’ve talked about the issue so much that I think we all know the positives that it will bring to the local economy and to each school. Calipari will embrace the new team and find ways for it to help UK, and Pitino would be smart to do the same and get behind these efforts.
Pitino says he is not against the NBA coming to Louisville, but instead he just doesn’t think it is realistic and isn’t jumping on board to support.

“The NBA is not coming to Louisville because (NBA commissioner) David Stern does not want it to be in Louisville,” he has said.

Well, that’s false after Stern named Louisville as a candidate this week. And even if it were true, Stern only has 15 months before he retires as commissioner.

Unlike the past, Louisville now has an NBA-ready facility built (that needs money to pay bills), and the efforts to bring a team here are not going to go away. Here is how you can help:


1. Sign the petition to support the NBA coming to Louisville by clicking on the banner above

2. Like “Bring the NBA to Louisville” on facebook and follow @nba2lou on Twitter

Article written by John Wilmhoff

Former beer vendor, college mascot and ESPN editor. This spring, you can also find me blogging about the Reds on Follow me on Twitter: @JohnWilmhoff

34 Comments for Bring the NBA to Louisville

  1. reality check
    9:38 pm October 27, 2012 Permalink

    If this is such a great idea, bring it to lexington.

  2. Isaac in Long Beach
    9:40 pm October 27, 2012 Permalink

    As much as I love my hometown, Lexington is not as capable as Louisville at supporting an NBA team.

  3. 44 Stitches
    9:55 pm October 27, 2012 Permalink

    #2 is right as much as I don’t want to say it. I’ve lived in Atlanta or the burbs of Atlanta since 1991 except for my college years. If L’ville does get a team I will love to hate them though 🙂

  4. Tim
    10:00 pm October 27, 2012 Permalink

    Y would l-ville get a team? Like Cincy ok but l-ville?

  5. Jason
    10:06 pm October 27, 2012 Permalink

    God no. Why does the state need an NBA team? I can’t stand the NBA- it just hurts to watch it. Besides, we don’t need anything to compete with the Cats.

  6. CatsFan
    10:20 pm October 27, 2012 Permalink

    Kentucky already has an NBA team. It is called the University of Kentucky Wildcats. Can’t say that I would buy tickets to go to the game unless UK stars played for them. I will sign the petition anyway because the Commonwealth of Kentucky needs some professional sports team. Go CATS, Go Colonels.

  7. cats11
    10:21 pm October 27, 2012 Permalink

    But, you guys, Tyler Thompson groups the city of Louisville with UofL and wouldn’t approve of this (even though she lives in Tennessee, making her a hypocritical biatch.)

  8. juan4uk
    10:31 pm October 27, 2012 Permalink

    The economy supports the franchise. The franchise does not successfully grow the local economy, for long. That’s why they keep moving from town to town.

  9. BigBlueTokyo
    11:23 pm October 27, 2012 Permalink

    #8, you mean the total of four teams that have moved since 1985, including the Nets this year who relocated from Newark back to their original hometown of Brooklyn? NBA teams rarely move. That’s why this would be such a golden opportunity for Kentucky to land a team.

  10. Gavin S.
    11:29 pm October 27, 2012 Permalink

    There’s an option to give a reason you want a NBA team in Louisville. I put “to piss off pitino”.

  11. carrico
    12:15 am October 28, 2012 Permalink

    I live in Louisville. after reading this post, I got to click on the banner to sign the petition, but before I do I stop and instead come to the comments section. I think it would be cool to have an nba team in Louisville, especially if we got some UK players on it. would it be be good or bad for UK? if any chance of it being bad, I don’t want it. for the record, and I know this will seem like a joke to some of you, I would rather have an MLS team come to town.

  12. Reality
    12:19 am October 28, 2012 Permalink

    Louisville is never getting an NBA team, it Cannot support it, PERIOD. Total waste of time even discussing it. There are a million reasons why, I’m too lazy to list them. Do a little research…….

  13. Goose
    1:43 am October 28, 2012 Permalink

    It would be great to have an NBA team in Louisville.. but a mistake to use the Louisville name. Using Kentucky Thoroughbreds or Colonels would be a Marketing WIN… I personally wouldnt support any team with Louisville in the name… just for the way Louisville fans treat UK fans. They are snotty and think Kentucky fans are all rednecks… we are.. but thats for us to laugh at not them..

  14. Big Whoop
    4:42 am October 28, 2012 Permalink

    Name the franchise The Louisville Linebeards and all the UL fans would change allegiance since they can’t compete with UK anymore.

  15. Ben
    8:01 am October 28, 2012 Permalink

    You need a rich owner that can lose money in the short run, to make money in the long run. I know of no one in Louisville that has that much money and is a sports fan! If you get someone outside of Louisville, what locality will he have? Why pay the price when you can travel a short distance to game? This sounds like it came from the same group that built the Yum Center!

  16. John Wilmhoff
    8:26 am October 28, 2012 Permalink

    15, or additional naming rights could be put up by Yum Brands. They have the money to do it, and if they pay all the money they do to have their name on a building where UofL plays, imagine what they would pay to lure an NBA team to play in a building with their name on it.

  17. This is funny!
    9:25 am October 28, 2012 Permalink

    This cracks me up. I’ve told Matt Jones a million times that Lexington is boring and all you have is UK basketball. Now you can’t even get an NBA team there and have to petition Louisville to have it! Bwahahahaha! Get a life. Move to Louisville and support UofL or go back to your holler.

  18. Louisville Lip
    9:33 am October 28, 2012 Permalink

    You people who can’t separate the city from the University are true morons! It gets so old. There are more UK fans in Louisville that where you live. The are more UK alums in Louisville than where you live. UK fans in Louisville are the heart and soul of BBN.

  19. Yngvie Malmsteen.
    9:47 am October 28, 2012 Permalink

    No damn chance. UL fans embarrass the whole state enough already. Giving them another venue to show their tats and hand signs is out of the question.

  20. Louisville Lip #2
    10:00 am October 28, 2012 Permalink


  21. ronkat
    11:23 am October 28, 2012 Permalink

    Louisville would not have the population to support an NBA team since there are two (even three if you include IU) outstanding college programs fans are committed to support. This area is for collecge sports. I lived in Indianapolis are for 22 years and can count on one hand the number of Pacer games I attended. There isn’t enough time or money to support all these teams in this region.

  22. barn
    11:25 am October 28, 2012 Permalink

    20–lips, your caps key is stuck

  23. TimJohnson
    11:31 am October 28, 2012 Permalink

    I thought Louisville doesn’t exist? How can a team play there if there is no place to play? And since Louisville(if it is in fact real) is a part of Indiana wouldn’t it make since to call the team the southern Indiana Line Beards? Oh I can just see all of the UK fans riding horses out of their hollers to go to the big city to eat at crackle barrel and watch the Louisville (doesn’t exist though, at the convenience of UK fans) Leopards. BBN is a joke, just like your football and basketball coaches. Can you not see how stupid you are? I almost wish Louisville would secede from Kentucky so we wouldn’t have to support your dumb asses.

  24. UL2UK8
    11:32 am October 28, 2012 Permalink

    The way that the state and city wrote the contract with UL for the YUM, a NBA team would have to play games around UL basketball (men’s and women’s), and UL volleyball, and give UL 80% of the money they get from boxes.

  25. LouisvilleFeedsTheState
    11:40 am October 28, 2012 Permalink

    You morons want a bottom feeding celler dweller NBA team….oh, are used to a bottom feeding celler dweller Football team…Nevermind.
    Besides,trailer dwellers prefer chickin’ fights.

  26. barn
    11:43 am October 28, 2012 Permalink

    if duh vill would secede it would eliminate 90% of ky’s crackheads, tattoo parlors and violent crime, and tremendously improve the state’s aesthetic quality.

  27. GapToothDanny
    12:11 pm October 28, 2012 Permalink

    “TMR’s Fan Cost Index for the NBA, which includes four average-price tickets, two small draft beers, four small soft drinks, four hot dogs, parking, two programs and two adult-size caps, averaged $301.46 for the league, up 4.5. The FCI ranged from $608.78 for the Knicks to $192.80 for the Grizzlies.”

    At present each team has 41 regular season home games. The bottom 5 teams average about 14200 attendance/game, the top 5 about 50% more than that. Since the AVERAGE NBA salary is now over $5 million, where does the rest of the revenue to run a team come from? Is TV revenue really that high? Seems to me that having an NBA team can only suck money out of the community…if someone can point out the flaws in my reasoning feel free to do so!

  28. Scoutblue 23
    12:18 pm October 28, 2012 Permalink

    Guess you have to be an old fogey to have enjoyed the ABA Colonels. Their championship year was great–and yes, they had ex-UK players, so it was more enjoyable for me. However, Louisville would already have an NBA team if John Y. hadn’t sold out and folded the Colonels.

  29. UnKnownFan
    12:19 pm October 28, 2012 Permalink

    #26 Yeah, but the other 119 couties are swimming in OxyContin and Meth. Don’t throw stones from glass houses…
    It also looks like the tattoo crowd has moved into Rupp Arena this year.I suspect Line Beards will be next.

  30. cats11
    12:36 pm October 28, 2012 Permalink

    26 has never been to a city.

  31. BuckToothInBugtussle
    3:52 pm October 28, 2012 Permalink

    #23 Don’t do it!!! My welfare would be cut off!! I got 9 kids and a goat to feed!!!

    4:27 pm October 28, 2012 Permalink

    Why in the hell do u all waste ur time with this story? This talk has been going on for at least 20 years and God only knows how long it will continue to go on but the ending of the story is the same each time: There is never going to be an NBA franchise in Louisville. And the reasons why should not have to be explained or broken down to anyone, the reality of it is crystal-clear: Louisville is not a professional sports city. Never has been, never will be. Due to a number of factors: population, economics, demand/interest, just for starters. Louisville does not have the money to support an NBA franchise. The YUM Center was built for UofL to have a new arena for basketball, not to bring an NBA team in. I shake my head anytime I hear u all say the new arena is a reason Louisville could get an NBA team-IT WAS NOT BUILT FOR THAT PURPOSE. I don’t understand where the confusion is coming into play on that. And UofL is coming out and publicly verifying it as well, that the YUM Center is for UofL, not the NBA. And u all dog them for taking that stand, but its a fact! And no NBA team is going to play in Freedom Hall, either. And why do u all care is what I really don’t get. Since this is KENTUCKYSPORTSRADIO, I don’t understand the time spent on what UofL is saying, doing,etc…I’m a UK fan so I get on this site to read about UK-related material, not UofL or if Lou is going to get an NBA team or your whining about UofL’s stand on the subject. The basketball fans in Louisville and in the state are college-basketball fans, all I hear about the NBA from people in this area is trash-talking about it. I happen to be an NBA fan myself, but the majority of ppl around here can’t stand it and will gladly tell u they can’t. There would never be enough ticket sales able to be generated in Louisville to support a franchise because of the lack of support and demand for the league, and the NBA KNOWS THAT! If there were, the league would’ve gotten a franchise started in Lou 10-15 years ago. And lets not even get on the state’s stand on this….knowing what we all know about the politics in Frankfort, do u really think they would support an NBA franchise in the CITY OF LOUISVILLE? LOL UK can’t even get an upgrade in facilities or additional funding for football because they can’t get the state to support them on it! KY is a 2nd-tier state and Louisville a 2nd-tier city on a national scale in all aspects, including sports, we all know it, and I am a proud citizen of both, but that is the reality of the situation. When ur state’s government is so fickle as to always proclaim loyalty and support to the state university’s athletics, but constantly bickers with the university’s athletic dept. over financial assistance and support needed for upgrades and funding FOR those athletics, that is not a recipe for adding a professional sports organization. Again, that is in the league of a major-league state and city, not a minor-league one, please see Louisville Bats….If anything, an NFL franchise would be the only sport I could remotely see ever being put here on a pro-level, based soley on the amt of support and demand the NFL gets in the city of Louisville. The city is full of die-hard NFL fans, but even with that, there would still never be enough revenue generated in the city or state to support that. We are just not on that level and I don’t know why KSR thinks we are, but I guess they are just dreaming as they do quite often on here about a number of topics….so please move on to something else that is worthwhile, realistic, and most importantly, something that UK fans are interested in.

  33. BigBluSoTru
    6:34 pm October 28, 2012 Permalink

    Pro teams do so much for a city and state it be a win win for this state as a whole regardless where it’s located. Something kentucky needs it would give the impression that this state is much ,more than country a nba team gives swagger.

  34. tyrus
    8:09 pm October 28, 2012 Permalink

    Go to Indianapolis during a Pacers game night. The various bars and restaurants see little if any economic boost from home games. Or just go the city any time and ask a bar tender.