Pro basketball makes its return to Tulsa this fall. Tuesday, city leaders gathered at the Expo Square Pavilion where the team will play to officially announce the news.
News on 6 reporter Steve Berg says there were a couple of special guests as well for the big announcement.
The team doesn't even have a name yet, but there were a couple of big names to help celebrate its arrival. Former Tulsa high school and NBA greats Wayman Tisdale and John Starks were there. And self-avowed basketball fanatic Mayor Bill LaFortune had a noticeable spring in his step. "We now have an exciting entertainment venue that we didn't have before for Tulsans to go and watch players that someday will be in the NBA, y'know it doesn't get any more exciting than that."
Tisdale says Tulsans can expect NBA-caliber entertainment, even though it is minor leagues. "I remember some of the best players we played against were on the minor leagues that we used to play against when they brought them to camp, and I thought man, that guy didn't make the team? I couldn't believe it."
Starks, who got his start in the CBA, is a good example. He thinks this franchise will have a better shot than the old Tulsa Fastbreakers team from the CBA. "You have the commitment from the NBDL, to make it succeed and you have the NBA backing it, and I think that's the most important thing, because you're going to see the implementation of programs that the NBA is doing right now."
"No disrespect to the CBA but I think in order to have a thriving, long-term, successful basketball minor league in this country today, it needs to have the involvement of the NBA and that's what we have." Owner David Kahn is also excited about the Pavilion, which has a rich history of basketball from the days the University of Tulsa played here.
"This is, without a doubt, the most intimate, romantic basketball venue of its size that I've ever seen in my life." They hope fans will feel the love.