Local fans hope preseason games a precursor to NBA team

Could the NBA make it in Louisville?

LOUISVILLE, Ky (WHAS11) -- Could the city of Louisville support and NBA team? New online reports are giving new life to this much-discussed topic.

Since the ABA folded in 1975 taking the Kentucky Colonels with it, many fans in Kentuckiana have held on to their hoop dreams that the NBA would one day return.

“I miss it a lot,” said Alphonso Sterling.  “We need some pro ball here. All we’ve got is the Louisville Cardinals and we need some extra ball played here.”

Local attorney J. Bruce Miller has been working behind the scenes for years to attract the NBA to Louisville, and like any business deal, he said it comes down to dollars and cents.

“It was the most successful franchise in the ABA,” said attorney J. Bruce Miller. “Draft night I think we ranked either 1st, 2nd, or 3rd in TV watching the draft. In the NBA finals when the Cavaliers won, we were in the top 10.”

Miller said games could be played initially in places like Cincinnati or Rupp Arena, but he doesn't see the Yum! Center as a long-term fit.

“These guys that I’ve talked to are interested in it, but they’re equally interested in remodeling Freedom Hall and bringing it up to snuff because of its historic nature,” said Miller.  “The naming rights for Freedom Hall would be worth between 100 and 150-million dollars.”

“I think it’s a great idea,” said Sterling.  “It would bring back all of the memories of the Cardinal games in that building.”

An NBA spokesman told us in a statement that the league was not currently considering any expansion plans.

Miller said in the event the league change course he could have an ownership team in place and a proposal ready to end to the NBA by November. 

Lt. Fields said on September 30, the Pike County Detention Center received paperwork from the Department of Corrections indicating Moore was approved for release.

A Kentucky Department of Corrections Spokesperson also did not respond to calls and emails seeking comment on the matter.

"Due to a procedural error that is being corrected by Department of Corrections offender information staff, the DOC did not recognize that a detainer was needed," a statement from the agency to WHAS11 News media partner The Courier-Journal read, "There are checks and balances at the local level that should have prevented Moore's release."


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