It’s finally here, the BBL 2011/12 season kicks off this Friday evening and there was lots of big moves and high drama over the summer.
First of all, the biggest headline in BBL history hit the press when NBA superstar Ron Artest, of the LA Lakers revealed that he wanted to play in the UK during the NBA lockout. All NBA players over the summer were locked out by their respective clubs until an agreement is reached between team owners and players on the new collective bargaining agreement (basically, how to split league revenue). He first revealed the news via his twitter account, which then spilled onto our TV screens and newspapers.
This story has now calmed and it is highly unlikely we will see an NBA superstar in England. This is because it may be possible for an agreement to be reached and finalized by the NBA in the next few months.
The other huge story broke a few weeks before the big curtain raiser when Essex Pirates announced their withdrawal for the league with immediate effect.
The decision had been reached after a Franchise Review, which followed notification of potential operational challenges by the Pirates Management.
London Leopards, from EBL Division One, have accepted an invitation to compete in the BBL Trophy and will take their place in the group also containing Prestige Homes MK Lions and Jelson Homes DMU Leicester Riders.
So with one team out already and no NBA superstars making an appearance lets see who will be playing in the 2011/12 campaign.