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Old 23-10-2013, 03:43 AM   #26
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I can definitely see that. By Tokyo 2020, it's projected this great crop of now-young Canadian talent we're witnessing will be peaking and matured then as a medal contender!

I find it a bit shocking that the NBA has not even considered hosting either a preseason or regular season game down under (Australia and New Zealand). With some solid talent Australia and NZ produced for the NBA with Longley, Gaze, Anstey, Bradtke, Mills, Bogut, Anderson, Marks, Adams, Heal, Jawai, and sure I'll count Irving, why haven't the NBA done so? I mean, it's been to Japan, China, and Taiwan. Back in the 1990s, you'll remember those popular NBA Jam Sessions in Melbourne and Sydney that made NBA basketball more accessible when it was growing in global popularity. Any NBA game in Australia will have to be held in Sydney at the Sydney Superdome (very likely) and Melbourne's Rod Laver Arena. Auckland will be the best NZ chance with the Vector Arena. Major League Baseball will start the 2014 baseball season at the Sydney Cricket Ground in March with the Arizona Diamondbacks and Los Angeles Dodgers playing. Why can't the NBA throw a bone to Australia like that? Demand is surely there with lots of NBA fans like here!
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Old 23-10-2013, 10:32 PM   #27
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Steve Nash's take on the rising basketball power in Canada:

Quote:
With two seasons left in my NBA career, I'm still busy and obsessed as ever with the game of basketball.
And in 2012, I was named the general manager of the Canadian national team. You might ask: Why would I accept such a prominent, important management role in Canadian hoops while I'm still playing?
Indeed, it's an odd situation. Ability-wise, it's a team for which I could still play. But playing GM is a whole different game. I've often asked myself whether I can do the job while I'm physically absent essentially 50 weeks of the year. (Some others might just be asking: "How did he get that gig?")
I took the position early (before I retired) because it doesn't take much to see the pipeline of potential running through the Canadian ranks -- from 12-year-olds to star college players such as Andrew Wiggins to NBA players such as Tristan Thompson and now Anthony Bennett.
Canadian basketball has arrived.
But where is all of this talent coming from? I'd contend a lot of talent has always been there, but a number of things have allowed the talent to emerge and be recognized in the United States and beyond. Although we've had a sprinkling of Canadian NBA players, we're now in a golden era where it seems we boast multiple McDonald's All Americans because American fans and evaluators recognize the talent. And those guys can turn into Wiggins (with an NBA future) and Bennett, the No. 1 overall pick of the 2013 NBA draft. It seems there are even more Canadian first-round draft picks every year, with more sure to follow.
Right now interest and participation in the game in Canada is at an all-time high. While my friends and I grew up watching the NBA like a lot of Canadians, the arrival of the Toronto Raptors and the Vancouver Grizzlies brought the NBA and the game of basketball into more households across the country exponentially and with a new intimacy. The sport's visibility exploded, and with it so did interest, excitement and participation.
For six and a half years, much of Canada's young talent watched and fell in love with a flamboyant, human highlight film named Vince Carter. He inspired them nightly while playing for the home team Raptors. I think Vince's presence in our country shouldn't be underestimated. His charisma was incredibly powerful in attracting a Canadian audience to the game of basketball for a memorable period of time. More and more kids play basketball every year in Canada, and I think the NBA's arrival played a pivotal role in the game's growth.
Of course, it would be incredibly naive to discount the Internet's effect on our country's players, coaches and fans. When I was coming up, there was a strong tradition and culture of basketball in our communities, but it was small. Especially when compared with hockey and soccer. For me to know Jason Kidd's game and style when I was in high school, I had to be one of the 12 Under-16s or Under-17s in all of British Columbia chosen to represent our province at the Las Vegas Invitational AAU tournament. In other words, I had access to resources the average Canadian teen did not.
Now, any Canadian kid can jump on YouTube and not only watch the world's best and brightest -- including within their age group -- but also even see and learn what training regimens or practice sessions look like in other countries and programs. This goes for coaches, too.
This helped expose Canadian players to the type of talent that was out there, allowed them to compare their games and abilities and, in a way, offered the first challenge for our young players: "He's the best out there? I'm coming for him, then." It's possible those exact words crossed the lips of Thompson, Bennett, Wiggins, Cory Joseph, Andrew Nicholson, Robert Sacre, Kelly Olynyk, Myck Kabongo, Dwight Powell or Trey Lyles.
Lastly, the grassroots/AAU programs in Canada have changed the landscape for our young players. While not always perfect, it's hard to argue with what I view as two major successes:
1. Providing hundreds if not thousands of kids the opportunity to earn college basketball scholarships.
2. Offering this bumper crop of Canadians a chance to travel to the U.S. and play against the best in their class -- to prove they belong.
So now it's on me and our management team to foster this development and growth. Can we raise money (government funding is minimal) and build a program and culture that embodies our vision of developing talent and put a team on the floor that competes with the world's best?
It's no small order but one that has me brimming with passion and pride. Put simply, I love my country and I love basketball. This game and the Canadian program has afforded me so much that I get excited thinking we are building a program and system that will allow these kids and our national team to realize their dreams individually and collectively.
Each summer, whether I was in college or in the first part of my NBA career, the Canadian program gave me an incredible opportunity to raise my game to another level. I desperately hope the experiences I've had and wisdom I've gained playing the game at the highest level for nearly two decades can overcome any inexperience I show as a rookie GM, but more importantly, help Canada's young players reach their potential.
Steve Nash is a 17-year NBA veteran and is currently a member of the Los Angeles Lakers. He is also the general manager of the Canadian national team.
I particularly like the bit about the internet and how this means kids with an interest in the game can pursue it and find out more about it. Instead of being consigned to what the newspapers or TV stations force down their throat. I can relate this to Australia, where basketball is a 'minority' sport and will not make regular news headlines on local broadcasts.
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Old 24-10-2013, 09:23 AM   #28
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Nash's comments would be something I put up on the international basketball thread here soon.
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Old 06-11-2013, 06:51 AM   #29
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Footage from the Montreal NBA 2013 preseason game between Minnesota and Boston at the Bell Centre (Centre Bell):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NrGwEgnojE4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4p_YMs3tdRs
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cnoUpsYTQnM

Halftime Dunk Show with Minnesota's Crunch and Boston's Lucky:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMaGMsxzr9c
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Old 10-04-2014, 07:19 AM   #30
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Another article about Montreal's prospective pro basketball potential from someone who lives there shortly after the Boston-Minnesota preseason game at the Bell Centre. Gives several reasons for that I agree with and observed from afar like a rising, young multiethnic Montreal population more open-minded towards basketball, a very strong financial base, and gradually-improving Montreal coverage. Another one I'll add is hope for improved on-court overall quality from the 5 RSEQ school programs (McGill, UQAM, Bishop's, Laval, and Concordia). Montreal's basketball isn't even half-backed; allow it more time to further mature in a lot of ways locally, nab a deep-pocketed ownership group (Joey Saputo? Charles Bronfman?), deepen the Montreal high school basketball scene, get more disposable income overall, and perhaps have a far better minor league pro basketball fate than it endured in recent years to further build awareness.
http://www.hoopslounge.com/why-montreal-is-an-nba-city/

Local Montreal fans Dave and Maria don't believe Montreal will reach the NBA permanently very soon, as many people including myself will agree. But I do too think an investment and support on the GMAA and Division 1 high school scene can only help in the long term prospects.
http://mtlbasketballproject.blogspot...&max-results=6
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Old 26-06-2014, 10:33 AM   #31
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Toronto makes its annual preseason trip to Montreal with another date with the Knicks on October 24. Bell Centre will once again be filled to capacity:
http://www.nba.com/knicks/knicks-squ...ptors-montreal
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Old 08-08-2014, 07:08 AM   #32
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How far along are the Pierre Charbonneau Centre (Centre Pierre-Charbonneau) renovations? Are there any renderings and photos of what will result once it's all done? What that place was increasingly dated and not properly suited, cosmetically-speaking, for basketball. Much less ice hockey with all the proper modern amenities we now expect from even medium-sized arenas that host things too intimate for the Bell Centre.

On that note, what's the latest on attempts to bring back the dormat Montreal Jazz and have it better than ever for the 2015-16 season, if NBL Canada survives that/ Losing franchises in two of Canada's bigger cities in Montreal and now Ottawa certainly takes a dent in NBL Canada's credibility.
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Old 23-08-2014, 01:52 AM   #33
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Montreal basketball fans, consider checking this out on August 30 in anticipation of the Toronto-New York preseason game at the Bell Centre (Centre Bell) if you're not doing anything else then!
http://montreal.ctvnews.ca/nba-natio...tour-1.1969858
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Old 24-09-2014, 09:50 AM   #34
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In Canada's Other Game about the history and development of Canadian basketball, it's been said that the French community in Quebec, not just in Montreal, was very much late and slow in creating and embracing basketball in their midsts. To be sure, there were local French-Canadian hoop fans over the years and played at the grassroots like when played as club university teams and local HS ball, many concentrated in Montreal and Quebec City. But they were marginal; the Quebecois' prime sport of choice was and still very much is undoubtably ice hockey with the Canadiens, the Quebec Nordiques, and if dating earlier the old Wanderers. Soccer has gained serious inroads too.

It wasn't until the 1970 and 80s that Quebec's Francophone universities and colleges like UQAM and Laval started setting up its own CIS and CCAA basketball programs. Apparently, that reflects how behind those two unis are in terms of competitive level and success and holding a strong basketball culture. McGill by contrast has basketball for over 125 years. And basketball's founder attended that school. Then again, it wasn't until the previous decade that a French-speaking university finally won a Quebec title when Laval made history in 2001 then going on a fourpeat and later won again in 2008. Its rival UQAM, the youngest of the RSEQ basketball programs, won a couple of titles in 2006 and 2010. In the women's game, Laval has won multiple RSEQ titles--15 in total starting in 1976, including 11 in a 12-year stretch not too long ago. UQAM, meanwhile, has yet to win one. And doesn't seem likely to this season. But overall it's infrequent and ultimately can't keep up with their English counterparts that are much closer to Montreal if not in it like McGill in terms of where basketball interest and playing are better concentrated now that the old Quebec basketball order since got restored, lagging so far behind McGill, Concordia, and Bishop's. As far as nationals goes when they make it, neither would finish higher than 5th in the consolation round. Thus illustrating how weak the RSEQ conference overall is right now.

Guess basketball, though rising in interest with the younger fans and more grassroots youth level basketball with immigration and demographic shifts, is not quite huge, much less proven, in the French-Canadian majority interest like with the English. In fact, there's so much indifference to it among the movers and shakers and may be considered for a time ago as an English sport. But Quebec's rapidly changing multiculturalism is thankfully changing that. But it will take time to truly see the fruits of this when we'll see any highly-touted young French-Canadian ballers, male and female, make an impact there in Canada and abroad. And even make the Canadian national teams at the senior level coming out of the Blue Nation. Lizanne Murphy is there. That, and when we'll see the likes of UQAM and Laval start making serious impacts in the CIS Final 8s like Carleton, Simon Fraser, and Windsor all have. Montrealers will attend the NBA preseason game at the Bell Centre next month because, well, it's another taste of the NBA. Grassroots Quebec basketball is certainly there in both males and females but needs to grow and expand more beyond the Quebec Games and All-Canada Games. But could Federation Basketball Quebec use more funding? Yes. Montreal and Quebec City also need successful and prosperous future NBL Canada franchises that are important to the long-term well-being of that league in the near future and of how crucial Quebec is to that. So it can shake off the rep of those cities being minor league pro basketball graveyards.

Some of the who's who out of Quebec basketball, both English and French but all in speaking French, in this brief Federation Basketball Quebec video voicing support and being proud of as Quebec basketball products:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0W7qZtlZHw4
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Old 03-10-2014, 11:21 AM   #35
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Sam Dalembert sure is glad to return to Montreal and play for New York to be closer to his family with the added bonus of a preseason game in Montreal against Toronto. He too knows that Quebec basketball still has some catching up to do to be on par with the likes of Toronto, Hamilton, and Ottawa as NBA Canada helps improve the quality of youth basketball in Montreal.
http://www.montrealgazette.com/sport...753/story.html
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Old 26-10-2014, 03:02 AM   #36
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Surprisingly, Montreal has three representatives in the NBA this season: Joel Anthony (Detroit), Khem Birch (Miami), and Sam Dalembert (New York). More so than ex-NBA city Vancouver right now.

Well, Toronto continues to shore up its Canadian #WeTheNorth fan base, ending its preseaon in Canada after opening it in Vancouver versus Sacramento with a game against the New York Knicks in Montreal's Bell Centre as part of the NBA Canada Series and spoiling Sam's homecoming 83-80 to win its record 7th preseason win. Dalembert started to a huge roar for the Knicks to 2 points and 10 rebounds in 18 minutes of play before sitting out in the second half. Attendance at the Bell Centre: 20,738, including Montreal mayor Denis Coderre, Dikembe Mutombo, and Mugsy Bouges:
http://www.montrealgazette.com/sport...104/story.html
http://www.nba.com/raptors/recap-102414 (with highlights taken from TSN)

NBA is talking about putting a regular season game in Canadian non-NBA markets in the near future. Surely, both Montreal and Vancouver have to be looked upon while I'll grant the edge to Vancouver due to its prior NBA experience with the Grizzlies. Also look at the possibility of Edmonton getting one after its new downtown arena for the Oilers NHL team and Rush NLL indoor lacrosse team opens in another year with Rogers Place.

Le Nord C'Est Nous!
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Old 30-10-2014, 10:29 AM   #37
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This is Stephane Morneau's take from the Quebecois/French-Canadian sports TV network RDS on the Toronto-New York Montreal preseason game at the Bell Centre (Centre Bell in French) with companion video report from Thierry Bourdeau:
http://www.rds.ca/1.1725427

This is TVA Sports' take on the Montreal match. TVA Sports is a newer rival to RDS in the French-Canadian sports media:
http://www.tvasports.ca/2014/10/24/l...rment-montreal
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Old 14-11-2014, 08:50 AM   #38
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Montreal's NBA preseason attendance at the Bell Centre for the past 5 years certainly would state its case in favor for hosting a NBA regular season game there. That's likely the next step for Montreal with the long-term goal of franchise of its own and an owner with deep pockets. Still, I would like to see Vancouver get one at Rogers Arena too given its more extensive NBA experience with having the Grizzlies:
http://www.gaiters.ca/news/2014/11/8...108143550.aspx

Montreal's passionate hunger for another pro franchise to go along with the Habs, Alouettes, and Impact certainly is in evidence with the NBA annually arriving to add to go with a sort of its "us against the English world" mentality (even when almost none of the NBA players have French ties). Russell Peddle, a Montreal-based Raptors HQ writer originally from Newfoundland, recalls the sights and sounds from the Toronto-New York preseason game. He interestingly brings up both how Quebec as a province tends not quite to see itself as truly (English) Canadian as a society and the city's appeal and ties towards New York (explains the loud cheers for it), supposedly going back to legendary mayor Jean Drapeau's claims of deep roots between the two:
http://www.raptorshq.com/2014/10/27/...ce-in-montreal

There are 17 Montreal residents are currently playing NCAA D1 men's basketball this 2014-15 season. The only other Quebec residents playing there too are from Gatineau--across the river from Ottawa, Ontario in the National Capital Region. Yes, Montreal is steadily growing and producing its own crop of young basketball players with each passing year but still has ways to go to equal Toronto:

Alex Paquin | American | 6’1 | PG | FR | Champlain-St. Lambert | Montreal, QC
Ben Millaud | St Francis | 6’1 | G | JR | Vanier | Montreal, QC
David Andoh | Liberty | 6’7 | PF | JR | Merritt JuCo | Montreal, QC
Fred Duré | Arkansas St | 6’4 | SG | FR | Sheridan JUCO | Monreal, QC
Jonathan Tshibuy | LIU-Brooklyn | 6’5 | PF | Missouri State-West Plains JUCO | Montreal, QC
Junior Fortunat | Rider | 6’9 | F | SR | Roman Catholic | Montreal, QC
Junior Lomomba | Providence | 6’4 | SF | SO | Cleveland St | Montreal, QC
Kemy Osse | Arkansas-Little Rock | 6’1 | G | JR | Archbishop Carroll | Montreal, QC
Kenny Chery | Baylor | 6’0 | PG | SR | State Fair JUCO | Montreal, QC
Lenny Austin | North Dakota | 6’1 | G | SR | Vanier | Montreal, QC
Link Kabadyundi | TCU | 7’1 | C | FR | Alma | Montreal, QC
Malcolm Henderson | Cal State-Fullerton | 6’8 | PF | JR | Missouri State-West Plains JuCo | Montreal, QC
Max Joseph | Valparaiso | 6’1 | PG | FR | Vanier | Monteal, Quebec
Nemanja Zarkovic | Fordham | 6’3 | PG | FR | Jean De Brebeuf | Montreal, QC
Patrick Steeves | Harvard | 6’7 | F | JR | The Hotchkiss School | Montreal, QC
Tevonn Walker | Valparaiso | 6’1 | G | FR | Vanier | Montreal, QC
Yohanny Dalembert | James Madison | 6’8 | PF | SO | Lower Merion | Montreal, QC
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Old 07-01-2015, 04:47 AM   #39
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Quite possibly and not shockingly given how basketball in Montreal still has ways to go for improvement and awareness and strong publicity in the majority Francophone community, two of Montreal's greatest and first prominent local basketball products are Anglophones Wayne Yearwood and longtime friend Dwight Walton. Both were teammates at Dawson College, on the Canadian national team in the late 1980s and into the 1990s and even, to help boost awareness towards Montreal's first ever pro basketball franchise, the short-lived Montreal Dragons in the original Canadian National Basketball League back in 1993. I'll add more about these very two at this very post later.
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Old 05-04-2015, 02:33 AM   #40
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Montreal (and the province of Quebec) had 6 players that participated in the NCAA's March Madness:

Kenny Chery (Baylor)
Patrick Steeves (Harvard)
Junior Lomomba (Providence)
Kevin Zabo (San Diego State)
Tevonn Walker et Max Joseph (Valparaiso)

All of them were gone by the Sweet 16.
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Old 10-04-2015, 05:17 AM   #41
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If Montreal is ever going to truly rise as a basketball city that can rival Toronto in producing more local basketball talent like Toronto, Ottawa, and Hamilton, among other things, it really needs better luck in its pro basketball franchises. As a city, it is indeed large and diverse enough culture-wise and population and will get there for it to work. All of the needed tools and factors that it has need and takes time to develop effectively. Montreal's first pro basketball franchise, the Montreal Dragons in the original Canadian NBL in 1993, actually, according to Wikipedia, had some success filling out the Verdun Auditorium during the summer. Summer was key because there was little Montreal pro sports competition then outside of the Montreal Expos from Major League Baseball (the CFL Alouettes had yet to return) with the demi-god hockey Canadiens making the city think ice hockey a lot during the fall and winter underwent its annual hibernation. Even then, people there still talk hockey in this city during the offseason; it was just after the Habs just won its last Stanley Cup back in 1993 still basking in the afterglow with meanwhile a new, non-NBA pro basketball startup being so obscure. Not many people remember the franchise. City had too many casual/unknowledgable fans and not enough hardcore ones as far as basketball is concerned. Montreal's local basketball community at the time was smaller at the time. Still, the Dragons had some support from the precious low basketball minority there with a winning record at 21-6 under their late head coach Otis Hailey. At first. Before folding with 19 games to go in that 1993 season because of both underfinanced owners and the fears of impending fears of the incoming Toronto and Vancouver NBA franchises taking attention away for Canadian hoop heads from any Canadian pro basketball league (despite seasons not conflicting too much). Basketball was fresh to Montreal residents, and those who were into it were eagerly open for it. Who knows how things would turn up if the Montreal Dragons (and the league as a whole survived)?

However, Montreal's 1993 in-season demise set the tone for a series of unfortunate and inane handling of subsequent pro basketball franchises that one venue in particular-the pierre charbonneau centre--became a graveyard for them. The Matrix (which had some promise) , the Royal, the Sasquatch, the Laval Kebs (never played a game after moving from Quebec City), and the poorly-handled Jazz that rose from the ashes of the Kebs in the current NBL Canada. It's incumbent for any prospective Montreal pro basketball franchise investor or a consortium--hopefully basketball lovers with numerous ties to the Montreal community and very deep-pocketed to absorb any financial losses for several seasons--to learn from those mistakes and make attempts at inroads into the French-majority population which holds its basketball ties and get the local, multicultural youth and college basketball programs associated with the franchise at the grassroots. Franchise must get involved to introduce basketball to but not limited to the young, who surely would be excited about the sport, in multiple ways.

A national TV and radio contract in both languages for the league surely would make things easier for the franchise to get the word out about them with plenty of promotion along with reps appearing on local TV news and sports shows. NBL Canada is still Montreal's best bet at finally some pro basketball success that will last for years instead of "here today, gone tomorrow". The NBA definitely not an option right now even with successful filling up the Bell Centre for Toronto Raptors preseason games. A new basketball-suited arena is needed for Montreal. The Pierre Charbonneau Centre (Centre-Pierre Charbonneau in French) that was renovated a couple years ago just doesn't quite cut it even after that, based on the photos of events hosted there (though it since got newer and better seats and a scoreboard with video images). I expected more of a gutting of the entire interior and create something brand new like we've previously seen with the Seattle Center Coliseum and the Oakland Arena on a smaller scale. Did I mentioned the place is a graveyard for Montreal pro basketball lately? Doesn't really resemble the comparable but more standard shaped arenas in terms of seating NBL Canada uses like the Budweiser Gardens, the Powerade Centre, the WFCU Centre, and the Halifax Metro Centre. Maybe the Maurice Richard Arena or perhaps the Verdun Auditorium. Until a new one 8000-seat one that will handle events the Bell Centre is too massive for can be built and opened. Maybe the Place Bell in nearby next-door island city Laval. This also means Montreal's new NBL Canada's franchise, a team that will unequivocally be the anchor and the importance for the development and growth for Quebec basketball, needs to win a lot of games for years with its on-court product to win the public over. It's imperative that for the league's growth and development obviously to have a successful Montreal basketball franchise.

Building a potent basketball fan base like in Montreal takes time. This means fans and management must endure plenty of nights of empty seats at the venue and the down years of performance. One issue here is the cash-strapped NBL Canada is still a very young league which doesn't always have time in affording to take a long game when it comes to growing pro basketball across Canada with no multimillion dollar TV contract to rely upon to withstand the issues; NBL Canada lacks the decades-long luxury and familiarity built upon them. Tickets are an obvious lifeblood to NBL Canada and the league needs and feels to fill many of them as much as possible (like London successfully has done), then by all means the franchises must be disbanded or moved. But if the league is really interested in growing the league into as many large markets as possible to capitalize on revenue streams through television and other media then allowing a few franchises to be loss leaders in populated affluent areas of the country like if Montreal rejoins is a strong forward thinking strategy.

I was just wondering this lately: if the Toronto Raptors further want to build upon the need to develop Quebec basketball further, not just in Montreal, perhaps Toronto (and operators Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment) should look into the possibility of playing a preseason game in Quebec City and expand on the Le Nord C'est Nous campaign deeper. Its new 18,000-seat Videotron Ampitheatre is being built with the aim of luring back the NHL's Quebec Nordiques. Why not have the occasional basketball game there in the next several years? Until perhaps Montreal gets its own NBA team--if THAT ever happens.
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Old 18-04-2015, 07:24 AM   #42
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I still don't think Montreal will get the NBA. NBL Canada (a better team than the Jazz) and a rival pro basketball league to counter the NBA are more realistic for the city:
http://www.mtlblog.com/2015/03/why-m...et-a-nba-team/
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Old 25-04-2015, 03:45 AM   #43
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Toronto Raptors founder John Bitove believes Montreal and Vancouver will get NBA expansion teams when the Canadian dollar gets stronger:
http://www.torontosun.com/2015/03/07...f-t-conference

Marc Griffin and Phil Boileau interestingly discuss the illusion Montreal has of being a hockey city despite strong success with preseason NBA and MLB games hosted there. Of course when it comes to pro sports, Montreal is so much more than the Habs in its sports diversity as is socially. Grassroots basketball is growing. Makes the interesting case of possibly having the Arcade Fire's Win Butler being as someone who can act as an ambassador for Montreal NBA ball with his background. There's the CFL's Alouettes and the MLS' Impact. Montreal (hopefully) could return to Major League Baseball in its Expos with its Toronto Blue Jays preseason attendance success. Montreal's the only city in the world to have hosted NBA preseason games for four consecutive years, so it is testing it. Disagree with saying Vancouver already "had their chance":
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1FqFaIHui0M
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Old 28-05-2015, 11:13 AM   #44
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Yeah, it's in French. This is Montreal we're dealing with. But RDS reports in a quickie about how event specialists Evenko is working on the possibility of an NBA regular season game at Montreal's Bell Centre in the near future, very likely a Toronto Raptors game. Maybe within the next two season, I'd say:
http://www.rds.ca/basketball/nba-il-...A9al-1.2387736

RDS Sports30 also examines the possibility of Montreal NBA basketball based on the preseason success in attendance
http://www.rds.ca/vid%C3%A9os/du-bas...A9al-3.1134869

Actually Adam Silver met with prospective Montreal NBA owners--Kevin Gilmore and Geoff Molson of the Montreal Canadiens this January in New York. Why was it made known four months later with the Habs eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs? Just don't get your hopes up Montreal NBA fans right away. Build the basketball movement though. This is Montreal first significant NBA franchise traction yet:
http://www.slamonline.com/nba/adam-s...i35IrpZwhB0.99
http://www.journaldemontreal.com/201...treal-a-la-nba
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Old 05-06-2015, 04:14 AM   #45
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Montreal and the NBA is becoming an annual thing at the Bell Centre thanks to the Toronto Raptors shoring up Canada for the NBA Canada Series. This year the Bell Centre (Centre Bell) will host the Raptors against the Washington Wizards on October 23. Expect another full capacity crowd:
http://www.nba.com/raptors/press-rel...aseries-060115
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Old 12-06-2015, 02:25 AM   #46
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It's a very interesting time for Montreal basketball right now. From the Toronto Raptors' announcement last week of another preseason Montreal NBA game in October at the Bell Centre to the Montreal Canadiens execs' meeting with NBA commissioner Adam Silver in February to just even discussion within the local Montreal basketball community about the city's pro basketball prospects with the NBA. Worth repeating: Montreal will not get an NBA franchise anytime soon. What NBA franchises will be available for sale at this time or in the near future to be relocated? The NBA is also currently averse towards expansion even with the wrongfully robbed Seattle first in line for both options. My personal options, if I had a magic wand to confront this for cities like Montreal that want some taste of pro ball, would be to either create a second NBA with promotion and demotion involved with the bigger NBA like with many team sports leagues outside North America or create a rival top-level pro basketball league like the ABA was for much of the 1960s and 1970s (extremely unlikely to accomplish and sustain now successfully in the latter under this current North American pro sports landscape). Montreal really does, like with virtually anyplace, has its own local basketball culture, male and female alike, from the grassroots all the way up to its current anchors with CIS and CCAA schools like McGill (with a men's basketball program existing for well over a century now), UQAM (has its moments here and there but Francophone schools tend to be behind a bit in embracing it), and Concordia without a pro basketball team. The LBQ is a part of this as well in building the sport in the province, not just Montreal. But it's largely ignored by the masses in Quebec except for those really hardcore basketball fans.

What Montreal pro basketball fans need to happen is to hope that NBL Canada eventually grant the city a second chance. When the Jazz arrived that subsequently led to a dubious 2-38 season, the league-owned franchise was rushed onto the scene with the league wishing to maintain a Quebec presence in it and was met with indifference. Its big mistake was not getting to play preseason games to build team chemistry while the Laval situation was still being smoothed out. That and the fact there was no time in devising an effective marketing strategy for the Montreal Jazz to aggressively attract Montreal's basketball community. What had transpired with Montreal pro basketball dating back from the Montreal Dragons in the original Canadian NBL back in 1993 and couldn't complete the season has been unfortunate and leads to the impression that Montreal is not a basketball city; many of its teams starting with the Dragons didn't last more than a season. After what the basketball community had been through with the Dragons, the Matrix/Royal (ABA), Sasquatch (PBL), the aborted Laval Kebs and the Jazz (NBL Canada), I can't say that I blame Montreal basketball fans for being burned by the whole saga and even turned off when the Jazz arrived. Sure some of them were saying "Who?", much less casual basketball fans. Plus, I don't think that the since-renovated Pierre Charbonneau Centre is ideal for NBL Canada basketball; Montreal needs an arena built that will be suited to it and more in league with London's Budweiser Gardens, Brampton's Powerade Centre, Niagara's Meridian Centre, Saint John's Harbour Station, and Oshawa's General Motors Centre. If it has to be built in nearby island city Laval like that Place Bell will be, so be it. Attendance at the PCC was woeful for Jazz games, averaging 200 fans. Its first game had plenty of people. Rent was an issue too like Ottawa endured both. People didn't know or want to know that it existed.

Montreal's more than large enough as a city to support something like NBL Canada, which holds tremendous potential if it survives, if marketed properly and build a strong and vibrant basketball fan base and community, which it's getting there. This new Montreal pro basketball team must last for more than one season and surely must have the significant involvement from those who know the Montreal basketball scene like Pascal Jobin, Nevio Marzziotti, and Alejandro Habani in both French and English communities. May have to work harder in the former though. They all and others in that franchise must be allowed more than enough time build fan awareness. Other types of entertainment in large cities can get expensive with their pricing structures, and the league can offer deals like kids 12 and under get in free with an adult to better help fill the place.
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Old 10-07-2015, 09:13 AM   #47
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Congrats Olivier Hanlan on being drafted by the Utah Jazz in the second round with the 42nd pick. Hanlan is not from Montreal, but he is from Quebec in the Gatineau part of the National Capital Region (largely Ottawa). Quebec is gradually making noise in the basketball boom.

Let's also recognize the likes of Lizanne Murphy and Nirra Fields repping the Quebec flag too.

Sportsnet Marc Griffin provides us an overall Montreal contemporary basketball history lesson without delving into the failed minor pro basketball endeavors. He does, though, reminds us of Dr. James Naismith's Montreal ties with McGill University and the irony of how basketball's prominence is just now boomeranging back to Montreal after eventually being a success elsewhere in the US and Canada. Grassroots Montreal basketball is blossoming with the young multicultural millenials who weren't raised with hockey on their minds, with an important recruit for St. John's back in the 1980s named Bill Wennington (and then there's Wayne Yearwood and Dwight Walton, who also are Montreal's important ballers). The Bell Centre is obviously suited for NBA basketball.

I certainly can think Montreal is far more than an event city. I also believe that as long there's a quality performance product with the MLS' Impact and CFL's Alouettes, even when there's no sellouts, and they each have strong fan bases. As far local basketball lovers' fear it will suffer the fate of the Vancouver Grizzlies, leaving after years of on-court mediocrity, it took much more than that for the move to happen. Not to mention, as Griffin notes, Montreal sports fans sense of expectations/entitlement from those 24 Habs Stanley Cup championship banners represent. My point is, Montreal is mature and diversifying itself enough to embrace other team sports outside of hockey. But the loonie-US greenback exchange can hurt it along with the upcoming massively lucrative NBA TV deal in the US making the league's Board of Governors figure Montreal's presence won't make much of an impact. Maybe 5-10 years later on in its window of opportunity sounds about right. Moreover, Quebec sovereignty isn't as much of an issue as it was say 20 years ago:
http://www.sportsnet.ca/basketball/n...am-or-reality/

Back in late November, What's Really Good magazine decided to do something special for some notable and select Montreal ballers with some Nike basketball gear in their lockers for a scrimmage game (Team Labonte vs. Team Shapiro) at McGill's Love Competition Hall in the ultimate basketball experience to coincide with the House of Hoops by Foot Locker opening at the 415 in writing the next chapter of Montreal basketball. Yes, it's interspersed with scenes from the opening attended by the aforementioned Bill Wennington, Wayne Yearwood, and Dwight Walton and author Brian Daly:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k40ptfdjVXI

I must also write this: Molson-owned Evenko wants to host 10 Raptors' regular season games at the Bell Centre next season. Certainly won't get that but 2-3 will be realistic.
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Old 31-07-2015, 11:00 AM   #48
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NBL Canada's newly-minted commissioner Dave Magley says Montreal might return to the league if potentially interested new owners are found by it:
http://themediaplex.com/commissioner...-hall-meeting/
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Old 11-09-2015, 11:50 AM   #49
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Montreal hosts an NBL Canada combine two days from now!
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?f...93394144013644
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Old 22-10-2015, 10:33 AM   #50
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Francois Bourque from McGill's men's basketball team becomes the 21st student from the Montreal school in the 22 years to be awarded a CIS Top Eight Academic All-Canadian award for the 2014-15 academic year. Congrats!
http://www.thesuburban.com/sports/sp...71cbcd997.html

Don't forget tomorrow night ends the Raptors preseason and the NBA Canada Series at Montreal's Bell Centre when Toronto faces Washington.
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