By Zagrieb Zano
August 23, 2006 … a day that will live in infamy. For 12 seasons the WBA had been pleasing millions of fans world wide. With the loss of Andre Dec and Tim Richards, it was determined that the league would close its doors. The friendships that had been forged would be tested and perhaps faded. The competitive spirit would be dormat for a time. The rivalaries silenced. Most of us were in shock, how could the WBA shut their doors with profits going through the roof. Being so successful that the threat of legal action for logo infrigement only stiffened the leagues resolve.
Perhaps, the league wasn’t as strong as we thought. Perhaps it was something more in our imagination. De we just imagine watching Bishop Stein torch people for 28 points per game. Were those downtown bombs from Dave Williams night in and night out a myth? Don’t tell me watching Timmons and Williams cut up defenses with every assist was a mid winters dream. I was there when Lou Gonzales lead his team over Salt Lake in the playoffs. He was a man among boys.
If these were more than just memories, how could it have given myself or anybody else so much joy and heartache at the same time? How could this all be for pretend?
The answer is simple, the WBA is as real as its gets baby! It was set we would never again see Sheth torch defenses at will. Papers predicted never again would you hear the thunderous slap of the ball on yet another Van Brandt rebound. And who would deny seeing Burke rising up from way out, with a gentle push and a mild arc the cowhide globe hitting home.
There isn’t a sweeter sentence that one can say. While they may be a little older with a few more gray hairs and a few extra comfort pounds about the midsection. Once again we will see the brightest minds doing battle from their executive sweets as their teams seek the golden globe of win. Will the personalities clash … HELL YES. Who would deny the drama that Marc Hameleers and Brad Bangerter had several seasons ago. That was a writers dream. Will the competition be high? HELLO! Reynose and Williams battling for Division dominance year after year. Can anybody compete with Paris and Oregon? Let’s hope, but there is a reason those two teams dominate.
They said the we as a league were dead … perhaps, but we decided to walk it off.
I’m not saying that our lives have crumbled because the WBA slept for a time. I’m not saying that from the ashes of captivity, never has a Phoenix metaphor been more personified! I’m not saying that each owner can kick back on a lawn chair, sipping on an iced tea, and the championships will just show up. Its not about me. It’s not about you, either. It’s about legacy, the legacy left behind for future generations. It’s not about us!
What I am saying is welcome back to the WBA. You will be tested. You will be angry. You will have exhileration. You will win and you will lose. But at least you will be the one making the decisions.