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Team and League History


August 29, 2001
     American Basketball Alliance logo
   
Birmingham is named as one of 8 cities in the Southeast as a member of the new American Basketball Alliance. Only 5 other cities were named; Atlanta, Macon, Savannah, Augusta, and Chattanooga. The remaining 2 cities will be announced in the future if owners can be found.

A 36 game schedule is set to begin on November 17th. Each team will have 10 players and a 2-player taxi squad. Half of each team will be comprised of "territorial" players from local colleges.

The ABA is the creation of Don "Moose" Lewis, an Atlanta-based businessman and owner of professional boxing and professional wrestling entities.

Owners in the new league will pay only a league licensing fee and a television production package instead of the usual, and larger, franchise membership fee.

The Birmingham team, tentatively named the Bandits, is owned by the Justice Basketball Group, Inc. Principal investors in the Justice Group were not named.


September 16, 2001
     American Basketball Alliance logo
   
Lewis issues a statement to the media stating the ABA will delay the start of the 2001-02 season from November 19, 2001 to January 4, 2002. The season will now be played from January through May 2002. The 2002-03 season will begin in November 2002 on the first Saturday after Thanksgiving and complete its season and playoffs in April 2003.

Lewis claims the reason for the delay is due to the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, DC on September 11.

The Alliance also announces that a percentage of all fees from player tryouts, ticket sales, and sponsor revenues will be donated to aid the families of firemen and emergency personnel who lost their lives in New York.

September 30, 2001
The ABA issues a press release announcing a 14 city exhibition tour featuring 4 teams from player tryouts October 20-21, 2001 instead of having a 2001-02 season. The 4 teams are Birmingham, Atlanta, Savannah, and Macon.

October 15, 2001
Lewis states that the Alliance will sport a return to the classic look of 1970's basketball. His uniforms, being finished now, will have the retro 70's look of ABA-style uniforms. "We've also told the players that we'll pay the white guys extra for [wearing] crew cuts, and the black guys extra for [wearing] afros," Lewis said.

November 1, 2001
     Birmingham BreakOuts logo
   
Lewis announces that the Birmingham team would be named the BreakOuts. No explanation was given on why the name was chosen.

Lewis also announces that players will be able to wear nicknames on the back of their jerseys.

November 6, 2001
Lewis announces the ABA has been restructured into a single entity limited liability corporation. With this change came a new name, the Global Basketball Alliance, still to be known as "the Alliance".

"After lengthy discussions with league officials and counsel, it was decided without dissent to change the name to reflect both our present and future growth as well as to acknowledge the fact that our player talent is not just 'American' but from the global community. The Alliance has also chosen new colors for our basketball making us unique with our black, blue, and yellow pattern. These colors of black and blue signify the bumps and bruises we have endured while the yellow is for the sun since our future is so bright!" Lewis said.

    
Global Basketball Alliance logo
   
A fifth team from Johnson City (TN) has been added.

December 6, 2001
Lewis announces that Kerry J. Kirby, will be the BreakOuts head coach and managing partner. Kirby has an extensive background of coaching ranging from Youth Basketball of America to college to setting up free agent camps for various National Basketball Association teams.

December 13, 2001
It was announced that Mexico City and Tijuana have agreed to join the league, expanding the number of teams to 8. The other cities are currently Birmingham, Augusta, Atlanta, Macon, Chattanooga, and Kingsport (TN).

    Photograph
  Global Basketball Alliance founder
Don "Moose" Lewis
   
Lewis said the 2 Mexican teams will pick up the travel expenses for the visiting teams as part of the agreement. The season will now run from the first week of April to the middle of March. Each team will play a 34 game schedule with games on Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

The season was supposed to start on February 9, but the league was having difficulty getting sites because of the conflict with high school and college basketball.

February 22, 2002
The league announces that the Birmingham and Macon franchises are now considered to be expansion teams for the 2003 season. According to the league, "both these markets need substantially more work and promotion."

March 8, 2002
John Jordan resigns as head coach of the BreakOuts. The lack of a confirmed facility, staff, or schedule were reasons cited for his decision. "I wish the GBA founder, Moose Lewis, all the best but could no longer sit in limbo as to whether Birmingham was going to have a team or not. I traveled to Birmingham in good faith with the understanding that the arena deal was done. Much to my dismay after the press conference announcing me as coach I found out that no arena deal was set. The league dates and locales have been changed several times and with it this close to the announced season I feel it is in my best interest to no longer be involved with this league."

It is rumored that Jordan is planning to start his own league that would begin play in May. Jordan refuses comment, saying only, "the next few days should bring an announcement of some sort, the nature of what that announcement may or may not be I cannot even speculate on."

April 2002
 
2002
  Global Basketball Alliance
   
   Atlanta Moose
   Birmingham BreakOuts
   Florida Thrill
   Harlem Hammer
   Macon Bacon 
   North Alabama Swampers 
   Savannah Ragin' Rebels
   Tijuana Tazmania Diablos 
   Tri-State Zombies
  xxx   xxx   xxx  
             
Atlanta Moose logo    Birmingham BreakOuts logo    Florida Thrill logo    Harlem Hammer logo
             
Macon Bacon logo   North Alabama Swampers logo   Savannah Ragin' Rebels logo   Tijuana Tazmania Diablos logo
             
Tri-State Zombies logo            
             
April 10, 2002
After having only played a single game, the Global Basketball Alliance announces a change in format in the league’s inaugural season. The GBA claims they now won't be simply a professional basketball game, but rather fans will witness a "professional basketball event".

Their press release says it best:

"Mix in the best of the Harlem Globetrotters, the XFL and its cheerleaders, and professional wrestling - and you have the red, hot, GBA! You will see players "high-fiving" each other, teams with their respective music, disc jockeys spinning club music, players at the end of the game tossing their jerseys into the stands, players screaming after a successful shot or key play, players in the stands at halftime, music artists at intermission, and ticket stubs redeemable for discounts on merchandise and admission to entertainment establishments. The GBA’s founder, Don "Moose" Lewis will be drawing from his years of professional wrestling, professional boxing, and television production to bring this to the people. The GBA offers beautiful and shapely cheerleaders for dad, handsome basketball players for mom, tee shirts and giveaways for the children, the hippest music for the young adults, and exciting memories for all who attend. The schedule is changed to twenty-four (24) games with the following teams: the Birmingham (Alabama) BreakOuts, the Harlem (New York) Hammer, the Savannah (Georgia) Ragin’ Rebels, the Atlanta (Georgia) Moose, the Florida (Tallahassee) Thrill, and the Tri-State Zombies. Ticket prices have been reduced to $6.50 for general admission and $12.50 for VIP tickets with multiple game packages available."

Epilogue
Details of how many league games were actually played are sketchy. At least one was played, which makes the Global Basketball Alliance better than most new leagues. Unfortunately, lack of funding forced the league to suspend operations.
 
 
 
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Last update: July 26, 2018